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Thread: Bob Penney Will Kill The Kenai River Guides

  1. #1

    Default Bob Penney Will Kill The Kenai River Guides

    So Bob Penney wants to have the Kenai River Chinook listed as threatened or endangered. I do not believe this will happen. However, if it does, it would most likely single out the early run. But just for fun, lets pretend that all Kenai kings are listed under the ESA. This means all in river fishing targeting kings would cease. Including catch and release fishing, because any alteration in behavior would be considered a "taking" under the ESA. Any activity that targets kings would be forbidden. However, otherwise lawful activities, such as setnetting, dipnetting, and bank projects could proceed under an "incidental take" permit, that allows for the taking of kings that are incidental to say, gillnetting sockeye.

    This is like detonating a nuke on the guides and Joe fisherman, but will unlikely make much difference to the ESSN fishery and PU fishery. The inriver sockeye, silver, and pink fisheries would probably remain untouched. The saltwater troll fishery would likely be closed.

    If you or anyone you know is a Kenai River guide, you should be very concerned about this.

    Also, when we come out of this period of low abundance, good luck getting these fish delisted. It will take years. In the meantime, everyone not associated with the king fishery will continue on as if nothing happened.

    The law of unintended consequences will prevail. Just my two cents.

  2. #2
    Member fishNphysician's Avatar
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    NOT TRUE...

    We in the PNW live under the ESA everyday for 13 listed stocks of Columbia River salmon and steelhead. Believe it or not, in some cases, even hatchery fish are included in the ESA-listings.

    Fishing goes on.... in some cases, at exploitation rates as high as 41%







    Not convinced ESA does anything meaningful to recover salmon populations... at least that's what history has shown to date. The feds seem content to spend billions on life support to maintain runs on the brink of extinction in perpetuity. Because people value salmon ( i.e. they want to EAT them) fishing goes on.... mind you, with very convoluted strategies aimed at "conservation".... whatever that means these days.

    It's not about actually recovering abundance as much as it is about mitigation to simply prevent extinction. Maintaining the population status quo means lots of federal dollars for hatcheries, research, monitoring/enforcement of fisheries, etc. It's a well-greased multi-billion dollar machine, a macro-economy all its own, that would evaporate if the fish actually recovered.

    Sounds a bit jaded, I know, but maybe Cohoangler can add his enlightened perspective.
    "Let every angler who loves to fish think what it would mean to him to find the fish were gone." Zane Grey
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    The KeenEye MD

  3. #3
    Member AlaskaHippie's Avatar
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    All Alaskans, regardless of their affiliation with Kenai Guides should be outraged at Penney and his continued desire to create his own image of a fishery. Biology, logic, or common sense be d@mned..
    “Life has become immeasurably better since I have been forced to stop taking it seriously.” ― H.S.T.
    "Character is how you treat those who can do nothing for you."

  4. #4

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    Quote Originally Posted by AlaskaHippie View Post
    All Alaskans, regardless of their affiliation with Kenai Guides should be outraged at Penney and his continued desire to create his own image of a fishery. Biology, logic, or common sense be d@mned..
    Yeppers. This is simply Bob Penney and his take it all attitude. It kinda smells like VECO did before the fall.....

  5. #5
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    I agree Seinerman. On average, about as many Kenai Kings are harvested by the in-river sport fishery as the ESSN - some years many more. So an endangered listing by the feds would certainly nuke the guides and Joe Fishermen.

    Sadly, I don't think Penney cares about collateral damage anymore. Due to his most recent failure he's in vendetta mode, siccing the dogs on the entire fishery. We all know it was never about fishermen or conservation to Penney. It was about power, money, politics, and a selfish ideology. The fishery has suffered, and will continue to suffer as long as we allow.

    Fortunately, while Kenai Kings might be seen as a yield concern, they don't meet the criteria for endangered. It won't be difficult for the feds to realize Penney's application for endangered is being used for allocation and misappropriation reasons. They know who Penney is, and his agenda. They can smell a rat a mile away. Perhaps Penney is hoping that poking the bear will somehow present another opportunity for him. I say let Penney waste his resources on pursuing the endangered act. It's an exercise in futility.

  6. #6

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    The targeting of Kenai kings would end. Not fishing for other species. Targeting Kenai kings would be in direct conflict with ESA and it wouldn't take much to get an injunction to shut down a directed fishery, even catch and release. fishNphysician, your comments support the fact that the ESSN, PU, and other in river fisheries would continue. An incidental take permit would account for a certain exploitation rate incidental to the other fisheries.

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    Quote Originally Posted by fishNphysician View Post
    NOT TRUE...

    We in the PNW live under the ESA everyday for 13 listed stocks of Columbia River salmon and steelhead. Believe it or not, in some cases, even hatchery fish are included in the ESA-listings.

    Fishing goes on.... in some cases, at exploitation rates as high as 41%....
    Doc, if I'm not mistaken your ESA Recovery Plan has little to do with reduced harvest through fishing. And any that does exist is focused on terminal fisheries - fishing directed at a particular stock in a particular place. Read: Targeting Kings in the in-river Kenai sport fishery.

    Either way, your example is apples and oranges - completely out of context with the Kenai River. Your example represents 20 year-old ESA listings due to hydropower dams, industrial land development, agriculture use, disease, and a host of other things unlike the Kenai River. It's based on criteria in Section 4 of the Act relating to modification, destruction, and curtailment of habitat or range, inadequacy of regulatory mechanisms on development, agriculture, industry, water use, and other man-made factors - things that don't exist on the Kenai. Unlike any potential Kenai River listing, it was not based on overutilization of commercial and recreational fishing.

    To further make my point, your ESA Recovery Plan targets fish passage, hydropower dams, habitat improvements, hatchery practices, industrial regulations, water use, and so on. Again, reduced harvest through fishing was not the driver for your Recovery Plan, and if it was it would primarily focus on terminal fisheries.

    Here's the history Doc....

    https://www.nwcouncil.org/history/EndangeredSpeciesAct

  8. #8

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    Doc is correct. An ESA listing does not preclude fishing. It requires federal consultation on take. Take is authorized at levels determined by the National Marine Fisheries Service not to jeopardize listed species. That is why the southeast Alaska troll fishery is allowed to harvest listed salmon from outside.
    (Nothing in this clarification should be construed as a position for or against ESA listing.)

  9. #9

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bfish View Post
    Doc is correct. An ESA listing does not preclude fishing. It requires federal consultation on take. Take is authorized at levels determined by the National Marine Fisheries Service not to jeopardize listed species. That is why the southeast Alaska troll fishery is allowed to harvest listed salmon from outside.
    (Nothing in this clarification should be construed as a position for or against ESA listing.)
    Thank you for the insight Bfish, but the part in parenthesis is that which I'm most curious about. You've been instrumental in lobbying over Kenai Kings, and on the opposing side of plenty of proposals aimed at conservation of Early Run Kings while working for a group founded by Penney. Is a position on this issue too much to ask?

  10. #10

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    Quote Originally Posted by smithtb View Post
    Thank you for the insight Bfish, but the part in parenthesis is that which I'm most curious about. You've been instrumental in lobbying over Kenai Kings, and on the opposing side of plenty of proposals aimed at conservation of Early Run Kings while working for a group founded by Penney. Is a position on this issue too much to ask?

    That would be the early run kenai king fishery that has been closed?

  11. #11

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bfish View Post
    Doc is correct. An ESA listing does not preclude fishing. It requires federal consultation on take. Take is authorized at levels determined by the National Marine Fisheries Service not to jeopardize listed species. That is why the southeast Alaska troll fishery is allowed to harvest listed salmon from outside.
    (Nothing in this clarification should be construed as a position for or against ESA listing.)
    SEAK troll fishery is not a directed fishery. When I get home I'll see if I can pull up the ITP. You are correct regarding consultation. However, if stocks are strong enough for directed fishing, wouldn't that in and of itself preclude an ESA listing?

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    One difference between the Kenai and the Columbia is the Boldt decision.

  13. #13

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    Quote Originally Posted by smithtb View Post
    Thank you for the insight Bfish, but the part in parenthesis is that which I'm most curious about. You've been instrumental in lobbying over Kenai Kings, and on the opposing side of plenty of proposals aimed at conservation of Early Run Kings while working for a group founded by Penney. Is a position on this issue too much to ask?
    Quote Originally Posted by Bfish View Post
    That would be the early run kenai king fishery that has been closed?

    Yes, by emergency order.

    Seriously? That's it?

  14. #14

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    Oh, yeah, they were closed due to low abundance. Pretty sure that ADFG said in a report or two that inriver overharvest was a factor.

  15. #15

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    TB, when you look at the history of all the early run king restrictions initiated and/or supported by sport fishery interests that you consider to be contrary to your own economic interest, it is really difficult to make a case for their lack of support for early run king conservation. You can reach the high ground when you propose or defend prudent restrictions of your own fishery for conservation purposes.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bfish View Post
    An ESA listing does not preclude fishing.
    It does if fishing is the reason for the ESA.

    The Recovery Plan would undoubtedly have to preclude fishing in some way or another. That would likely be at the in-river terminal fishery where the ESA species (Kings) are specifically targeted by an unlimited commercial sport fishery. Especially since the run in trouble is the early run - a run the set nets haven't fished for decades. The Kenai River would be FWS territory (freshwater), not NMFS.

    The feds already know Penney will be using the ESA for purposes other than intended - as a back-door attempt to misappropriate and re-allocate state resources, trying to eliminate other users along the way. The feds aren't stupid, they've dealt with him before (he lost), and they might not take kindly to his shenanigans, but the scary part is they may see the ordeal as an opportunity to gain control of yet more of Alaska.

  17. #17

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bfish View Post
    TB, when you look at the history of all the early run king restrictions initiated and/or supported by sport fishery interests that you consider to be contrary to your own economic interest, it is really difficult to make a case for their lack of support for early run king conservation. You can reach the high ground when you propose or defend prudent restrictions of your own fishery for conservation purposes.
    I used to fish the early run, and Russian River stocks for years. May til November, three days a week with extra days during the peaks.

  18. #18

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    Quote Originally Posted by Seinerman View Post
    I used to fish the early run, and Russian River stocks for years. May til November, three days a week with extra days during the peaks.
    That was before my time Seinerman, I bet those were some interesting conversations.

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bfish View Post
    TB, when you look at the history of all the early run king restrictions initiated and/or supported by sport fishery interests that you consider to be contrary to your own economic interest, it is really difficult to make a case for their lack of support for early run king conservation. You can reach the high ground when you propose or defend prudent restrictions of your own fishery for conservation purposes.
    You have to be kidding me with this comment Bfish. The sport fish community (mainly guides) have fought tooth and nail conservation actions for early run. They fought the slot limit, closures around tributary mouths (Slikok Creek and Beaver Creek still does not have a closure), hydrocarbons in the river, turbidity, harvest in July allocated to late run fish when they are early run, closures above Slikok Creek, and the list goes on. Once the horse was out of the barn they said we support some ADF&G actions. Today, the existing fishery has not changed in concept and if stocks come back the same issues that caused the collaspe will continue. For example, the fish that used to spawn in some mainstem areas are gone.

  20. #20

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bfish View Post
    TB, when you look at the history of all the early run king restrictions initiated and/or supported by sport fishery interests that you consider to be contrary to your own economic interest, it is really difficult to make a case for their lack of support for early run king conservation. You can reach the high ground when you propose or defend prudent restrictions of your own fishery for conservation purposes.
    Don't make too many assumptions about my economic interests. I'm more than just a commercial fisherman.

    Your point about high ground relative to restricting oneself is taken. I try to be supportive of restrictions when needed. Fortunately, ESSN's exploitation of stocks that are really struggling is very low.

    Inversely, the Early Run King was KRSA's money fish for decades, and you are one of their lobbyists. Now those fish are struggling, and I'm curious about your position on Federal intervention. This entire discussion stems from a statement by the founding member of KRSA that Federal action should be explored. You know Alaska fisheries management better than most, and know intimately what the political/management system is capable of. Are we capable of handling this ourselves? Is there even an emergency?

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