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Thread: Essn's restricted to make up the king deficit

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    Default Essn's restricted to make up the king deficit

    Just thought I'd post since it hasn't made the news.

    ADFG is projecting less than 22,500 Kings, so ESSN time is now limited in August.

    They projected over 22,500 Kings for most of July before letting ESSN's out of restrictions, however projections only dipped below 22,500 kings for a day or two before going back into restrictions, despite the fact that escapements (and projections) are increasing due in part to the smaller tide set.

    Some people feel that the ESSN's are paying the price for the bonk-fest that went on inriver. I see their point, but don't necessarily feel that way (because I think the inriver guys should live and bonk well. I'm just disappointed that people can't accept the scientific 15,000-30,000 MSY goal that most biologists agree is a healthy goal given the territorial and density dependent nature of Chinook Salmon, and the relative limited spawning area in the Kenai River.

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    Quote Originally Posted by smithtb View Post
    Just thought I'd post since it hasn't made the news.

    ADFG is projecting less than 22,500 Kings, so ESSN time is now limited in August.

    They projected over 22,500 Kings for most of July before letting ESSN's out of restrictions, however projections only dipped below 22,500 kings for a day or two before going back into restrictions, despite the fact that escapements (and projections) are increasing due in part to the smaller tide set.

    Some people feel that the ESSN's are paying the price for the bonk-fest that went on inriver. I see their point, but don't necessarily feel that way (because I think the inriver guys should live and bonk well. I'm just disappointed that people can't accept the scientific 15,000-30,000 MSY goal that most biologists agree is a healthy goal given the territorial and density dependent nature of Chinook Salmon, and the relative limited spawning area in the Kenai River.
    tbsmith. I suspect spawning area is not limited but rearing area is limited. Given these fish rear within a few feet of the bank and are very territorial I suspect rearing area is the limiting issue on production.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Nerka View Post
    tbsmith. I suspect spawning area is not limited but rearing area is limited. Given these fish rear within a few feet of the bank and are very territorial I suspect rearing area is the limiting issue on production.
    Exactly correct. And I would add that Chinook are not the only fish in the river...... Most juvenile salmonids use the same near-shore habitat for rearing. That includes steelhead/rainbow trout, coho, and cutthroat. Might not include sockeye, since they rear in a lake environment, or pinks since they migrate soon after emergence. But the point is that near-shore riverine habitat is critically important for most species of salmon and trout. That's where alot of the terrestrial forage (insects) fall into the river, it's where the large woody debris provides shade and cover from predators (e.g., birds), and it's where they find protection during high-water events (floods).

    So, if anyone is still questioning the value of riparian buffer strips, they can just stop......

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    Good points guys. All data indicates that we will be solidly inside the most productive (for humans) escapement range for Kenai LR Kings. My concern for these fish of late has been less about the number of them but rather the size. Luckily, in yesterday's count, 429 of the 446 escapement represented hits greater than 30" on the newest sonar. The day before, it was 706 of 738. That means escapement is still solid and they are primarily nice big fish.

    Thursday, gillnets killed 95,000 Sockeye, selling for $1.60/lb dockside, while over 40,000 sockeye a day have been escaping the Kenai to satisfy the few remaining on the river. Fishing is hot again today. A lot of people move on in August, especially until the silvers show up. All that remain are the die hards, and there is no reason they should not for once in a very long time all get to fish out the rest of their season on this late Sockeye run. It is in my community's best interest.

  5. #5

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    Looks like the ESSN's are getting extra hours to soak up these extra sockeye. Open 10-10 on Monday. Good deal.

    http://www.adfg.alaska.gov/static/ap.../602836268.pdf

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    Yep. Over 1,200,000 and 40,000+ still coming in daily. Another surplus. We've easily been limiting on rod/reel. Amazing.

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    Good to see strong returns of sockeye.

    The Columbia River was forecast for a great sockeye run too. And it was - about 400,000 adults made it into the river. But the high temps got'em. Adult mortality from the mouth of the river at Astoria to the spawning grounds in Idaho was 97%. That's right, only 3% survived. For all practical purposes, the run was a total loss.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Cohoangler View Post
    Good to see strong returns of sockeye.

    The Columbia River was forecast for a great sockeye run too. And it was - about 400,000 adults made it into the river. But the high temps got'em. Adult mortality from the mouth of the river at Astoria to the spawning grounds in Idaho was 97%. That's right, only 3% survived. For all practical purposes, the run was a total loss.
    Wow, that is terrible. Was it the warm temperatures in the reservoirs as opposed to in-river temperatures? I can see the reservoirs with still water heating up faster or small spawning streams without tree cover getting hot.

    Bu

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    Quote Originally Posted by Nerka View Post
    Wow, that is terrible. Was it the warm temperatures in the reservoirs as opposed to in-river temperatures? I can see the reservoirs with still water heating up faster or small spawning streams without tree cover getting hot.

    Bu
    All of the above. The snow pack was low so we didn't have enough cool water stored in the upstream reservoirs to keep the temps down. We usually get lots of snow in the mountains (in British Columbia and Idaho) to moderate the water temps. But not this year. Plus, the air temperatures in eastern Washington and Oregon were off-the-charts high. Triple digit temps for weeks. That pushed the river temps high, and add the slow trek through the mainstem reservoirs pushed the temps towards lethal. In mid July the temps were in the low 70's. That's not lethal for salmon, but it's close. But what killed them was the huge increase in their susceptibility to diseases. They got Ick and Columnaris (bacteria). That's what killed them.

    We've encountered all of those conditions in the past, but never all in the same year. So it was combination of really bad things, all at once.

    The huge run of fall Chinook has started. The temps are down, but still too high (upper 60's to low 70's). Not sure how the fish are going to react. We're hoping they stay in the ocean until conditions improve. But we're in uncharted territory.

    Climatologists are saying we should get used to this. It's the future of the PNW. If that's the case, sockeye won't be part of it.

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    "Let every angler who loves to fish think what it would mean to him to find the fish were gone." Zane Grey
    http://www.piscatorialpursuits.com/uploads/UP12710.jpg
    The KeenEye MD

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    Thanks Doc.

    For those not familiar with the above..... Drano Lake is located at the mouth of the Little White Salmon River where it meets the Columbia River, in the Columbia Gorge. It is separated from the mainstem by Highway 4 and railroad tracks. It forms a backwater of really cold water. During the summer migration, alot of fish will move into this cold water refugia to escape the warm temps in the mainstem Columbia. It's usually stacked with Idaho-bound steelhead, but this year there were alot of sockeye seeking colder water. The white patches are Ichthyophthirius multifiliis better known as Ick. Although these fish are in colder water, they won't be able to escape the disease before they spawn. They are part of the 97% that didn't make it.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Cohoangler View Post
    Thanks Doc.

    For those not familiar with the above..... Drano Lake is located at the mouth of the Little White Salmon River where it meets the Columbia River, in the Columbia Gorge. It is separated from the mainstem by Highway 4 and railroad tracks. It forms a backwater of really cold water. During the summer migration, alot of fish will move into this cold water refugia to escape the warm temps in the mainstem Columbia. It's usually stacked with Idaho-bound steelhead, but this year there were alot of sockeye seeking colder water. The white patches are Ichthyophthirius multifiliis better known as Ick. Although these fish are in colder water, they won't be able to escape the disease before they spawn. They are part of the 97% that didn't make it.
    This is just the start of a major ecological change due to global warming. More to come. We had a record number of days in Anchorage over 70 degrees this year. In Alaska alone become of melting DOT estimates it will take 30 billion dollars to fix bridges, roads, and other infrastructure due to permafrost melting.

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    Yessir, the climate is changing. Always has been, always will be....

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    Quote Originally Posted by smithtb View Post
    Yessir, the climate is changing. Always has been, always will be....
    Correct, but I hope you aren't using that as an excuse to avoid doing anything about it. You're smarter than that.

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    Quote Originally Posted by smithtb View Post
    Yessir, the climate is changing. Always has been, always will be....
    Its the rate of change we are currently seeing that is of concern.
    "The North wind is cold no matter what direction it's blowing"

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    Quote Originally Posted by smithtb View Post
    Just thought I'd post since it hasn't made the news.

    ADFG is projecting less than 22,500 Kings, so ESSN time is now limited in August.

    They projected over 22,500 Kings for most of July before letting ESSN's out of restrictions, however projections only dipped below 22,500 kings for a day or two before going back into restrictions, despite the fact that escapements (and projections) are increasing due in part to the smaller tide set.

    Some people feel that the ESSN's are paying the price for the bonk-fest that went on inriver. I see their point, but don't necessarily feel that way (because I think the inriver guys should live and bonk well. I'm just disappointed that people can't accept the scientific 15,000-30,000 MSY goal that most biologists agree is a healthy goal given the territorial and density dependent nature of Chinook Salmon, and the relative limited spawning area in the Kenai River.
    Just out of curiousity: did sport fishermen kill over 7500 chinook in the week or so it was open to retention? http://www.adfg.alaska.gov/index.cfm...arvest_current
    Also, given the low returns of Kenai kings over the past few years, wouldn't it be helpful to the river to escape at the high end of the range rather than the low range?

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    Quote Originally Posted by willphish4food View Post
    Just out of curiousity: did sport fishermen kill over 7500 chinook in the week or so it was open to retention? http://www.adfg.alaska.gov/index.cfm...arvest_current
    Also, given the low returns of Kenai kings over the past few years, wouldn't it be helpful to the river to escape at the high end of the range rather than the low range?
    Of course, that 7,500 figure represents all kings reported caught by commercial setnetters from Grey Cliffs to Ninilchik, and of all drifters inlet wide. This data was available next-day, and many of those fish were headed to other areas. I think 75% is the liberal number apportioned to Kenai Kings, which would mean a Kenai-bound King harvest of 5,650.

    Sport fishermen on the Kenai caught 6,500 Kings during the Late Run season, which was open for retention the entire month of July. Bait was allowed for the last week. The standard 2/5 King seasonal limit was in place on the Kenai, Kasilof, and lower Pen. Streams, and the 5 King limit in place on the Deshka... which you regrettably cannot walk to. King fishing was great this year all over Cook Inlet.

    I know, I know - you would prefer to compare the commercial harvest of all Kings in UCI to sport harvest only in the Kenai river, but we all know that is not a very sensible way of looking at the allocation and best use of this resource. While I would love to go tit-for-tat and compare commercial harvest of all Kings in UCI to sport catch of all Kings in UCI, that's impossible at this point because we will have to wait 16 months for sport fish catch info from places like the Kasilof and Deshka rivers unless there is creel info I am unaware of. These numbers would of course paint a much different picture, with sport fishermen catching many more Kings than commercial.

    But IMO this entire discussion is silly. Everyone had opportunity to fish this summer, and fishing was pretty good for those who got out and participated. I watched all summer for reports on the very solid fishing in your area via the sportfish and dipnet pages of this forum, but never heard you weigh in. Willphish, did you go fishing this year?

    Willphish, as far as making the upper end of the King goal - I would have preferred that too, but it looks like it won't happen. We got darn close to the midpoint of the goal, and are still in the most productive (for humans) range. Additionally, we know that most of them are nice big, fecund fish. There's even a pretty good chance that more small ones than counted slipped into the river. We've counted over 18,000 spawners so far, with nearly 75% of all fish counted consisting of hits over 30" on the sonar. That's a solid escapement.

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    Quote Originally Posted by smithtb View Post
    Of course, that 7,500 figure represents all kings reported caught by commercial setnetters from Grey Cliffs to Ninilchik, and of all drifters inlet wide. This data was available next-day, and many of those fish were headed to other areas. I think 75% is the liberal number apportioned to Kenai Kings, which would mean a Kenai-bound King harvest of 5,650.

    Sport fishermen on the Kenai caught 6,500 Kings during the Late Run season, which was open for retention the entire month of July. Bait was allowed for the last week. The standard 2/5 King seasonal limit was in place on the Kenai, Kasilof, and lower Pen. Streams, and the 5 King limit in place on the Deshka... which you regrettably cannot walk to. King fishing was great this year all over Cook Inlet.

    I know, I know - you would prefer to compare the commercial harvest of all Kings in UCI to sport harvest only in the Kenai river, but we all know that is not a very sensible way of looking at the allocation and best use of this resource. While I would love to go tit-for-tat and compare commercial harvest of all Kings in UCI to sport catch of all Kings in UCI, that's impossible at this point because we will have to wait 16 months for sport fish catch info from places like the Kasilof and Deshka rivers unless there is creel info I am unaware of. These numbers would of course paint a much different picture, with sport fishermen catching many more Kings than commercial.

    But IMO this entire discussion is silly. Everyone had opportunity to fish this summer, and fishing was pretty good for those who got out and participated. I watched all summer for reports on the very solid fishing in your area via the sportfish and dipnet pages of this forum, but never heard you weigh in. Willphish, did you go fishing this year?

    Willphish, as far as making the upper end of the King goal - I would have preferred that too, but it looks like it won't happen. We got darn close to the midpoint of the goal, and are still in the most productive (for humans) range. Additionally, we know that most of them are nice big, fecund fish. There's even a pretty good chance that more small ones than counted slipped into the river. We've counted over 18,000 spawners so far, with nearly 75% of all fish counted consisting of hits over 30" on the sonar. That's a solid escapement.
    From what I heard at the recent UCIDA meetings some might strongly disagree with your statement that fishing fishing was pretty good for everyone.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Questairtoo View Post
    From what I heard at the recent UCIDA meetings some might strongly disagree with your statement that fishing fishing was pretty good for everyone.
    ,
    Fishing was good, catching was not that great for the drift fleet. They harvested significantly below their historical set/drift percentage. Combination of factors including fish behavior in the inlet, entry pattern, regulation limitations, and reallocation of the sockeye resource away from the commercial fleet to PU and sport fisherman.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Nerka View Post
    , Fishing was good, catching was not that great for the drift fleet. They harvested significantly below their historical set/drift percentage. Combination of factors including fish behavior in the inlet, entry pattern, regulation limitations, and reallocation of the sockeye resource away from the commercial fleet to PU and sport fisherman.
    I'm pretty sure that when he said fishing was good for everyone, he did not mean fishing was good but catching was not. I hope you were just toungue in cheek and not really agreeing with him. Almost everyone at the meetings felt differently. Strike 'almost'.

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