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Thread: Early and late run King Salmon forecast still way below historical averagesss

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    Default Early and late run King Salmon forecast still way below historical averagesss

    After reading the forecasts i would expect that there will be little to no in river harvest in June and that the ESSN will be restricted about like they were in 2014 during the late run. Hopefully the new sonar location which is supposed to have bank to bank coverage will result in accurate counts. I do not believe anyone had confidence in the last few year's counts. It would seem to me to make sense to mange for large Kings, say 30" and larger and new goals be established based on the need for the escapement of just the larger fish. Don't know the number, but i believe the Dept could come up with the proper amount needed. That way the ESSN fishers would not have to be worried about the harvest of jacks coming back to bite them.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Questairtoo View Post
    After reading the forecasts i would expect that there will be little to no in river harvest in June and that the ESSN will be restricted about like they were in 2014 during the late run. Hopefully the new sonar location which is supposed to have bank to bank coverage will result in accurate counts. I do not believe anyone had confidence in the last few year's counts. It would seem to me to make sense to mange for large Kings, say 30" and larger and new goals be established based on the need for the escapement of just the larger fish. Don't know the number, but i believe the Dept could come up with the proper amount needed. That way the ESSN fishers would not have to be worried about the harvest of jacks coming back to bite them.
    I have heard this will count better for 30 years and it is not true for 30 years. Even in the data set released today the upper site counted a little over 2000 early run chinook in 2013 and we know from the weirs that count was about half the actual escapement. Reason was the netting program was not catching smaller fish. Not sure how good or reliable the netting program will be in the future and no way to evaluate it as no report on the upper site is out. It is trust me again comments rather than hard science.

    The large fish goal could work or not depending on the stability of the returns via age classs and how the goal is established. With decreasing size and age structure and really no historical data base on age composition (figures generated by Baysian techniques and a netting program that is suspect) it is hard to see how this would work in the short term. Production is based on brood tables which include all age classes. Just picking out a single age class or three may not be in the best interests of the users or the resource. Just for the record I thought counting large fish and then adjusting for the smaller fish via a well designed sampling program would be fine but in reality the sampling program needs lots of work and adjustments.

    Another issue is run timing models for estimating total return. The data presented shows some significant differences between the lower and upper site and again the lower site data is suspect for all the reasons it was abandoned. So in reality the run timing models need lots of work and years of new data to be established at the new site.

    So unless ADF&G takes these on and deals with them in a comprehensive and meaningful way this counting operation could fail again. I hope they make the adjustments but so far not a word on these important issues relative to how they plan to solve them.

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    February 19, 2015
    KENAI RIVER EARLY-RUN KING SALMON FISHERY CLOSURE
    Kenai River anglers are advised that, in an effort to meet the early-run king salmon escapement goal in 2015, the early-run fishery will be closed as follows:
    From 12:01 a.m., Friday, May 1, through 11:59 p.m., Tuesday, June 30, 2015:
    In the Kenai River, from the mouth upstream to an ADF&G regulatory marker at the outlet of Skilak Lake, king salmon fishing is closed. No king salmon of any size may be retained. King salmon may not be targeted and any king salmon caught while fishing for other species may not be removed from the water and must be released immediately.
    From 12:01 a.m., Wednesday, July 1, through 11:59 p.m., Friday, July 31, 2015:
    In the Kenai River, from ADF&G regulatory markers located approximately 300 yards downstream from the mouth of Slikok Creek, upstream to an ADF&G regulatory marker at the outlet of Skilak Lake, king salmon fishing is closed. No king salmon of any size may be retained. King salmon may not be targeted and any king salmon caught while fishing for other species may not be removed from the water and must be released immediately.
    Kenai River king salmon and other king salmon stocks throughout Cook Inlet are experiencing a period of low productivity and, since 2009, below average strength. That trend is anticipated to continue during the 2015 season. The 2015 preseason forecast for early-run Kenai River king salmon is for a total run of approximately 5,200 fish. If realized the 2015 run would be similar in abundance to the 2014 run and rank as one of the lowest run measured (29th out or 30 years). Since the 2015 total run forecast is less than the lower end of the optimal escapement goal, and king salmon abundance in Cook Inlet is expected to be below average, closing the fishery prior to the arrival of any king salmon, is warranted until data from inseason assessment projects indicate that fishing opportunity can be afforded without jeopardizing achievement of the optimal escapement goal.
    For information about the 2015 Kenai River early-run king salmon outlook visit our website at: http://www.adfg.alaska.gov/index.cfm...gInfo#/outlook
    "Let every angler who loves to fish think what it would mean to him to find the fish were gone." Zane Grey
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    The KeenEye MD

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    Quote Originally Posted by Questairtoo View Post
    After reading the forecasts i would expect that there will be little to no in river harvest in June and that the ESSN will be restricted about like they were in 2014 during the late run. Hopefully the new sonar location which is supposed to have bank to bank coverage will result in accurate counts. I do not believe anyone had confidence in the last few year's counts. It would seem to me to make sense to mange for large Kings, say 30" and larger and new goals be established based on the need for the escapement of just the larger fish. Don't know the number, but i believe the Dept could come up with the proper amount needed. That way the ESSN fishers would not have to be worried about the harvest of jacks coming back to bite them.
    How would they come up with the number? Using historical age comp data? Where do we find dependable historic age comp data?

    As I said, I see the logic in a big fish goal. I also see many dangers and unknowns.

    I see the strategy here for the anti-commercial/setnet crew, who seems to be pushing this idea quite hard right now.

    If I wanted to put the screws to the ESSN's, here is what my strategy might be:

    Establish paired restrictions and create a higher OEG in August for the commercial fishery, after the sport fishery closes after fishing on a lower SEG. That's done.

    Move the counter upstream. This results in later run timing, resulting in lower inseason projections if not accounted for correctly, and helps to front-load the river with fish. It also excludes all fish harvested below the counter, and all fish which spawn below the counter. It also completely changes things relative to historic data, which isn't a bad thing if you don't like the historically solid 15,000-30,000 SEG.

    Then move to a big fish goal. Since the fish harvested below the counter inriver will be larger due to the selective nature of the fishery, this means more for the inriver fishery.

    As I've said repeatedly, I see the logic in both the upper river counter and a big fish goal, but I see a lot of potential pitfalls, and I think some are pushing it for the wrong reasons and will argue for these changes to be implemented in the worst way possible. I hope ADFG is cognizant of this, and can accurately account for the many changes that an upper river counter will cause. I support the move upriver, just have concerns about it being transitioned accurately.

    The upper river counter is a done deal. That's a big enough change for a while. It's bad scientific practice to change too much too quickly. Table the big fish goal for some years until we see how this new counter works out.

    Just my opinion.

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    Quote Originally Posted by smithtb View Post
    How would they come up with the number? Using historical age comp data? Where do we find dependable historic age comp data?

    As I said, I see the logic in a big fish goal. I also see many dangers and unknowns.

    I see the strategy here for the anti-commercial/setnet crew, who seems to be pushing this idea quite hard right now.

    If I wanted to put the screws to the ESSN's, here is what my strategy might be:

    Establish paired restrictions and create a higher OEG in August for the commercial fishery, after the sport fishery closes after fishing on a lower SEG. That's done.

    Move the counter upstream. This results in later run timing, resulting in lower inseason projections if not accounted for correctly, and helps to front-load the river with fish. It also excludes all fish harvested below the counter, and all fish which spawn below the counter. It also completely changes things relative to historic data, which isn't a bad thing if you don't like the historically solid 15,000-30,000 SEG.

    Then move to a big fish goal. Since the fish harvested below the counter inriver will be larger due to the selective nature of the fishery, this means more for the inriver fishery.

    As I've said repeatedly, I see the logic in both the upper river counter and a big fish goal, but I see a lot of potential pitfalls, and I think some are pushing it for the wrong reasons and will argue for these changes to be implemented in the worst way possible. I hope ADFG is cognizant of this, and can accurately account for the many changes that an upper river counter will cause. I support the move upriver, just have concerns about it being transitioned accurately.

    The upper river counter is a done deal. That's a big enough change for a while. It's bad scientific practice to change too much too quickly. Table the big fish goal for some years until we see how this new counter works out.

    Just my opinion.
    Good observations about the potential reasons and outcomes from moving the counter upstream. If there is a harvest permitted or even C & R below the counter, it will be difficult to get an accurate count of the number killed one way or another in river. My guess is that the Dept will open the late run for just a few days before going to no bait and will quickly go to C & R when they don't see the numbers they need from the upper counter. It might even start with no bait, depending on the strength of the run the last few days of June. They will still do the net apportionment to get some number for smaller kings, but will probably try not using the multiplier. Without the multiplier, they will not see as many fish and will start restrictions pretty early. There will be lots of publicity about how few kings there are and many people who live outside the watershed area will hear once again how the ESSN fishers are hurting the fishery. This year could be another disaster for ESSN fishers. The Drift fleet will fish hard. The Kasiloff will grossly exceed its escapement goal and the Kenai will be under the upper range of the OEG. The dip netters will see more opportunity than last year and all guides and businesses that depend of the sports industry will claim they are going broke in spite of the fact that they hammered the sockeye. This year has the potential to be very bad for the future of the ESSN fishery. Not my hope, these are just my opinions.

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