Anchor, Homer report
I don't normally report, but last weekend the fishing was HOT in Ninilchik/Deep/Homer Hole. Anchor on Sat/Sunday AM was one of those days that fly out trips can only hope to replicate. Herring, Eggs, Vibrax, Flies, pick your poison. If it is anything close to that this week(end) you experienced fisherman will be in Salmon Heaven.
1) "Name removed" walking bank tours really is an affront to any decent fisherman in that he charges a fairly hefty fee to unsuspecting out of staters to "guide" them on a walking tour of these fishing holes. While understanding the motivation of a person to hire a guide to learn the local way and holes, the mere fact that he can and will bring up to 10+ people at a time to these typically crowded streams (esp. over Memorial day) causes some serious heartburn, especially on a small creek like Ninilchik. From some of the conversations/confrontations overheard, he's lucky so far that nobody has taken it to the next level. once again, just because it's legal doesn't make it right, and more to that point, exemplifies the very worst in a guide abusing a public resource. Shame on him. F & G ought to be thinking about a 2 person or similar limit on clients for such "walking guides" at the very least!
2) The virtual legaized snagging at the Homer Fishing hole has really gotten out of hand. Between the "proxy" fishing Old Believers from "ruuska" to the young local kids abusing and learning the same methods of fishing, we need to find a way to put the "sport" back into sport fishing here-and elsewhere. If you really think you need a proxy to give king salmon ro someone in need (yeah, right) you need to look hard into the mirror in the morning and see if you believe yourself. This is yet another blatingly abused law that has no place on crowded, "sport fishing" waters-certainly for King Salmon. And yes, I personally know folks that use this to the hilt, how sad.
A lifelong 43 year bank angling fishing fool..............
I agree with you on the walk in guide. I ran into him on the 10th on ninilchik. I have seen him on numerous occasions sot his 10 clients into a drift that is already being fished. He pushes out all that were in the hole and shows no simpathy. It is a small fishery and taking a group that large is too much for that area to handle.
As far as your comments about the proxy fishing, I disagree with you on that. I fish a proxy and I keep my legal limit when I can. The thanks I get from my proxy is priceless. She enjoys the fresh fish that I bring here and the fact that she doesn't have to pay to have fresh fish. Being on a fixed income and having arthitis can be tough mix to go out and get your own fish.
Proxy fishing is a good thing as noted above. Before her death, I fished for a number of years for my mother who, while suffering from Alzheimer's, still enjoyed fresh salmon.
And while it's true that proxy fishing is occassionally abused, such abuse pales alongside the wanton waste of catch-and-release. An ADF&G study found that caught-and-released Kenai kings perished at a rate of 7.8% or one in 12. Coho caught-and-released in intertidal waters suffer a mortality rate of 30% or greater. Even fly-only trout fisheries kill fish at a rate from one to four percent.
Two years ago, when it was still legal, I caught and kept a dozen rainbows just above the Soldotna bridge. Of the 12, nine had pieces of their faces missing, and three had only one eye.
Alaska's fisheries have bigger problems than proxy fishing.
true ... but
I agree with you on both points. Although I don't think the proxy is altogether necessary.
I'm thinking if a person spends a decent amount of time fishing / dipnetting more than likely you will have average days & a few great days. On the days that you limit out doesn't the average person have enough within their own limits that they can give some away? Just saying if a person catches a few kings a year, some reds from the russian (limit 3 ) & some reds from the kenai ( when @ 6 ) & silvers they would have plenty to freeze / smoke / can.
My point is the limts are liberal enough that even if I don't have extra salmon in my freezer at the time I don't mind giving my fillets to someone who is in need more than I. ( Possibly its because I can only eat so much salmon & I don't want to look at it anymore )
This would keep flow moving in crowded places as mentioned above so that after the angler has their limit they move out of the hole for some one else.
(However if might lead to more catch & release by some increasing the mortality you spoke of. )
Just food for thought
Kings at clear creek
Does anyone know if Kings are being caught at clear creek yet? How are the river conditions? Thanks for the info in advance!
AKMarmot: Your point is well-taken. While I did, over the years, take fish on my mother's proxy, it was seldom because as you say limits are generous enough to provide what we needed. That said, if a decrease in proxy fishing might prompt a corresponding increase in c&r, let's stick with proxy fishing.
"If I were strolling through the annals of incorrectness—up past the invertible heroism of General Custer and on through the safaris of Dennis Finch-Hatton—I would expect to discern, out there in the future, catch-and-release fishing." —John McPhee, The Founding Fish
you are talking about catching rainbows that have a bad battle scar. I think this would show that the mortality rate would be less than you imagine. I practice C&R. I enjoy being able to catch that same rainbow or dolly a couple of years down the road. That being said, I practice sound C&R techniques. It is true that fish will die from C&R, but at times it is because they have been kicked up on the bank, drug thru gravel or had a 1/0 hook in the side of their head.
I enjoy to fill my freezer. But the fishing itself is what keeps me going. And if I and everyone else didn't parctice C&R there would be no fish. Just my 2 cents
Check the Alagnak River c&r study by USGS biologists at:
Here's a sample photo from the report:
And while it's true that if you and everyone else didn't practice c&r, there'd be no fish, the other side of that coin is that there's still be fish if there weren't so many of "you and everyone else." It's possible to limit the catch down to the mortality of c&r, but it's also possible to limit the "catchers." C&R doesn't so much save fish as it saves fish-ing.
Last edited by Marcus; 03-27-2007 at 13:47.
reduce injuries and mortality rate
fish with barbless hooks. it is unbelievably easy to pinch the barb flat and see immediate results in less time handling fish and easy hook removal. almost no injury to fish. if they swallow it, cut it. and to the guy who thinks its fun to fish for kings with 6lb test. you are killing them. quit pretending your letting it go to live another day, after a 1 hour fight.
Thanks for that article, it was an interesting study. I agree with all of their findings and have always tried to stick to those practices. Whenever I am targeting rainbows or dollies I always pinch the barb or go with a barb less. I would love to see a regulation put in place that all C&R areas use only barb less hooks. But one of the biggest problems you run into is the lack of enforcement.
I also try to play the fish for as little time as I can. I mainly fly fish, and most of the time I will use a 7 wt to catch rainbows. This is more rod than some would say is needed, but it gives me the ability to land a fish more quickly and in turn release that much sooner. I find it frustrating to hear people talking about using their 4 wt to go and fish for silvers and to fight the fish for extended periods of time. I have seen some of the numbers on silvers and their mortality rate, and I agree that they are more susceptible to being over fought.
I understand where you are coming from. It can be discouraging to see a fish that is missing half of its jaw or missing an eye. But those fish are surviving and they are still growing (I have seen some fat rainbows with a well healed scar). I enjoy going out and catching fish and I will continue to do so. But I will also continue my careful C&R tactics and encourage others to follow suite.
Well said, cmo1977: The fundamental morality of c&r is something we all have to decide for ourselves, but we can do much to mitigate the lethal mechanics of c&r. As you note, playing a fish briefly with sufficient rod to end its struggle quickly increases the fish's chance of surviving the ordeal. Too many anglers don't know that more caught-and-released fish are killed by stress than by wounding because it can take hours, sometimes days, for the fish to die.
I once met an "angler" on the Anchor whose ambition was to land a king on a five-weight. The current issue of a popular magazine contains an article citing an example of a high-dollar, fly-in lodge encouraging its clients to fish for large ("easily weighed 6 pounds") trout with a 5-weight, almost certainly necessitating a struggle which will kill the fish.
Texas Parks & Wildlife, some few years back, netted off a section of Lake Fork, top-to-bottom, and released all the bass brought to weigh-in at a tournament into the netted-off section of the lake. TP&L sent in divers, and over a period of a week, 39% of the bass died.
Here's an excerpt from another article:
"Fish that are caught and released may die [from] stress... Stress results from the fish fighting after being hooked. Internally, the physical exertion causes an oxygen deficit in the tissues, forcing the muscles to function anaerobically (without oxygen). This causes lactic acid to build up in the muscle tissue, and then to diffuse into the blood. Lactic acid acts as an acid in the blood, causing the pH of the blood to drop. Even slight changes in pH can cause major disruptions of the metabolic processes, ultimately killing the fish. If the fish is quickly released, its blood pH usually returns to normal and the fish will be unaffected. Some fish, after a long tow, may appear to live once released, but the imbalance in the blood chemistry may kill them as late as three days after being caught. In most cases, the means of preventing this type of mortality is not to keep the fish in action for a long period of time, unless the intent is to keep it."
We can talk about time out of the water, loss of slime, and wounding another time.