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Thread: Motors on the Kenai - A "social" issue?!?!?

  1. #1

    Default Motors on the Kenai - A "social" issue?!?!?

    So the additional drift-only day failed. KRSA and board members stated that this is simply a "social" issue. One board member stated that he sympathized with the sentiment of the City of Kenai that we all want things to be quiet like they used to be, but the hustle and bustle of modern life is something we cannot stop.

    In-river commercial advocates stressed improper facilities and infrastructure, and claimed that they would catch more fish on drift only days. In an attempt to prove this factually incorrect one proponent of the additional drift day submitted information to show that, in fact, drift only Monday only accounts for around 4% of the in-river King harvest, and their are ample facilities despite the "I might poop my pants" defense.

    That info was not mentioned, and it was deemed that additional drift-only days would have no conservation value - board members didn't like the idea of boats "sneaking up" on these fish. Little to no discussion of habitat, or the pages of data we submitted that show multiple state agencies have failed to address habitat concerns on the Kenai, and that BOF members are REQUIRED to address the issue. Nope, business as usual - allocate more fish to the river and do nothing for habitat.

    Then, 2 proposals later was a proposal which sought to eliminate drift-only Monday in order to give the fish a break. The author claimed that the fish have been to highly exploited and we need some off time in the river.

    Oh, guess what? We found some data here that says that drift-only Monday only accounts for 4% of the King harvest! Why, it wouldn't make sense to restrict on a day when harvest is so minimal!!!

    It really sucks to spend a year gathering facts for this meeting only to have money, greed, and politics trump facts and science.

    And it's REALLY discouraging to go up there with facts, data and a CONSCIENCE, and see the process dominated by people who think nothing of lying and breaking the law.

    It's illegal for me to hand a board member a piece of paper that isn't public record, but it's perfectly fine for paid reps and board members to collaborate behind closed doors, set a schedule that strategically helps their interest, and meet up every night to plan the next day's whacking? I can't hand a board member a piece of paper but the Judge can scurry off to the catered "educational nonprofit" room during the breaks to plan the next round?

    What a crock.

    I have never been for federal management of much of anything including our fisheries, but after watching that gong show for the last two weeks, I'm up for anything.

    And Mr. Governor, if you have a bunch of hillbilly republican fishermen - a LARGE part of your voting block - screaming for federal management of your fisheries, you sir, will have a problem!

  2. #2
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    QUOTE..."What a crock.
    I have never been for federal management of much of anything including our fisheries, but after watching that gong show for the last two weeks, I'm up for anything.
    And Mr. Governor, if you have a bunch of hillbilly republican fishermen - a LARGE part of your voting block - screaming for federal management of your fisheries, you sir, will have a problem." [/QUOTE]

    I can't disagree a bit with your assessment, Smith, But, please explain your reference to "hillbilly 'REPUBLICAN' fishermen" comment. Specifically, are you a Democrat? I want to know so that YOUR judgement can be taken into account.
    I do agree that the system is corrupt with cronyism. It's the natural tendency for any structured organization with humans involved.
    Your sarcasm is way, waaaayyyyyyyy more sarcastic than mine!

  3. #3

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    Perhaps a poor attempt at self-defecating humor. Nothing more.

    My point is that there is a large group of people such as myself - rural dwelling conservative fishermen - who make up a considerable component of this state's republican voting block. Many of us feel that the current administration has done nothing to fix this mess - in fact has even made it worse through his appointments...

    Get my drift?

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    Got your drift, thanks.
    Your sarcasm is way, waaaayyyyyyyy more sarcastic than mine!

  5. #5

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    Ok, getting back to the social issue.

    Reasons the Kenai should be drift-only.

    1. Hydrocarbons
    2. Turbidity
    3. Boat wake erosion
    4. Noise/stress on fish which spawn/rear in this high use area (basically ALL mainstem spawners)
    5. Congestion (think of the difference between a one way vs. two-way street with no lanes)
    6. Consistent growth of powerboat use on the river.
    7. More peaceful/pleasurable fishery

    Reasons given to oppose drift-only.

    1. Cost - yeah, it sucks. Kinda like having to order 12 shackles of 29 mesh gear which is NOT PROVEN AT ALL to reduce King harvest. Ouch.
    2. I might poop my pants...
    3. We'd catch more fish.... because they'd be less stressed out....
    4. We'd buy more powerboats??? (Not sure about that one Yukon!)
    5. I'm too old and/or fat to row.
    6. We don't have enough boat launch/removal facilities.
    7. We're too scared to take on the big, bad Kenai in a drift boat.

    Ok, so maybe this was just stated unclearly. Motors are not the social issue - their negative effects on the fish and the habitat are very well documented.

    DRIFT BOATS are the social issue. Regardless of the proven negative BIOLOGICAL effects of motors, people don't want drift boats for social reasons.

    Sorry Bfish, I totally misunderstood your point..... Some of the board members must have too...

  6. #6

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    You're so right TB. I understand that it was suggested to the board members to ask F&G how many complaints they've received over the last 12 years of the drift boat Monday about the lack of facilities. I'm betting none but not one board member was willing to cross KRSA and ask. I also heard that there was 3-4 board members speaking in favor of it the day before but what a difference an evening makes when the boys start spreading their charm $$$ around. Probably threats on being 86d or ont being confirmed. None of their exagerated testimony passed muster for anyone that knows the truth about the drift boat day on the river but the board sure cited them plenty during deliberations. I aslo couldn't believe the " poor starving guides are having a tough time making it" BS from the board.

    Hmmm...lets see they can guide on the river 5 days a week for Kings or whatever from their power boats and then guide bank angling red fishermen the other two days....so that sound like they can make hay, one way or another, all seven days of the week. I'd bet they're not hurting much. TB...How many days a week can you fish? and that's if you're not restricted. If they are restricted for Kings, they still have rainbow trips and red fishermen to take out. oh yeah, seven days a week.

    Lets face it, KRSA owns this process all the way from the govs office, through the ADF&G commissioner's office and the BOF. We're all screwed and the conservation of the resource is screwed. Look on the bright side. They'll have the Kings completely wiped out in another 5 - 10 years and then we can be like Wash. and plant hundreds of thousands little Kings and we can all fish wide out and we'll have a constant supply of kings...problem solved. KRSA...Guides...BOF, Hurry up and get this over with so we can start over.

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    Pac man, I'm sorry to say I agree with your conclusion.
    Seems kinda like watching a train wreck, in slow motion.

  8. #8

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    The boards comments against the drift boat day were so dumb that they were comical . We need motors to stir the fish up so we don't catch too many of them! What a bunch of idiots, 7-0. They should all be ashamed. On a side note, did we ever hear from the Commissioner or the governor on the most important meeting concerning our fisheries in three years? I saw the commish on the Monday I was there but never heard her speak. They both should be ashamed as well. P

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    Smith -- Don't overthink this stuff, it will drive you crazy.

    The simple truth is this Board of Fish session was just awful. The chairman promotes it, and nobody who controls his appointments holds him accountable. It's basically turned into a two week political lobbying session by special interest groups. The majority of decisions take place in private, off-record sessions, and out in the hallways as each member gets mobbed by the various constituencies. The board members who are supposed to lean towards favoring commercial fishing have no idea about the Cook Inlet set and drift fisheries, and it sounds like one of them can't even ask intelligent questions about the fishery.

    The chairman doesn't buy the MSY and escapement numbers for Kenai sockeye that ADF&G has spent hundreds of hours researching, modeling, running data and numbers, recording returns per brood years, etc., but yet he buys a private research company, who to my understanding had no prior experience in Cook Inlet, data on a whopping 12 kings which covered primarily a 3 week period in one summer and uses this data along with testimony from one setnetter up by the mouth of the Kenai River to justify reducing setnet depth to 29 meshes. No data on what this will mean for sockeye catching efficiency or reducing king catch, just that we'll find out, and by next cycle likely use faulty, biased numbers or personal emotion to make 29 meshes mandatory.

    I know some people on this forum got tired of Marcus always posting King of Fish quotes and Tragedy of the Commons, but in a way the quotes he posted were right. Humans and salmon just can't seem to coexist. We've had the best chance here in Alaska after learning mistakes from the past, but are instead just repeating them. Everyone is fighting over the scraps as king runs continue to decline.

    In my opinion the BOF would have been better not holding a meeting, saving a bunch of fishermen money and stress, and instead just mailed in their decisions and their justification for each decision. Then if a fishermen group or individuals felt slighted they could have filed a lawsuit regarding the Board's votes and justification. It's not really like their decisions were influenced by some of the well presented facts and data at this meeting, but instead reflected their own biases or lack of knowledge. If the Board isn't going to use the facts, data, knowledge, and personal testimony from fishermen, then why have data presentation, testimony, and record copies?

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    So now with 29 mesh there will be some data?? right?? That is if it is EO'd by the department, which I doubt will happen. The Board (including the chairman) said many times that f&g can use its EO authority. The new proposal could/will give more opportunity to the set netters, right now the set nets are all or nothing, what the board passed is merely a step down measure so the nets can still fish, even when kings are restricted in-river. In-river users already do this, single hook, no bait, C&R, slot limit, river section closures, total closure, now the set net has similar tools in the bag for f&g to manage the fishery to catch more sockeyes with potentially catching fewer kings, I do think 29 mesh will keep set nets fishing more. It is better than sitting on the beach.
    Compare it to the in-river fishery, it is like fishing with bait, multiple hooks, no slot etc....then the run is of low abundance so the river is shut down completely, instead f&g can step down the fishery depending on run strength. They can now do that with the nets, in stead of 3 nets per site of full mesh, f&g now has the tool to step it down and keep the set netters fishing instead of on the beach. I predict set nets will get more time in the water when kings are in low numbers than they would have if the only tool was 100% of set net gear.

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    Quote Originally Posted by yukon View Post
    So now with 29 mesh there will be some data?? right?? That is if it is EO'd by the department, which I doubt will happen. The Board (including the chairman) said many times that f&g can use its EO authority. The new proposal could/will give more opportunity to the set netters, right now the set nets are all or nothing, what the board passed is merely a step down measure so the nets can still fish, even when kings are restricted in-river. In-river users already do this, single hook, no bait, C&R, slot limit, river section closures, total closure, now the set net has similar tools in the bag for f&g to manage the fishery to catch more sockeyes with potentially catching fewer kings, I do think 29 mesh will keep set nets fishing more. It is better than sitting on the beach.
    Compare it to the in-river fishery, it is like fishing with bait, multiple hooks, no slot etc....then the run is of low abundance so the river is shut down completely, instead f&g can step down the fishery depending on run strength. They can now do that with the nets, in stead of 3 nets per site of full mesh, f&g now has the tool to step it down and keep the set netters fishing instead of on the beach. I predict set nets will get more time in the water when kings are in low numbers than they would have if the only tool was 100% of set net gear.
    Yukon, this is more misinformation and again the guide position along with KRSA. The Board tried to reduce the flexibility of the Department not increase it. They always had e.o authority to reduce time and area. The number of nets was an addition and the 29 inch mesh a joke. So what the Board did with the hour limitations is try to handicap the Department. Also the hour limitation goes into play if the Department follows the plan when the sport fishery could still be fishing full out. Did you not read the plan? It says the plan is to provide sport fishing opportunity in the rationale for the hour restrictions in the set nets. It also says that the sport fishery could be full out at less than 22,500 in-river goal (in-river goal assumes harvest as this is not spawning fish) and yet the commercial fishery is limited to 36 hours. Their concept of a step down is just plain stupid. The August language in the plan is even more restrictive on the commercial fishery when the sport fishery is closed for the season and the spawning goal of 15,000 is met. So what you posted here is just not true and I think you know it.

    The sustainable fishery policy says conservation actions are to be taken in proportion to harvest. Therefore the sport fishery should give up 2 fish for every 1 in the commercial fishery. Show me in the plan where that happens. The commercial fishery is taking the majority of the actions. Also, the Board said they really do not care about sockeye management which is against the sustainable fishery policy. I am just sick of the lies of the guides, KRSA, the Board, and ADF&G on this issue. In fact, ADF&G Commissioner asked the Board not to make a plan that reduced flexibility so they would have to go outside the plans a lot with e.o authority and they ignored the request.

    Next, if you knew anything about commercial fish management you would know that to go outside the plans in today's environment it is a battle. The area biologist has to make a quick decision when fish are on the beach. He must call his regional supervisor who must call the director who must talk to the sport fish director who must talk to his staff and then to the Commissioner and then the word comes back down the line. A short opener is impossible and history shows that. Then if they do open the guides and KRSA call everyone and say the ADF&G is violating the plans and the political heat goes up to not have it happen again. That is the reality of it and Yukon you have been around long enough to know that. Just look at the record. Lets stop the misdirection and start to see what really is happening - the goal is to eliminate the commercial fishery from UCI.

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    That 3 paragraphs was brought to you by the commercial fishermen........

    I think the commercial managers will do just fine this year, it will be a good year to see, predicted low king returns and high sockeye returns, time will tell. Have faith in the professionals Nerka, have faith my friend.

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    Quote Originally Posted by yukon View Post
    That 3 paragraphs was brought to you by the commercial fishermen........

    I think the commercial managers will do just fine this year, it will be a good year to see, predicted low king returns and high sockeye returns, time will tell. Have faith in the professionals Nerka, have faith my friend.
    I am not a commercial fisherman and you know it Yukon. Cannot fight the facts so attack the person and try to label it wrong. Nice. If you had faith in commercial managers the guides would not have been pushing for limitations on e.o hours. Explain that contradiction.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Nerka View Post
    I am not a commercial fisherman and you know it Yukon. Cannot fight the facts so attack the person and try to label it wrong. Nice. If you had faith in commercial managers the guides would not have been pushing for limitations on e.o hours. Explain that contradiction.
    read my post I never said your commercial fisherman. your message seems to be their company line all the time. no personal attack I thought you had a little thicker skin than Marcus...

    you keep on using me individually and sentences and then the guides in the same line I do not represent the guides, just me.

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    I thought as a guide you might know the rationale for the representatives at the meeting. If not so be it. Still interested in explaining the contradiction in the comment about having faith in the commercial managers.

    My position is not what commercial fisherman want I can assure you. It is just we agree on managing to goals and having flexibility for ADF&G.

  16. #16

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    Quote Originally Posted by yukon View Post

    I think the commercial managers will do just fine this year, it will be a good year to see, predicted low king returns and high sockeye returns, time will tell. Have faith in the professionals Nerka, have faith my friend.
    Yukon, the professionals just had their hands tied behind their back to use the best tools available to manage a high sockeye/low king return.

    Problem is ADF&G's ability to manage fish is no longer relevant now that the board took away their best tools. You can hire the best contractor in the world to build your house, but if you take his hammer and nails, what do you expect to get? Nerka is dead-on here, the political and bureaucratic reality is that they cannot issue timely E.O.s to manage this thing. All for the tiny fraction of the harvest being taken by the ESSN and drift fleet? Seems like we've tried to solve a problem that didn't exist, and it caused a lot of others in the process.

    Setnetting has been around for what, 100 years? How many generations of salmon were unaffected by it? The current scale of the commercial guide fishery has been around for how long? 5-6 generations of king salmon? Think of the change that's occurred in that fishery in the relatively short period of time this pressure has been placed on that fishery.

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