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Thread: Kenai Late Run Sockeye Escapement Goal Performance

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    Default Kenai Late Run Sockeye Escapement Goal Performance

    I've seen a number of posts that mention the Kenai River late run sockeye salmon escapement goal having been exceeded in recent years. The attached link provides the most recent Summary of Pacific Salmon Escapement Goals in Alaska with a Review of Escapements from 2007 to 2015. Kenai River sockeye tables are Table 2, page 22, and Table 6, page 37. Not sure why Table 6 indicates that 2008 and 2009 were under the goal.
    http://www.adfg.alaska.gov/FedAidPDFs/FMS16-04.pdf
    Attached Files Attached Files

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    Aktally you and I both know that there are three different terms lumped under escapement goals. An in river goal for commercial management which varies depending on run strength and includes harvest above the counter (upper end 1.325 million), an oeg which has social aspects so not a biological goal(upper end 1.4 million) and an Seg goal of 700,000 to 1.2 million. The table you reference just has an upper end of 1.4 million. However commercial fisherman reference the 1.325 because that is their management goal. So when the department puts in 1.5 million or more the goal is exceeded. Your table is only spawners so not a true reflection of the management plans variou goals

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    Come on aktally, that table excludes the in-river escapement goal based on run strength per the Management Plan - that's the primary management goal.

    Your reference is for performance, based on an OEG that started in 2011 (just the last 5 years), and includes guesstimated harvest above the sonar. A better, less deceptive representation of management goals would be a chart showing all the Kenai sockeye escapement goals in relation to the Plan's run strength guidelines, the type of goal (SEG prior to 2011, etc.), and over a period of decades.

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    Just a follow up on this. The Board of Fish passed the 1.325 million for an in river goal that has harvest above the counter. I think the harvest is around 300,000 to 400,000 thousand. So the Board knew when they passed the in-river goal for commercial management the number of spawners would be within the SEG range. 1.325 million minus harvest would have spawners around 900,000 to 1 million. That provides for high sustained yields. If the 1.325 million is exceeded the Commercial Fisheries Division has not met the goal. In contrast at this point Sport Fish Division is obligated to manage to the OEG of an upper range of 1.4 million but not exceed it. Thus if 1.8 million fish are put in the system and you subtract 400,000 the spawners would be 1.4 million or 200,000 over the SEG. But Sport Fish would have met their goal. Thus it appears that the goals are iin conflict and some want to make it appear that way but they really are not. The Board knew what they were doing. They did not want to have 1.4 million spawners if they could avoid it so set the Commercial in river goal lower. Some in the sport fishing community want to argue that 1.4 million is fine and Commercial Fish should manage just to that and thus put in 1.8 million fish and claim that meets the goal. That is what Aktally has implied with his incomplete post. The plans are clear on the goals so when ADF&G puts out a report like the one referenced everyone is misled on what performance really is.

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    Just to add another variable...Shouldn't the estimated in-river harvest number be raised on larger runs when the limit increases? When the daily limit goes to 6 fish instead of 3, the harvest will increase.

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    I underlined escapement to distinguish it from the inriver goal, which is not escapement. As stated by others here, the inriver goal is a management goal, not an escapement goal. The escapement goal for which the department is directed to manage for under the late-run sockeye salmon management plan is the OEG. Just like the early-run king salmon management plan directs the department to manage for an OEG and not the SEG. Therefore, performance of escapement is measured by the OEG for which the department is required to manage for. Performance of the management goal is measured by the inriver goal.

    According to the Kenai River Late-Run Sockeye Salmon Management Plan (5 AAC 21.360(b)), the Kenai River late-run sockeye salmon commercial, sport, and personal use fisheries shall be managed to:
    (1) meet an optimum escapement goal (OEG) range of 700,000 - 1,400,000 late-run sockeye salmon;
    (2) achieve inriver goals as established by the board and measured at the Kenai River sonar counter located at river mile 19; and
    (3) distribute the escapement of sockeye salmon evenly with the OEG range, in proportion to the size of the run.

    All three of these management objectives are complementary to each other. Inriver harvest during the season is unknown (although it is estimated for projection purposes); therefore, the inriver goal is the primary inseason management objective. The OEG is a post season assessment determined after inriver sport and federal subsistence harvest is estimated and Hidden Lake hatchery fish are enumerated. Achievement of the inriver goal leads towards achieving the two objectives of meeting the OEG and distributing the escapement of sockeye salmon evenly with the OEG range, in proportion to the size of the run.

    The OEG (500,000 – 1,000,000) was established during the February 1999 BOF meeting when inriver goals based upon abundance was first adopted. At that time, the OEG was set 200,000 fish higher than the SEG.


    The attached table which shows inriver goals, BEGs/SEGs, and OEGs came from department staff comments and can be found here on page 159:
    http://www.adfg.alaska.gov/FedAidpdf...2a.2013.04.pdf
    Attached Files Attached Files

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    I too have heard a lot of people agonizing over long term effects of recent high escapements but it appears from these numbers that biologically significant "overescapement" has not happened any time of late even when inriver goal ranges were exceeded.

    Not once in the last 9 years has the Kenai late-run sockeye escapement exceeded the OEG of 1.4 million established by the Board of Fisheries for this stock. In two of nine years, escapement was over the SEG. One year by 11% and one year by 6%.

    Escapement goals are escapement goals - I don't see anything misleading in the original post.

    Inriver goal ranges are allocative, not biological.The complaint regarding recent management relative to inriver goals from commercial advocates like Nerka, Funster and my friend TB (when he weighs in) is a concern over allocation, not biology.

    It would not be accurate to say that recent management is "overescaping" sockeye to the detriment of future production. It might be accurate to say that recent management has foregone some commercial harvest relative to the implied allocations in the inriver goals. However, the OEG of 1.4 million also recognizes that there are substantial tradeoffs of higher escapements in terms of improved personal use and sport fishing sockeye opportunities.

    The plans are clear on what the goals are, but not necessarily which goal takes precedence when not every goal can be met.

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    I agree with BFish. I find the reaction to the posting of the sockeye data to be disappointing.

    Aktally didn’t develop this table. Presumably, ADF&G did. Aktally didn’t decide whether the goals were over, under, or were met, as shown in the table. Presumably, ADF&G did.

    But the reaction would suggest something sinister in the posting of the information. Aktally posted a table of sockeye information from ADF&G, and made this simple observation in the first post: “Not sure why Table 6 indicates that 2008 and 2009 were under the goal.”

    I find that confusing too. So let me rephrase that observation as a question:

    “Why did ADF&G label the returns in 2008 and 2009, as shown in Table 6, as being under the goal?”

    Can anyone answer that simple question without turning this discussion into a conspiracy against someone’s favorite user group?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Cohoangler View Post
    “Why did ADF&G label the returns in 2008 and 2009, as shown in Table 6, as being under the goal?”

    Can anyone answer that simple question without turning this discussion into a conspiracy against someone’s favorite user group?
    I would guess it was just something that was overlooked. Probably as a result of updating the escapement numbers in Table 2 after the Statewide Harvest Survey came out. The escapement goal report is usually published prior the Statewide Harvest Survey being completed. They could have just forgot to update Table 6 when they updated Table 2 and then not really looked at it in subsequent years.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bfish View Post
    I too have heard a lot of people agonizing over long term effects of recent high escapements but it appears from these numbers that biologically significant "overescapement" has not happened any time of late even when inriver goal ranges were exceeded.

    Not once in the last 9 years has the Kenai late-run sockeye escapement exceeded the OEG of 1.4 million established by the Board of Fisheries for this stock. In two of nine years, escapement was over the SEG. One year by 11% and one year by 6%.

    Escapement goals are escapement goals - I don't see anything misleading in the original post.

    Inriver goal ranges are allocative, not biological.The complaint regarding recent management relative to inriver goals from commercial advocates like Nerka, Funster and my friend TB (when he weighs in) is a concern over allocation, not biology.

    It would not be accurate to say that recent management is "overescaping" sockeye to the detriment of future production. It might be accurate to say that recent management has foregone some commercial harvest relative to the implied allocations in the inriver goals. However, the OEG of 1.4 million also recognizes that there are substantial tradeoffs of higher escapements in terms of improved personal use and sport fishing sockeye opportunities.

    The plans are clear on what the goals are, but not necessarily which goal takes precedence when not every goal can be met.
    The OEG recognizes that by definition it is over escapement of the SEG or sustainable salmon goal. They are not the same and some lost harvest will result which is what BEG and SEG are about. Escapement has been misused by all users and some staff. The term generally means to escape a fishery but Alaska defines it as spawners. So the in-river goal is escapement from that fishery and the PU and sport fisheries downstream but is not spawners as Aktally points out. That is why I used the term goals. The OEG is spawners and thus has nothing to do with sport fishing success or personal use opportunities above the counter. If only 1.4 million fish came into the river and no fishery took place the Department would still say they met the OEG or number of spawners set by the Board of Fish. Downstream of the counter the higher OEG will have some impact on all fisheries. In truth this is minor on sport and PU fisheries since they have no quota and are not regulated is most years. Only the commercial fishery is regulated to achieve the in-river goal unless the minimum goal will not be met and a closure of all fisheries takes place.

    There is no confusion on what goal takes precedence. The in-river goal takes precedent for the commercial fishery and downstream PU and sport fisheries. If it will not be met then action in those fisheries and up river sport fishery will be taken. So while Bfish wants to say I am a commercial fishing advocate I maintain I am just reading the plans and listening to the Board of Fish intent. I have no skin in the allocation game. What I will not tolerate is misinformation and misdirection from users and their representatives. The Board of Fish since 1999 as Aktally points out discusses these goals and plans. They decided that they wanted to harvest sockeye and keep the inriver goal at 1.325 million. I know some want to argue that the in-river goal should be 1.4 million plus the sport harvest or 1.7 to 1.8 million. The Board rejected this approach as they wanted the number of spawners to be in the SEG range most years. Pretty simple in concept unless you are advocating for more spawners in river to get more chinook in the river and less commercial time. That is what the OEG was all about in 1999 and that has not changed. KRSA using sockeye to reduce commercial time to get chinook salmon into the river. Been around that block too many times.

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    aktally, in your original post you wrongfully presumed that folks were talking about the OEG. They were not. Almost every discussion here is in reference to the commercial fishery, and the OEG is not the escapement goal for the commercial fishery. Their escapement goal is the in-river escapement goal at the sonar. And that goal is the one discussed 99% of the time. In fact, I can't remember the last time anyone talked about the "optimum escapement goal". Perhaps because of some of the reasons mentioned. The commercial guys have little control of in-river harvest, and talking in terms of OEG where they are concerned is misleading.

    You can argue semantics until the cows come home if it makes you feel better, but the point folks are making is that the commercial guys are putting surpluses of sockeye into the river almost every year - they are exceeding their in-river escapement goal 2/3 of the time - 20 of the last 30 years. And virtually every time they do that, there is an over-escapement - missed goal. Look at the data in your own reference.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bfish View Post
    I too have heard a lot of people agonizing over long term effects of recent high escapements but it appears from these numbers that biologically significant "overescapement" has not happened any time of late even when inriver goal ranges were exceeded.

    Not once in the last 9 years has the Kenai late-run sockeye escapement exceeded the OEG of 1.4 million established by the Board of Fisheries for this stock. In two of nine years, escapement was over the SEG. One year by 11% and one year by 6%.

    Escapement goals are escapement goals - I don't see anything misleading in the original post.

    Inriver goal ranges are allocative, not biological.The complaint regarding recent management relative to inriver goals from commercial advocates like Nerka, Funster and my friend TB (when he weighs in) is a concern over allocation, not biology.

    It would not be accurate to say that recent management is "overescaping" sockeye to the detriment of future production. It might be accurate to say that recent management has foregone some commercial harvest relative to the implied allocations in the inriver goals. However, the OEG of 1.4 million also recognizes that there are substantial tradeoffs of higher escapements in terms of improved personal use and sport fishing sockeye opportunities.

    The plans are clear on what the goals are, but not necessarily which goal takes precedence when not every goal can be met.
    Bfish, in case you didn't know overescapement is about yields. So who exactly is agonizing over it's "biological significance"?

    You claim in the last 9 years the OEG of 1.4 million hasn't been exceeded. Problem is, you don't realize the OEG was not set at 1.4 million those 9 years. Truth is, OEG has been exceeded almost half of the last 30 years, coinciding each time with exceeded in-river goals compliments of the commercial fishery. Look at aktally's data.

    Sorry, but escapement goals are not just escapement goals, particularly in regards to the complexity of the Kenai River. There are multiple types of escapement goals, all effecting each other - in-river escapement goals, biological escapement goals, and optimum escapement goals. A complex and comprehensive understanding is necessary.

    If advocating for goal-based yield management per the Management Plans causes you to label me a "commercial advocate", then I feel sorry for you. For the record, one can support goal-based management and advocate for any and all users. There are plenty of fish for everyone.

    Finally Bfish, look at the data aktally posted. In the last 30 years the commercial fishery has exceeded their in-river escapement goals 19 times (63%), including the last 6 years in a row - a very good record! This has resulted in exceeding BEG more than half the time and exceeding OEG almost half the time.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Funstastic View Post
    aktally, in your original post you wrongfully presumed that folks were talking about the OEG.
    Wow, did you just presume to know what I presumed?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Cohoangler View Post
    I agree with BFish. I find the reaction to the posting of the sockeye data to be disappointing.

    Aktally didn’t develop this table. Presumably, ADF&G did. Aktally didn’t decide whether the goals were over, under, or were met, as shown in the table. Presumably, ADF&G did.

    But the reaction would suggest something sinister in the posting of the information.
    I suspect you are criticizing reactions because you either don't understand how the various Kenai River escapement goals work, or you fail to realize that the reaction wasn't about the data aktally presented, but rather why he said he presented it. Understand, the posts talking about escapements that aktally refers to, and which sparked his original post, are not talking about OEG. They are talking about the commercial fishery's in-river escapement goal at the sonar. A goal which they more times than not is exceeded.

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    Quote Originally Posted by aktally View Post
    Wow, did you just presume to know what I presumed?
    No, I simply read the words you posted. You were referring to a number of posts made about exceeding escapement goals as the OEG, when they were about the commercial fishery's in-river escapement goal.

    Or perhaps that is presumptuous and you knew exactly what folks were talking about.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Nerka View Post
    The OEG recognizes that by definition it is over escapement of the SEG or sustainable salmon goal. They are not the same and some lost harvest will result which is what BEG and SEG are about.
    The Kenai sockeye goal is a SEG = escapement known to provide for sustained yield. It is not a BEG = escapement that provides the greatest potential for maximum yield. In fact, the OEG likely provides the greatest net fishery value in combined commercial, personal use and sport fisheries.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bfish View Post
    The Kenai sockeye goal is a SEG = escapement known to provide for sustained yield. It is not a BEG = escapement that provides the greatest potential for maximum yield. In fact, the OEG likely provides the greatest net fishery value in combined commercial, personal use and sport fisheries.
    There are absolutly no data to support this statement. Fisrt the SEG is called an SEG not a BEG because the brood year interaction model is not easy to set into a single goal. However, the SEG range is the same as the previous BEG range (Corrected for different counting methods). So the words changed but the goal did not.

    Next the OEG is an arbitrary number that has nothing to do with data or supporting information. It was created by the Board of Fish by pulling a number out of a hat. The justification was that in large returns the number of spawners would probably be this regardless of commercial fishing time since on large returns the commercial fishery cannot put a high exploitation rate on the stock. Next, the original number of 1 million established in 1999 and now corrected to 1.4 million (again due to different counting methods) was established because risk assessment models on yield indicated that higher spawners increased the probability of poorer yields significantly. All that data is in the record. So Bfish is blowing smoke with the idea it provides the greatest fishery value. It is spawners not harvest. If one wants to increase harvest one just allocates x number of fish to the SEG goal. Really no need for an OEG at all given it is spawners. It was done in 1999 for political reasons and had nothing to do with biology or social economic impacts. In fact it was created to give the impression Dan Coffey got something for sport fisherman when in fact it would have happened anyway because on large returns management cannot keep the escapement below this number. The tiers in the management plan speak to this clearly.

  18. #18

    Default Kenai Late Run Sockeye Escapement Goal Performance

    Nerka there is statistically no significant difference in either recruits or yields from sockeye escapements between 700,000 and 2 million no mater whatever BS model you try to wrap around it. However, larger In river runs which result in larger escapements produce much more robust pu and sport fisheries.


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    Quote Originally Posted by Bfish View Post
    Nerka there is statistically no significant difference in either recruits or yields from sockeye escapements between 700,000 and 2 million no mater whatever BS model you try to wrap around it. However, larger In river runs which result in larger escapements produce much more robust pu and sport fisheries.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
    Wait, I thought I was to be the one with allocative concerns...

    Bfish, no matter how you slice it, you are trying to increase inriver allocation at a cost to yield. I can understand your argument and respectfully disagree, but don't pee in my boots and tell me it's raining.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bfish View Post
    Nerka... no mater whatever BS model you try to wrap around it...
    Of course, why would you want it explained the way it actually is.

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