Results 1 to 11 of 11

Thread: How to really fix Kenai Dipnetting: It will be expensive

  1. #1
    Member Erik in AK's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Location
    Anchorage
    Posts
    2,008

    Default How to really fix Kenai Dipnetting: It will be expensive

    Ok, my last missive on this topic was tongue-in-cheek (sort of), but now I'm serious.

    AlaskaHippie recently said something important to this issue, namely that Alaskans like red salmon. A lot. And he's right, which explains the concentrated pressure on the Kenai: It's the nearest accessible red run of significance to the population centers in Southcentral.

    To alleviate the crush of humanity that befalls the KP every red run, the State of Alaska should make the restoration of Susitna salmon stocks a high priority. Not simply for the convenience of Anchorage and Mat-Su residents but because, prima facie, the salmon are all but gone for reasons that can be addressed. The loss of salmon, and salmon fishing, in the Su drainage has had major economic and cultural impacts. These runs can be restored from a technological standpoint but the measures needed to do so would be contentious and expensive.


    As I see it (and I am by no means an expert) the following would be required:

    1) Catch as many wild (native) salmon as possible in the affected rivers and strip them of eggs and milt. This is needed to ensure the broadest genetic diversity when the stocks are re-introduced

    2) Kill every Pike in the Su drainage. A tall order, but all it would take is a few hundred tons of Rotenone. Poison every pike bearing lake and stream in the entire Susitna watershed for 3 years running. Kill them all. Of course, trout, char, grayling, burbot and forage species such as sticklebacks will get wiped out too, but they can be restocked as well.

    3) Restock the historic runs annually for a period of years equal to the normal life cycle for that species. Then target rivers with potential "brood lake" systems for possible red salmon enhancement. The Lake Creek / Chelatna Lake system comes immediately to mind. So do the Middle and East Forks of the Chulitna (Reds in Cantwell??) Road accessible streams in Mat-Su should be specifically targeted for red enhancement. Restocking would also have to include other game fish and forage species.

    4) Restocking would require concurrent moratoriums on both commerical and sport fishing for Susitna bound fish for those years the runs are being restored, so no fishing for 3-5 years.

    5) Once red runs are restored and/or established, public access should be improved as a means of dispersing fishing pressure and concentrated human use in general.

    6) Establish a Susitna Salmon Conservation Stamp to amortize the costs of restoration: $15 for residents. $35 for non-residents. This would be replace the normal statewide King Stamp for the Su drainage only. If you fished for Kings elsewhere you would still need the statewide stamp.

    7) Once the red runs reach the appropriate levels allow dipnetting on the main stems of the Susitna and Chulitna rivers, and possibly the lower Talkeetna. And borrow a page from deer hunting in several Eastern states and issue "Back Tags" to aid in enforcement. An LEO with a pair of binos can cover a lot of territory--On the river with a dipnet in possession but no back tag? Here's your fine. Also, charge $30 for head of household and $15 for each family member being fished for.

    8) Increase the sport/subsistence allocation and reestablish the commercial fishery south of the line from Tyonek to Pt Possession


    It would not be easy, logistically, or politically (well, it could be with a governor with vision and courage) and it wouldn't be cheap, but it would work, and restoring a viable red run in the Mat-Su would alleviate much of the mess accumulating along the lower Kenai every summer.
    If cave men had been trophy hunters the Wooly Mammoth would be alive today

  2. #2
    Member Arcticwildman's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    Soldotna
    Posts
    578

    Default

    Not trying to be difficult but where would you allow dipnetting on the Susitna? Hardly any of it is road accessable. The locations that are, are not practical for dipping because of other fish you would incidentally catch (Parks Highway streams come to mind). Any other locations are just plain too fast and/or braided to effectively fish.

    The cost to eradicate pike would be enormous (and would utterly fail), it's impossible to treat every possible stream, lake, swamp, etc that has pike living in it now. The window to do that came and went years ago.

  3. #3
    Member
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    a-town
    Posts
    209

    Default

    yeah step 2 sounds hawt

  4. #4
    Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Location
    Alaska
    Posts
    2,039

    Default

    Thanks for the ideas Erik in Ak. I understand your objective of dispersing the pressure.

    I might add that there is more to the Kenai dipnet fiasco than simply Alaskans liking red salmon. Really Alaskans don't like salmon anymore than anyone else. In fact I am willing to bet those in the lower-48 who don't get as much salmon, like it more. Plus I think we've all seen the horror and waste of last year's freezer-burnt salmon thrown out.

    It's no secret that the fishery is much more than a food source. As of late, it is first and foremost a sport. A unique form of recreation. Recreation where experiencing the free-for-all is a rush - a sense of entitlement that naturally encourages greed, glutton, and disrespect. It's easy - a race anyone can participate in with success. The excitement of the fish hitting the net, the satisfaction of a full cooler, the freedom to set up camp, run around on ATV's, and take as many fish as one can. It's an exhilarating, exhausting, hype of satisfaction for most. People prepare their gear and fixate themselves all year, just waiting for the gates to open. So for the majority, I don't believe eating salmon is their priority. Although I'm sure there will be a barrage of argument justifying it for that.

    And unfortunately that is where I believe this fishery can change for the better. It needs to become more difficult, limited, restrictive, expensive, and of course more appreciated...all in hopes of discouraging users and thus reducing pressure. Not a sacrifice that will be fun or easy. But if things continue as they are, and the fishery implodes, those things will happen all on their own. I say cut it off at the pass so we can preserve the privilege.

  5. #5
    Moderator Paul H's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    Anchorage
    Posts
    5,594

    Default

    I'd like to see some facts to back up the claims that most dipnet fish that are caught are thrown out as trash after being freezer burned. Look at the numbers from the state, the average number of fish caught per permit last year was 14, I think the two previous years the number was closer to 30. It would be interesting to see how many permits catch a limit of fish each year, I'd wager that it's a fraction of the people that fish.

    All the friends I have who dipnet eat whatever they catch. Personally I've never wasted a fish, every fish caught has been consumed before the following years season. Some years I've caught our family limit of 65, but lately I've throttled it back as trying to process that many fish is too much work at one shot and I'd rather concentrate on putting away a qty of top quality fish.

    I'd venture to say the bad apples are a small portion of those participating in the fishery. I'd also venture to that per capita there are just as many bad apples that are from the greater Kenai area as those driving longer distances.
    Those that are successful in Alaska are those who are flexible, and allow the reality of life in Alaska to shape their dreams, vs. trying to force their dreams on the reality of Alaska.

    If you have a tenuous grasp of reality, Alaska is not for you.

  6. #6
    Member mudbuddy's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Location
    Alaska, Mat valley
    Posts
    1,195

    Default

    Treat it like the PFD

    Weirs guide the fish in to a holding area,
    The numbers needed to spawn are released back in the river above the weir.

    Sell 50% of the remaining fish on the market & the money goes to the state coffers & run the fish processor.
    Divide what's left by AK residents, each person gets "X" pounds of fish.
    Have various fish distribution centers, go pick up you alloted fish. Wrapped & frozen.
    Pay a minimal processing fee.

    Those not picked up by August 15th are sold & or donated to state food banks.

    No commercial , personal use or sports fishing of Kenai late run reds.
    Problems solved.

  7. #7
    Member JuliW's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    Palmer, Alaska, United States
    Posts
    1,189

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Paul H View Post
    I'd like to see some facts to back up the claims that most dipnet fish that are caught are thrown out as trash after being freezer burned.
    on just about any given day of the week you can find ads like this http://anchorage.craigslist.org/zip/4537053131.html on CL

    I have no idea what percentage (I doubt 'most') of dipnetted fish are thrown out due to freezer burn....I also don't know if the fish in the ad are reds or what species they are. But it is pathetic to me that people waste such a great resource.
    Taxidermy IS art!
    www.alaskawildliferugs.com
    Your mount is more than a trophy, it's a memory. Relive The Memory!

  8. #8

    Default

    As for a guy from the lower 48 and was up there this past weekend- I came away with this.

    HOLY ****!!!! The dipnetters are blaming the commercial fishermen, the "flippers" are blaming the dipnetters, and everyone is pissed at each other.

    When the run doesn't come in like in past years-it's a ***** session.

    It human nature to ***** when someone thinks the other is getting more than the them. But, come on guys- Give it a break. I got 1 salmon on the Kenai flossing. I wished I could have gotten more-but it happens.

    Hell- just let people use Dynamite and make the "haul"-

  9. #9
    Member
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Location
    Eagle River
    Posts
    117

    Default

    Just put a toll gate at the y and charge $500 each way. Kenai residents get rid off all the bad people from Anchorage, and Anchorage gets some compensation for all the extra people that come to shop and travel during the dividend and other holidays. Seems fair. Then I won't have to deal with no place to eat lunch during back to school and Christmas. And it really makes me mad when the stores are all busy. Why would I want my neighbors to work more hours? And don't even start on the airport traffic! Better make the toll $10,000 per heavy truck too. I don't want my FedEx package delayed because they're too busy.

  10. #10
    Member 4merguide's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    Kenai Peninsula, Alaska
    Posts
    9,749

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by stanbiker View Post
    Just put a toll gate at the y and charge $500 each way. Kenai residents get rid off all the bad people from Anchorage, and Anchorage gets some compensation for all the extra people that come to shop and travel during the dividend and other holidays. Seems fair. Then I won't have to deal with no place to eat lunch during back to school and Christmas. And it really makes me mad when the stores are all busy. Why would I want my neighbors to work more hours? And don't even start on the airport traffic! Better make the toll $10,000 per heavy truck too. I don't want my FedEx package delayed because they're too busy.
    Everybody's a comedian.........or thinks so anyway.
    Sheep hunting...... the pain goes away, but the stupidity remains...!!!

  11. #11
    Member Erik in AK's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Location
    Anchorage
    Posts
    2,008

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Arcticwildman View Post
    Not trying to be difficult but where would you allow dipnetting on the Susitna? Hardly any of it is road accessable. The locations that are, are not practical for dipping because of other fish you would incidentally catch (Parks Highway streams come to mind). Any other locations are just plain too fast and/or braided to effectively fish.

    The cost to eradicate pike would be enormous (and would utterly fail), it's impossible to treat every possible stream, lake, swamp, etc that has pike living in it now. The window to do that came and went years ago.
    I imagine a success return of reds to the Big Su would create a dipnet fishery similar to Chitina with enterprising Alaskans providing water taxi services to those without boats while some folks with private land along the banks of either river allowing dipnetters access for a fee. My thought was to limit dipnetting to the glacial rivers: Su, Chu, Yentna, Kahiltna etc and possibly the Kashwitna, and reserve the clear water tributaries for the flippers. Most of the streams crossing the Parks highway could support moderate red runs.

    As to the pike? Eradicating them is entirely possible but as I said it would be expensive
    If cave men had been trophy hunters the Wooly Mammoth would be alive today

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •