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Thread: F&W Troopers recieve an extra $175,000 for enforcement. What to do with it?

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    Premium Member kasilofchrisn's Avatar
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    Default F&W Troopers recieve an extra $175,000 for enforcement. What to do with it?

    http://peninsulaclarion.com/news/2014-04-30-0

    So according to the article the money was originally intended to monitor the ESSN set net fishery a little bit closer.
    The House saw it differently and broadened the language on the uses of this money for management of all fisheries.
    The fact that our state legislature is appropriating money to agencies that was not requested seems a bit crazy to me.
    But I am glad they broadened the language to include enforcement in all fisheries.
    The one fishery where I personally would like to see a LOT more enforcement is the PU dipnet fishery.
    This is truly the one that I feel has the most potential for flagrant violations to occur. And the one where I hear the most (secondhand)stories of violations having ocured.
    lets set aside the fact that they gave unrequested money to the troopers.
    But I would like to see some intelligent discussion on where you think this money is best spent when it comes to fisheries enforcement?
    "The closer I get to nature the farther I am from idiots"

    "Fishing and Hunting are only an addiction if you're trying to quit"

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    Talked with local ADF&G and they said protection is still focused on ESSN. Language in bill was political cover to protect some legislators.

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    This was obviously just another shot across the bow of Alaska's Commercial fisheries. Our friends up north are helping twist the knife on the ESSN fleet with their local (and non-resident) anti-setnet buddies. This at a time when local fishing communities are begging the state to help control the madness happening on our rivers and in their mouths. Local city and borough governments, advisory committees, outdoor enthusiasts, and commercial fishermen alike have been largely ignored by the state. As a conservative it pains me to see locals asking for federal intervention, especially when their argument is as convincing as on the Kenai.

    Trust me guys, they're not going to jack a bunch of setnetters for selling kings on the "black market" or cheating on their fish tickets. It's not as common as KRSA wants everyone to believe, and it's too hard to prove. It's much easier to prove that someone's buoys aren't the right color, they don't have a permit on their person, don't have a fish transport license, don't have the proper combination of small colored buoys on each net. etc, etc, etc. But who cares, they'll write more tickets and it will help the anti-setnetters' story that all commercial fishermen are bad people, right?

    Thanks to our local legislators and anyone else who helped modify the language to make it possible for this money to be spread around a little amongst resource users. For the record, I see several chopper flights a day over my nets. And yes, they do write tickets.

    But enough complaining. I say take Billy's hard-earned money and buy a couple of Kick-A RIBS that can be used on darn near any body of water on the Peninsula.

    Enough with thinking that one kind of fisherman is more or less honest than another. We're all liars. Keep everyone honest boys.

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    Premium Member kasilofchrisn's Avatar
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    My setnet friends have told me they welcome the Troopers to check their gear anytime when they are not in a mad crazy rush of an opener.
    That they are welcome to check their nets, buoys, paperwork etc.
    The only thing they will likely find wrong would not be something they have done on purpose.
    I just wonder how many Setnet violations they write each summer and how it compares to our other fisheries sport,Subsistence, and PU?
    You know where would they get the most bang for their buck so to speak?
    "The closer I get to nature the farther I am from idiots"

    "Fishing and Hunting are only an addiction if you're trying to quit"

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    Every darned issue has to be fishermen slinging mud at other (gear types of) fishermen... :-(

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    Premium Member kasilofchrisn's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by FamilyMan View Post
    Every darned issue has to be fishermen slinging mud at other (gear types of) fishermen... :-(
    Sure but this time it was started that way when the bill was drafted by the legislature.
    That is something that bothers me.
    The legislature appropriating a large sum of money that wasn't asked for to specifically target more oversight of one user group.
    Does that seem right to you?
    "The closer I get to nature the farther I am from idiots"

    "Fishing and Hunting are only an addiction if you're trying to quit"

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    I hear ya.

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    This is a prime example of bad government. The money is added at the last second, the purpose is not clear, the agencies are taking cuts in other more useful programs (for example 175,000 would run the Kenai River chinook and sockeye smolt program for 3 years), local legislators are not going to make waves over 175,000 in a multi-billion dollar budget, and local citizens are going to get cited for stuff that has been on-going for years - not the sandbagging of chinook but things like when fish tickets are signed.

    Here is one example, during the fishing period set net fisherman pick their nets at slack water and make deliveries - more than one per day. A family may have a number of permits- the processor stamps the fish ticket but keeps a running total of each delivery. At the end of the period the permit holder signs the ticket. ADF&G is fine with this as one ticket is filled out for the fishing period. However, technically, the fish ticket needs to be signed for every delivery. Therefore, in trying to check if a chinook is sold from a particular site an officer may see that the ticket was not signed and cite the individual. So what is the end result. ADF&G gets more fish tickets to enter which costs more money, fisherman are delayed in getting back to their site, some will be cited for something that is not an issue, and as pointed out some will try to make this an issue of illegal activity. Trying to change a statewide regulation for the particulars of UCI is just not feasible.

    Finally, the word will go out to the set net community and they will follow the regulations to the best they can and this whole expenditure will be for no benefit. However, smolt still will not be counted in the Kenai River but Billy S. will give KRSA another bone to chew on. When will the public see this whole allocation fight as nothing more than Bob Penney and KRSA hurting good people for no reason but their own greed and pathetic view of life.

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    Meanwhile local city governments are putting requests in to the Coast Guard for enforcement help in the P.U. Fishery because they don't know what to do with it and the state won't help. Way to go Alaska.

    Boo. What a joke.

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    Premium Member kasilofchrisn's Avatar
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    I'm with you on this one Nerka.
    Imagine if the money was appropriated just to more closely monitor the guide sector? Boy would KRSA be up in arms then defending themselves as poor law abiding fishing guides.
    Or if it was for the PU fishery (where I feel it is needed) wouldn't SCADA be up in arms for being targeted/singled out?
    I could understand if there was a rash of violations in the ESSN fishery. But this really was KRSA targeting/singling out of one user group that has for the most part followed the rules and that IMHO just isn't right.
    "The closer I get to nature the farther I am from idiots"

    "Fishing and Hunting are only an addiction if you're trying to quit"

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    I believe if 200 letters went to the Gov to veto this it may work. I hope someone takes that on and gets our local legislators to ask that it be removed

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    So next commercial fishermen will write a bill to appropriate money to study those in-river fishermen? Sorry to predict cynically but afight'n its been both ways.

    And also, PU has always been singled out - in every respect - more so than any other group.

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    Quote Originally Posted by FamilyMan View Post
    So next commercial fishermen will write a bill to appropriate money to study those in-river fishermen? Sorry to predict cynically but afight'n its been both ways.
    If we have the money to spend on more enforcement in what is known by those from the bay as a "gentleman's fishery", then surely we have the money to spend more time studying the freshwater life and habitat of our fish - most specifically our kings. Oh yeah, and FIGURE OUT HOW TO COUNT THEM. These studies should undoubtedly include the world renown commercial/sport spawning bed fishery taking place on our rivers, and what effects it has had on our fish.

    That's a little different than writing tickets. But no one at the state level seems to care.

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    Quote Originally Posted by smithtb View Post
    we have the money to spend more time studying the freshwater life and habitat of our fish - most specifically our kings. Oh yeah, and FIGURE OUT HOW TO COUNT THEM. These studies should undoubtedly include the world renown commercial/sport spawning bed fishery taking place on our rivers, and what effects it has had on our fish.
    I agree 100% with all of this part, the crux of what you said. I too doubt their present counts; I wish I did have confidence in them.

    And I wish I didn't believe that within ADF&G mgmt & its decisions, politics is more important than science & more important than the resource.

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    Fish habitat takes a beating in the Knik Watershed - just have a look at USFWS's latest studies. Enforcement there is politically, and purposefully, limited. F&G and AWT are on record as to their limited abilities partially because of the existing management 'plan'. Now I know this is not the largest fishery, but 'death by a thousand bites' is nonetheless occurring.
    More boots on the ground ........
    Lots of constructive ways to spend that pittance. It will be interesting to learn where it does end up.
    "Punish the monkey - let the organ grinder go" - Mark Knopfler

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    Quote Originally Posted by FamilyMan View Post
    So next commercial fishermen will write a bill to appropriate money to study those in-river fishermen? Sorry to predict cynically but afight'n its been both ways.

    And also, PU has always been singled out - in every respect - more so than any other group.
    FamilyMan, must disagree with the comment about PU being singled out more than any other group. In point of fact the PU fishery has only recently been looked at because of the growing number of people. In fishery management mature fisheries like the commercial fishery and sport fisheries have less issues to deal with because of time. However, in new or rapid expansion of a fishery issues come up. In the PU fishery the growth in both the shore and boat based fisheries have caused issues that are real and are being dealt with - just the nature of the beast.

    The in-river sport fishery for sockeye is going to go through this again as guides move to sockeye. That is already causing issues and unfortunately I do not think DNR with the present Director of Parks will get in front of it.

    User groups should not decide research priorities on their own. The salmon resources are owned by everyone and thus research needs should be sought from a wide group of people and hopefully reviewed by good scientists before implementation.

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    Premium Member kasilofchrisn's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by FamilyMan View Post

    PU has always been singled out - in every respect - more so than any other group.
    I would completley disagree with you on this one. I have been checked at least twice a year by the troopers while sportfishing for many many years.Both on the freshwater and the saltwater. At the dock and on the water. Summer and winter.
    I have never been checked while dipnetting and neither has any of my friends. One friend of mine got to the launch (Eaglerock) and when the trooper who was checking fishermen found out they were dipnetters just let them go without even opening their cooler checking their license or anything.
    I would venture a guess the Troopers spend the least amount of money per capita checking dipnetters than any other user group.
    I realize I sportfish more days than I dipnet but having never been checked, not even once, in over 15 years of dipnetting from shore and boat, I wonder how often they actually do check dippers?
    I realize they do it but IMHO it is not often enough for the amount of people participating.
    Setnetters are restricted in where and when they can fish. I would think this would make it more difficult to hide any infractions(other than minor paperwork mixups). I mean it isn't like they can just pull their gear out and hide it when a Trooper shows up.
    Sportfishermen have clearly defined limits. If a guy has more than 3 reds (or 6 when it gets there) and is by himself you know to suspicion him for being over the limit. Yes they can then go fish elsewhere but if caught with more fish in his cooler he gets busted.
    Dippers having a variable limit and being they can move around to another beach each day makes it hard to know if a guy is over his limit or whatever.
    My first summer up here I worked at a cannery station on the Kasilof. We watched the dippers every day. When the Troopers would show up which wasn't often, 20% of the people would get out of the water and many would outright leave the beach. That always seemed mighty suspicious to me.
    Just my $.02
    "The closer I get to nature the farther I am from idiots"

    "Fishing and Hunting are only an addiction if you're trying to quit"

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    Quote Originally Posted by FamilyMan View Post

    And also, PU has always been singled out - in every respect - more so than any other group.
    I agree 100 percent familyman although based on comments from others our experience may be unique. In the years I have lived in Alaska I have hunted an estimated 200 days in Alaska. I have been checked three times by the troopers while hunting. I have salt water sport fished an estimated 80 days and I have never been checked on those trips. I have river or lake fished an estimated 30 days and I have been checked twice (both times on the deshka). I have dipnetted 26 days and I have been checked 9 times by troopers (checked once in 3 days dipping on Kenai, checked 3 times in 5 days of dipping on fish creek, and checked 5 times in 18 days of dipping on the copper).

    I am certainly not complaining about being checked. I am always happy to see the troopers out doing their job ensuring everyone is playing by the rules. The commercial guys harvest the lions share of the fish and therefore they should get the lions share of oversight.

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    Quote Originally Posted by safari View Post
    he commercial guys harvest the lions share of the fish and therefore they should get the lions share of oversight.
    So does that mean that inriver enforcement should be focused on guides since they are responsible for the lion's share of the harvest, despite the fact that they are probably more likely to know and be following the rules?

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    Quote Originally Posted by kasilofchrisn View Post
    I would completley disagree with you on this one.
    ...
    I realize I sportfish more days than I dipnet but having never been checked, not even once, in over 15 years of dipnetting from shore and boat, I wonder how often they actually do check dippers?
    Wow, I can see where you're coming from there. If I had that experience I would think the same thing.

    My experiences is that I get checked a lot, and I see others get checked quite a lot. I see them give warning after warning and then ticket then more warnings, and its most always for the same old dumb stuff, like moving a cooler across the sand before the fish are marked on the card, concealing from view before clipping, etc...

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