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Thread: Copper River kings

  1. #1
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    Default Copper River kings

    kings are having a hard time in most river systems in Alaska ...Copper River is no exception...if you have any ideas or solutions or constructive criticism or observations or facts or stories or what the heck even recipes pertaining to Copper River Kings let's share them here....let's give this amazing fish some respect and maybe some help here....I'll start with this...last January Fish and Game estimated a pretty low run for king salmon in the copper....the commercial harvest estimate was 5500 Kings....on the combined harvest for the first 3 openings they already have 6300...on Mondays 36-hour opener it might go up another couple of thousand or so.....I'm trying to figure out what this actually means? hopefully for the King's sake there's a larger run then they expected an a good number of Kings have been threw the sonar as part of the over 83,000 fish that have gone threw as of yesterday...maybe the Eyak test wheels might have the answer...I don't know much about that I don't follow them that close....the scenario that I hope is not the case...is that the boats are getting a larger share of a small run....anybody out there got an opinion? or insight?

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    The king situation is obviously not good. If you have lived here for a decade or more you may remember bigger and better king runs on many river systems. With regards to the Copper River, I called a Glenallen fisheries biologist a couple years ago and she told me they really didn't know for certain what was causing the decline in numbers. She said they were going to start tagging some fish to see where they go in the ocean before they return to spawn.

    Since commercial Pollack fisherman and international commercial fisherman are unlikely to report catch or bycatch results to Alaska Fish and Game, I think they need to tag the kings and track them by satellite. This way, when the Pollack fisherman or Japanese fisherman catch them, ADFG will have some idea of what happened to the fish. Tagging them with colored, number spaghetti-like tags probably won't be as effective because they won't get reported out at sea. Satellite tracking should give them a better idea as to their movement.

    Whether commercial bycatch is really the root of the problem or not I don't know. So, I am not taking a shot at commercial fisherman. I'm just pointing out the low hanging fruit...so to speak.

  3. #3

    Default Eyak King Counts 2013-2015

    Here's a comparison of the last three years to-date of the four Eyak fishwheels. This is a comparison of catch rates and not necessarily unique fish, as some are recaptured.


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    Quote Originally Posted by gr8fl View Post
    Here's a comparison of the last three years to-date of the four Eyak fishwheels. This is a comparison of catch rates and not necessarily unique fish, as some are recaptured.

    thanks Tony...according to your graphthat's very encouraging....if this keeps up they might not take the one King away from the personal use dippers...the agree with you sep radio tagging could be very helpful...I heard there is a radio tag study going on with Kings now...their focus on whether salmonsharks are taking a big bite out of the King population...pun intended. ...I think the Pollock fisheries is one of the biggest reasons for the decline...I talked to a commercial fisherman not too long ago who was on one of the trawlers for a short time...he said he was amazed at all the dead Kings coming up with the Pollock in the net...

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    here's the update on the commercial fishing harvest of kings ....preseason estimate 5500 kings.....Mondays 36 hour opening harvest...2700 kings...so total this season...9000 kings....I'm guessing that a lot of kings are going up the river now...hopefully will get a good return to spawning grounds

  6. #6

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    Here's some info if you haven't seen it, interesting anyway: http://www.adn.com/article/20150507/...salmon-numbers

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    Quote Originally Posted by EBobo View Post
    Here's some info if you haven't seen it, interesting anyway: http://www.adn.com/article/20150507/...salmon-numbers
    thanks eboBo ...I heard they were tagging for Effects of salmon sharks...but I didn't hear any of the details so this was an interesting article...I know 5 tags is not a very good amount to go by ...but if two of the five were eaten by salmon sharks....that's 40%....I hope they continue the research on this

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    well the commercclear up to 11000 Kings for the season....they are up to eleven thousand Kings for the season...which is double the preseason expected amount

  9. #9

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    I fish the personal use area at Chitina and have since 1970. My solution for the King situation is to not keep any. I have and would, but don't think this is good for the fishery. I go there for the Reds.

  10. #10

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    this was the last King we kept, 2008
    Attached Images Attached Images

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    Quote Originally Posted by yanert View Post
    this was the last King we kept, 2008
    that is a beautiful fish....you look happy in the picture as you should be.....you have told a wonderful story....maybe as people tell their stories...as to what part they feel they play in helping the Kings out....maybe it will inspire others to do something...that they feel comfortable with....we need to pack up and get on the road...later I will tell my story...yanert...I imagine you still catch kings....I am curious what the main reason you let them go ....is it that you prefer the reds...or do you feel that strongly about protecting the King run?

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    This may not be related but do the winter kings that people fish for not go into rivers? While I was working in Homer this summer I was hundreds of kings being brought into harbor and that was just the ones I saw! Does that not impact the cook inlet king runs?

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    Quote Originally Posted by grouse
    This may not be related but do the winter kings that people fish for not go into rivers? While I was working in Homer this summer I was hundreds of kings being brought into harbor and that was just the ones I saw! Does that not impact the cook inlet king runs?
    you mean this winter? the kings caught via trolling in l.c.i./g.o.a. during non spawning months are almost entirely feeder kings that are in our waters fattening up before they return to their natal rivers & streams..which flow in s.e. alaska & western b.c., canada, etc

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    '15 inseason harvest as of 6/20

    21,xxx kings seems excessive

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jisler View Post
    '15 inseason harvest as of 6/20

    21,xxx kings seems excessive
    Especially when the preseason estimate was 5,500 ....one problem is because of the larger than expected escapement of reds they have given them long fishing periods. ..an opened up the king closure area... i dipped 2 times this year I only caught 2 kings total ... i would have thought I would have caught more ...an let go ....i think a lot of dippers are going home without a King which would be great if they were doing it by choice an letting kings go to help the run ...but I don't think thats the case

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    There seems to be a lot of kings on the flats this year. They have had the inside waters closed pretty much the entire time. Seem there are a unusually large amount of kings being caught out deep.

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