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Thread: UCI sockeye run projection update

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    Default UCI sockeye run projection update

    On July 26, 2016, Upper Cook Inlet (UCI) Commercial Fisheries staff estimated the total KenaiRiver sockeye salmon run through July 25 to be 2.6 million fish. The final run to the Kenai Riveris projected to range from 4.3 million to 5.6 million sockeye salmon.The entire UCI sockeye salmon run to date was estimated to be 3.8 million fish through July 25,with a final run projected to range from 6.4 million to 8.3 million fish.With this inseason assessment, management of the Upper Subdistrict set gillnet and CentralDistrict drift gillnet commercial fisheries remain under the regulations for run sizes greater than 4.6million Kenai River sockeye salmon. Based on this projected run size, the Kenai River sockeyesalmon inriver goal remains at 1.1 million to 1.35 million fish

    The above is from ADFG. Frankly it may happen but if the return is 6.4 million and only 3.8 million to date that leaves 2.6 million fish to come into the inlet. Kenai would be 1.7 million. That would mean most of the return will come in August and the exploitation rate to keep in the goals would be 1.2/1.7 or 70%. I am using the low end of the projections. I do not see this right now with a drift fleet catch of 73 last period, restrictions in August, and drift boats pulling out based on the lack of fish in the inlet. So if true there is no way a 70% or higher exploitation rate can be achieved. If the higher projections are realized then there is no way to keep the escapement under 2 million.

    I am not sure why ADFG put this out right now. It can only hurt them if they are wrong and the industry. Waiting this week to see if fish show up makes more sense to me. Let the uncertainty in the data sort out a little. There have been recently a couple of years when over a million fish came in August. The exploitation rate on those years in August was less than 50%.

    This is a weird year with the peak drift catch at 350 fish per boat which on a run this size and normal run timing would be around 1200. So something is going on out in the inlet - warm water and fish running deeper, changed migration pattern that has confused the fleet, really late run, or less fish that forecast. We will see but my experience at this point in time is to keep silent and see what happens. They may be right but the cost of being wrong is very high.

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    Chinook Salmon Run Update:

    On July 25, the daily estimated passage was 642 Chinook salmon for a season total of 15,760 Chinook salmon. Through July 25, using 3 years of sonar estimates at river mile 13.7, approximately 53% of the run is estimated to have passed the sonar.



    So it sounds like ADFG believes that both Sockeye and kings are at about the 50% point.

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    Quote Originally Posted by smithtb View Post
    Chinook Salmon Run Update:

    On July 25, the daily estimated passage was 642 Chinook salmon for a season total of 15,760 Chinook salmon. Through July 25, using 3 years of sonar estimates at river mile 13.7, approximately 53% of the run is estimated to have passed the sonar.I think


    So it sounds like ADFG believes that both Sockeye and kings are at about the 50% point.
    I think the chinook is based on 5 days early and the sockeye 5 days late. Should be interesting to see what happens over the next month. ADFG sockeye forecast if right means going outside the plans in August. They should fish the drift fleet inlet wide on Thursday and see what is really out there. Good weather and good fishing at the 50% of the return should make for big catches. I doubt they will do this because of the political backlash but it is the right management call.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Nerka View Post
    They should fish the drift fleet inlet wide on Thursday and see what is really out there. Good weather and good fishing at the 50% of the return should make for big catches. I doubt they will do this because of the political backlash but it is the right management call.
    I thought that they could only do inlet wide for ONE of the Monday or Thursday openings, and they used that on Monday already this week.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Nerka View Post
    They should fish the drift fleet inlet wide on Thursday and see what is really out there. Good weather and good fishing at the 50% of the return should make for big catches. I doubt they will do this because of the political backlash but it is the right management call.
    Good way to catch a lot of coho headed north.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bfish View Post
    Good way to catch a lot of coho headed north.
    OK a little lesson here. First, Monday period was a throw away period. The winds out of the north made fishing tough and catches poor, including coho. The plan says one period inlet wide but the overall UCI management plan says that is intent not law. So not following the plan to meet sockeye goals is within the overall plan. Fishing on Thursday and using the drift fleet may catch some northern bound coho but not alot. There efficiency has been poor all season. But every fish they take reduces ESSN time in August when Kenai coho are coming into the river. So in the trade off discussion given the poor performance of the drift fleet northern coho should not be an issue but Kenai coho could be. Also the overall drift fleet exploitation rate on northern coho is around 10-15% so one period is not going to catch a lot of coho headed north. However, this district wide period would help put the sockeye runs in perspective. If not as strong as forecast then they do not need to figure out an August fishery plan. If as strong as forecast they will have to be outside the plans to meet the goals. Remember the 1% rule and other restrictions like meeting 22,500 spawners for chinook in the Kenai. If one is going to harvest fish they have to harvest now. August is much tougher and requires more grinding out the catches. Not fishing is not following the plans which require them to manage to goals. So far the chinook goal is met, northern sockeye look good, and I suspect coho also, and thus only Kenai and Kasilof sockeye are questionable on meeting the goals.

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    Default Where did all the sockeye go?

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    Nerka, we can always count on you.

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    The department is bending over backward to get as much commercial fishing time in. Meanwhile, Fish Creek may or may not open to dipping this weekend. Escapement thus far in Fish Creek is almost 25k, putting it within the SEG range. Dipnetting will occur if the run is projected to surpass 50k. At this point, it would only take 9 more days at 3k escapement, which is where its been the past few days, to be over 50k, and miss the goal. If they do not allow dipnetting this weekend, thats it. They cannot dipnet in August due to the overlap of coho.

    So on the commercial side, department used very optimistic run projections to open Kasilof commercial early, and is using extremely optimistic numbers now to get more drift fishing time. On the personal use side, looking at run timing the last two years, compared to this, a conservative estimate shows they will surpass the top end of SEG, they are in danger of running out of any of the available overescapement tools, and are not eager to implement them while they have the chance. This is a resident only fishery, benefitting only Alaskans, and is a necessary tool to attemp to remain within the SEG.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bfish View Post
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    Nerka, we can always count on you.
    I don't care who you are, that there's funny!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Nerka View Post
    OK a little lesson here. First, Monday period was a throw away period. The winds out of the north made fishing tough and catches poor, including coho. The plan says one period inlet wide but the overall UCI management plan says that is intent not law. So not following the plan to meet sockeye goals is within the overall plan. Fishing on Thursday and using the drift fleet may catch some northern bound coho but not alot. There efficiency has been poor all season. But every fish they take reduces ESSN time in August when Kenai coho are coming into the river. So in the trade off discussion given the poor performance of the drift fleet northern coho should not be an issue but Kenai coho could be. Also the overall drift fleet exploitation rate on northern coho is around 10-15% so one period is not going to catch a lot of coho headed north. However, this district wide period would help put the sockeye runs in perspective. If not as strong as forecast then they do not need to figure out an August fishery plan. If as strong as forecast they will have to be outside the plans to meet the goals. Remember the 1% rule and other restrictions like meeting 22,500 spawners for chinook in the Kenai. If one is going to harvest fish they have to harvest now. August is much tougher and requires more grinding out the catches. Not fishing is not following the plans which require them to manage to goals. So far the chinook goal is met, northern sockeye look good, and I suspect coho also, and thus only Kenai and Kasilof sockeye are questionable on meeting the goals.
    Quote Originally Posted by Bfish View Post
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    Nerka, we can always count on you.
    Glad to help you out since you never had to make the tough decisions in UCI. I have said it a thousand times it is about tradeoffs. Relative to sockeye run strenght I do not know what will happen so one needs to have a plan A and B. Thousands of people count on a steady hand right now. This season just points how tough it is.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bfish View Post
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    Nerka, we can always count on you.
    You gonna use that one every year Bfish?

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    Quote Originally Posted by smithtb View Post
    You gonna use that one every year Bfish?
    OK here's a new one for you

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    Now that is good Bfish

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    Quote Originally Posted by willphish4food View Post
    The department is bending over backward to get as much commercial fishing time in. Meanwhile, Fish Creek may or may not open to dipping this weekend. Escapement thus far in Fish Creek is almost 25k, putting it within the SEG range. Dipnetting will occur if the run is projected to surpass 50k. At this point, it would only take 9 more days at 3k escapement, which is where its been the past few days, to be over 50k, and miss the goal. If they do not allow dipnetting this weekend, thats it. They cannot dipnet in August due to the overlap of coho.
    Just to be clear, unlike the Kenai/Kasilof, the department only opens Fish Creek by emergency order. And then only if escapements will be exceeded. In the past 10 years it has only opened half the time. Just don't want folks thinking this fishery was supposed to open.

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    Quote Originally Posted by willphish4food View Post
    The department is bending over backward to get as much commercial fishing time in. Meanwhile, Fish Creek may or may not open to dipping this weekend. Escapement thus far in Fish Creek is almost 25k, putting it within the SEG range. Dipnetting will occur if the run is projected to surpass 50k. At this point, it would only take 9 more days at 3k escapement, which is where its been the past few days, to be over 50k, and miss the goal. If they do not allow dipnetting this weekend, thats it. They cannot dipnet in August due to the overlap of coho.

    So on the commercial side, department used very optimistic run projections to open Kasilof commercial early, and is using extremely optimistic numbers now to get more drift fishing time. On the personal use side, looking at run timing the last two years, compared to this, a conservative estimate shows they will surpass the top end of SEG, they are in danger of running out of any of the available overescapement tools, and are not eager to implement them while they have the chance. This is a resident only fishery, benefitting only Alaskans, and is a necessary tool to attemp to remain within the SEG.
    This is another example of willphish4food being dishonest in his posts. First the Department has been very selective in using addition fishing time. They have 108 hours a week on the ESSN and I doubt they have used 40 hours. Next, the drift fleet is being managed according to the plans and no additional time has been given outside the plans. Fish Creek is making the goal along with other sockeye systems. The Fish Creek PU fishery is a fishery designed to stop too many spawners going into the system. It is not designed to give PU fisherman an allocation. The Board made this allocation decision based on a number of factors. So willphish4food would have the Department give up management of Kenai and Kasilof for a few extra fish in Fish Creek to assure they go above the goal. That is idiotic.

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    Has there ever been a run where 2+ million fish showed up in August? The announcement that they were sticking to the preseason forecast just seemed odd with the numbers being so low and nothing indicating a big push of fish is coming into the inlet. Its almost like they refuse to even consider that they made a mistake in the estimate and will go down in flames rather than admit it.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Arcticwildman View Post
    Its almost like they refuse to even consider that they made a mistake in the estimate and will go down in flames rather than admit it.
    You must think ADFG has a crystal ball. Their forecasts are based on a series of complicated models, calculations, and historical data, and they are scientifically justifiable. However, the fish, along with Mother Nature, do their own thing, and that's why ADFG calls them forecasts and estimates instead of a sure thing.

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    That is funnier than you know what TB!!! I love it!!!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Arcticwildman View Post
    Has there ever been a run where 2+ million fish showed up in August? The announcement that they were sticking to the preseason forecast just seemed odd with the numbers being so low and nothing indicating a big push of fish is coming into the inlet. Its almost like they refuse to even consider that they made a mistake in the estimate and will go down in flames rather than admit it.
    I hope this helps answer the question. First the project was for July 25th so the fish remaining come after that date not August 1. There have been years where between 1.4 and 1.6 million fish came in August. The Kenai is only suppose to get 1.7 million after July 25th so it has happened. Take out the PU harvest and commercial harvest between July 25th and Aug 1st and you get into the range of historical events.

    Where I am struggling is the 1 million fish going to other systems. That does not seem right given what we know about those other systems.

    I think ADFG is being true to the data here. The models are predicting this and they are usually pretty good for late runs. What throws them off if the runs are early and strong and there look late. Should have sorted that out by now so we will see.

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