Was wondering if anyone had a chance to read through the statewide finfish proposals. Specifically proposal 217. Here's the link.
Here are a few of the proposed STATEWIDE changes:
It suggests raising all Chinook lower escapement goals in all rivers by 30% over time, irregardless of that river's current goal.
It suggests changing gillnet gear, decreasing setnet opportunity and increasing drift opportunity, and paring inriver restrictions to commercial on a 1:1 fish basis.
It identifies the problem of low Chinook abundance as a management problem, not one of habitat, despite all of the evidence that points to low marine survival.
It suggests treating all Chinook stocks as stocks of concern.
It suggests that Jack Kings are not considered valuable to the reproduction of this resource and that we should not count Jacks as spawning Kings, even thought Jacks do indeed reproduce and there is no proof that age at maturity is a purely hereditary trait.
It suggests that statewide we have experienced "25 years of progressive 'losses'" of chinook.
In addition to the above, here are a few things that this proposal got wrong:
It listed four rivers, and very selectively chose to average escapements from three different time periods in an attempt to illustrate that King returns have been declining over time. The four rivers listed were the Karluk, Situk, Nushagak, and Kenai. In addition to getting all of the escapement data from the Kenai wrong, this proposal also got the Karluk EG wrong. It is 55,000-120,000. Perhaps the biggest 'error' however, is that both the Kenai and Nushagak rivers experienced several years of VERY strong escapements in the last decade - in fact the returns in the mid 2000's were RECORDS for both rivers. Unfortunately, these years were omitted from the averages, as they would not have shown the long-term declining trend that it is seeking to fabricate.
The proposal also suggests that we are 'managing for Sockeye escapements at the expense of Chinook'. At a time when the Kenai Sockeye SEG and inriver goal have likey been exceeded for the last two years, and the Kasilof BEG exceeded last year, and northern bound sockeye stocks suffered as well, all for the achievement of the King escapement goals (which were made handily), nothing could be further from the truth.