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    Default simple question

    I try to keep up with some of the Kenai fishery info but to be perfectly honest it is difficult with time and amount of posts.. I have a simple question and I really am not sure if there is a simple answer and didnt care to hijack a different thread..

    Does anyone know the reason for the king decline in the rivers.....seems to be state wide so does anyone honestly know.. not looking for a he said she said but i really am curious if they know or at least have a realistic idea.... Thanks
    Dave

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    Default simple question

    Blame commercial.
    We do not go to the green woods and crystal waters to rough it, we go to smooth it. We get it rough enough at home; in towns and cities; in shops, offices, stores, banks anywhere that we may be placed

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    Quote Originally Posted by TWB View Post
    Blame commercial.
    Well that didn't take long at all.

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    now now lets all play nice here...enough of that in the other threads... Honestly not trying to start another one here.. I am just really interested in this and all I tend to hear is rumors..

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    No one really knows. I think I can say that with confidence. I am pretty sure that ocean survivability is poor, and the fish are going out, but not coming back.

    Is it ocean acidification?
    Is it a warmer north pacific?
    Is it the pacific decadal occillation?
    Is it a regime shift of food supply?
    Is it to many competing hatchery fish also going out to sea?
    Is it commercial trawler bycatch?
    It is other commercial salmon fisheries catching kings?
    Is it abuse by any/all/one specific user group?
    Is it Area M interception? (sorry kind of a dumb joke).

    Now in the Kenai I have my own idea of why the chinook numbers are down. In a state wide type response I'd guess it's more or less my first three questions. I don't think anyone knows, but the state recently had the task force to try to figure it out. .

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    Default simple question

    Quote Originally Posted by FamilyMan View Post
    Well that didn't take long at all.
    Ice breaker.

    Science has yet to provide an exact answer. Marie studies have only been going on for the last century, cycles in evolution have been taking place for thousands of years.

    Global warming?
    Ocean temperature?
    Pollution?
    Harvest and escapement?

    It's anyone's guess at this point.
    We do not go to the green woods and crystal waters to rough it, we go to smooth it. We get it rough enough at home; in towns and cities; in shops, offices, stores, banks anywhere that we may be placed

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bear View Post
    Does anyone know the reason for the king decline in the rivers.....
    Dave,

    Pretty much what Brownsfan and TWB said. No one knows why king numbers are declining statewide.

    And while Kenai king numbers are down as well, Kenai kings are also getting smaller in size. So while no one knows why Kenai kings are declining in number, many/most believe Kenai kings are declining in size due to the extraordinary pressure put on them by the in-river sport-fishery, commercial and private, as it targets the largest kings as trophies, photo ops, thrills, ego-boosters, and more. Catch-and-release, selective targeting, sedimentation, pollution, and more are decimating the runs in terms of size if not numbers.

    Most telling is that there is no commercial gill-net pressure on the Kenai's first run of king. Those early fish are subjected only to the pressure of the in-river sport-fishery, commercial and private, yet those early fish are declining in number and size as is the late run.

    Don't be deceived. There are some out there who, for the sake of their hostility to Alaska's commercial fishing industry, will attempt to muddy the waters, confuse the issue, further abuse commercial fishermen, and otherwise try to blame the current state of affairs on their favorite hobby horse. Brownsfan and TWB put it well, nobody knows.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Akbrownsfan
    Is it Area M interception? (sorry kind of a dumb joke).
    As a former Area M fisherman, this one had me laughing.
    Dern Chum Chuckers.
    “Life has become immeasurably better since I have been forced to stop taking it seriously.” ― H.S.T.
    "Character is how you treat those who can do nothing for you."

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    Since it's not just Alaska, but also Western Canada and Washington its Ocean related. Either global warming, lack of food, or the Japanese tsunami

    On the other hand, California is seeing record numbers of salmon returns....

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    Default simple question

    I think it spans farther than just fish. Looking around, even 4 legged critters have a decline in average size.

    Logic tells me those with the strongest of genes have seen a reduction.
    We do not go to the green woods and crystal waters to rough it, we go to smooth it. We get it rough enough at home; in towns and cities; in shops, offices, stores, banks anywhere that we may be placed

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    Adult Chinook numbers were down throughout almost all of Alaska in 2012. That doesn't mean they're declining. It just means Alaskan salmon had a bad year. As I recall, Chinook returns in 2011 was fairly normal State-wide. If the downward trend continues in 2013 and 2014, we can safely assume they're declining.

    So, the question remains - Why? No answers yet. But given that the returns are State-wide, it's also natural to assume the decline is related to one or more factors. That is, whatever is affecting the numbers is also affecting them State-wide, such as ocean conditions. That's not a sure bet since the Bering Sea, for example, is a very different environment than the Gulf of Alaska. Why would the stocks in GoA be affected by anything that happens in the Bering Sea? Again, I'm not sure. Ocean productivity waxes and wains, but how does that affect various stocks with varying life histories and varying migraton patterns? Again, puzzling. In short, there are no answers yet. The scientists are still gathering the information. However, the Canadians just finished a two year study on the collapse of the Fraser River sockeye. Their conclusion - They don't know. Lots of possibilities and lots of sources of mortality, but no specific cause was identified. My guess is that any studies in Alaska will come to the same conclusion. Unfortunately........

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    Marcus - You stated:

    "And while Kenai king numbers are down as well, Kenai kings are also getting smaller in size. So while no one knows why Kenai kings are declining in number, many/most believe Kenai kings are declining in size due to the extraordinary pressure put on them by the in-river sport-fishery, commercial and private, as it targets the largest kings as trophies, photo ops, thrills, ego-boosters, and more. Catch-and-release, selective targeting, sedimentation, pollution, and more are decimating the runs in terms of size if not num."

    No argument from me. However, the same affect does occur from excessive high seas fisheries. This has happened with many Columbia River stocks. The high seas troll fishery in Washington, BC, and SE AK have been shown to result in the decrease in body size of the returning adults. The reason is that for an adult Chinook to reach a large body size, it needs to spend lots of time in the ocean (duh). But if the fishing pressure in the ocean is high (and it is), those fish don't live long enough to reach a large body size. They get caught before they have that chance. Nobody catches and releases a 50lb Chinook in hopes that it will grow to 80lbs. It goes in the freezer. The result is that the only fish that return to spawn are those that spend a year or two in the ocean (i.e., the small ones). These fish become the spawning stock for the next generation. The genes for early returning adults (1-2 years) are the ones passed onto the next generation. Repeat this for 50+ years, and the only fish returning are those that spend very little time in the ocean. Thus, the body size of the adults is considerably smaller than in years past.

    I will also add that as commercial trolling on the West Coast (WA, BC, SE AK) has decreased, the sport fishing troll fleet has increased. So I'm not laying the blame only on the commercial folks.

    So, if the high seas fisheries on the Kenai Rv Chinook is high enough, the same thing could happen. The large Chinook from the Kenai Rv will disappear because they no longer live long enough in the GoA or Bering Sea or wherever. I'm not saying it's happening, but if it is, both the body size and adult run size of Kenai Rv Chinook will go down, even with the current level of in-river recreational angling.



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    Cool Those were the days . . .

    Quote Originally Posted by Cohoangler View Post
    Marcus - You stated:

    "And while Kenai king numbers are down as well, Kenai kings are also getting smaller in size. So while no one knows why Kenai kings are declining in number, many/most believe Kenai kings are declining in size due to the extraordinary pressure put on them by the in-river sport-fishery, commercial and private, as it targets the largest kings as trophies, photo ops, thrills, ego-boosters, and more. Catch-and-release, selective targeting, sedimentation, pollution, and more are decimating the runs in terms of size if not num."

    No argument from me. However, the same affect does occur from excessive high seas fisheries. This has happened with many Columbia River stocks. The high seas troll fishery in Washington, BC, and SE AK have been shown to result in the decrease in body size of the returning adults. The reason is that for an adult Chinook to reach a large body size, it needs to spend lots of time in the ocean (duh). But if the fishing pressure in the ocean is high (and it is), those fish don't live long enough to reach a large body size. They get caught before they have that chance. Nobody catches and releases a 50lb Chinook in hopes that it will grow to 80lbs. It goes in the freezer. The result is that the only fish that return to spawn are those that spend a year or two in the ocean (i.e., the small ones). These fish become the spawning stock for the next generation. The genes for early returning adults (1-2 years) are the ones passed onto the next generation. Repeat this for 50+ years, and the only fish returning are those that spend very little time in the ocean. Thus, the body size of the adults is considerably smaller than in years past.

    I will also add that as commercial trolling on the West Coast (WA, BC, SE AK) has decreased, the sport fishing troll fleet has increased. So I'm not laying the blame only on the commercial folks.

    So, if the high seas fisheries on the Kenai Rv Chinook is high enough, the same thing could happen. The large Chinook from the Kenai Rv will disappear because they no longer live long enough in the GoA or Bering Sea or wherever. I'm not saying it's happening, but if it is, both the body size and adult run size of Kenai Rv Chinook will go down, even with the current level of in-river recreational angling.


    You know the old saying, Cohoangler, "There ain't much to see in a small town, but what you hear makes up for it." Pretty hard to convince local folks, after watching big fish selectively targeted by the in-river sport-fishery, each year worse than the last, each with with more guides than last, that sport-anglers haven't killed the goose that laid the golden egg.

    For most folks I suspect it's common sense . . what rancher, year after year, kills off his biggest breeding stock and runs the rest of them ragged just for the hell of it? "Say, pardner, have you noticed our cattle are getting smaller?" . . Well . . duh . . .

    Maybe, maybe not . . all we know is they're missing . . .



    . . . and stuff happens.

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    Marcus - I'm not saying that any actual or percieved reductions in the body size and run size of the Kenai Rv Chinook is a result of high seas fisheries, rather than in-river harvest. I'm saying that these reductions could occur from either high seas fisheries or in-river harvest.

    My last sentence has a typo. It should have read: "I'm not saying it's happening, but if it is, both the body size and adult run size of Kenai Rv Chinook will go down, even without the current level of in-river recreational angling."

    My point is that ADF&G could eliminate in-river harvest (recreational, commercial, PU) entirely on the Kenai Rv, but if high seas fisheries harvest is high enough, the body size and run size of Kenai River Chinook will continue to decline. At this point, there is no evidence that high seas fisheries are a problem, but nobody has been able to explain what happened in 2012, so that should remain a possibility.

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    One thing that has NEVER been looked at it the possibility that martians found out how good they are and are beaming them up while they are in the ocean OK i am a smart ***** but i think that is about the only thing that can be ruled out. Or can it????

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    Quote Originally Posted by Cohoangler View Post
    Marcus - I'm not saying that any actual or percieved reductions in the body size and run size of the Kenai Rv Chinook is a result of high seas fisheries, rather than in-river harvest. I'm saying that these reductions could occur from either high seas fisheries or in-river harvest.

    My last sentence has a typo. It should have read: "I'm not saying it's happening, but if it is, both the body size and adult run size of Kenai Rv Chinook will go down, even without the current level of in-river recreational angling."

    My point is that ADF&G could eliminate in-river harvest (recreational, commercial, PU) entirely on the Kenai Rv, but if high seas fisheries harvest is high enough, the body size and run size of Kenai River Chinook will continue to decline. At this point, there is no evidence that high seas fisheries are a problem, but nobody has been able to explain what happened in 2012, so that should remain a possibility.


    I understand, Cohoangler. The issue is essentially academic at this point—too many unknowns and variables to be able to safely pontificate about much.

    In the meantime self-interest muddies the water because, believe me, human beings can rationalize and justify anything* in pursuit of self-interests. And this is the arena that engages my interest. Dip-netters who hate commercial fishing, C&R devotees trying to preempt C&EAT anglers, and so on, all making, in their own minds of course, perfectly rational arguments for why their self-interests should be a priority.





    *
    Years ago I read A Defense of Virginia and the South, a book that rationalized and justified the ante-bellum South's institution of chattel slavery. Good book, perfectly rational if one accepted the author's premises. I came away from having read the book with the conviction that people can justify anything, even chattel slavery. Compared to chattel slavery, justifying why, say, C&R should preempt C&EAT is child's play. Literally.

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    I would like to thank all the parties involved here....it has been an excellent read.. I have heard a lot of this info but was hoping there may be some new developments.. One thing for sure I do hope that that a fix whatever that may be can be found..not so much for us but for our kids.. thanks much...

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