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Thread: Set net ban and dishonest rationale for it.

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    Default Set net ban and dishonest rationale for it.

    Below is a letter from Bob Penney to Alaska Legislators regarding a ban on set nets in Alaska. While I personally think this is a stupid idea what is important in the upcoming debate is honesty in the rationale for or against the ban. Mr. Penney states it has to do with conservation. Bull. The stocks of fish he is targeting with the set net ban have been managed in a sustained way since Statehood. This is about allocation and the desire to eliminate members of these communities to achieve that end. Saying they will be compensated shows a complete lack of understanding of the culture of commercial fishing. It is like telling a sport fisherman you never get to fish again but we will pay you not to fish. I doubt many on this forum would accept money for giving up their desire to participate in a traditional activity for the rest of their lives and their children lives.

    This has been a desire of Mr. Penney for 33 years. I hope Alaskans have more sense than to sign the petition to put it on the ballot. There are ways to deal with allocation in place and while they are not perfect they are working for the most part or flaws can be corrected. I doubt that 1 million sockeye harvested by UCI personal use and sport fisherman makes the case for an unfair system.

    We as a group of citizens can do better than this in my opinion.


    From: Debra DeMelfi <ddemelfi@pencoak.com>

    Date: November 6, 2013, 9:52:46 AKST

    Subject: AFCA, Inc Setnet Initiative

    Dear Alaska Legislator;

    As you may have heard, in the near future we will be pursuing an initiative to be placed on the 2016 ballot to ban the use of set nets in the non-subsistence areas of Alaska.

    This initiative will do the same thing in portions of Alaska that has been done in the states of Florida, Alabama, Louisiana, Texas, New York, California, and most recently in the Columbia River in Washington and Oregon. In each of those instances, the public voted to restrict the use of set nets and since that first vote over 25 years ago, no set nets

    What would our initiative do? It would only ban set nets in the five, present-day non-subsistence designated areas of Fairbanks, Anchorage, Valdez, Juneau, and Ketchikan. That is less than 10% of the state, but encompasses over 70% of the state's population. Set nets in the rural or other 90% of our state would still be allowed as a means of fishing. This vote will not affect the rural areas.

    Why is the initiative needed? In short, this initiative is all about conservation. Set nets are the most indiscriminate means of fishing allowed in State waters, with the largest amount of by-catch of any fishery. Because of how they are fixed in place, they usually catch and kill every species of fish that is swimming by, including our prized king salmon.

    What will happen to existing set net permit holders in those areas? If the initiative passes, they will receive fair compensation for the value of their permits.

    Many things have changed in Alaska since the early days of statehood and limited-entry commercial fishing. Today, we better understand the negative effects of utilizing set nets to indiscriminately kill fish stocks. We can and must do a better job of managing our precious fishery resources for the benefit of all Alaskans. The time has come for Alaskans to stand up and prioritize conservation.

    We hope you will take a stand in support of our efforts.

    Alaska Fisheries Conservation Alliance Inc.

    Bob Penney,

    Board Member

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    This may be one of the few things you and I agree on.
    I hope this initiative goes down in flames.
    Set netters don't target kings- especially big kings- but we know who has targeted them for the last half century.
    There was no collapse of kings during the out-and-out concerted effort to catch ever salmon they could possibly catch using all varieties of nets and impounds from late 1800s to at the 1950s. Huge kings still abounded during that era, but we know what fishery has grown during the last half century, and that the big breeders are now rare.
    To blame set netters is absurd. The targeted killing of big kings by guides/clients on their spawning grounds has killed the race.

    Penney is a selfish, ignorant blow hard who, unfortunately, has the ear of politicians.

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    Default It MUST be the rapture....

    Quote Originally Posted by sayak View Post
    This may be one of the few things you and I agree on.
    I hope this initiative goes down in flames.
    Set netters don't target kings- especially big kings- but we know who has targeted them for the last half century.
    There was no collapse of kings during the out-and-out concerted effort to catch ever salmon they could possibly catch using all varieties of nets and impounds from late 1800s to at the 1950s. Huge kings still abounded during that era, but we know what fishery has grown during the last half century, and that the big breeders are now rare.
    To blame set netters is absurd. The targeted killing of big kings by guides/clients on their spawning grounds has killed the race.

    Penney is a selfish, ignorant blow hard who, unfortunately, has the ear of politicians.

    I don't know what is more awkward, agreeing with you 110% on all of the above, or the fact that it says I have to spread some love before I can rep you again.....

    Well said, Steve.
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    Quote Originally Posted by AlaskaHippie View Post
    I don't know what is more awkward, agreeing with you 110% on all of the above, or the fact that it says I have to spread some love before I can rep you again.....

    Well said, Steve.
    I agree 110% also and I hit him with some rep.
    As has been stated many times on these forums and elsewhere Cook Inlet gillnet fisheries are mixed stock fisheries and those kings are NOT bycatch.
    I don't think Bob Penny will give up until commercial fishing guides have 100% of the allocation of Kings.
    "The closer I get to nature the farther I am from idiots"

    "Fishing and Hunting are only an addiction if you're trying to quit"

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    Quote Originally Posted by AlaskaHippie View Post
    I don't know what is more awkward, agreeing with you 110% on all of the above, or the fact that it says I have to spread some love before I can rep you again.....

    Well said, Steve.
    Ha ha, well the funny thing is I've gotten the same message while trying to rep you! Every so often our Venns overlap. Anyway, Smitty thinks I'm a born again liberal. Fact of the matter is, I'm just mellowing out.

  6. #6

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    Sooo.... The "Alaska Fisheries Conservation Alliance" is a newly formed organization who's mission is "To conserve fisheries in urban areas of Alaska for all its citizens". THEIR FIRST INITIATIVE SEEKS TO BAN THE OLDEST FISHERY IN COOK INLET - made up of over 80% residents???

    Did anyone else laugh out loud at the irony? What happened to the "Kenai King Conservation Alliance" that was formed this summer? Did Mr. Coffey's little mishap put the Kibosh on that one?

    Sounds like the desperate last stand of a rich, demented old man who will stop at nothing to get what he wants. What a load of crap. Not that we should be surprised or anything. Raise your hand if you have heard of "Project Us".

    Thanks to everyone here for their honesty.

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    Exclamation Blood sport . . the gloves are off . . .

    —from today's Anchorage Daily News:


    The ballot initiative is the latest salvo in a decades-old fish war between commercial fishermen and sportfishermen. Each side wants an increasingly scarce and enormously lucrative resource: king salmon.The Alaska Fisheries Conservation Alliance filed paperwork Wednesday to begin the ballot initiative process
    .

    The next step is for the state Department of Law to review the legality of what's being proposed. That will happen in the next 60 days.

    If the Department of Law signs off, backers can begin gathering the more than 30,000 signatures needed to put it up for a statewide vote.

    The group said it wants to put the initiative on an August 2016 primary ballot.

    The initiative moves to ban commercial setnetting in "urban" areas: Anchorage, the Kenai River, Cook Inlet, Valdez, Fairbanks, the Mat-Su Valley, Juneau and Ketchikan.

    Joe Connors, a Sterling lodge owner acting as a spokesman for the group, said there's currently no setnetting in any of the urban areas targeted other than Cook Inlet but the idea would be to keep the practice from moving in.

    The rest of the state, including setnetters in Kodiak and Bristol Bay, along with subsistence fisheries, wouldn't be included.

    Read more here: http://www.adn.com/2013/11/06/316165...#storylink=cpy

    Joe Connors is a Kenai River guide and past-president of Kenai River Professional Guide Association.


    Nor are Penny and Connors alone . . at least one sport-fishing voice on these fora has argued long and loud for the total destruction of the set-net "Curtain of Death."

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    So what's wrong with having the residents of Alaska vote on how the resource should best be managed for the people of Alaska? Isn't this the centerpiece of how the resources are to be managed? Is the Penney proposal a violation of the state constitution?

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    Ballot box biology is a horrible idea. So, no. Our resources shouldn't be managed at the ballot box. Most people are fairly stupid anyhow. Rather have adf&g or the powers that be make these decisions, not the electorate.

    Tim

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    Wink A tangled web . . .

    Quote Originally Posted by penguin View Post
    So what's wrong with having the residents of Alaska vote on how the resource should best be managed for the people of Alaska? Isn't this the centerpiece of how the resources are to be managed? Is the Penney proposal a violation of the state constitution?

    Nothing's wrong with it at all . . if it's legal, and state courts will decide that question.


    The question is, as you say, "for the people of Alaska."


    Are we talking about a proposal that is good "for the people of Alaska" or a proposal that is good for one, small user-group?


    The interests advancing the proposal to ban set-nets in Cook Inlet constitute a tangled mess of interconnected organizations and political influence. Bob Penny is the founder of KRSA and other groups promoting sport-fishing at the expense of Cook Inlet's gill-net industry. Mark Hamilton, past-president of University of Alaska, and Gary Turner, president of Kenai River College both sit or have sat on the board of KRSA. Kenai River College hosts the Kenai River Guide Academy where Joe Connors, Kenai River guide and past president of KRPGA, sits or has sat on the board and is or was an instructor. KRSA provides lunches for KRGA classes.


    Lots of bucks and politics at play to destroy Cook Inlet's set-net industry.


    That said, there's lots of bucks and politics at play on the other side as well. Be interesting to see how it all plays out.


    Time will tell . .

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    The people of the State can decide what species we manage for and at what level as long as those species we harvest are managed at sustained yield levels. The State has a process for doing that under the Legislative Board of Fish and Board of Game. The question I have for the legal status of this is that Penney claims the set nets will be purchased at fair market value. My understanding is that you cannot allocate funds via initiative. Therefore, if this was to pass then the Legislature would have to come up with the tens of million of dollars to do this. That may not happen so Penney's claim that they will be purchased is not true at this point.

    So lets look at this from a management perspective. Sockeye returns to the Kenai and Kasilof are managed for high sustained yields. The set net fishery is a major harvester of those stocks. Take the set nets away. That means an ADF&G manager only has the drift gill net fleet to harvest fish. So if the set net area is removed where would the drift fleet fish - right on the beach with nets that are 150 fathoms in length and deeper. The number of set nets fishing is around 500 the number of drift boats around 500 so in point of fact more gear would be on the beach than what is presently fishing. They also can move into the river mouth if needed and that has been done in the past. The drift fleet is a killing machine when really close to shore. So a net loss not a net gain.

    So the next step would be for Penney and the boys to remove drift fishing from the area. That means escapement goal management stops for Kasilof and Kenai. The Kasilof River has no in-river fishing power and the PU fishery is already destroying the dunes and habitat at the mouth of the river. Private property makes expansion up river unlikely. For the Kenai there is no way the drift fleet can stop a normal entry pattern of sockeye. They would have to fish almost everyday in the inlet and of course that is not possible given the status of Northern District stocks.

    So in summary like it or not if you want to manage other species in UCI for high sustained yields then the set nets are needed. Fish traps are outlawed and they do not save chinook salmon as the concept of releasing them is foolish. One only has to look at the recent book with pictures of how traps really fish in UCI to see this.

    Bob Penney and Joe Connors should get the full anger and heat of this community for this really hateful and ugly idea. They deserve it.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Marcus View Post
    Nothing's wrong with it at all . . if it's legal, and state courts will decide that question.


    The question is, as you say, "for the people of Alaska."


    Are we talking about a proposal that is good "for the people of Alaska" or a proposal that is good for one, small user-group?
    Wouldn't a statewide vote determine this? Or, does one small user group peddle that much influence on all Alaska voters? I will concede they can influence a few lawmakers, but all Alaskans?

    In my opinion, this initiative will make the Pebble Mine issue look like junior high.

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    Wink Bone-head ballot box biology . . .

    Quote Originally Posted by penguin View Post
    Wouldn't a statewide vote determine this? Or, does one small user group peddle that much influence on all Alaska voters? I will concede they can influence a few lawmakers, but all Alaskans?

    In my opinion, this initiative will make the Pebble Mine issue look like junior high.

    Hmmmmmmmm . . . dunno . . time will tell . .


    . . if I were KPFA, UCIDA, & UFA, I'd counter with ballot proposals of their own:


    * Limit Kenai River guides to 100 . .

    * Ban Catch & Release of King salmon . .

    * Make the Kenai River drift-boat only . .


    . . . .
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    As I see, this initiative may get enough signatures to make it on the ballot, but I can't imagine the voters approving it. Several recreational angling groups tried this in Oregon, twice in the past 10 years. They failed both times. Yes, that Oregon. That would be tree-hugging, waffle-stomping, green-loving, hipster-laden, liberal bastion, micro-brew swilling Oregon. Twice.

    So how much chance does this have in the Great Land? Think about it...... In the meantime, don't overreact.

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    Default allocation of resources

    Management of natural resources by the ballot box certainly isn't new for either side. Voting to ban the Pebble Mine is a good example where the fish guys tried to management our resources by the ballot to the comm fishermen's advantage. I didn't hear an outcry from the comm fish guys over voting to stop the Pebble Mine.

    In any event - what is fair IMO is the allocation of resources by ballot. If the sport and personal use fishermen wish to shift the allocation of fish to their side so the large majority of the population in the urban areas have improved opportunity to catch more of the limited number of fish I see nothing wrong with that method. The comm fish guys certainly use their money and political influence to sway things to their advantage at the expense of the sport and personal use fishermen. A ballot is certainly more honest than using political bullying and political contribution pay offs.

    Looks to me like the pot is calling the kettle black as usual - here we go again!


    Quote Originally Posted by tccak71 View Post
    Ballot box biology is a horrible idea. So, no. Our resources shouldn't be managed at the ballot box. Most people are fairly stupid anyhow. Rather have adf&g or the powers that be make these decisions, not the electorate.

    Tim
    Living the urban lifestyle so I can pay my way and for my family's needs, and support my country. And you?
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cohoangler View Post
    As I see, this initiative may get enough signatures to make it on the ballot, but I can't imagine the voters approving it. Several recreational angling groups tried this in Oregon, twice in the past 10 years. They failed both times. Yes, that Oregon. That would be tree-hugging, waffle-stomping, green-loving, hipster-laden, liberal bastion, micro-brew swilling Oregon. Twice.
    Defeated on a statewide basis, yes.

    But the gillnet ban is definitely alive and well in the main corridor of the PNW's undisputed salmon super-highway. Seines will officially be implemented as part of the Columbia River mainstem commercial fishery in 2014 with a goal of full transition of the entire fleet by 2017.

    The emphasis is on LIVE capture of non-target stocks (largely ESA-listed salmonids) so as to permit their unharmed release.

    Commercial fishing on the eastside beaches need not go away... only the indiscriminate gear type.
    Last edited by Brian M; 11-07-2013 at 15:24.
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    FishNphysician, how pure do you want the set nets? Right now they take 13% on average of the late run chinook. That means 87 percent make it the river. No matter what gear type you use the idea you will have a clean fishery with seines in UCI or traps is a pipe dream. So we are going to eliminate a whole group of people fishing just so a few percent more chinook can make to the river.

    Also, this plan includes all of Cook Inlet which means set net fisherman on the Westside who catch no Kenai kings are included. Might as well destroy them also if one has no compassion for people. What the heck -

    This points out to me how ugly and vindicate Mr. Penney can be and the fact Joe Connors is involved does not surprise me. Want to see what fish he targets as a guide - spawning early run fish in the Middle River. Since the in-river sport fishery takes most of the chinook salmon then if there is a conservation issue and one does not trust ADF&G the guide fishery should be the first to go. They target the fish of concern - early run chinook and are the major harvester.

    Also, Doc what fishery is clean. I see chinook salmon being taken in the August silver fishery, chinook killed in the catch and release fishery, and the list goes on.

    Relative to the Columbia the reason is endangered species. That makes for a perfect rationale. In this case it is about greed and someone who wants 100% of the fish regardless of the cost to people and their economic and cultural background. I would hope that Alaskans are better human beings.

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    Thumbs down $ame ol', $ame ol', hypocritical, more-for-me/less for you drool . . .

    Quote Originally Posted by Cohoangler View Post
    . . how much chance does this have in the Great Land? Think about it...... In the meantime, don't overreact.

    It's hard not to overreact what with all the hypocritical slime dripping off this proposal from the size-matters addiction that is in all likelihood responsible for the destruction of the biggest Kenai kings for nothing more than money, photo ops, thrills, a rush, a sense of conquest, bragging rights, and other irresponsible, childish tomfoolery.



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    Quote Originally Posted by fishNphysician View Post
    . . Commercial fishing on the eastside beaches need not go away... only the indiscriminate, [set-net] gear type [needs to go away].

    There, fixed it for you . . nothing new . . haven't you relentlessly advocated, for over a decade that I know of, the total destruction of the entirety of Cook Inlet's gill-net industry?

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    Misery loves company: Our kings are gone; lets shut down the set netters and make them suffer too, instead of admitting blame for destroying possibly the most magnificent king run ever.

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    Gee, setnets have been around in that area for quite sometime, and the King runs thrived.


    Local anglers fished that river for quite sometime, and the King runs thrived.

    Les Anderson caught the World Record King there in the 80's, the World took note, the guide industry exploded, and now the King runs are in serious trouble.


    Looks like the best remedy is to do as others have mentioned. Completely rein in the commercial guide industry, close the river to retention OR C&R of Kings, go to a limited lottery of Kenai River King Stamps....With a resident preference.

    Cap the guide licenses on the Kenai to, oh, say, 100 or so. If a new guide wants to start up, he may, if he purchases a setnet permit and transfers it to a Guide Permit.
    “Life has become immeasurably better since I have been forced to stop taking it seriously.” ― H.S.T.
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