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Thread: Who do we get to blame for this??

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    Default Who do we get to blame for this??

    When I was fishing reds a few miles above the bridge in Soldotna every time a boat came past the river ran brown next to the bank. The water around my legs turned brown. this happened many times during the day. Erosion that I can tell a difference from year to year. We also have pike in many watersheds. Anyone who knows pike knows what kind of damage they can do. Then we have the culverts blocking many of the streams for salmon to spawn in. If they cant get to the spawning grounds you can close all fishing forever and it wont make any difference. Habitat is the bedrock of a salmon fishery. without it there is no salmon fishery. There is nothing to fight over. I would really like to see more focus on habitat than fighting between comfish and sportfish. Together they could make a huge impact. Who do we blame for the loss of habitat?? I guess that would be all of us.

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    Quote Originally Posted by kgpcr View Post
    When I was fishing reds a few miles above the bridge in Soldotna every time a boat came past the river ran brown next to the bank. The water around my legs turned brown. this happened many times during the day. Erosion that I can tell a difference from year to year. We also have pike in many watersheds. Anyone who knows pike knows what kind of damage they can do. Then we have the culverts blocking many of the streams for salmon to spawn in. If they cant get to the spawning grounds you can close all fishing forever and it wont make any difference. Habitat is the bedrock of a salmon fishery. without it there is no salmon fishery. There is nothing to fight over. I would really like to see more focus on habitat than fighting between comfish and sportfish. Together they could make a huge impact. Who do we blame for the loss of habitat?? I guess that would be all of us.
    I remember back in the mid-fifties when the Army pulled into Ship Creek with a handful of D-8 caterpillars. They bladed almost the full length of Ship Creek, allegedly to make it easier for the salmon to spawn. The result was one very long riffle with no resting pools. Almost killed the salmon runs. And later, Jacques Cousteau took his little boat to Kodiak Island and transplanted a few salmon fingerlings in a stream there to encourage new salmon runs. That didn't work, since salmon return to the stream where they were first laid as eggs. So ------ Cousteau later tried to transplant eggs to that Kodiak stream. Then they all realized that the stream just wasn't the kind of stream that salmon needed for successful spawning runs. The TV ads for butter were right: DON'T MESS WITH MOTHER NATURE!!!

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    Between pike, poorly constructed culverts and an influx of beaver dams it seems pretty bleak.

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    It does but there are solutions to all of these to some degree. If we stop spending millions of dollars on allocation studies and start working on the real issues. Unfortunately, that is not the case. What is interesting to me is that ADF&G spent 500,000 to rid pike out of Stormy Lake here on the peninsula and it is a rainbow trout lake with some concern that pike would migrate out to salmon producing streams. However, nothing like this is spent in the valley on pike infested lakes which produce coho and sockeye. A unified voice calling for better allocation of funds would be great.

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    Just a couple points about beaver dams before we toss them in with culverts. They can limit access, yes, so that could be bad. But they often don't fully limit access, so it isn't an automatic barrier just because there is a dam there. What they do that is good though, is they buffer the streamflow downriver, which greatly reduces the potential for flood-caused scour mortality on the little critters in the gravel. And when they don't eliminate access, they provide great rearing habitat, especially for coho. They are a pain for foot or boat travel, no matter how you slice it. But their impact on salmon is likely a net positive, though not necessarily true for any one dam in any one location at any one time. Longer term it is definitely a positive effect.
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    Well said Troy...I would be more worried about a man made dam, than a puny beaver dam. I agree with what Grizzly 2 said as well, it's not nice to fool with mother nature, and the consequences from the meddling hand of humans will be the downfall of fish, game, and other species. If you want to blame someone, just take a look in the mirror.
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    The flip side is that beaver dams increase water temperature by creating pools that are heated by the sun and make good poke habitat. They also reduce chinook spawning areas.

    No doubt there is a balancing point where beaver dams are either good or bad. I would suggest that in some areas (Kroto/Deshka) that balancing point is skewed toward the negative impact side. Some of these areas used to be trapped regularly and that seems to have fallen off in recent years and anyone that floats from Petersville down to Deshka regularly will be quick to tell you that the number of beaver dams has increased exponentially.

    I am just trying to point out that this isn't likely a sole source issue that we can fixate on just one facet and solve. We clearly need to take a balanced approach and do what it takes to improve in river habitat.

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    Not sure I agree with the beaver dam concern. Beavers and salmon have co-existed for a very long time. Likely 100's of thousands of years. For Pacific salmon to be successful spawning in rivers and streams in western North American, they would have to know how to navigate around/thru the obstacles constructed by beavers. Perhaps not in all cases, since I've seen plenty of beaver dams that won't allow adult salmon to pass upstream. But overall, beavers should not an issue.

    Now, if beaver dams are combined with under-sized culverts, and impassible dams, that's another issue.....

    But getting back to the original point, the siltation issue on the Kenai seems like a signficant issue, particularly if salmon are spawning in that section of the river (not sure if they do). Those big power boats can be a problem in alot of rivers, including those here in the PNW.

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    Cohoangler, on a few some streams in the Yentna River drainage there can be 20-30 beaver dams that stop adult salmon migration. On Shell Creek there were lots of fish dying below the dams - they would not have made it to the lake had Cook Inlet Aquaculture not gone up and cut a breach in them. Thousands of fish moved up stream in one day.

    Turbidity on the Kenai is more than just spawning. Most chinook rear within 6 feet of the bank due to the currents and they are sight feeders. Turbidity reduces visibility and of course there is physical disruption every time a wake hits the bank.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Nerka View Post
    ...and of course there is physical disruption every time a wake hits the bank.
    Boats with big wakes sure make the kingfisher birds very happy!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Cohoangler View Post
    But getting back to the original point, the siltation issue on the Kenai seems like a signficant issue, particularly if salmon are spawning in that section of the river (not sure if they do). Those big power boats can be a problem in alot of rivers, including those here in the PNW.
    Coho, I'm fairly sure that Kenai King salmon spawn anywhere from Eagle Rock to Skilak Lake. So, yes, turbidity is a signficant issue on the Kenai, and has been documentented to exceed healthy levels multiple times daily during the summer (spawning) season directly in King spawing habitat. This is also where the juvenile King salmon rear. These studies have already been conducted and peer reviewed, and everyone agrees that it's a problem. Unfortunately, no one wants to do anything about it. Uncle Bob is too old to row.

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    Default get rid of them all for a while

    Let's ban ALL motorized boats from the mouth of the Kenai upstream for a few years and see what happens. All the boat traffic near the mouth is also disruptive to the passage of the fish near the banks - big swells stirring up the sand and dirt near the banks can't be benefical either.

    Of course things are always different when it is YOUR ox that is getting gored.


    Quote Originally Posted by Nerka View Post
    Cohoangler, on a few some streams in the Yentna River drainage there can be 20-30 beaver dams that stop adult salmon migration. On Shell Creek there were lots of fish dying below the dams - they would not have made it to the lake had Cook Inlet Aquaculture not gone up and cut a breach in them. Thousands of fish moved up stream in one day.

    Turbidity on the Kenai is more than just spawning. Most chinook rear within 6 feet of the bank due to the currents and they are sight feeders. Turbidity reduces visibility and of course there is physical disruption every time a wake hits the bank.
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    I agree about the boats, I think it would benefit the Little Susitna as well by closing it down to motorized water craft for awhile...there is significant bank erosion from the boat waves, and you can see trails in the gravel from the jet boats. Big thunder jets & the like, don't belong on a little river like that. They don't allow motorized vehicles in a salmon stream, yet a jet boat is allowed to disrupt many miles of river bed. Though in reality, they wouldn't be making as much money, as they wouldn't be getting a launch fee...what's more important? Making money or the salmon run? I suppose if the salmon aren't there, the boats won't be either.
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    Red face Sucking hind-tit . . .

    Quote Originally Posted by Tearbear View Post
    ...what's more important? Making money or the salmon run? I suppose if the salmon aren't there, the boats won't be either.

    Catch-22, Tearbear, . . . yet once again we confront Dr. Montgomery's observations on the difficulties posed by the inherent uncertainties of the natural sciences and the certainty necessary for economic opportunity.


    Drift-netters, set-netters, sports, and guides—all need predictable economic opportunity in order to indulge themselves.


    Pity the poor salmon who inevitably suck hind-tit to human exploitation.


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    Quote Originally Posted by tvfinak View Post
    Let's ban ALL motorized boats from the mouth of the Kenai upstream for a few years and see what happens. All the boat traffic near the mouth is also disruptive to the passage of the fish near the banks - big swells stirring up the sand and dirt near the banks can't be benefical either.

    Of course things are always different when it is YOUR ox that is getting gored.
    Tvfink - your off base again - the YOUR ox comment does not apply to me. If you are taking a shot at the commercial boats remember that the lower river had 400 Personal use boats in July. The difference between the commercial and other users is that commercial users tend to go in and out once every few days. The sport and PU boats run the river and cycle constantly during the day. The number of wakes is not proportional to the number of boats in each user group. So if you want to make a metric that is really getting at the issue it is number of wakes hitting the bank and by whom. I think any rationale person would see where the issue is given that metric.

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    Default all and everyone..

    The ox comment applied to everyone that uses the river - me included. We all blame each other for the problems. If the whole thing was shutout to motorized boats then we couldn't blame anyone and we could all share in the cost and benefits.

    Perhaps another approach would be to to make whole river a "No Wake" zone as they do in the harbors and strickly enforce the policy. Slow speeds would also make it a lot safer for everyone as well as clean up the river. All the boats go way faster than is necessay- we aren't saving lifes or putting out fires.


    Quote Originally Posted by Nerka View Post
    Tvfink - your off base again - the YOUR ox comment does not apply to me. If you are taking a shot at the commercial boats remember that the lower river had 400 Personal use boats in July. The difference between the commercial and other users is that commercial users tend to go in and out once every few days. The sport and PU boats run the river and cycle constantly during the day. The number of wakes is not proportional to the number of boats in each user group. So if you want to make a metric that is really getting at the issue it is number of wakes hitting the bank and by whom. I think any rationale person would see where the issue is given that metric.
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    While bank erosion is a problem it sure is not the only one. The Com boats don't go that far up river to really cause any real harm in my opinion but I could be wrong. There are a lot of habitat issues and erosion is only one of them. If you totally shut fishing of all types off for a few years or 20years it would make no difference if there is no good habitat to spawn in and for the young to grow up in. Habitat is the bedrock of a salmon run.

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