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Thread: Kasilof Terminal fishery MUST die

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    Member fishNphysician's Avatar
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    Default Kasilof Terminal fishery MUST die

    This is the stupidest fishery that occurs on the entire KP. Time for it to go away.

    Maybe someone has proposed for BOF 2014 in one form or another its abolition?
    "Let every angler who loves to fish think what it would mean to him to find the fish were gone." Zane Grey
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    Quote Originally Posted by fishNphysician View Post
    This is the stupidest fishery that occurs on the entire KP. Time for it to go away.
    Thanks for the laugh. I was expecting your usual quite articulate argument, and instead you surprised me. Thanks for that.

    btw I and I think most agree with you. I PM'd you a weird idea that might get people involved and also work to eliminate this "stupidest" (sorry, couldn't help it) fishery.

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    What my name, skip? I like weird ideas!

    No seriously though, I hate this fishery almost as much as I hate to see the Kasilof go to a replacement level escapement. That's not good for any Alaskans. We need to look at the options we already have for the setnet fishery. Kasilof section early openers that don't kill many kings, Kasilof half-mile openers, and finally Kasilof 600' openers that we have no data on because ADFG upper level management chose to use the terminal instead. Ultimately, the first option would have been best, but at least we know that now.

    I heard that the creeks in Tustamena lake are something else right now. LOTTA fish... No shortage of MDN there, huh doc? Might have to try and check it out this weekend. I've been needing a good cry...

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    I totally agree ! Dumbest fishery on the Kenai. Just because no one has studied the late run Kasilof chinooks, we manage the river like they do not matter or exist. How about a co-op fish trap or weir, operated at slack water, to deal with over-escapement? Seems pretty dang simple to me. Sell the excess fish to tourists or dippers for a reasonable price. Distribute the proceeds among the commercial fisherman who show history of harvesting these fish, and keep enough to keep the program self sufficient. Fish the commercial fishery a regular schedule and only resort to the weir or trap on years of over escapement. I bet the commercial guys could even be talked into running it as we know they love to catch fish! Maybe it is time to think outside the box.

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    Honest question coming from someone who hasn't spent much time near saltwater.

    Would someone please explain to me "over-escapement" and the negatives surrounding it? I understand the bio's believe there are too many. But the downfall of this is......?

    Are these hatchery fish? or the same fish that have survived a gizillion years without humans attempting to 'manage' them?

    Very concerning to me.... considering how King Salmon of Alaska have been (mis)managed.....
    I am serious... and don't call me Shirley.

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    I am not the one to explain the negative effects of overescapement - only that we have years of data to show that it reduces future yields. Think too many cows in one pasture.... somebody's gotta go. As for the terminal, I guess the question I have for you Doc, since you think it is the stupidest fishery on the KP - what would you do? Would you even try to prevent a massive escapement of Sockeye into the Kasilof? I think this is important. One of the areas that I think everyone needs more education on given the current trend in Personal Use fishing is the effects of escapements that exceed our goals - given many of the comments in the dipnetting section of this forum, I don't think many people fully understand it. PU fishing, like commercial fishing, is yield dependent. It's time to have a long, in-depth science and data based discussion about exactly how many fish we want in our rivers. As for new ideas, or even getting rid of the terminal - we don't need any of that. If we encouraged proper management, the terminal would probably VERY rarely even be needed. How many Sockeye have been harvested there so far this year? Compare that to how many Sockeye were taken from an early Kasilof section opening, and you can see that a few extra days in the Kasilof section in late June / early July (when King harvest was VERY low) would have been much more effective.

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    Quote Originally Posted by akiceman25 View Post
    Honest question coming from someone who hasn't spent much time near saltwater.

    Would someone please explain to me "over-escapement" and the negatives surrounding it? I understand the bio's believe there are too many. But the downfall of this is......?

    In Economics, it's known as the Law of Diminishing Returns.


    Ranchers know it as overgrazing.

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    The Kasilof is Leah compared to Rachel. Smaller fish, less romance and easier to ignore for ADFG.
    Some years ago, biologists were citing increased glacial silt (global warming) in the lake water as being the reason for Tustumena's smaller fish. They said that the silt didn't allow enough sunlight to allow for adequate phytoplankton thereby reducing feed for the babies and ultimately reducing the sockeye numbers and stunting the size. Sounded far fetched to me.
    My semi-educated guess is that "over escapement" does not harm the lake's sockeye numbers, rather (since all salmon must spawn and die anyway), an over abundance of carcasses only adds to the food available to rearing salmon and many other organisms... just as it did for eons before management. But what do I know.

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    I believe that it is the "over escapement" of HUMANS that are detrimental to the salmon returns....
    "Grin and Bear It"

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    AkiceMan - Lots of discussion on the subject of over escapement on this BB over the years. I'm as guilty as anyone.

    There is clear evidence that too many fish on the spawning grounds leads to density dependent morality of the subsequent generation, thus leading to reduced yields in the future. Redd super-imposition is a major cause. That happens when a female salmon digs a redd on top of another redd (because spawning gravel is limited), thus digging up the previously deposited eggs, which get eaten quickly by trout and sculpin. In extreme situations, this can happen multiple times. So the only female that successfully spawns is the last one. Other factors include density dependent diseases, low dissolved oxygen in the gravel (from too many eggs), and not enough food in the river/lake to support large numbers of juvenile salmon. So, too many adults can lead to reduced yield, thus the need to harvest these fish to maintain future yields.

    However, this situation ignores the value of Marine Derived Nutrients, often abbreviated as MDN. Lots of salmon contribute lots of energy to the watershed in the form of carcasses. These dead salmon provide nutrients to the ecosystem, which benefits future generations of salmon. And since salmon have been spawning and dying in our watershed for tens of thousands of years before we showed up, it is clear they will do just fine with 'over-escapement', and without our 'management". Although over-escapement might not serve human purposes (e.g., lost harvest opportunities now, and reduced yields in the near-term), the fish will do just fine, as they have done for thousands of years.

    So, in my view, ADF&G should have done their best to harvest as many Kasilof sockeye as humanly possible when the impacts on Chinook were minimal (i.e., early June). But once the capacity of the spawning grounds have been exceeded, it's too late. The fish will be just fine, but the folks who depend on those fish for their living will express their concerns. Likely very loudly. That's fish management on the KP........

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    Thanks for the input gentlemen.

    Raises all sorts of questions in my mind regarding ethics. Beating a dead horse from the sounds of it...

    After being in Alaska a mere 12 years and witnessing what management has done in that short amount of time(referring to fish, ungulates, predators etc.)..... I couldn't imagine how the people feel who have witnessed an entire lifetime of management.

    Simply put....It's just very very sad.
    I am serious... and don't call me Shirley.

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    AkIce - What you're witnessing is the changing face of Alaska and the impacts on its natural resources. Like most places, Alaska's population is growing. That population growth is putting considerable strain on the natural resources required to support those folks. What is unique about Alaska is that folks rely heavily on the wild populations of fish and wildlife for their daily sustinence, also known as subsistence. And it's not confined to just rural Alaska, but is particularly important where there are no roads that connect to outside markets. Again, uniquely Alaskan.

    The "management" you are witnessing is a response to the understandable demands of the folks who have a deep connection to the fish and wildlife resources around them (e.g., on the Kenai Peninsula), or they are completely dependent on them for survival (rural Alaska). Fish and wildlife managers sometimes have to take extreme measures (by Lower 48 standards) to ensure the fish and wildlife populations meet the expectations of the citizens of Alaska. Predator control is one obvious example. The fish management issues on this BB, while they are not extreme, they are an example of the difficulties of balancing competing fisheries priorities.

    This is not an easy task, and it's not for everyone. But it's Alaska. And I don't see the population pressures in Alaska (urban and rural) going down anytime soon.

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    To which I'd add that what you're witnessing is the inexorable advance of man's use of the earth's resources.


    Agriculture opened the land mass of the lower 48. Resource extraction will accomplish the same for Alaska in the coming decades and centuries.


    With that opening will come an increase in population.


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    Quote Originally Posted by akiceman25 View Post
    Honest question coming from someone who hasn't spent much time near saltwater.

    Would someone please explain to me "over-escapement" and the negatives surrounding it? I understand the bio's believe there are too many. But the downfall of this is......?

    Are these hatchery fish? or the same fish that have survived a gizillion years without humans attempting to 'manage' them?

    Very concerning to me.... considering how King Salmon of Alaska have been (mis)managed.....
    There are two overescapements; Biological and economical. Biological overescapement is where an extreme overabundance of fish causes negative recruitment per spawner. Economic overescapement is any number over what is absolutely necessary to ensure future yields. Economic yield (to commercial fishermen) is lost when more fish hit the rivers than are needed for MSY. Economic importance to other user groups is given little consideration when claiming economic overescapement.

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    Quote Originally Posted by fishNphysician View Post
    This is the stupidest fishery that occurs on the entire KP. Time for it to go away.

    Maybe someone has proposed for BOF 2014 in one form or another its abolition?
    Stupid fishNphysician? Doesent the terminal run help protect the native run?

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    To put a NON-selective gillnet fishery like that at the rivermouth is doing NOTHING to protect native LR Kasilof chinook.
    "Let every angler who loves to fish think what it would mean to him to find the fish were gone." Zane Grey
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    You want to kill the Kasilof too? You never will get it will you. To many reds are bad for the river, just like to many teeth in your mouth. I think that your foot in your mouth is not good ether
    Quote Originally Posted by fishNphysician View Post
    To put a NON-selective gillnet fishery like that at the rivermouth is doing NOTHING to protect native LR Kasilof chinook.

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    Selective use of a tool is fine. If you abuse it then you destroy the tool and what you are trying to make. It does not have to be all or nothing. The original intent was for selective use in certain circumstances. The issue is ADF&G Directors are using it wrong in my opinion.

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    Quote Originally Posted by akiceman25 View Post
    Honest question coming from someone who hasn't spent much time near saltwater.

    Would someone please explain to me "over-escapement" and the negatives surrounding it? I understand the bio's believe there are too many. But the downfall of this is......?

    Are these hatchery fish? or the same fish that have survived a gizillion years without humans attempting to 'manage' them?

    Very concerning to me.... considering how King Salmon of Alaska have been (mis)managed.....
    Over-escapement is a term perpetuated by commercial fisherman and biologists looking to appease commercial fisherman. It's an idea which provides for the sustainable yield of a fishery. Kenai River sockeye runs have never failed to replace themselves, i.e. 4,000,000 fish spawn and 4,000,000 fish return. While it's true that a spawning number of 1,000,000 fish will often produce a run of 4,000,000 returning fish (a sustainable yield of 3,000,000), it turns out we are removing a huge biomass of nitrogen fertilizer from the rivers and lakes by preventing the natural cycle of extra salmon spawning and dying in the freshwater system after bringing the fertilizer (their flesh) from the ocean. Along these lines, 4,000,000 spawning salmon produce far more fry and since the "too many cows in one pasture" idea is valid, many die off. It is a fact in nature, however, that natural selection provides that the smallest and weakest offspring will die, leaving a much more robust and healthier group of salmon heading out to sea. Furthermore, as someone who consistently dipnets and fishes from shore for sockeyes, I've noticed the average sized sockeye to be much larger on years from returning salmon who's parents were part of an "over-escaped" run, i.e. natural selection paid off.

    My biggest personal annoyance with the way the fishery is managed has to do with the changes in the numbers of the in-river escapement goal by ADF&G. If you look at the management plan, they actually raise the escapement goals if they determine that the entire run is above a certain threshold. Well, the science doesn't add up. An optimum number is an optimum number regardless of how large the current run is. In short, with all their biologists and science, they have not a clue.

    Bring on the hate everyone. Then let's go fishing.
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    Quote Originally Posted by MaximumPenetration View Post
    Over-escapement is a term perpetuated by commercial fisherman and biologists looking to appease commercial fisherman. It's an idea which provides for the sustainable yield of a fishery.

    Furthermore, as someone who consistently dipnets and fishes from shore for sockeyes, I've noticed the average sized sockeye to be much larger on years from returning salmon who's parents were part of an "over-escaped" run, i.e. natural selection paid off.
    Yeah, because all Alaskans don't benefit from healthy, diverse fisheries.

    Escapement goals help provide as consistently strong of runs as is possible, while maximizing yield of a resource that we all feel is valuable. I don't get why that is so hard to understand.

    But... Seeing as how you don't even posses the basic biological knowledge to realize that the "larger" fish you are catching are likely older fish from a specific brood year, which sometimes make up a larger or smaller component of a run depending on how well those fish survived, I can see how you would fail to understand that consistently high sustained yields are in everyone's best interest. Did you run scale samples of the fish you caught fish to determine how old they were, and if they were part of an overescaped run?

    Please stop trying to explain something you obviously know nothing about.

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