Almost forgot it was classic time this year! Anyone know what the big roundtable topic was this year? My invitation must have got lost in the mail...
Almost forgot it was classic time this year! Anyone know what the big roundtable topic was this year? My invitation must have got lost in the mail...
According to today's clarion,a setnet permit buyback was discussed. Lisa and Dan were there. One would hope a representative of the east side netters fleet was invited, as they would be the most affected.
I'm surprised it wasn't full of setnet permit holders - after all, APOC describes it as a "Public Event"...
There have been 2 or 3 setnetters working with Ricky and the boys on a buyback plan. I have attended several meetings of setnetters to discuss this topic, and I support the concept of thinning out a few nets, but not anything those guys are working on. KRSA wants setnets gone and the few setnetters working with them are willing to sell out the entire industry for an easy buck.
What's the intent? Is the suggested buyback plan intended to get some folks out of the netting biz, or it is to retire the permit?
If it's the former, seems like someone else could buy the permit at some point in the future, if they think they can make a profit from set netting. But if it's the latter, the permit would no longer be available to anyone, which seems like a much bigger deal for the State, particularly as it relates to fisheries management on the KP.
Then there is the issue of what permits are purchased. There are over 700 set net permits in UCI and only about 600 fish. That means 100 permits are available to go on the selling block with no reduction in actual fishing time. Also, there cannot be a targeted buyback to just ESSN permits as that is not legal right now. So to do this the Legislature will have to change laws.
Even if that happens then there is the issue of what is the objective. Gease and KRSA assume less effort and therefore more chinook in the river. That only works if one does not manage to goals. If one does then less effort means more fishing time. If one reduces efficiency one has to fish more to catch the same number of fish.
Then there is the issue of who sells even if targeted to the ESSN fishery. So you take out a site here and there. How does enforcement keep others from coming in as the whole area is open to fishing. If one just closes the site location (which the Board of Fish would have to do and have a conservation objective to do it) how does protection define each site in regulation that is closed. There are sites on shore and offshore - some with leases other without. So it is an enforcement nightmare.
Oh yea, forgot the issue of multiple permits for a family. So permit holder (the dad sells his permit for xxx) gets rid of his permit and poor sites on his lease but the family keeps the more productive sites and permits in the wife and kids names. So the public or whoever buys non-productive sites and then the permit holders in the family keeps fishing and laughing all the way to the bank about how stupid KRSA was.
The only way to go forward in a productive way is for those wanting more chinook to define what the goal is - is it to reduce the harvest in the ESSN by 50% and not manage for sockeye. If that is the goal one can evaluate what that means. Gease and KRSA have no clue what they are talking about on this subject or they feel that they have the power to push changes in law, override the Board of Fish authority via the Legislature, and deny an open public discussion of what they are doing. Instead it is more backroom meetings with a few non-representative commercial fisherman.
There are over 700 Cook Inlet setnet permits. Approximately 450 registered for ESSN fishery (permits are good for any area, you just have to register for the year). 373 reported fishing in the ESSN this year. Gease wants to buy back ~ 1/2 of those at a stated cost of $50-60 Million. That's over $250,000 per permit in a fishery where permits typically sell for $15,000-$20,000 each. They've been worth more in the past, but never $250,000-$300,000.
As a taxpayer and permit holder possibly forced to fund this buyback (just because the buyback is voluntary does not mean funding it is), why would I support this level of spending? Why would I want to buy back old boats, bouys, and trucks, not to mention shore fisheries leases that are only valid if you have a permit and fish them?
Gease's numbers are inflated, IMO, for several reasons. He wants to dangle a big carrot, and he has his eyes set on closing entire areas of beach where they suspect more kings are caught. That is why they aren't interested in only reducing the number of nets (permit buyback), they have stated that they want to buy back site leases as well (permanent closure of fishing area). I suspect that KRSA wants a king conservation zone near the Kenai and Kasilof river mouths, necessitating a buyback of the higher grossing site leases.
I wonder how non-ESSN setnet permit holders, like ND, West side, or Kalgin feel about this. I wonder how drifters feel about this. IMO this discussion should include all gillnets in UCI, and it should NOT include KRSA or anyone affiliated with them. Spending tens of millions on a buyback that does not strengthen our existing fisheries or economy is just a boondoggle we don't need. KRSA's actions have cost my community enough.
Thinning out some the nets could be relatively simple. Have CFEC do an optimization study, taking into account the unrestricted growth of the inriver sport fisheries, then do a reverse bid for the fishing permits only, paid for through a tax on the remaining users. Quit worrying about the boats, sites, gear, and retirements. That's how the S.E. seine buyback was done. Gease is lying when he says he wants this buyback to model the SE seine buyback. I don't trust him, KRSA, or the 2 or 3 ESSN fishermen working with them.
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Responsible Conservation > Political Allocation
I am not here to argue with you,and I am not going to respond to this so take it for what it is.
I was at the Round Table discussion and if you really want to know what was and was not discussed, ( instead of making an entire post on what you think was discussed)
I can tell you:
The topic was Alternative Management Strategies. KRSA's director did talk about Salmon for his allowed ten minutes of time during the two hours and he did talk about the buy back for less than 2 minutes of his time. Mostly his topic was about how the historic relationship of the Federal / State management of Salmon and how the State is better equipped to manage the Salmon fishery.
other topics included:
The Halibut RQE program being looked at by the North Pacific Fishery Management Council
Striped Bass management on the east coast and how maintaining a harvest rate over time has been an easy way to manage the fishery
Red Snapper ( of course)
State managed fisheries like Bass, Catfish and Redfish
Statements from Senators Sullivan and Murkowski about managing fisheries fairly between all sectors
I think any one of you could have sat through the thing and not had much to complain about (possible?) and probably enjoyed the free food.
You should try it next year, the food was great and the subject matter was pretty free of controversy.
I missed the rest of the function, since I work for a living and have zero interest in the politics of the River, but I did take time out of my summer grind to go to the Round Table.
AKCAPT- in the pass it wassa closed meeting and when some tried to attend they were turned back. So maybe this year was different. I have no problem with a sport fishing group trying to influence legislation to their benefit. The Classic runs over a few days and KRSA has made the buy back in this community a major issue. So when it was in the paper and highlighted people react to the subject and the players. So I think it is a fair topic to discuss.
Relative to M/S a major court ruling will come up about it by the end of the year. The UCIDA case was argued in the appeal court process a couple of weeks ago and the federal judges were very supportive of UCIDA position but it is a court and who knows what will happen. I believe the discussion on State management at the forum was partially in response to that case and the desire of KRSA to have greater influence with the State management than with Federal management via a Fishery Management Plan (which can dictate authority to the State if they follow the 10 standards). So there is a lot going on and if the discussion was in fact open to the public good for them and again I have no trouble with a group having a discussion.
My problem with KRSA is they lack ethical standards in their dealings and the gift bags to Classic participants and waiving of fees for legislators and other rule makers is my main issue. Saying they use the Classic money for habitat when that claim is weak at best given they show a loss or little money raised by the Classic. In some years they spend 400,000 dollars on the Classic and say they made only around 30,000 dollars. That is a lot of money for a three day event. They claim lots of write offs for education but in fact pay a consultant to attend the Board of Fish and argue allocation positions. So one can have trouble with the concept of the Classic but this discussion was because of the backroom dealings on the buyback and the idea they are pushing something that impacts the whole community and State without an open public discussion. As you said it was 2 minutes in public and hours behind closed doors.
I tried not to make any posts about what I think was discussed - I read the Clarion Article about what was discussed (they made sure to have press there), and posted about what I know has been discussed concerning the buyback program.
Unlike many I don't fault our representatives for being there. That was not the only function many of them attended while in town and I'm glad they made the trip to my community and gave some of us a chance to bend their ear.
I don't plan to attend next year, and while I do help represent the interests of Cook Inlet setnetters, I won't be attempting to have productive discussion with the folks under Mr. Gease's direction. I don't trust that group, and am certain that the best interests of my community (their namesake) has not been their primary concern. They've done nothing to indicate a change of heart or direction.
Like you I work for a living. I've gotten sucked into the politics of the river because I like setnetting and wish to continue to do so. When I got involved my user group was dangerously close to extinction, due specifically to the actions of the same folks who hosted this event, and now claim to be "working with setnetters" for the good of our industry. Bull. I'm sorry if you don't care for my approach, but when possible I'd rather give my input from a computer at home rather than at some political function. Different strokes...
Thanks for the info Capt'n. I hope you found yourself not na´ve or pandered to. Unfortunately a Round Table isn't round when all the players aren't invited. When a set net buyback program (re: allocation grab) is touted in front of a big money political sport fishing atmosphere like that, with set netters not invited, it can be very detrimental even for just 2 minutes. Certainly cowardly.
For those not familiar with KRSA's shenanigans, this is the group that politically manipulates our fisheries behind the scenes. Openly exposed Round Tabels like this aren't were they get their work done. They get it done behind closed doors, lobbying, fancy banquets, dinner parties, and at the golf course. This is the same group behind the Ruffner scandal, the ballot-box initiative illegally trying to exterminate set netters, dozens of APOC complaints and investigations, ethic violation warnings from our State's Attorney General, BOF decisions, fighting hp/wake limits, guide limits, and in-river restrictions and conservation measures along the way, just to name a few. Most of all they have stewarded what's become a pathetic Early Run King sport fishery and a concerning Late Run.
You can bet their set net buy-back scheme has nothing to do with conservation or alternative management strategies, and everything to do with getting more King allocation for their in-river industry to exploit. They won't be happy until they get them all. Fortunately these KRSA people aren't very smart. Nerka pointed out some obvious problems with their scheme already.
As for the food, no thanks. Listening to the KRSA director talk would be enough to puke it up. As for the absence of controversy, of course. Everything about KRSA's Classic is vetted to make sure controversy isn't represented. I used to get invited, until I said something "controversial".
I understand, I don't drink anyone's kool aid. I try to think for myself and it has served me well. I am never getting involved Cook Inlet Salmon politics.
Too much history and too much animosity. I did not like the way Ruffner or Webster were treated. Fortunately for all, I am not looking for love, money or a new job from my service in Fisheries Management, all I am trying to do is what is fair and leave things better than when I started working on them. IF that proves to be unpopular, I could really use those extra 70 days a year to fish for Kings in the winter, before anyone of you get a shot at them!!
I hope the day comes when you guys can figure out what is good enough for everyone and the fish and then stick with for a while.
It has to be exhausting for everyone involved.
I think things will be good enough for everyone when we let ADFG and the BOF do their jobs without divisive groups like KRSA getting their greedy hands in it. Until then, the fight to protect user groups, science-based management, and our future stocks will continue.
KRSA not the only player in the fish politics....
Let us not forget about UCIDA, KAFC, KRPGA
I think it's silly how many organizations there are. I know several that either aren't even legitimate organizations, or that contain only a handful of members but present themselves as representative of a whole group of people.
A friend emailed me this a while back. Don't know much about it, but it lists most of the orgs involved.
Anyone know anything about the Kenai River Dipnetter's Association? They are ranked above KAFC on the stakeholder list, but I can't find anything about them online.
I guess that is enough of me ranting. Sorry but have been around this stakeholder block too many times.
I see KRSA has a few new board members. At least one new name is familiar from the AFCA board (setnet ban org) - that is before AFCA took their board profile offline. Several common board members and key people. Apparently KRSA is not shameful about their participation in AFCA's quest to ban setnets on the Kenai.
I think it is appropriate for people like myself and other who have been negatively affected by KRSA's actions (pretty much the whole peninsula...) to refuse to deal with them until that organization shows some desire to change. A changeup in the board or leadership would be very welcome. I can't believe they are moving forward with the same modus operandi as years past. But I suspect they are not the only organization who will do this. Surprising how resistant people are to a new approach. Especially those who see this fish fight as income. I've seen this in my own efforts with my user group. Luckily (I feel) the setnet community has had more success at changing course than some of the other orgs, even if that success has been limited. Fear of complete destruction after 2012 prompted an influx of new effort and people in the setnet group's efforts. The current course of fish politics on the Kenai is rotten, and a new approach and some fresh faces is desperately needed. Too much distrust (for good reason) amongst many of the key players, and their egos will not let them back down.