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Thread: Alaska's Fisheries Management . . .

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    Thumbs up Alaska's Fisheries Management . . .



    The Peninsula Clarion continues its excellent coverage of chinook salmon issues. Today's paper headlines their objective coverage, devoid of special-interest obfuscation, of our state's regulatory process:



    Alaska salmon management: A unique process for a unique state
    Posted: November 30, 2013 - 7:42pm | Updated: December 1, 2013 - 9:19am


    For thousands of years, Alaskans have traveled to the ocean and rivers to catch fish, but by the middle of the 20th century, salmon runs were being decimated by Outsiders using fish traps and residents of the territory were determined to retake control as a state.

    So when the state Legislature first convened in 1959, creating a plan for fisheries management was one of its early tasks. It came up with a multi-faceted process— the Department of Fish and Game, Board of Fisheries and regional Advisory Committees — that still governs state fisheries today.



    The entire article is available here:

    http://peninsulaclarion.com/news/201...a-unique-state

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    "Fishing relaxes me. It's like yoga, except I still get to kill something." --Ron Swanson

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    Hey fish, not to hijack but can you get the kenai dipnet fishery for 2013 without that darn pay as you go thing? I'm just too cheap to pay for something that should be free. Kenai council discussion from last week? Thanks.
    If a dipnetter dips a fish and there is no one around to see/hear it, Did he really dip?

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    Morris communications owns both the Clarion and the Journal (among others). Not sure which date that ran, but most of the installments in the series so far seem to be in here:
    http://www.alaskajournal.com/Alaska-....php?tagID=317
    "Fishing relaxes me. It's like yoga, except I still get to kill something." --Ron Swanson

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    Some observations.

    The PC article is well written, and very helpful to those folks who may not be familiar with fishery management in Alaska. However, their depictions of fishery management on the Columbia River, are somewhat sugar-coated. We have the exact same issues, problems, and concerns as I see in Alaska, including the Kenai River.

    I agree with the quotes from Bill Tweit, from Washington Fish and Wildlife, but he's being generous. Bill is a friend, but let me say that he can be diplomatic, almost to a fault. Fisheries on the Columbia River is confounded by the same problem I see on the Kenai - that is, we don't know how many fish are going to show up every year. But the fishery managers still need to propose an allocation between the State managed fishery (commercial and recreational) and the Tribal fishery (which is a Tribal right). Like the Kenai, the fish managers have to decide who gets how much, and when, before they know how many fish will return. Yes, there are estimates, and models, and educated guesses. In some years, the estimates are stunningly accurate, and some years they are not close to reality. (The best example I can give is the fall Chinook returns from this past fall. The estimates were for a slightly higher than normal return. Instead, we got an all-time record number of fall Chinook. The hatcheries were overwhelmed. The spawning grounds were over-seeded with both hatchery and wild fish. The fishery was not prepared for a huge run so there was lots of lost opportunity.)

    However, once the fish reach Bonneville Dam (BON), we know exactly how many are returning. Unfortunately, much of the recreational and 100% of the commercial fishing occurs downstream of BON. The Tribal fishery starts at BON. The Tribes have always advocated for "no fishing" until the fish reach BON since it's only then will we know the size of the returns. But if that happens, the commercial folks would be SOL, and the large recreational fishery in the Portland/Vancouver area would have no choice but to fish upstream of BON, which is a long drive away.

    Again, fishery management conflicts are nothing new to the PNW or, it appears, on the Kenai. I take some sadistic comfort in watching the fishery management conflicts on the Kenai and elsewhere in the Great Land, knowing that someone else is experiencing our pain too.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Cohoangler View Post
    . . I take some sadistic comfort in watching the fishery management conflicts on the Kenai and elsewhere in the Great Land, knowing that someone else is experiencing our pain too.

    Though circumstances change from time to time and from place to place, human nature doesn't change as the Tragedy of the Commons continues to make clear.

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