So I'm reading the new draft report put out by ADFG on Kenai King escapements. From what I read it basically recommends a new escapement goal of 15,000-30,000, and states that we see optimum yield at around 20,000. I believe it also converts old escapements to this new goal and shows that we exceeded this goal many past years since the mid-80's, but would love for someone else to read it and make sure I'm understanding it correctly.
One paragraph really jumped out at me:
"An additional consideration is that Kenai River Chinook salmon support a large sport fishery, and catch rates in that fishery depend on abundance. Run abundance (N) depends on return (R), which is maximized at higher escapements (SMAXR = 31,080; Figure 10) than is yield (maximized near SMSY = 19,930; Figure 9). Thus, between 20,000 and 30,000 spawners there is a tradeoff between yield and run size. Sacrifices in yield performance arising from raising the goal are counterbalanced by increased run abundance, and vice versa. A partial set of the values used to produce Figures 6 and 9 is provided in Appendix C to facilitate further exploration of these tradeoffs."
If I understand that correctly, it says "despite the fact that allowing more fish to escape won't produce maximum sustained yield, it will provide better fishing in the sport fishery when we do this, so it should be considered." Isn't it ADFG's job to worry about the science when making these recommendations, and the BOF's job to do the allocating and bring the economic and social aspects of these goals into consideration?
Could the fact that sportfish division, who produced the report I believe, is funded by liscense sales have anything to do with that recommendation?