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Thread: Little Su Chinook sport fishing restrictions?

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    Member willphish4food's Avatar
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    Default Little Su Chinook sport fishing restrictions?

    Is it time? Weir count is at half that of last year's at this date. If this year's run mirrors last year's, it will barely meet the threshold. If early indicators of an early run are true, then with current allowable retention it will miss escapement threshold. Is it time for the department to impose further restrictions on the Little Su?

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    This year's escapement is significantly behind 2015. But the 2015 escapement did not meet the goal. It exceeded the maximum goal by about 25%. An escapement goal has 2 sides, and both are important. The Little Sue weir counted 1,677 fish as of yesterday. While that is behind 2015, it is significantly ahead of both 2013 and 2014. On this date in 2013 and 2014, only 71 fish had crossed the weir. The escapement goal was met both of those years.

    If the limited historic weir escapements for Little Su are any indication, then she is on track to be well inside the goal range. Ok, I've played out the if/then scenarios, and will move on...:]

    I should add that I say this without any input from ADFG. Willphish, has someone at ADFG suggested that run timing mirrors last year?

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    Quote Originally Posted by willphish4food View Post
    Is it time? Weir count is at half that of last year's at this date. If this year's run mirrors last year's, it will barely meet the threshold. If early indicators of an early run are true, then with current allowable retention it will miss escapement threshold. Is it time for the department to impose further restrictions on the Little Su?
    What is a threshold? If it barely meets it I assume it is past, over or beyond a point it needs to be, so it is ok. Right?

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    Quote Originally Posted by kidfromgarcia View Post
    What is a threshold? If it barely meets it I assume it is past, over or beyond a point it needs to be, so it is ok. Right?
    I believe Willphish's use of the term "threshold" was in reference to the bottom of ADFG's yield-based SEG goal. In this case, 2,300 fish is the bottom, and 4,000 is the top and anywhere in between is acceptable with yearly escapements evenly distributed within the goal range being optimal - if you believe in both sides of the goal. If you don't, then both numbers are meaningless and you may as well be counting Dandelions.

    In scientific terms, a Sustainable Escapement Threshold is a goal which must be achieved in order to sustain the stock of fish with no harvest or yield. This number would undoubtedly be significantly lower than any of the yield or abundance - based escapement goals we currently have for Salmon in Cook Inlet, and much lower than any of us would be comfortable with. The department is understandably reluctant to establish escapement thresholds in our rivers because it requires more knowledge than they have about most of our runs, and is really only needed when runs are in extreme distress. Most runs in UCI are quite healthy.

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    The SEG yield based if that is what is managed for? Then if you barely make it that is still good if barely is in that range you mention what's the problem? Thanks for explaining.

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    The SEG threshold of 2300 will not provide adequate spawning escapement unless restrictions are placed of sport fishing. In the past few years this has meant retention limited to part of the week only, and a season limit of 2 fish, down from 5.

    Run has picked up nicely the last few days, with the threshold being passed. Looks like no need for further restrictions, but not enough of a run yet to lift the current restrictions.

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    Quote Originally Posted by willphish4food View Post
    The SEG threshold of 2300 will not provide adequate spawning escapement unless restrictions are placed of sport fishing. In the past few years this has meant retention limited to part of the week only, and a season limit of 2 fish, down from 5.

    Run has picked up nicely the last few days, with the threshold being passed. Looks like no need for further restrictions, but not enough of a run yet to lift the current restrictions.
    The SEG is the number of spawners not in-river return. So if the minimum is passed the number of spawners is achieved. This is a minimum of the SEG which by definition is to provide for high sustained yields. People confuse the terms so I would suggest anyone interested read the definitions in the regulation book or online.

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    Quote Originally Posted by willphish4food View Post
    The SEG threshold of 2300 will not provide adequate spawning escapement unless restrictions are placed of sport fishing. In the past few years this has meant retention limited to part of the week only, and a season limit of 2 fish, down from 5.

    Run has picked up nicely the last few days, with the threshold being passed. Looks like no need for further restrictions, but not enough of a run yet to lift the current restrictions.
    From the ADFG counts page:

    "Past comparisons of the weir vs. aerial data have shown that 40-60% of the escapement counted through the weir is counted in the aerial survey. Therefore, a conservative weir count range of 2,300-4,000 Chinook salmon will be used to guide inseason management of the sport fishery during the 2016 season. This range should result in achievement of the SEG if at least 40% of the Chinook salmon that passed through the weir are counted during the aerial survey. Past weir counts ranging from 2,800-5,000 during complete count years 1994-1995 and 2014-2015 resulted in achievement of the SEG."

    Perhaps I'm confused - are they fishing above the weir? I don't know Little Su well. I understood weir escapement to be just that. Escaped. But as we know on the Kenai that is not always the case.

    Also, again, it's not supposed to be a threshold. It's supposed to be a yield-based SEG goal. Substantially higher than a sustainability threshold if at all accurate.

    Yes, the lower end of the SEG was met yesterday with 2 months of counting left.

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    Quote Originally Posted by smithtb View Post
    From the ADFG counts page:

    "Past comparisons of the weir vs. aerial data have shown that 40-60% of the escapement counted through the weir is counted in the aerial survey. Therefore, a conservative weir count range of 2,300-4,000 Chinook salmon will be used to guide inseason management of the sport fishery during the 2016 season. This range should result in achievement of the SEG if at least 40% of the Chinook salmon that passed through the weir are counted during the aerial survey. Past weir counts ranging from 2,800-5,000 during complete count years 1994-1995 and 2014-2015 resulted in achievement of the SEG."

    Perhaps I'm confused - are they fishing above the weir? I don't know Little Su well. I understood weir escapement to be just that. Escaped. But as we know on the Kenai that is not always the case.

    Also, again, it's not supposed to be a threshold. It's supposed to be a yield-based SEG goal. Substantially higher than a sustainability threshold if at all accurate.

    Yes, the lower end of the SEG was met yesterday with 2 months of counting left.
    This sounds like the SEG is not 2300 but an aerial index count and they may have harvest above the weir. Not sure of that. But I am assuming the error in the aerial survey is more the issue. The SEG is an aerial count -
    On the Little Susitna River, the SEG range for Chinook salmon is 900-1,800 fish based upon a post season aerial survey of spawners. Currently there are insufficient years of comparative data to convert the aerial survey based escapement goal to a weir based escapement goal. Past comparisons of the weir vs. aerial data have shown that 40-60% of the escapement counted through the weir is counted in the aerial survey. Therefore, a conservative weir count range of 2,300-4,000 Chinook salmon will be used to guide inseason management of the sport fishery during the 2016 season. This range should result in achievement of the SEG if at least 40% of the Chinook salmon that passed through the weir are counted during the aerial survey. Past weir counts ranging from 2,800-5,000 during complete count years 1994-1995 and 2014-2015 resulted in achievement of the SEG.


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    Quote Originally Posted by Nerka View Post
    This sounds like the SEG is not 2300 but an aerial index count and they may have harvest above the weir. Not sure of that. But I am assuming the error in the aerial survey is more the issue. The SEG is an aerial count -
    On the Little Susitna River, the SEG range for Chinook salmon is 900-1,800 fish based upon a post season aerial survey of spawners. Currently there are insufficient years of comparative data to convert the aerial survey based escapement goal to a weir based escapement goal. Past comparisons of the weir vs. aerial data have shown that 40-60% of the escapement counted through the weir is counted in the aerial survey. Therefore, a conservative weir count range of 2,300-4,000 Chinook salmon will be used to guide inseason management of the sport fishery during the 2016 season. This range should result in achievement of the SEG if at least 40% of the Chinook salmon that passed through the weir are counted during the aerial survey. Past weir counts ranging from 2,800-5,000 during complete count years 1994-1995 and 2014-2015 resulted in achievement of the SEG.

    The weir is located at river mile 32.5. a significant portion of the chinook fishery occurs above the weir. I'm sorry, the 2300 is not the SEG as I stated but the number needed through the weir to achieve SEG. Therefore, if 40-60% of the weir count is seen in aerial surveys post season, after all sport fishing mortality has occurred, then it looks like the aerial survey is finding a very high percentage of the fish that are inriver.

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    Quote Originally Posted by willphish4food View Post
    The weir is located at river mile 32.5. a significant portion of the chinook fishery occurs above the weir. I'm sorry, the 2300 is not the SEG as I stated but the number needed through the weir to achieve SEG. Therefore, if 40-60% of the weir count is seen in aerial surveys post season, after all sport fishing mortality has occurred, then it looks like the aerial survey is finding a very high percentage of the fish that are inriver.
    My mistake. I did not realize they are fishing above the weir. How are they estimating harvest? Do they have a creel program or is it only by statewide harvest survey?

    Granted, I don't know the area well, but I don't understand how they could ever allow either 5 fish or everyday harvest up there. South pen streams are typically closed to harvest above the counters/weirs (where there are counters), and they have these same restrictions with larger escapement goals and no fishing on escaped fish. For instance, only 2 of your 5 kings may be from freshwater in Anchor or Deep Creek combined in normal regulation, and limited days per week are also normal regulation. And we have more fish and less people. Fishing is closed above Anchor weir, and escapement is double Little Su.

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    Quote Originally Posted by smithtb View Post
    My mistake. I did not realize they are fishing above the weir. How are they estimating harvest? Do they have a creel program or is it only by statewide harvest survey?

    Granted, I don't know the area well, but I don't understand how they could ever allow either 5 fish or everyday harvest up there. South pen streams are typically closed to harvest above the counters/weirs (where there are counters), and they have these same restrictions with larger escapement goals and no fishing on escaped fish. For instance, only 2 of your 5 kings may be from freshwater in Anchor or Deep Creek combined in normal regulation, and limited days per week are also normal regulation. And we have more fish and less people. Fishing is closed above Anchor weir, and escapement is double Little Su.
    Considering the size of the drainage, and rearing habitat that is available, a 900 fish spawning escapement seems very low to me, too. The river did sustain a five fish annual limit, 7 day a week fishery for years. The entire valley is in a period of low chinook abundance, with a few exceptions, and some systems showing signs of recovery. One good season, or even two, don't erase the effects of 5-10 years of low abundance. You've stated our rivers are healthy; I disagree. One major factor that keeps harvest low on the Little Su is lack of bank access. It is primarily a boat fishery. It has one downriver access point, so most angling occurs within half a mile of that access. It has 2 access points by the Parks Hwy, and very little hiking is done from these spots. So in all the miles of river, there are perhaps 3-4 miles that are typically reached by foot, and relatively few holes within those that are very fishable.

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    Quote Originally Posted by willphish4food View Post
    Considering the size of the drainage, and rearing habitat that is available, a 900 fish spawning escapement seems very low to me, too. The river did sustain a five fish annual limit, 7 day a week fishery for years. The entire valley is in a period of low chinook abundance, with a few exceptions, and some systems showing signs of recovery. One good season, or even two, don't erase the effects of 5-10 years of low abundance. You've stated our rivers are healthy; I disagree. One major factor that keeps harvest low on the Little Su is lack of bank access. It is primarily a boat fishery. It has one downriver access point, so most angling occurs within half a mile of that access. It has 2 access points by the Parks Hwy, and very little hiking is done from these spots. So in all the miles of river, there are perhaps 3-4 miles that are typically reached by foot, and relatively few holes within those that are very fishable.
    hydrocarbons exceed state standards along with turbidity. Also boat traffic erodes the banks. No major problem as far as state is concerned

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