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Thread: Set up for ADF&G to fail

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    Default Set up for ADF&G to fail

    The Board meeting is just about over and unless a last second reconsideration is made the commercial fishery plans are set. So lets look at them. The Board has put coho and chinook salmon as a priority fish in UCI but has not stated that in regulation. Instead, they kept the sockeye salmon goals in place but put severe restrictions on the ADF&G fish managers. Here is the bottom line - the Board said to the Department - do not fish here and do not fish many hours but make all the goals. We understand that you cannot do this so we will say on the record that our plans are not fixed so you can use your emergency order authority to manage the fisheries - wink wink nod nod. In fact, the past decade has pointed out that in-season local managers have requested to go outside the plans for sockeye management, even when other goals have been met, and have been refused by political Commissioners and Directors in Juneau - end result - sockeye goals have been exceeded.

    In contrast to the Board, the ADF&G leadership is saying to the public - these are not our plans and if the goals are exceeded it is the Board of Fish fault as they are the Board's plans.

    So each has created an out for not managing the sockeye fisheries. This was very obvious in 2012 when the Commissioner said she did not have authority to go outside the plans- ignorance or planned deception? In 2013, the ADF&G again made decisions to implement the plans and give up sockeye harvest when the Kenai chinook goal was met. Blaming the Board plans for inaction. It appears ADF&G will go outside plans if the political backlash is acceptable but will not when it is not a political advantage. Directors and Commissioners serve at the pleasure of the Governor.

    So what is the solution to this obvious broken system? One is to have honest representation on the Board and a new type of Board of Fish. If the Board and its' chairman want to put a priority on chinook and coho say so but also change the sockeye goals so ADF&G will not fail in management. If they want to be honest with the public set the Kenai River sockeye goals higher and say we are giving up millions of dollars of yield for this other allocation priority. This is not a biological discussion. Instead, the Board kept the sockeye goals in place and said we can have our cake and eat it too. That, as everyone knows, is not possible.

    So the dishonest approach to decision making has set everyone up to fail. The various industries are in chaos and the public is totally confused on how a season will be managed. Will the plans be followed, will a new Governor take the heat, will the ADF&G finally say we have to manage to both goals and really use emergency order authority to alter plans?

    It is not good public service to do what this Board of Fish has done this session. They are acting irresponsible in passing these plans with limitations on ADF&G emergency order authority. What they should do is remove the time and area restrictions and set the goals so ADF&G can succeed more years than fail.

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    Or perhaps it will somehow all work, we will have Kings to catch and plenty of sockeyes and cohos for the freezer!
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mike Echo View Post
    Or perhaps it will somehow all work, we will have Kings to catch and plenty of sockeyes and cohos for the freezer!
    Mike
    well, if the sockeye return to Kenai is over 4 million and/or Kasilof is over 1 million there is no way in heck it will work without seriously going outside the plans. So my point is that the public will be confused on how the season is managed. Just for the record, when sockeye runs are this strong the goals are usually exceeded with three to four times the fishing hours approved in the plans. Take out the Central District for the drift fleet and it gets even worse. So no make, it will not work out for the commercial fishery. Yes - in river fisherman should have sockeye but they do under the present plans and coho - not really - the ESSN take less than 3% of the Kenai coho return.

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    Really?

    ...we will say on the record that our plans are not fixed so you can use your emergency order authority to manage the fisheries - wink wink nod nod.
    The board members actually winked twice and then nodded their heads twice? Man, I wish I could have been at the meeting cuz I've never, ever seen a board member do that before. Where is it in the regulations that it defines what a double wink followed by a double nod actually means...
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    Quote Originally Posted by JOAT View Post
    Really?

    The board members actually winked twice and then nodded their heads twice? Man, I wish I could have been at the meeting cuz I've never, ever seen a board member do that before. Where is it in the regulations that it defines what a double wink followed by a double nod actually means...
    Obviously you have not been watching or paying attention closely enough.

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    Say it ain't so......

    Everytime I look, the Great Land is becoming more like the L-48. And, for the most part, that's not good news. I would have thought that fisheries management would be different, and that concern for the fish would prevail against short-term thinking and political actions. Doesn't seem to be the case.

    Maybe I'm over-reacting, but that's what I'm seeing.......

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    Quote Originally Posted by Cohoangler View Post
    Say it ain't so......

    Everytime I look, the Great Land is becoming more like the L-48. And, for the most part, that's not good news. I would have thought that fisheries management would be different, and that concern for the fish would prevail against short-term thinking and political actions. Doesn't seem to be the case.

    Maybe I'm over-reacting, but that's what I'm seeing.......
    It is worse than the NW right now. State biologists refuse to speak up for real threats to the resource. Silent on all the habitat stuff. DEC refused to list the Little Susitna for hydrocarbons and turbidity. When the ADF&G was asked for the hydrocarbon levels they played very ignorant. A Board member looked it up in the DEC report on the web. Sad day for everyone who wants a fair process. When ADF&G is working for opportunity instead of conservation then future generations lose. At least in the NW they could plead ignorance of their decisions. We cannot do that because we have the NW to see what can happen.

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    Folks, the "Great Land" is completely infected with the entitlement mentality. In some regards we are worse than much of the L-48 with our user group vs user group fighting over resources. The whole thing absolutely makes me sick with the "me first" attitude that has spilled into our state from lands beyond.

    You know all those alien movies about invasion by some space race that has used up all their home planet's resources and are now taking over Earth to harvest ours? Alaska has been experiencing exactly that for quite awhile now, but they have been doing it tactically. "Aliens" from the L-48 keep infiltrating the place, harvesting their bounty and then slipping back to their winter homes while we sit here and fight over resource regulations. They keep this non-stop smear campaign going between user groups to keep us fighting amongst ourselves and we keep too busy with the in-fighting that we don't see the real problems. Sport vs Dip vs Commerical vs resident vs tourist vs this region vs that region. As long as we are all so busy worrying about what those other "nasty" user groups are getting that our user group isn't, we are kept out of the way while the resource is decimated behind our backs.

    Anyone really think there is a way to fix it at this point? I don't. It's like looking out on a dock full of Gulls with one fish left sitting there and they all start a chorus of "mine, mine, mine..."
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    JOAT I agree with your statement but there is a solution. We need leadership at the Governor level, Commissioner level, and Director level in various agencies. A change of Gov is needed and frankly recent Republican Governors have failed this State.

    We cannot afford to have a mid 30's Commissioner of ADF&G with no experience in resource management. We cannot have a Gov so hell bend on fighting the federal government that he fails to see how his Departments are functioning. He is so pro-development that he is willing to dig up salmon streams for coal. We need a DEC Commissioner who can tell a functional Board of Fish the truth. We need a new Board of Fish. All of these are doable if the will is there. Given a lack of leadership the user groups will adapt and fill the void with misinformation and misdirection to get their greedy portion - the Board meeting had user groups who had money at stake there in force.

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    Leadership is not the solution anymore. The system is a mess of bureaucracy and red tape, wrapped in hidden agendas and demands made by wealthy interest groups that don't have conservation in their sights. Fish and game management is actually worse here than the lesser 48. They could put anyone of you in charge and there would still be the same problem. You would either conform to big money or be looking for a new job.


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  11. #11

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    Hunter...right on, I couldn't have said it better. It's a simple math equation.

    Money - Power - Greed....win > Fish - conservation - Habitat.... lose

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    I think Nerka is spot on. The dysfunction from the top down with this administration is remarkable really. Then go back to Palin, and Murkowski........sad. There was a day when we were better than this. However, even out of the three.........Parnell is unreal. I knew were were lost when his appointments were made. I mean an education degree from basically a community college and no experience really qualifies you to be commisioner of ADF&G?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Akbrownsfan View Post
    I think Nerka is spot on. The dysfunction from the top down with this administration is remarkable really. Then go back to Palin, and Murkowski........sad. There was a day when we were better than this. However, even out of the three.........Parnell is unreal. I knew were were lost when his appointments were made. I mean an education degree from basically a community college and no experience really qualifies you to be commisioner of ADF&G?
    Sorry, but what we are experiencing now is fate that was already set in motion decades ago by the likes of Egan, Sheffield, Cowper, and Tony Knowles. Alarms went off in the early 70's with Egan. Locals like me saw what was coming, begged him (personally) to create policy that protected the newly found King fishery. That was futile - tourism was great, and the plentiful Kenai Kings couldn't possibly get overfished, right? Then Jay Hammond (a commercial fisherman and proponent of sport fishing) came along and listened, gave the fishery some attention, worked with locals, and began putting reasonable measures in place. Then in the early 80's under Sheffield the fishery was allowed to blow wide open, quickly becoming an over-exploited guide fishery to no end. Under Cowper things started to go south with the run, denial set in, and economic priority ruled the day. We began seeing ridiculous regulations (and lack of regulations) favoring the economic-driven guide industry. By Knowles, almost everyone was aware that the River and the Kings were suffering, and that we were at a turning point. But again, priorities fell on economics, not the run. The precedent had been set.

    So Akbrownsfan, while I don't condone the current administration, the lights were turned out on this fishery many administrations ago. And what has happened is what many of us knew would happen. We unfortunately lost to politics, economics, and selfishness decades ago...the very same things repeating themselves now. I hate to sound like an "old-timmer", but the fishery started dying in the mid-70's. The 80's created what remained a ridiculous over-exploited fishery. The 90's extinguished any chance of saving it. And everything after that is really moot...a futile attempt to fix something that can't be fixed. You simply can't allow what has been allowed on the Kenai, and then expect something more than what it has become. It's over. Turn out the lights. The Early run will never be what it was, could, or should be. Tribs void of Kings will never get them back. The big monster Kings that made the Kenai famous are gone. G-O-N-E. Les' record will never be broken. Reactionary efforts now, are just like those taken long ago...fruitless. Except now the Kenai sportfishery is so economic driven that private fisherman have given up, and it's taking down the commercial fishery. Believe me; you'll get more satisfaction teaching your grandkids how to play baseball than how to catch a King on the Kenai.

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    Spot on assessment of the situation. You want any chance of having Kings in the Kenai a decade from now, then put a hard and fast stop to the King salmon Guide industry with an outright ban on all sport fishing King salmon retention through at least the year 2020. Any effort short of that only proves that you have no problem with the extinction of the Kenai King salmon.
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    Nerka,

    Let's say the over-escapement thing happens in 2014, and lots of fish flood into the rivers, to the detriment of commercial fishermen AND the fish themselves. Wouldn't the board/State have violated the maximum sustainable yield provision in the constitution?

    Doesn't the board making decisions that appear to conflict with MSY, put these provisions at risk of being unconstitutional? How does that work?

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    Quote Originally Posted by AKJOB View Post
    Nerka,

    Let's say the over-escapement thing happens in 2014, and lots of fish flood into the rivers, to the detriment of commercial fishermen AND the fish themselves. Wouldn't the board/State have violated the maximum sustainable yield provision in the constitution?

    Doesn't the board making decisions that appear to conflict with MSY, put these provisions at risk of being unconstitutional? How does that work?
    No it would not in my opinion. The constitution says sustained yield and the goal for Kenai River sockeye is a sustained yield goals. Just missing it one year would not violate the sustained yield rule. Now if the goals is missed for a number of years and yields decrease significantly from expected then the sustained yield concept could be argued. I believe the early run chinook is close to that point along with Susitna River sockeye salmon.

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    You hit the nail right on the head nerka

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    Quote Originally Posted by AKJOB View Post
    Nerka,

    Let's say the over-escapement thing happens in 2014, and lots of fish flood into the rivers, to the detriment of commercial fishermen AND the fish themselves. Wouldn't the board/State have violated the maximum sustainable yield provision in the constitution?

    Doesn't the board making decisions that appear to conflict with MSY, put these provisions at risk of being unconstitutional? How does that work?
    Just thought it might be worth noting that the oft-referred to maximum sustained yield provision of the Alaska constitution does not actually exist. The wording instead says that the resources of the state are to be managed for sustained yield, no maximum written or, as far as I know, implied. However, prior to this statement, it does say that the resources are to be used for the maximum benefit of all Alaskans.

    So where does that leave us? Maximum sustained yield is a small point on a large continuum of possible management numbers, and other than in a set of data, it doesn't exist in the real world. Sustained yield, however, encompasses a large set of numbers that all will yield less than the theoretical maximum, but so long as there is actual yield all of these fit the constitutional mandate of the department.

    Providing, that is, that the management in its implementation is to bring the maximum benefit to Alaskans. With the many ways people choose to place value on our resources, this is an incredibly unwieldy task. I suspect there is no way to measure it. So a representative board is used to bring the values of the users to bear on the management decision-making.

    I'm not saying whether it works or not. Nor am I going to weigh in on the management details of an area I don't live in or study. But I think what you are seeing is still completely within the authority and guidelines of both the board and the department. The guidelines they have are not nearly as black and white as is often portrayed, and the board seems to be adding more grey area rather than less, maybe even a little fuchsia and chartreuse.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Troy Hamon View Post
    Just thought it might be worth noting that the oft-referred to maximum sustained yield provision of the Alaska constitution does not actually exist. The wording instead says that the resources of the state are to be managed for sustained yield, no maximum written or, as far as I know, implied. However, prior to this statement, it does say that the resources are to be used for the maximum benefit of all Alaskans.

    So where does that leave us? Maximum sustained yield is a small point on a large continuum of possible management numbers, and other than in a set of data, it doesn't exist in the real world. Sustained yield, however, encompasses a large set of numbers that all will yield less than the theoretical maximum, but so long as there is actual yield all of these fit the constitutional mandate of the department.

    Providing, that is, that the management in its implementation is to bring the maximum benefit to Alaskans. With the many ways people choose to place value on our resources, this is an incredibly unwieldy task. I suspect there is no way to measure it. So a representative board is used to bring the values of the users to bear on the management decision-making.

    I'm not saying whether it works or not. Nor am I going to weigh in on the management details of an area I don't live in or study. But I think what you are seeing is still completely within the authority and guidelines of both the board and the department. The guidelines they have are not nearly as black and white as is often portrayed, and the board seems to be adding more grey area rather than less, maybe even a little fuchsia and chartreuse.
    Yes and no Troy. The discussion of sustained yield did include maximum for fish but was not workable for game management. Therefore, the word maximum was left out. However, remember salmon are federally owned and in the M/S act the goal is maximum so federal law also applies.

    The Board has full authority to define allocation but there are statues to limit that power. There is an allocation criteria the Board must use to make decisions and the courts have ruled that they cannot limit the e.o authority of the ADF&G, that they can write plans that cannot be changed by ADF&G without new and significant information (which has been implied to mean inseason information), that chinook salmon are a legal harvest under the limited entry permit and that fisherman cannot be made to release them, and that regulation process must follow the Administrative Procedure Act to be valid, and that regulations cannot be arbitrary. Just trying to clear up the idea that the Board has full authority to do what it wants.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Nerka View Post
    ...recent Republican Governors have failed this State..
    Do you not remember the complaining from your CI gillnetter buddies during the Knowles admin.? Knowles BOF let a LOT of sockeye in the Kenai.

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