king salmon plan new approach
I cannot put everything in this forum space but wanted to provide a plan that has some biological and legal realities. First, I would not call king salmon early and late run. I would treat the stocks as tributary and main stream. The genetic data supports this. Next, I would understand that as a Board I cannot limit ADF&G time and area so I can only provide guidelines and authority where I have it. So I took out time and area limitations. Next, I inserted language from the sustainable salmon policy on sharing the conservation burden. So ADF&G figures out what those numbers are and then uses all the tools to get there - the fisheries are not coupled as this have different attributes. This recognizes that fish power is different for the two groups. Finally, I would limit the fishery below RM 13 as to date the up river spawning areas need to be protected. For some reason we do this for the tribs but not the main stream. Anyway, this is a start of an approach that is more defensible in my opinion. I did not write a trib plan but it would have goals and with the closure above RM 13 the closed waters would go away. I know people, especially the guides, will go crazy but this maintains their fishery and builds the stocks and protects the river. It also recognizes the two stocks and conflict in goals.
5 AAC 21.359. Kenai River main stream King and Sockeye Salmon Management Plan.
(a) The purposes of this management plan are to ensure an adequate escapement of main stream king salmon and sockeye salmon into the Kenai River system and to provide management guidelines to the department. The department shall manage the late-run Kenai River king salmon stocks primarily for sport and guided sport uses in order to provide the sport and guided sport fishermen with a reasonable opportunity to harvest these salmon resources over the entire run, as measured by the frequency of in river restrictions. The sockeye salmon will be managed primarily for commercial uses.
If restrictions in the sport, personal use, and commercial fisheries are needed to meet the SEG then those restrictions will be shared among all user groups in close proportion to their historical respective harvest. The purpose of this is to create a fair allocation of the burden of conservation and to provide flexibility to the Department in the management of the complex mixed stock fisheries of UCI)
(b) The department shall manage the main stream of Kenai River king salmon to achieve a biological escapement goal of 15,000 – 30,000 king salmon and late run Kenai River sockeye salmon sustainable escapement goal of 700,000 to 1.2 million. If a conflict in goal achievement is project the Department may alter the escapement goals to balance the impacts of lost yield in both stocks. In very rare instances should the late run Kenai River chinook salmon goal be allowed to go under 14,000 and in the case of late run Sockeye salmon less than 500,000 fish or more than 1.6 million fish.
(1) in the Kenai River sport fishery
(B) From July 1 through August 15th , fishing for chinook salmon is limited to below RM 13 to the mouth and a person may not use more than one single hook in the Kenai River for chinook salmon downstream from RM 13 and (put in sockeye gear limits here and season);
(C) the commissioner may, by emergency order, establish periods where bait is prohibited, retention is prohibited, or fishing for king salmon is closed.
(2) in the sport fishery, that portion of the Kenai River downstream from Skilak Lake is open to unguided sport fishing from a non-motorized vessel on Mondays in July; for purposes of this section a non-motorized vessel is one that does not have a motor on board;
(3) in the marine sport fishery, the commissioner may by emergency order,
(A) establish periods during which bait is prohibited when fishing for king salmon in the salt waters of Cook Inlet north of the latitude of bluff point, at such time as the Kenai River sport fishery is restricted by prohibition of bait;
(B) establish periods during which retention is prohibited when fishing for king salmon in the salt waters of Cook Inlet north of the latitude of bluff point, at such time as the Kenai River sport fishery is closed to retention;
(4) in the Kenai River personal use fishery, the commissioner may by emergency order, prohibit the retention of king salmon when the Kenai River sport fishery is restricted by prohibition of bait, retention or fishing for king salmon.
(5) in the commercial set gillnet fishery in the Upper subdistrict, the commissioner may by emergency order,
(A) may alter fishing time and area to reduce the chinook harvest to the levels established by the department to meet the late run Kenai River chinook BEG and sockeye SEG relative to sharing the conservation burden.
(B) the department may reduce the number of nets from 3 to 2 or 1 to achieve the burden of conservation requirement for the commercial fisheries.
(C) (note here to put in tiers for sockeye salmon in river goals from the sockeye plan and then delete the sockeye plan from regulations- time and area limitations are removed)
(6) in the commercial drift net fishery in the Central District, the commissioner may by emergency order, close the fishery within one mile of the Kenai peninsula shoreline north of the Kenai River and within one and one-half miles of the Kenai peninsula shoreline south of the Kenai River when the commercial set gillnet fishery in the Upper subdistrict is closed.
Just a quick question regarding number 2 under Sport Fishery. As I read it, your proposing closing the river above RM 13 to fishing for chinook after July 1, but allowing unguided non motorized fishing for chinook from skilak down on Mondays in July?
Number 2 doesnt specify chinook fishing just says "unguided sport fishing".
I understand this is in the case of low abundance. Just asking for clarification.
I missed that in putting a number of documents together. I would change the drift boat to below RM 13 also. I am not hard and firm on RM 13 but to present the concept that large areas of the river above this lower point are used and if there is a way to harvest equally over the run I would be open to suggestion. Right now I figure those areas have potentially been over harvested and need some recovery time.
Love this...........if we could ever make it happen. I like moving away from ER and LR as well. I'll try to start being more specific myself.
Help me understand!!!!!! Why is no one fighting for the ER kings? I have no understanding of how anyone could let any fishing on early run main stream kings when they are almost lost for ever! Is it that the only blame is on in river users? The new plan should be protect ER kings at all cost. That is easy to do, no ESSN's in the water before July 1, and if the lower goal in river is not met the river is closed. How hard is that? If the in river goal is not met then no sport fishing above tidewater after July 1. It's not time for a new approach, it's time for a real approach!!!!!!!!!
Is it that we want to kill off all the kings that come into the river before July? Do we want only the kings that enter the river after the first of Aug to make it to spawn? Why can we no longer talk about ER kings? Did I not get the memo? Is "ER kings" the new "N" word that we can't use any more? Could it be that we can't talk about ER kings any more because there in no one to blame but in river users? No ESSN scapegoat to put the blame on!