Feds close ALL Kuskokwim drainage sport fishing
This is hard to believe, but true and verified by ADFG biologists:
The Federal US Fish and Wildlife manager of the Yukon DELTA National Wildlife Refuge has closed ALL sport fishing in the Kuskokwim and its major tributaries until July 20.
This includes the Aniak, Kisaralik, Kwethluk, and Eek Rivers.
Again, the closure includes ALL sport fishing - trout, Dollies, grayling, and other salmon - to anyone other than federally-qualified fishermen.
News article can be found here:
Statement of Federal action can be found here:
The action raises many questions. Among them are:
1) (the obvious question) How in the world does trout fishing have any measurable effect on Chinook salmon escapements?
2) If the Kuskokwim drainage is closed due to a Chinook conservation problem, why are the nearby Kanektok, Arolik, and Goodnews Rivers unaffected? Each of those rivers is also suffering from poor Chinook returns.
3) Does this action signal a precedent that we can expect elsewhere in the state?
Last edited by Icebear; 06-20-2015 at 13:53.
This is absolutely nuts! The Federal government's job is not to crush state commerce and economics. The air charters, lodges and guides can provide a monetary boost in some villages that rivals the importance of subsistence foods to sustaining livelihoods. This action will do little to nothing to help the kings because it attacks fisheries that have very little impact on the kings. "Lets just shut down a bunch of high dollar tourist oriented activities in our little colonial outpost, they can come up with income somewhere else. After all, they have a ton of money squirreled away in an investment account; they don't need other ways to raise revenues or boost employment." said the feds.
It may not be a good call but so far I have seen no data to say one way or the other. The rationale should not come from newspapers but the Federal justification and we should hold our comments until a full picture emerges. The biological rationale in the news release is pretty weak.
Originally Posted by willphish4food
Before closing down all sport fishing a "full picture" should have been given. That would have shown the service to indeed be a service, and not a arbitrary, self justifying agency.
I haven't heard that the state has filed for an injunction. That is pretty telling. Maybe they don't want to lose and set a precedent? It does seem like an over reach, but if sport fishing causes even one C&R mortality, technically it would violate the subsistence priority. Could be interesting in the future if the upper kenai subsistence needs bump up against the PU priority if it should become law.
Well: If I were fishing the Aniak this time of year - not knowing any better - I would be trying to catch a king. I thought that run was doing OK, from the pictures I've seen brought back. But if the fish runs are really doing so bad that a complete closure is announced without notice, it could lead to pressure on any remaining open rivers within flight distance. Flights and equipment have been booked.
This is just a prime example of federal overreach, and unelected officials making an enormous impact on people's lives. There are enough kings in the rivers to allow subsistence fishing for kings with various means and methods, but hook and release fishing for rainbow trout will have such a large impact on kings that it must be closed?
Feds lifted the closure
Originally Posted by Tsiutoo
Last week (week of June 28-July 4), the fed USFWS lifted their assumed authority over fisheries management on the Kuskokwim drainage.
his means that ADFG regs went back in place, and a more sensible means to protect Chinook salmon went into effect; namely, targeting and retaining Chinooks while sport fishing in the Kuskokwim tributaries is closed, but trout fishing, and fishing for other salmon, is open to all.
Let's hope this is where the fed mistake ends, and that we never see anything like this again.