Kenai Early and Late Run King Timing and Correlation.
We all know that our Kenai king data is sketchy, and that ADFG has been ultra-conservatve, at the expense of sockeye yields, over the last few years. We also know that the last few years, we've notice Kenai King run timing has shifted somewhat. Also, ADFG has announced that they believe there is a correlation between early and late run strengths.
Enter 2014, when the ER was something like 2.5 times stronger than forecast and i believe a little early. Similarly, runs around the state and in UCI have been strong and early.
What to do?
My hunch says that it's entirely possible that the ER may be Early and the late run not so much. Run timing in the Kenai has likely shifted due to harvest pressure. It is also likely the LR will be stronger than forecast - good chance we've been undercounting kings in the recent past, or so 2013 weir data would suggest.
My question is, if the Sockeye show up strong and early on the large tide set next week before the bulk of LR kings show on the next neap tide set, what will ADFG do? Will they ignore the ER correlation and the fashionably late arrival of the LR the last few years, putting the binders on everyone, or will they play it cool, realizing that there are kings out there, just not droves of them.
It would be a shame to miss out on a bunch of sockeye another year just to watch the King goal get comfortably made with lots of room to spare.
I believe the late run plans have windows in them still. So the fish would have to show up on a non-window day, ADF&G would have to have hours left to fish, and the number of calls objecting to this Saturday fishery will have to be low, and ADF&G would have to assume they will exceed the upper escapement goal for Kenai sockeye by not fishing, so given all of this I think it is safe to say that the Upper beaches will not fish.
Originally Posted by smithtb