I'm wondering how the BOG, ADFG, AK Dept. of Law, and our legislators would feel about a "Personal Use" duck hunt. You know, to fill the freezers.
I'm thinking Kenai and Kasilof flats and the West side of Cook Inlet in the Critical Habitat areas. No plugs in shotguns required, and running and gunning from a boat is allowed. 4 wheelers too.
Limits would be 64 for head of household (daily bag X 8) and 24 for each additional member (daily bag x 3).
Oh, and this would be for Alaskan residents only, and would have priority over any other duck harvest.
We've turned the wholesale harvest of our salmon into a right of sport. Why not our waterfowl as well?
1) waterfowl harvest is generally regulated by FWS, as they are generally migratory.
2) It's generally accepted that we don't have a significant harvestable surplus of waterfowl
3) outside of Western Alaska (edit: perhaps there is major subsistence use in other rural areas, but I'm not aware of it), there is no tradition of subsistence harvest of waterfowl. Although we don't call it "subsistence", ADFG policy makers have wisely treated "personal use" fisheries as a high priority fishery, as they recognize that it is basically indistinguishable from "subsistence fishing". Personal use is just what we call "subsistence" when city folk do it.
In my opinion, any group that tries hard to pull personal use (and subsistence users) into the fish wars is quickly going to find that there is far more universal support for that user group than either of the two current main players in the wars.
Correct me if I'm wrong, but KRSA has been instrumental in creating and protecting the PU "subsistence" fishery. I don't think it correct to consider this fishery excluded from the "fish wars".
2. The UCI salmon fisheries - for the Kenai and Kasilof at least - were fully allocated when the exclusive PU fishery was created, meaning that any harvestable surplus was already being utilized by fisheries available to all Americans.
3. There was no tradition of subsistence harvest by the overwhelming majority of people now utilizing the PU fishery. It is by and large a recreational fishery.
KRSA's hand in creating and support of the PU fisheries was/is all about their war against the "commies". They are not being disingenuous - they want as many people stomping the banks of our rivers and hauling off coolers of fish as is possible. Will build parking lots, raised walkways, and roads over wetlands to suit. It helps them towards their goal. Plus, it is another business opportunity for their guide contingent. Then drive yield down by ignoring habitat concerns and increasing escapement goals, and so long, commies!
As for the bolded part, I'll just say this. Dip netting for salmon is recreational the same way that cutting and splitting 5 cords of birch is recreational or putting a fresh coat of paint on my house is recreational or shoveling my own drive is recreational. Yes, these are all things that I could pay somebody to do for me, and these are all things that I enjoy doing. But, I presume that you enjoy being a commercial fisherman. Does that make it "recreational employment?"
Please do not mix up subsistence and personal use as one. There are definitions and regulations for both and they separate. This legislation if passed would basically cause chaos in the fisheries. We have enough issues with subsistence priority and to put this with the subsistence in law would result in lawsuits, increased federal oversight, poor fishery management, and just is not needed. It is political intervention into fishery management and the BOF process at its worst. I hope the legislature sees it for what it is which is more crap from the UCI allocation wars.
For those who like chinook salmon this would allow the PU to harvest chinook salmon headed for the Kenai over all other users. No more non retention in the PU fishery as they would have a priority. I would hope people can see the folly in this.
The rest of your objection to this proposed law makes good sense.
I'm disappointed that some legislators fail to see that at best this fishery has expanded beyond practicality and at worst is inconsistent with federal law. I get that they want to represent their constituents but I cannot ignore the feeling that what is going on at our river mouths is inconsistent with the best interests of our resource, Alaskans, and my community. As I said, I feel that it has basically become the wholesale harvest of fish for sport. Yes, mass harvest is how commercial fishing works. Those fish are rarely wasted, and help local and state economy. The nature of wholesale harvest (more is better) is very different from that of sport, at least how I was raised.
As for your comparison to splitting wood or painting your house - how would you feel if you bought a house in another state and was told it was illegal for nonresidents to paint their own house or split their own wood?
As for recreational employment.... Yes I enjoy commercial fishing very much, and take time off from a real job to do so. ANYONE who chooses to make an investment in a commercial operation is free to do the same - one of the many things I love about Alaska.
That said, your concerns about waste and protection of the resource are quite valid. Regarding waste, I just don't see it. I'm sure that there are people who go to Kenai once and get greedy and end up throwing away 100 lb of salmon 3 years later. I don't think that those people keep going back.
Regarding protection of the resource, it's my understanding that the tidally influenced portion of the river that the dipnetters work has little habitat value. Certainly the hordes of dipnetters would destroy what value that riparian area holds. If this is a concern, I'd like to see it better voiced.
Hot dog, I'm glad I don't live in a state where commercial (firewood) operators do such things!
This thread is about a proposed priority right for an exclusive fishery - P.U. Commercial fishing is neither exclusive nor prioritized. Anyone can participate, and their opportunity is dependent on abundance.
If everyone decided to ride their 4-wheelers out into the woods and cut down trees for heat our forests would look like the Kenai beach and our air would be as polluted as the water there in the summertime. Do you have to be a resident to cut firewood?
I have not fought against the PU fishery. But enough is enough. And I hate hot dogs. Lips and apples...
Why are only some people allowed to participate in subsistence but all Alaskans can participate in personal use fisheries?
How can PU be more like subsistence when it requires a sport fishing license to participate?
No thanks! I do not think this is a good idea.
Now if you said ALL fisheries should have an Alaskan preference that is something I could possibly support.
"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"
I wouldn't want to discourage participation by non-residents in our fisheries because that is why many of them come here and spend their money. If too many come, make it more expensive for them and less will show. I don't think exclusivity is the answer - in fact I think it leads to problems like what we see in our PU and subsistence fisheries. What feels ok when it is "just us" sometimes feels wrong when somebody else starts to do it.
In my opinion, dip netting is an annual sporting event, not necessarily a way to get fish. Alaskans have the opportunity to get fish any number of other ways, with a lot less chaos and expense - the way they always used to. I mean, what is the fishery really being "personally used" for? The traveling, camping, family, friends, kids, coolers, fresh air, get the boat out, run a thrill up the leg when a sockeye hits the net, brag about how many you got, and tell everyone you did "it"...that's what dip netting is. Yep, it's a fun thing, but was that really the intention of it - to be an annual sporting event?
Nerka, while subsistence and personal use are defined differently, they do have a close relationship in this case. The State's personal use fisheries were born out of new Federal subsistence laws that displaced already existing subsistence and personal use Alaskans. Good intentions at the time, but in my opinion a rash, short-sighted move that created a monster which has re-defined what always took place, and what personal use should mean...
Funstastic, not sure about the rest of the State but in UCI personal use fisheries came about because the Board of Fish excluded historical subsistence users of the resource from traditional areas. This was the Johnson case I believe. So the State court ruled they could not be excluded by the State and thus the Kasilof personal use gill net fishery was born. I believe that was 1982 or 83. So in UCI it was the State that caused the creation of the personal use fishery. I think it was the first one so it may be incorrect to say it had to do with the Federal subsistence law. Just another note, the native villages went to the Federal Gov because the State was failing via the BOG and BOF to protect their subsistence activities. So I think the State has a bigger role in this in my opinion.
There are various reports online but I found them to be incomplete and in conflict. Part of the reason is the convoluted legal cases over the past three decades. Some authors have not gone back far enough in their history but one reference that is pretty good is
The State subsistence priority was passed in 1978 well before the Federal ANILCA law in 1980 which gave a priority to rural areas.
In PWS, the shrimp pot fishery is an interesting cluster of subsistence, personal use and sport harvest of shrimp, all with the same gear limits and harvest numbers. There is no attempt to distinguish users or harvest numbers - it is all lumped together as subsistence, personal use, and sport.
In various parts of the state there are state subsistence fisheries (open to all residents), personal use fisheries (open to all residents), and sport fisheries (open to residents and non-residents). On the federal side there are freshwater and saltwater subsistence harvests open to residents of rural communities with C&T through the Federal Subsistence Board and saltwater halibut subsistence fisheries open to residents of rural coastal communities and tribes.
So quite a few federal and state resident only fisheries in Alaska.
Regarding MSA, the national standards apply to federal waters in the EEZ (3 to 200 miles). National standard four instructs that there can be no discrimination between residents of differing states in federal waters fisheries. These standards apply to federal fisheries, not state fisheries in state waters. The Salmon FMP delegates salmon management in state and federal waters to the state of Alaska.
Specifically in state waters, resident only fisheries are perfectly legal and do not have to conform to MSA national standards. Other states besides Alaska have resident only fisheries in state waters. The claim that there cannot be resident only fisheries for salmon in state waters of Alaska because it does not conform to the MSA national standards is incorrect.