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Thread: Research call for proposals out for chinook salmon UCI

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    Default Research call for proposals out for chinook salmon UCI

    http://www.psmfc.org/procurements/blog

    The above link has a call for proposals for research on UCI chinook salmon. There is about 2 million dollars available. Just thought some might want to know or comment on what research should be done.

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    Chinook research in Kachemak Bay is going great, also in lower Cook Inlet. A lot of fin clipped kings with about 10% white kings. It looks like the kings are concentrated from Bear Cove to the Silver ridge 26 miles out. Kings are also south and east to Gore Pt. If you felt last year was good you have not seen it like this. A big thinks to BC, Washington, and Oregon, Keep up the great work.

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    MGH55, what research is going so great? We know little about these feeder Kings - exactly why there is a call for research proposals. Yes, some Kings have clipped adipose fins with wire tags that can be traced to B.C. or other rivers and hatcheries in the lower states. Yes, once in a while one is a white King (but not 10% of them). Most are of unknown origin.

    It would be very presumptuous to assume all these Kings are from somewhere else, and not Alaska. Especially those caught January-July when our own Cook Inlet Kings begin hanging out and moving in. More importantly, as this fishery continues to grow and be exploited, we may be hurting a King run somewhere else. So in my opinion, putting the cart before the horse under the moniker that these are not our fish, seems a bit risky.

    A very large number of Kings have moved into the Lower Cook Inlet and Kachemak Bay area recently. Resurrection Bay too. Hundreds are being taken every day. If you're not fishing, you're missing out. It's easy. We've been catching between 15-40 Kings a trip (releasing all but a few). Like you said, we have not seen it like this - something is going on.

    Nerka, obviously I'd like to see the research focus on origin. We know about the adipose clipped, wire tagged fish, but it's all the others we need to understand. Once we can determine exactly where they are coming from, we can determine allowable harvest pressure.

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    I got a bite yesterday 4 kings 2 were white. Today 8 kings 3 white. My friends had 8 yesterday not a white one, and today 12 with 2 whites. I am hoping we get the results from the winter king Derby from the last 2 years. They have the samples, use them. Or do the results not fit the need for the wanted outcome?

    From ADF&G
    Essentially, all white kings come from the rivers and streams from the Fraser River in British Columbia, north to the Chilkat River in Southeast Alaska. Biologists with the Alaska Department of Fish and Game estimate that, overall, approximately 5 percent of the king population in this region carry the recessive trait that produces the white flesh. However, there are river systems where upwards of 30 percent of their fish have the white flesh trait. That said, there are some smaller river systems within the Fraser River watershed where nearly 100% of the population are white-fleshed kings!

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    It is the rate of mortality for released kings we need to deal with I do not like C&R on kings. If you toss back 35 kings I would bet that 3 or 4 or going to die, so why not just take your limit and go after bottom fish or go home. If you want to catch more fish get a proxy and help out someone who can't get out fishing.

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    Ahh...so the research you say is going so great is really empirical. I get it. For a minute there I thought the call for proposals to research these Chinook was unneeded due to great research already going on.

    Empirical research is useful, but I think we are talking about research relating to the cause and effect of Alaska's recent poor Chinook returns, based on the six themes that the research proposal requires (you can download it). Identifying harvest of BC Fraser River Chinook or white Kings doesn't tell us much about our own Chinook. We need to identify Alaska Chinook - those that won't be white, or be implanted with a wire tag and clipped adipose - the vast majority.

    What samples does the Winter King Derby have? I know they look for white or clipped/wire-tagged Kings, but what good is that data for researching Alaska's King decline? We need samples and research on the Kings we can't easily identify - the vast majority. And lets not forget that only a fraction of Chinook caught in the Derby are actually turned in (about 40% this year), and the Homer Chinook fishery is just one of many in CI, and it is early.

    If 22% of the Kings you and your friends are catching are white, you're certainly not the norm. If I thought one in four or five Kings would be white, I would be back out again today - those are so good eating. But my diary shows that in the last 5 years only about 2-3% have been white, and I thought that was high.

    I'm not sure what our release mortality would be. We use single barbless hooks (no bait), don't remove them from water, and no net or handling. They swim away strong and without blood, almost as if they don't know what just happened to them. I suppose some could die, as there is always some mortality associated with releasing. But I doubt we are killing as many as you are keeping. BTW, my proxy people are full up, and we always go bottom fishing on our King runs - I don't fish rockfish for my own ethical reasons, but the halibut have been big and plentiful lately. But we digress.

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    Here's a simple visual stock ID tip...

    Any king taken in the Homer/LCI marine fishery with a white jaw originated in a stream elsewhere than Alaska. Alaska's wild-produced kings all have grey-black faces and smoky grey-black jaws. Alaska has NO native stocks of white-faced, white-jawed kings. They all come from BC and the PNW
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    ADF&G had people take samples from the all kings that were weighed in, so they have the samples! Do the tests, if they have not been done. I see all research being done with no results. We (the public) pay for research over and over. What I get when asking what the results are "we don't have the money to test the samples" so we are just paying to get the samples taken, and get very few results for our money? I know that the last 12 kings hooked on my boat died and are being used not tossed back.

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    Quote Originally Posted by fishNphysician View Post
    Here's a simple visual stock ID tip...

    Any king taken in the Homer/LCI marine fishery with a white jaw originated in a stream elsewhere than Alaska. Alaska's wild-produced kings all have grey-black faces and smoky grey-black jaws. Alaska has NO native stocks of white-faced, white-jawed kings. They all come from BC and the PNW
    That origin identification tip only works for Kings with white jaws. Not all non-Cook Inlet Kings in the Cook Inlet have white jaws.

    Again, these BC/PNW Kings are not the concern here. The call for proposals for research is about Cook Inlet Kings, and stems from the PSMFC's reaction to the Alaska Chinook Salmon Disaster declaration and poor returns of 2010-2012. Much more than the Homer fishery.

    The PSMFC has established six themes for the Cook Inlet Salmon Disaster project - their call for proposals to research Cook Inlet Chinook...

    1)Predators and Mortality
    2)Drivers of Freshwater Mortality
    3)Drivers of Marine Mortality
    4)Escapement Quality
    5)Biological Drivers of Production
    6)Density-dependent Effects

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    But what is a Cook Inlet Chinook?

    Is it any Chinook inhabiting Cook Inlet at any time during it's life cycle? If so, that would include Chinook that feed in Cook Inlet, but spawn elsewhere, including BC and perhaps the PNW.

    Or is it those Chinook that spawn in the watersheds that empty into Cook Inlet? (e.g., Kenai, Susitna, etc). If so, the research would need to identify exactly where those fish reside during their ocean feeding phase since it may not be Cook Inlet or even in Alaska. They are likely feeding throughout the GoA, the Bering Sea, or even SE AK/northern BC. Indeed, they may spend very little time in Cook Inlet.

  11. #11

    Default Research call for proposals out for chinook salmon UCI

    Thanks for the link Nerka, and I'm glad that Fun listed the themes that the PSMFC established. Last I heard, local stakeholders were supposed to recommend people for a science panel to determine where this money will be spent (supervised by the KPB), then PSMFC would pick 6 individuals to form a board and vet the proposals. Just curious if that is what happened, and who the panel consists of. Last I checked, many of the NGO's, "biologists", and special interest groups who will likely be submitting proposals (and hoping to receive funding) were involved in the process and making recommendations. Not saying they shouldn't, just that as a taxpayer, I think the "conflict of interest" section of the RFP should be watched closely.

    I have stayed out of this entire "Disaster" relief funding, as I disagree with it on principle. Something about "free money" brings out the worst in people. Last I checked, a lot of local fishermen were hoping to see an independent review of our sonar projects, our local sportfishing charity was pushing for run timing research, and still others were pushing for research on Mat-Su issues. I hope we stick to researching the themes which we actually have the power to do something about. I mean, climate change is a big issue which is obviously affecting our salmon returns (as it has for millions of years), but we won't understand it for $2 million, and even if we did there is not much we as a state can do about it.

    I agree that the Homer King fishery - while an important fishery to keep an eye on - is not where this research should be focused. ADFG has been taking genetic samples throughout the year there - not as much as we would hope, but they have been doing it. From my discussions with ADFG, most of the results have shown a pretty low proportion of "Cookies", or Cook Inlet bound Kings caught in the Homer fishery. I have no doubts that at certain times of the year their catch increases substantially in the Homer fishery, and we may not be getting any samples at that time. Nevertheless, the fishery seems to be quite healthy as do most of the Pacific Northwest King fisheries and returns. The saddest part of the Homer fishery is that it has turned into a numbers game for many of the regulars and charters down there. I've watched charter captains stack their deck with very young trout-sized Kings that will bite anything simply so they can say they caught a boat limit before noon. While this type of behavior is unavoidable (I've done it too), if we aren't careful we will be looking at seasonal limits there too.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Cohoangler View Post
    But what is a Cook Inlet Chinook?

    Is it any Chinook inhabiting Cook Inlet at any time during it's life cycle?...Or is it those Chinook that spawn in the watersheds that empty into Cook Inlet?
    The RFP speaks to returns. Returns are adult Chinook that make it back to their origin system to spawn. I would not call a Chinook inhabiting Cook Inlet any time during it's life cycle a returning Chinook.


    It's clumsy to navigate, but ADFG does put together a site where you can find sampling data (you can look up the terms, and then filter your request to species, area, etc.). This would be a great place to start for anyone submitting a proposal, as it exposes where the gaps are and where the research is needed - there's a bunch of Chinook out there that we have no idea about.

    https://mtalab.adfg.alaska.gov/CWT/r...texpansion.asp?

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    While GSI (genetic stock identification is slowly making strides) catch stock composition is based almost entirely on CWT (coded wire tag) recoveries.

    The vast majority of these are from hatchery-origin fish. It is assumed that hatchery fish from a given basin behave like their wild counterparts in terms of migratory patterns.

    The problem with tracking Cook Inlet origin kings is that the vast majority of the ones we are all interested in are WILD born. The reason we know so little about their migratory habits is because virtually NONE of them are harboring CWT's.

    One strategy would be to capture millions of outmigrating wild juveniles and implant them with CWT's. Good luck.

    The other is to beef up the genetic inventory and start making GSI a standard part of catch sampling. Huge and expensive undertaking, but really the only way you're ever gonna learn anything about Alaska's wild kings.
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    Here is the list of pre-proposals which were selected to advance to full proposal stage.

    https://www.dropbox.com/s/6oecghlwbj...20Ten.pdf?dl=0

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