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Thread: BOF teleconference April 3, 10-12am

  1. #1
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    Default BOF teleconference April 3, 10-12am

    NOTICE OF PUBLIC MEETING OF THE

    ALASKA BOARD OF FISHERIES
    Notice is given that the Alaska Board of Fisheries will hold a teleconference on Thursday, April 3, 2014, at 10:00am – 12:00pm. The purpose of the teleconference is to consider a petition for an emergency regulation submitted by the South K Beach Independent Fishermen’s Association requesting the board to amend language in 5 AAC 21.359 Kenai River Late-Run King Salmon Management Plan adopted February 5, 2014 during the Upper Cook Inlet board meeting, to manage the commercial set gillnet fishery separately in the Kenai and Kasilof sections of the Upper Subdistrict in July and August. The board will not take oral public testimony during the teleconference. Listen-only teleconference sites will be provided to the public in Anchorage, Homer, Palmer, Soldotna/Kenai, and Juneau at the following locations: Juneau ADF&G Office, 1255 W. 8th Street, Caribou Conference RoomKenai Peninsula College, 156 College Rd, Soldotna, Ward Room 107Anchorage ADF&G Offices, 333 Raspberry Road, Fischer Conference RoomPalmer ADF&G, 1800 Glenn Highway, Suite 2, Conference RoomHomer ADF&G, 3298 Douglas Place, Conference RoomA live audio stream of the meeting is intended to be available on the Board of Fisheries website which can be accessed at: www.boardoffisheries.adfg.alaska.gov. Meeting materials will also be posted on this website and will be available through the Department of Fish and Game Boards Support Section. For information about the meeting or meeting materials, contact the Boards Support Section at (907) 465-4110.

    I just read this email, would have passed it on sooner. Should hear some good information on fisheries management.

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    Did anyone hear the result of the petition for an emergency regulation?

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    Did not listen to it, but the long and the short of it I got was that they voted no becuase it doesn't matter if board intent was unclear or the regulations don't allow flexibility because the department can always EO out of the management plan. Yeah, like Ricky-Bobby won't go nuclear if that happens. How often has ADFG EO'd out of a management plan to give ESSN's additional fishing opportunity, or to balance future yield tradeoffs between stocks on a year of low Kenai King return? Who in the department will have the stones to make that call, knowing that if they do the entire weight of this anti-commercial fishing lobby will be used to hang them out to dry?

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    smithtb, I don't understand what the emergency petition was intended to accomplish (despite repeated readings). What does having a separate bank of 36 hours do for you? Was the intent to counteract the effect of the split 1% rule in August to avoid closing the Kasilof beaches early or was there something else? Can you explain how you would see it working?

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    Bfish, the issue is how to tally the hours. The 36 and 12 hour limitations in the chinook plan have been used by ADF&G to be total hours fished regardless of what beach. Those hour limitations in past plans were extra time but in the new plan the regular periods are gone so the 36 and 12 are total hours. It makes a big difference in management. ADF&G comments on the petition are just plain wrong and I sent the following letter to the Commissioner hoping ADF&G would correct the factual errors. However, they did not do this and when the Board said that ADF&G had e.o authority to go separate the beaches that meant time and area as that is what the emergency order authority does. So in essence the Board said to ADF&G the hours are not to be totaled as they have historically been (remember all openings are e.o openings in the new plan). However, after the meeting ADF&G was still implying that the hours are total whether both beaches fish or just one beach fishes. I think my letter may help explain it. The petition was poorly written but most people including the Department knew it was about hours, not after August 1st.

    Alaska Department of Fish and Game April 2, 2014


    Dear Commissioner,


    I have just read the ADF&G comments on the South K Beach Fisherman’s Association petition to the Board of Fisheries (BOF). I am disappointed in the comments, as they are factually incorrect and show a historical lack of understanding of the set net fishery in Upper Cook Inlet (UCI). I would hope that my comments cause you to reconsider the ADF&G position and at least be factually correct with the BOF and the public at the meeting this week.


    There are two main issues with the comments and these are discussed below.


    Page 4 of the comments states that “ Under draft regulations, the department would manage the set gillnet fishery in the two sections together, as it has historically done on or after July 8. The two sections would be opened and closed to commercial fishing at the same time; therefore the total hours fished each week would be equal for each section.”


    This is not a true statement. Some historical perspective here may help. In the early 80’s the two sections were fished together and there was only a single section. However, because of Chinook salmon allocation issues the BOF with the ADF&G approval created what is now known as the Blanchard line (located approximately 4 miles north of the Kasilof River mouth). The purpose of this line was to treat the sections separate for fisheries management. Since the Blanchard line was put into regulations the two sections have never fished the same number of hours – especially after July 8th.


    If you look at four different run strength options you will understand the reason for this and why the statement to the Board is incorrect.


    Both Kenai and Kasilof sockeye are strong. Under this situation the comment of the ADF&G is correct. The whole beach would fish given that other stocks can withstand the pressure.


    Kenai weak or late and Kasilof sockeye strong – in this situation the ADF&G has historically fished the Kasilof section within a half mile of shore and kept the Kenai section closed. This has resulted in differential hours fished after July 8th. Also the one half mile keeps the drift fleet from fishing. ADF&G comment is false in this case.


    Kenai strong and Kasilof weak – in this case the Kasilof section would be closed and Kenai section would be fished when fish came to the beach. Drift fleet is fished north of the Blanchard line. ADF&G position is false.


    Kenai and Kasilof both weak – set and drift gill net fishery both closed. ADF&G position is correct.


    As you can see ADF&G is only commenting on two of the four options. Therefore, the statement to the Board is not correct. The main reason for the Blanchard line was to fish the two sections separate as needed and ADF&G has done this in most years.


    Page 4 – it is difficult to say whether a biologically allowable harvest would be precluded.


    This comment is just not defensible given that the new management plans are to increase flexibility and allow harvest when sockeye salmon are on the beach and headed to the Kenai River. Regular period have been eliminated under the Chinook Plan.


    Under the Kenai and Kasilof sockeye is strong and a limitation of 12 hours it is very likely that harvest will be lost if both beaches are combined for hours. With only 12 hours a manager may fish early in the week (the Kasilof section one half mile for one period 12 hours) to slow Kasilof escapement. Later in the week, especially after July 8th Kenai comes to the beach and under the existing plans there are no hours to fish. These fish will go into the river and thus are lost to harvest. If a manager chooses not to fish Kasilof waiting on Kenai then lost harvest at Kasilof takes place. Fishing 12 hours for each beach would increase the harvest and by a substantial amount if timed correctly. This also applies to 36 hours but with a lower probability.


    I hope you evaluate these comments given the serious consequences of providing bad information to the BOF.

  6. #6

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    Thanks Nerka, that makes more sense than the petition language. Seems like a rare combination of circumstances where decoupled time on the beach would be of much value.

    Say you went early in the week in the Kasilof to get kasilof sockeye but missed the chance to get Kenai sockeye in the kasilof section later when they hit

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bfish View Post
    Thanks Nerka, that makes more sense than the petition language. Seems like a rare combination of circumstances where decoupled time on the beach would be of much value.

    Say you went early in the week in the Kasilof to get kasilof sockeye but missed the chance to get Kenai sockeye in the kasilof section later when they hit
    Agreed, I just cannot fathom why ADF&G will not bring these management actions to the BOF. This issue was not discussed at the BOF meeting in detail and so far the BOF is just saying to ADF&G - manage by emergency order authority - which is fine but then they have the limitations in the plans. That makes the public confused and user groups fight. Not very good leadership at ADF&G these days.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Nerka View Post
    Bfish, the issue is how to tally the hours. The 36 and 12 hour limitations in the chinook plan have been used by ADF&G to be total hours fished regardless of what beach. Those hour limitations in past plans were extra time but in the new plan the regular periods are gone so the 36 and 12 are total hours. It makes a big difference in management. ADF&G comments on the petition are just plain wrong and I sent the following letter to the Commissioner hoping ADF&G would correct the factual errors. However, they did not do this and when the Board said that ADF&G had e.o authority to go separate the beaches that meant time and area as that is what the emergency order authority does. So in essence the Board said to ADF&G the hours are not to be totaled as they have historically been (remember all openings are e.o openings in the new plan). However, after the meeting ADF&G was still implying that the hours are total whether both beaches fish or just one beach fishes. I think my letter may help explain it. The petition was poorly written but most people including the Department knew it was about hours, not after August 1st.
    Nerka,

    I was curious how you came to the conclusion that the 36 and 12 hour limitations are total hours. I don't think this was discussed by the board, and if I read the proposal right ESSN regular periods were not included in the "notwithstanding" language which made this plan trump all others. This was discussed at the meeting amongst setnetters and with board members, and many were under the impression the 36 and 12 were in addition to ESSN regular periods. Have the actual regulations been released? Was this discussed during the teleconference?

    Bfish - in answer to your question (even though you rarely answer mine), this was not my proposal. I had nothing to do with it, and have not read it, although I think Nerka laid it out well. As the board chairman said, my "family dynasty","entry level fishery" requires that I have a real job. I don't make 6 figures a year to argue over fish like some. As an Alaskan, I just want to be able to teach my kids this very Alaskan way of life, and make a few bucks doing it. Although, the more time I spend around this part of the process, the more I want to keep them as far away from it as I can. It's pretty gross.

    Have you ever seen seagulls scrapping over the heaps of rotten carcasses at our river mouths? I guess it's in our nature as well.

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    Quote Originally Posted by smithtb View Post
    Nerka,

    I was curious how you came to the conclusion that the 36 and 12 hour limitations are total hours. I don't think this was discussed by the board, and if I read the proposal right ESSN regular periods were not included in the "notwithstanding" language which made this plan trump all others. This was discussed at the meeting amongst setnetters and with board members, and many were under the impression the 36 and 12 were in addition to ESSN regular periods. Have the actual regulations been released? Was this discussed during the teleconference?

    Bfish - in answer to your question (even though you rarely answer mine), this was not my proposal. I had nothing to do with it, and have not read it, although I think Nerka laid it out well. As the board chairman said, my "family dynasty","entry level fishery" requires that I have a real job. I don't make 6 figures a year to argue over fish like some. As an Alaskan, I just want to be able to teach my kids this very Alaskan way of life, and make a few bucks doing it. Although, the more time I spend around this part of the process, the more I want to keep them as far away from it as I can. It's pretty gross.

    Have you ever seen seagulls scrapping over the heaps of rotten carcasses at our river mouths? I guess it's in our nature as well.
    The actual language is in the ADF&G comments on the petition. That language does not state 36 or 12 hours of additional time to regular periods it states total hours. ADF&G is saying that regular periods are not a given as the regular period language says "may fish" on Monday and Thursday. So if the Chinook plan is in place the regular periods are gone and management will be when fish are on the beach. This was the intent of the action taken by the Board according to ADF&G.

    Are the regulations a mess and hard to understand. Yes they are. Does ADF&G have anything out in writing - no. Are they conflicted internally - yes. Is there any hope in hell this will be resolved before the season - maybe. It is like pulling teeth these days to get a straight answer from anyone.

  10. #10

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    Quote Originally Posted by Nerka View Post
    It is like pulling teeth these days to get a straight answer from anyone.
    It is because thanks to decades of dirty politics this whole process now operates in the grey area. Ethically and legally. No one wants to rock the boat.

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    Smith -- the way I read things and I'm certainly no expert at reading BOF management plans.

    In the king plan, the language is notwithstanding the kenai sockeye plan, which doesn't take precedence over the kasilof sockeye plan until after July 7th. So by my reading regular mondays and thursdays would be open until July 7th, at which point the kenai king plan will take precedence with less than 22,500 kings projected. I would imagine ADF&G would probably use part of the 36 hours on a monday or thursday kind of as a test day, because as fishermen and ADF&G found out in 2012 it's hard to predict when fish will hit the beach without any nets in the water as an indicator.

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    Quote Originally Posted by 33outdoorsman View Post
    Smith -- the way I read things and I'm certainly no expert at reading BOF management plans.

    In the king plan, the language is notwithstanding the kenai sockeye plan, which doesn't take precedence over the kasilof sockeye plan until after July 7th. So by my reading regular mondays and thursdays would be open until July 7th, at which point the kenai king plan will take precedence with less than 22,500 kings projected. I would imagine ADF&G would probably use part of the 36 hours on a monday or thursday kind of as a test day, because as fishermen and ADF&G found out in 2012 it's hard to predict when fish will hit the beach without any nets in the water as an indicator.
    They will not use hours to test fish. They may rely on verbal sightings or their own test fishery. If I was a commercial fisherman I would be talking to ADF&G on setting up a phone tree to get information. We use to do this in the 80's and management then was closer to this plan. The only issue is that you have to have honest reporting. It takes awhile to figure out who you can trust.

  13. #13

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    The Department has also apparently reorganized the northern test fishery, dropping some inshore and west side stations and adding more stations off the Kasilof to track what is moving through the inlet.

    Also, I believe the king plan would trump the Kasilof plan before July 8th-ish.

  14. #14

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bfish View Post
    Also, I believe the king plan would trump the Kasilof plan before July 8th-ish.
    There's a shocker.

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