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Thread: ADFG bias in favor of commercial harvest of Kenai Sockeye?

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    Default ADFG bias in favor of commercial harvest of Kenai Sockeye?

    Do you think the ADFG maintains or is increasing bias towards maximizing commercial sockeye harvest with little regard to or against sport fishery harvest?

    I have been sockeye fishing on the Kenai for over a decade and have noticed the ADFG seems to be managing the late sockeye run more and more in favor of commercial fisherman. This has especially increased over the last few years with daily emergency orders to open commercial fishing in the Kenai section. Over the last few years, it has definitely been harder to catch sockeye flipping on Kenai in late July with the daily "emergency" openings compared to years past where the EOs were not as frequent. This year the limit was not raised to 6 per day until July 29 and now the upper escapement goal has been exceeded once again.

    If the goal was really to prevent overescapement, why not liberalize the sport fishery bag limit earlier. Keep in mind the department press release projected the run to be 2.3-4.6 million on July 29.

    I am not sure I understand the ADFG management strategy regarding the sockeyes. I am not referencing the king run or harvest. Can someone shed some light on this strategy?

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    Forum Admin Brian M's Avatar
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    Sure doesn't seem that way to me. Just the fact that we're over the maximum goal seems to fly in the face of the idea that commercial harvest is being overprioritized or is the beneficiary of management bias. The plans put in place by the BoF are being followed and seem to be working. It's not the result of some hidden bias.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Kyfish View Post
    Do you think the ADFG maintains or is increasing bias towards maximizing commercial sockeye harvest with little regard to or against sport fishery harvest?

    I have been sockeye fishing on the Kenai for over a decade and have noticed the ADFG seems to be managing the late sockeye run more and more in favor of commercial fisherman. This has especially increased over the last few years with daily emergency orders to open commercial fishing in the Kenai section. Over the last few years, it has definitely been harder to catch sockeye flipping on Kenai in late July with the daily "emergency" openings compared to years past where the EOs were not as frequent. This year the limit was not raised to 6 per day until July 29 and now the upper escapement goal has been exceeded once again.

    If the goal was really to prevent overescapement, why not liberalize the sport fishery bag limit earlier. Keep in mind the department press release projected the run to be 2.3-4.6 million on July 29.

    I am not sure I understand the ADFG management strategy regarding the sockeyes. I am not referencing the king run or harvest. Can someone shed some light on this strategy?
    ESSN have been severely restricted last few years lol. Adfg tries to make decisions in the best interest of all users, a very challenging task. If you are a sport fisherman fishing for sockeye on the Kenai, and are complaining about not having plenty of fish to harvest, then I say shame on you.
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    And as for it being hard to flip for reds in late July, that sure doesn't mesh with the many reports posted here and elsewhere.

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    Further more, if you are having a difficult time catching reds with a three fish limit, what's the point of increasing the bag limit?
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    Quote Originally Posted by hoose35 View Post
    Further more, if you are having a difficult time catching reds with a three fish limit, what's the point of increasing the bag limit?
    Nobody said they had a difficult time catching 3 reds. I could have caught 6 if the limit was raised earlier. I said it was more difficult or takes longer to catch them compared to years past. I also asked the question why was it raised so late in the run? Doesn't make sense to me. As previously stated, it seems to be more difficult than it used to be before the liberalized EOs allowing openers every day for the commercial guys. These were not as frequent 3 or more years ago. It seems many have not noticed that these EOs have greatly increased in frequency.
    I am primarily asking sportfisherman here with an open mind, not people who are in anyway associated with commercial fishing (set, gill, or drift) because there view may not be as objective.

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    Quote Originally Posted by hoose35 View Post
    ESSN have been severely restricted last few years lol. Adfg tries to make decisions in the best interest of all users, a very challenging task. If you are a sport fisherman fishing for sockeye on the Kenai, and are complaining about not having plenty of fish to harvest, then I say shame on you.
    Mr Hoose you would not happen to be a ESSN would you? Restricted lol how about publicly posting the numbers of kings ESSN harvested this year, that would generate a bit of discussion.

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    Well to be honest the sport fishery has little influence when it comes to the 2nd run management plan and any one who says there is well….has some serious flaws in their logic. It clear states the run is managed for maximum yield for the commercial fisherman. Now There are a lot of things that impact the way the plan is implemented, best example is the run strength of the kings.

    But regardless of how it is managed sport fisherman are given ample opportunity to participate as a result. And just so we are all clear there is no reason to worry about over escapement because the river can hold a lot more fish then people think, in fact no one has any idea what that number is and that fear gets cited pretty loosely.

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    Kyfish many people have noticed the same thing as you even while a handful of commercial fishing supporters on this forum blast anybody who dares suggest what you have posted. A big factor is the new sonar system ADFG uses now. The new million is like the old 600,000; barely enough. Many people agree that with the old counter, 50 - 60 thousand fish days the river was BOILING. Now with the new counter, even supposedly 100,000 fish days are only so-so.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Kyfish View Post
    Mr Hoose you would not happen to be a ESSN would you? Restricted lol how about publicly posting the numbers of kings ESSN harvested this year, that would generate a bit of discussion.
    No, not an ESSN. There has been an ongoing discussion about king take for years, feel free to join the party. Let's do that in the king threads though. I challenge you to show me that the ESSN have fished more in the last three years than previous years. If you are able to catch your limit of fish, then what exactly is the gripe? Is it because you want the limit to be 6 almost from the get go, and you want to be able to limit out in a short time with minimal effort?
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    I agree that the late run sockeye seems to be managed primarily for the benefit of commercial fishermen. On good years like this, they have emergency openers almost daily. When the commercial guys are out with the mind-boggling number of nets, both sport fishing and dip netting are heavily impacted. I do understand that the commercial guys are much more efficient in removing fish from the fishery and are the easiest tool for ADF&G to suck up a perceived oversupply of fish. But I can't believe the managers can't give sport and personal use fishermen at least one day a week without having to be on the wrong side of a wall of nets. Anymore I hope for a mediocre run so there are not constant emergency openers. Not everyone lives close enough to the resource to make frequent trips, and trying to time a trip around the commercial openers is almost impossible. Being at the right place at the right time is not as easy as it used to be. I am not against commercial fishermen, but I am frustrated when I drive several hundred miles for a couple of fish.
    Also, I don't follow the forum closely. What is an ESSN?

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    Quote Originally Posted by PatrickH View Post
    Not everyone lives close enough to the resource to make frequent trips, and trying to time a trip around the commercial openers is almost impossible. Being at the right place at the right time is not as easy as it used to be.
    several of my trips to the river were on days that things seemed to be dead slow. it sure makes me feel bad when i talk to people on their 'trip of a lifetime' to fish the famous kenai river and then they barely catch a fish while they're here.

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    It is comical that 1,666,621 late run sockeye are not enough to satisfy a (vocal) portion of the hoards of flossers and dipnetters on the kenai river.... I guess I have never seen the ADF&G guarantee of raised limits to be quickly caught precisely when and where I am to be fishing on the Kenai River. Anyone have a link to this document or language?
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    What I can't figure out is if there are 1.6 million why Quartz ck was empty last week. You should be able to see thousands from the bridge and we had to search to see 3 of them. Cresent ck should have been red by the 15th but on the 21st there still wasn't a single sock in that creek.

    This was the worst run I've seen there in 15 years and last year was the second worse.

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    Quote Originally Posted by mikebraun View Post
    What I can't figure out is if there are 1.6 million why Quartz ck was empty last week. You should be able to see thousands from the bridge and we had to search to see 3 of them. Cresent ck should have been red by the 15th but on the 21st there still wasn't a single sock in that creek.

    This was the worst run I've seen there in 15 years and last year was the second worse.
    Do you believe it is possible that maybe you missed them, again, for the second year in a row?
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    Not a chance of that as I live on the creek for a month.

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    Quote Originally Posted by mikebraun View Post
    Not a chance of that as I live on the creek for a month.
    You were on the creek for a month and only saw 3 sockeye?
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    Quote Originally Posted by DannerAK View Post
    You were on the creek for a month and only saw 3 sockeye?
    On the 21st there were 3 we spotted. Two weeks earlier there were a few hundred through there in that spot. We fish the creek from the power plant to the lake every year and the only way I can miss them is if they come after the 22nd when I leave.

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    Quote Originally Posted by mikebraun View Post
    On the 21st there were 3 we spotted. Two weeks earlier there were a few hundred through there in that spot. We fish the creek from the power plant to the lake every year and the only way I can miss them is if they come after the 22nd when I leave.
    This topic is probably worthy of its own thread, or reopen last years discussion on the same topic. I'm sure others can report what they saw and experienced on the Kenai Lake tribs.
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    Quote Originally Posted by DannerAK View Post
    This topic is probably worthy of its own thread, or reopen last years discussion on the same topic. I'm sure others can report what they saw and experienced on the Kenai Lake tribs.
    Threads like this crack me up. The sockeye run this year started late and is still in progress. Just talked to a friend who was fishing with a few other people yesterday in the Middle Kenai and EVERYBODY caught their limit of CHROME sockeye in just over 1 1/2 hours. There is still great sockeye fishing to be had and instead people are complaining there were not enough of fish present on the exact day they were fishing. Well, if you were fishing today instead of complaining, you would be filling your freezer as we speak. Those of us that can comprehend salmon runs understand that salmon can be early, late, or "on time". This year they were late and the daily counts were pretty similar from day to day. Meaning there were no anomalies of 180,000 fish days, which is not normal, but now people expect it. The Bell Curve on this year's run is extremely drawn out. Who's fault is that?? Now, people want the managers to make the sockeye run hit in big numbers on their days off in July. Only Mother Nature can make those decisions.. As far as Quartz, spawning sockeye were already present in July, which we took advantage of and hammered the trout & dollies. This year, there will be sockeye spawning in Quartz well into mid to late September due to this drawn out run. You have mainstem spawners and also tributary spawners. Just because the Kenai got 1.6 million sockeye this year does not mean every tributary will be full of fish. There are many other tributaries in the Kenai that contribute to this run besides Quartz. Maybe the sockeye stock component of Quartz was not as productive this year as the many other tributaries on the Kenai, which thankfully most people don't fish and know nothing about. In a nutshell, just because there are 1.6 million sockeye in the system does not mean every single tributary will be loaded. Maybe Quartz is having spawning issues from all of the people walking on spawning beds
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