Page 1 of 4 123 ... LastLast
Results 1 to 20 of 72

Thread: Kenai ER king escapement objectives... time for a change?

  1. #1
    Member fishNphysician's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Location
    Aberdeen WA
    Posts
    4,516

    Default Kenai ER king escapement objectives... time for a change?

    I'm here to challenge the wisdom and historic performance of MSY as the model for managing the present-day Kenai early run.

    If we truly aspire to arrive at recovery and greater abundance as our final destination, I'm afraid the MSY bus just ain't gonna get us there.
    "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

  2. #2

    Default

    The time for a change with a viable sport fishery should have occurred years ago. The plan the last two years has been a complete closure. Maybe the thread should be "when the ER rebounds, is ADFG going to make the same mistakes or is it time for a new management plan."

  3. #3

    Default

    Doc, I'm not sure it's accurate to call the ER goal MSY-based. The ER King goal has always been about inriver abundance, not yield.

    Here's the original 1989 Kenai King EG report:

    http://www.adfg.alaska.gov/FedAidPDFs/fms-008.pdf

    It shows that ADFG came up with three expected escapement/return scenarios, and the BOF chose the highest (9000) escapement/return scenario. The river was only open to bait after 9000 fish escapement was projected.

    Here's the 2013 ER EG report:

    http://www.adfg.alaska.gov/FedAidPDFs/FMS13-03.pdf

    In it, the department recommended an SEG of 3,800-8,500 fish. They claim the odds of maximizing yield are highest at the lower end of the goal, while those odds are significantly reduced at the top of the SEG (pg20). At 8,500 fish, the odds of maximum recruitment are thought to be highest. So safe to say that ADFG's ER SEG recommendation was NOT an MSY-based goal - they tried to include both MSY and maximum recruitment.

    But, ADFG is not managing to the recommended SEG, because the BOF established an OEG which is higher yet, at 5,300-9000 Kings. I'm pretty sure that the minimum of 5,300 is past the top of the projected MSY curve.

    I understand that many people don't put a lot of stock in this data. I get that, but it is the best we have. ALL of it suggests that we have not been managing to MSY, but managing for max abundance in the inriver fishery since the 80's. And here we are...

    I'd never read the original report before today. Pretty interesting. Especially the data showing the harvest/exploitation rates of these fish in the 80's. Wow.

    Again, I don't think the problem is with the goal. It's how we've managed these runs. AKPacman and Nerka's points about the flawed and arbitrarty ER/LR July 1 distinction are IMO the root of the problem. We've used MSY management for many healthy stocks in UCI, just not ER Kings. IMO raising this goal without addressing the other problems is just putting lipstick on the pig. Or the Jack

  4. #4

    Default

    Didn't they open the river in part of July, 2015? limited tackle, no bait, single hook? Was it C&R?

  5. #5

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Rav'n Mainiac View Post
    Didn't they open the river in part of July, 2015? limited tackle, no bait, single hook? Was it C&R?
    In 2015 the Kenai River opened to the retention of king salmon on July 1st. It was opened without the use of bait. The last week of July ADFG opened the river to the use of bait. I believe these regs applied only to the lower river.

  6. #6
    Member fishNphysician's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Location
    Aberdeen WA
    Posts
    4,516

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Rav'n Mainiac View Post
    Didn't they open the river in part of July, 2015? limited tackle, no bait, single hook? Was it C&R?
    Just talking ER for the moment.

    I resurrected an old thread from a few years back (that now now lives in the WRONG forum) by posting some replies to some key historical observations about the ER goals over the decades. Hopefully BrianM will move those posts here in the next day or two.

    TB, I'm not foolish enough to declare that changing the goal alone will be the salvation of the ER. It won't. Lots of things need to be fixed in July to ensure that the conservation measures we've historically been implementing in May-June have a chance to bear fruit.

    And yes, I get what the spawn-recruit data is saying. Just not convinced that theory is meshing very well with real-life experience in real-time as the years go by. Maybe it's our inability to accurately measure true run-size and true escapement. That has certainly come into question the past few years. Who knows?

    I for one DO NOT believe the historic record of progressively lower goals is doing anything to help matters.

    I'd like to think setting appropriate goals is a lot like raising kids.... expect much, and you get MUCH.... expect little, and you get BUPKIS.

    It's a HUGE basin. How can anyone seriously believe the appropriate goal for ER kings is only 3800 fish? It simply defies intellectual honesty. A number that low defies belief... enough so that the mind literally REPELS any notion that it could possibly be true. Am I the only one? Is that seriously the best we can expect?

    SERIALLY?
    "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

  7. #7

    Default

    How many fish, KINGS were taken? Do they have an actual reported count?
    We stopped fishing for them 3 years ago, period. Seemed to our family there were enough other types of fish to
    kill to fill our needs.

  8. #8

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by fishNphysician View Post
    TB, I'm not foolish enough to declare that changing the goal alone will be the salvation of the ER. It won't. Lots of things need to be fixed in July to ensure that the conservation measures we've historically been implementing in May-June have a chance to bear fruit.

    And yes, I get what the spawn-recruit data is saying. Just not convinced that theory is meshing very well with real-life experience in real-time as the years go by. Maybe it's our inability to accurately measure true run-size and true escapement. That has certainly come into question the past few years. Who knows?
    I don't know, but I feel the best course is to use ADFG data, and caution, since there are likely errors within. Real-life experience tends to be pretty subjective, biased, and often based on false assumptions - like the one below.

    Quote Originally Posted by fishNphysician View Post
    I for one DO NOT believe the historic record of progressively lower goals is doing anything to help matters.
    This is incorrect. The original 1988 ER management directives were centered around 2 numbers - 5,300 & 9,000. In 1999 the goal was raised to 7,200-14,400. Then it was changed back to 5,300-9000 in 2005 and for management purposes has remained the same since, despite ADFG's most recent analysis indicating that the top end of that goal could come with sacrifices to yield and recruitment.

    We all know that bad things happened and poor returns were seen off of some of the 1999-2004 brood years when the goal was substantially higher. ADFG states that ER returns started a steady decline in 2006. I have tried to find reports or data behind why the goal was raised in 1999, but I can't. Anyone know if there was a report written about this change? I suspect it was influenced by the 1998 Burwen report which concluded that the TS method was undercounting Kings, but would love to see the Escapement Goal report outlining the recommendations for the 7,200-14,400 BEG. I can't figure that out, because a BEG is typically used when there is an abundance of data, and it seems the ER/LR goals were raised in 1999 due to an abundance of caution stemming from lack of confidence in the data...?

    Quote Originally Posted by fishNphysician View Post
    I'd like to think setting appropriate goals is a lot like raising kids.... expect much, and you get MUCH.... expect little, and you get BUPKIS.
    Perhaps the very line of thinking which spawned an old saying about the preacher's kids...

    Moderation in all things. It is possible to have too much of a good thing.

    Quote Originally Posted by fishNphysician View Post
    It's a HUGE basin. How can anyone seriously believe the appropriate goal for ER kings is only 3800 fish? It simply defies intellectual honesty. A number that low defies belief... enough so that the mind literally REPELS any notion that it could possibly be true. Am I the only one? Is that seriously the best we can expect?
    SERIALLY?
    The tribs are pretty limited in size (listed as Slikok Creek, Funny River, Killey River, Benjamin Creek, Russian River, Juneau Creek, Quartz Creek, Crescent Creek, Dave's Creek, Ptarmigan Creek, and Grant Creek), and Kenai Kings are considered a "moderately highly productive" stock. Kings are thought to be quite territorial - especially as fry. Granted, 3,800 sounds low to me also, but 3,800 is what ADFG's analysis said was most likely to produce MSY.... But we don't manage Kings to MSY, so ADFG recommended that number be the bottom of the goal. Still, the BOF maintained a minimum OEG 40% HIGHER than ADFG's recommendation of 3,800-8,500 fish, despite ADFG's statement in the report that "any further increase in the goal beyond what is recommended (3,800-8,500) would result in additional sacrifices of yield and recruitment."

    I can't find any scientific justification for raising the Kenai King escapement goals, other than to put a ban-aid on a poorly structured inriver fishery.

  9. #9
    Member fishNphysician's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Location
    Aberdeen WA
    Posts
    4,516

    Default

    Obviously, the BOF doesn't believe the 3800 number either. Or that our management tools are good enough to reliably crop escapements to such minuscule margins. That's why they refuse to go below 5300... as a margin of safety.... despite what the "new" science says.

    A half dozen decent tides could deliver 3800 fish to the river mouth. Are we content to call it good at that level of escapement?

    It seems defeatist to concede that the SEG is all the system is capable of supporting. That's the attitude that will prevent true recovery not just in terms of simple abundance, but also diversity.

    By definition, anything that lives on the left side of where the Ricker curve and replacement line intersect IS sustainable, yield be dammed
    "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

  10. #10

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by fishNphysician View Post
    Obviously the BOF doesn't believe the 3800 number either.

    Or that our management tools are good enough to reliably crop escapements to such minuscule margins.
    On the contrary, I think that the public/BOF's "every fish counts" mentality translates into a "count every fish" mandate for ADFG. Agreed that it is impossible.

    Entirely possible that the BOF did believe the department's 3,800, but felt that managing this run for MSY was inappropriate. I happen to agree, and think the current OEG was a wise choice. Not sure going higher would be wise, and to my knowledge all of the data agree.

  11. #11
    Member fishNphysician's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Location
    Aberdeen WA
    Posts
    4,516

    Default

    I find the following passage about the 7200-14400 goal interesting...

    http://www.adfg.alaska.gov/FedAidPDFs/FDS10-19.pdf

    Given the results from recent spawner-recruit analyses, it appears the previous escapement goal was too high, resulting in closures of the early-run fishery, diminished fishing opportunity, and had adverse economic effects. Additionally, the public perception was that the early run was an “injured” stock because of the frequency of these closures. These effects were unfortunate, but perhaps unavoidable given the considerable time it takes to assemble sufficient information to conduct a viable spawner-recruit analysis. The conservative interim management strategy was ultimately successful in protecting the stock. (bold added for emphasis)




    Cliff Notes version: The smaller goal conserves fishing opportunity and economics. The bigger goal conserves the stock.

    This is the essence of why the bigger goals were abandoned.
    "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

  12. #12
    Member fishNphysician's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Location
    Aberdeen WA
    Posts
    4,516

    Default Let's not kid ourselves... it's always been about MSY

    Quote Originally Posted by smithtb View Post
    I have tried to find reports or data behind why the goal was raised in 1999, but I can't. Anyone know if there was a report written about this change? I suspect it was influenced by the 1998 Burwen report which concluded that the TS method was undercounting Kings, but would love to see the Escapement Goal report outlining the recommendations for the 7,200-14,400 BEG. I can't figure that out, because a BEG is typically used when there is an abundance of data, and it seems the ER/LR goals were raised in 1999 due to an abundance of caution stemming from lack of confidence in the data...?
    The original BEG of 7200-14400 was based on an ideal escapement range of 0.8 to 1.6 times the point MSY escapement. Given inherent natural variation coupled with inherent uncertainty in ADFG's ability to accurately estimate escapements and stock productivity, this is the escapement range that ADFG believed was most likely to produce maximum sustained yields. Prior to the BEG "range" concept, the run was managed for what was assumed to be an optimum (MSY) point escapement of 9000 on an idealistic 3:1 recruitment of 27000 adults providing a yield of 18000 dead kings. We all know that nature is never that consistently reproducible or predictable, so the range concept made sense.

    http://www.adfg.alaska.gov/FedAidpdfs/Sp02-02.pdf

    What is the escapement objective for early-run Kenai River king salmon?
    In December 1988 the BOF decided to set the BEG at 9,000 fish based on a desired return of 27,000 fish and an assumed return-per-spawner of 3 to 1. Beginning with the 1999 season,the BEG has been a range of 7,200 to 14,400 fish which was 80% to 160% of the existing BEG of 9,000 fish. The BEG was changed from a single number to a range to provide for a wider range of escapements and to recognize uncertainty in the data. This uncertainty includes the short time series of data, the small variation in observed escapements, and the measurement error in estimating escapement, all of which affect accurate estimation of stock productivity and the spawning population that produces maximum sustained yield.

    "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

  13. #13
    Member fishNphysician's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Location
    Aberdeen WA
    Posts
    4,516

    Default

    Stole the quote below out of another thread, but the rational applies here as well...

    Quote Originally Posted by Bfish View Post
    The long term effects of managing for consistently lower escapement are unknown given the high degree of uncertainty in the stock assessment methodology and the true nature of the stock-recruitment relationship.
    So the tradeoff is weighing the clear economic benefits of fishing against the uncertainty in long term impacts on king production.
    "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

  14. #14
    Member fishNphysician's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Location
    Aberdeen WA
    Posts
    4,516

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by smithtb View Post
    I'm pretty sure that the minimum of 5,300 is past the top of the projected MSY curve.
    Well, no....



    If one has confidence in the historic dataset, the top of the curve (RMAX) actually lives at an escapement of about 6400 (SMAX-R)

    MSY theoretically occurs at an escapement of about 4400 (SMSY)

    But for the purposes of setting goals, any escapement that lives to the left of the intersection of the Ricker curve and the replacement line (S = R = SEQ = 12300) is by definition SUSTAINABLE. Anything to the right of SEQ is not.

    That may not be how ADFG defines its Kenai SEG, but that doesn't change the biological definition of what's theoretically "sustainable"
    "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

  15. #15
    Member fishNphysician's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Location
    Aberdeen WA
    Posts
    4,516

    Default

    The one thing I have observed in my involvement in fish management in AK and the PNW over the past 2 decades is the phenomenon of shifting baselines. We are duped into the perception that our most recent experience is considered "normal" as if that's the way it's always been and likely to be for the foreseeable future. And so it goes with salmon abundance. Sadly the new "normal" is but a shadow of what once was. Worse yet, the depletion is propagated by fisheries management as we know it today.

    Even the science that guides our management of what should be an infinitely renewable resource reinforces "the less is normal" perception. Instead of directing us toward a goal of greater abundance, blind faith in the prevailing MSY mantra only leads us to ever smaller populations. Moreover, the MSY escapements required to sustain those ever-shrinking populations seems to only go in one direction.... DOWN DOWN DOWN.

    It's almost like a self-fulfilling prophecy stuck in an infinite loop of ever diminishing abundance. We get less.... so we manage for less.... which in turn gets us even less.... so we manage for even less. At some point we must have the courage to extract ourselves from this downward spiral of resource depletion. This idea that it's all about yield (dead fish in the box) has got to come to an end.... history shows MSY simply isn't working.... there's nothing maximal nor sustainable about it.... only a legacy of less and less and less.

    Think about the ER kings... prioritized for recreation. What good is a fishery based on "maximal" yield when abundance is reduced by an order of magnitude? At that point there is precious little yield. What's critical for driving a thriving recreational fishery is maximal abundance. That means maximum recruitment for maximum run sizes.

    WHY?

    Because recreational opportunity starts with a bite. As any good angler knows, they all ain't biters. You maximize opportunity by maximizing the number of biters. You maximize biters by maximizing recruitment.... that means maximizing run-size. From my perspective, MSY ain't gonna get us there... it never has, it never will.

    The ER kings are a perfect example of this shifting baseline and shifting benchmarks.

    From a biologic escapement goal of 7200-14400 in 1989
    .
    .
    .

    to a biologic escapement goal of 4000-9000 in 2005
    .
    .
    .

    to a "sustainable" escapement goal of 3800-8500 in 2013.....

    http://www.adfg.alaska.gov/fedaidpdfs/FMS13-03.pdf

    Information about the range of escapements that lead to optimal recruitment issummarized in an optimal recruitment profile. Optimal recruitment profiles and OYPs areoverlain in Figure 12 for probabilities of achieving 70%, 80%, and 90% of MSY or MAXR,respectively. These probabilities, which are maximized near 4,400 spawning Chinook salmon foryield and 6,400 for recruitment, can be used to quantify the yield and recruitment performance ofprospective escapement goals, taking into consideration the uncertainty about the trueabundance, productivity, and capacity of the stock.

    Based on the foregoing analysis, the Alaska Department of Fish and Game recommends asustainable escapement goal (SEG; definition in 5 ACC 39.222 [f][36]) of 3,800–8,500 Kenai River early-run Chinook salmon.


    The recommended goal brackets both
    SMSY and SMAXR.
    "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

  16. #16

    Default

    Doc, the early run goal is based on maximum production, not maximum yield. The quality of the data used in the calculation remains an open question, fancy models and graphs not withstanding.

  17. #17
    Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Posts
    5,522

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Bfish View Post
    Doc, the early run goal is based on maximum production, not maximum yield. The quality of the data used in the calculation remains an open question, fancy models and graphs not withstanding.
    thanks bf. Doc is way off on this one. The main issues with chinook is counting and management approach in river.

  18. #18
    Member fishNphysician's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Location
    Aberdeen WA
    Posts
    4,516

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Nerka View Post
    The main issues with chinook is counting and management approach in river.
    Agreed.

    Since we don't have complete confidence in our ability to enumerate the fish, shooting for a bigger goal is simply more precautionary and conservative.

    Moreover, a bigger goal enhances diversity and fecundity. The big fish are gone, particularly the big hens. How do we ever expect to get them back? When the run is so depleted and skewed toward males, how on earth are we gonna get any meaningful production out of the gravel when its swamped by 80% jacks? At the very least, a bigger goal increases the chance of putting more hens on the gravel. A bigger goal increases the chance of a BIG hen finding her way to the gravel.

    You guys can say what you want, but it's MSY that has driven modern-day fish management.... it's the cornerstone of doing a Ricker analysis (or other spawner-recruit model) in the first place. The emphasis is and has always been focused on finding the minimum escapement that allows the maximum use of the resource. Anyone who denies that basic tenet is not being intellectually honest. I for one believe that mindset is a POOR fit for the long term conservation of an exploited species. I would say historic performance of "managed" fisheries thru the ages supports my belief. This notion that we can have "more for less" can be (and most assuredly has been) taken to extremes.

    As I alluded to earlier.... less begets less... pure and simple. I've seen it everywhere I've been involved with fish management. As stocks decline a new Ricker curve is simply drawn up based on the lower numbers of returning fish. And lo and behold, the new MSY spawner goal is lower as well.

    Imagine that? Who'da'thunk'it?

    Without exception, these depleted runs are simply assigned a new and improved e-goal... and guess what.... it's always smaller than the previous. In essence what's being conserved in these "managed" populations is not the fish but instead the ability to keep fishing on them. Under the MSY mantra, no matter how small the population shrinks over time, there's always a theoretic portion of the population that is "sustainably" expendable for exploitation. After watching it applied in action over my lifetime, I see NOTHING either maximal or sustainable with the MSY model.... but rather only perpetual depletion.
    "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

  19. #19
    Member fishNphysician's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Location
    Aberdeen WA
    Posts
    4,516

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Bfish View Post
    Doc, the early run goal is based on maximum production
    Gee, how's that working out?
    "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

  20. #20

    Default

    I noticed something in looking over the literature Doc was kind enough to link. In the ER, bait is only open after the top end of the goal is projected to be achieved. For the ER, bait is a liberalization, not the norm.

    In the LR, bait is listed as a restriction anytime the midpoint of the goal is not expected to be achieved. If bait is not allowed to be used inriver, other fisheries face restrictions in order to share the burden of conservation. For the LR, bait is the norm.

    Interesting.

Page 1 of 4 123 ... LastLast

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •