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Thread: Kodiak Sockeye Genetics Report

  1. #21
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    Fun, I loved fishing the Hoh for steelhead and trout when I was a teenager and student at UW in fisheries. I lived is Seattle from when I was 5 to mid-20's. Steelhead fishing got me in trouble at school numerous times. Just could not resist going fishing instead of class. But eventually figured out I could do both.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Funstastic View Post
    I was referring specifically to Doc's comments about "low holing" - a term synonymous with allocation. My point being that it is purely allocative to blame ocean interception as the "decades old problem" for poor returns in the PNW while continuing to target those same salmon not only in PNW marine fisheries occurring very close to their returning systems of origin, but directly in those fresh water systems themselves - systems that, for the most part, have major man-induced production problems like hydroelectric dams, pollution, habitat loss, etc. If increasing returns is truly Doc's concern (rather than more fishing opportunity), then I would think focusing efforts on more tangible issues (other than the unknowns of the big rearing pond and who gets the fish) would be more prudent.

    No doubt that not all PNW systems can be treated the same. Your example of the Hoh and Quillayute Rivers exemplify that - good point. Both rivers support nearby marine fisheries as well as in-river fisheries, and even some commercial guiding.

    The Hoh has been the center of restoration efforts due to commercial cutover logging and rip-rap, primarily on the lower section. I read a report showing that over 220 man-made barriers existed, and they were removing culverts blocking spawning fish as recent as this year. In fact $11 Million has been specifically designated for the Hoh's restoration. It also has some natural issues due to rain and flooding that cause it's runs to fluctuate dramatically.

    I read a fishing report on the Quillayute: "It was a ZOO. Packed. Shoulder to shoulder. Boats lined up across the river forming a Hog Line. Rigs parked everywhere...There was so much law breaking and bad ethics it was Pathetic. No enforcement...Wild Coho caught and kept. Taken to trucks, head and tail cut off to hid that they were Wild...Fools with no pliers struggling to get the hook out and then kicking the Wild Coho back into the water...people taking above their limits...This is stuff that happens on the worst rivers."

    Don't get me wrong Tee Jay, I am not saying ocean conditions and marine fisheries do not affect PNW returns. Of course they do. However, I believe the two can co-exist sustainably, and in most cases they are.
    And a Happy New Year, Fun. Yep, you pretty much nailed it. The man made barriers are mostly culverts installed on a low gradient in a high gradient terrain, with hanging lower ends, and mostly in small to arguably seasonal feeder streams.

    That is some quote on the Quil, sounds a bit like the Russian. Would love to read more, got a reference? Have not seen that in the last 20 years, but then there is the old "You should have been here yesterday..." thing about fishing destinations.

    If I recall, the Quinault passes thru tribal and National Park only, and still has the same issues regarding returns.

    I am coming down in favor of the old 80/20 rule, and 80% of fisheries return issues are in the big rearing pond, and 20% are inshore and instream issues.

    Maybe that UW fisheries student looking at historic returns was right about the PDO thingy.

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    Quote Originally Posted by fishNphysician View Post
    This nearby interception of "large numbers" of UCI kings has been alleged on these boards for at least the past 15 years, but no one has ever produced a link to an ADFG document to show the stock composition of the Kodiak chinook catch... by CWT, GSI or otherwise. Is it a case of they don't know, or is it simply they don't care. You have anything new to offer, onthego? Anyone?

    OK found it.... not in a Google search, but rather on the BOF page for the upcoming Kodiak meeting.

    http://www.adfg.alaska.gov/static/re...k/FMS16-11.pdf

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    Quote Originally Posted by Tee Jay View Post
    Would love to read more, got a reference? Have not seen that in the last 20 years, but then there is the old "You should have been here yesterday..." thing about fishing destinations.
    It popped up under a Northwest Fishing Reports web page while doing some research. It's from October 2014. Just some guy ranting about the craziness on the Quillayute. I've never fished it, but I've been to La Push once to look at a boat for sale. Not a sole around. It rained so much I swear the boat was floating in dry dock.

    www.northwestfishingreports.com/ReportComment.aspx?id=6872&lid=7294&t=3

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    The graph that FishDoc posted is alarming.

    The commercial fleet in the Kodiak district during the summer (June Ė August) is harvesting something close to 95% Chinook salmon whose origins are the PNW, particularly the Columbia Basin. I knew thatís happening in SE AK, but I did not realize the Kodiak district folks were catching so many Chinook bound for the PNW.

    In the not so distant past, Funís explanation of the ocean fishery was accepted, because we didnít know any better. But not anymore. It should be painfully obvious that harvest in the ocean is NOT a randomly mixed fishery where the overall impact on a single stock is mitigated by the large number of stocks available. As Iíve said for awhile, specific stocks get hammered much harder in the ocean than others. And those stocks that inhabit the nearshore waters of Alaska, and are targeted by the commercial fleet appear to be the same stocks that are in trouble in the PNW. I will not lay the entire blame on harvest in Alaska, but it cannot be dismissed either.

    For those who believe this is an allocation argument, let me explain why itís not.

    First, it appears that almost all the salmon caught in the Kodiak district are there to feed, grow and mature. They ainít there for spawning. So with that amount of targeted harvest, the only fish that survive are the ones who spend the least amount of time there. That would be the fish who are genetically pre-destined to return at a small size (i.e., the smallest Chinook). So, over time, the size-at-maturity of the adults goes down. That is exactly what has been happening for the last few decades. So not only does ocean harvest reduce the numbers of returning adults (duh), but it also reduces the size-at-maturity, which reduces future production. Thatís a double whammy. If those fish were allowed to grow to maturity, we would begin to see the large adult Chinook that were once fairly common, but not so much in the past 30 years.

    Second, the amount of ocean harvest makes it increasingly difficult to sustain habitat improvements here in the PNW. We all know that restoring habitat takes time and effort. But if all that effort does nothing except feed the ocean fisheries in Alaska, all that effort will not return a single fish to the spawning grounds in the PNW. We could close fishing entirely down here and it might not make any difference if the fish are caught elsewhere. To sustain habitat restoration in the long term, we gotta see some return on the investment (i.e., fish on the spawning grounds).

    As TJ mentioned in his post, not all streams in the PNW are dammed or damaged by logging, etc. Many are in really good shape. Just as good as any in Alaska. And many are improving rapidly. But in many cases, the salmon returns are no better than the rivers that are not in good shape. So why is that?

    Part of the answer can be found in the graph posted by FishDoc. Theyíre getting caught elsewhere.

    Alarming indeed.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Funstastic View Post
    It popped up under a Northwest Fishing Reports web page while doing some research. It's from October 2014. Just some guy ranting about the craziness on the Quillayute. I've never fished it, but I've been to La Push once to look at a boat for sale. Not a sole around. It rained so much I swear the boat was floating in dry dock.

    www.northwestfishingreports.com/ReportComment.aspx?id=6872&lid=7294&t=3
    Thanks. So far in 2016 there has been 130" rain on the coast in the LaPush area. There is maybe a 3 mile long section where the Quill is in the Park just above LaPush. I have never fished in that area. There is a boat launch/recovery at the Dickey River, plus the small boat harbor at LaPush.

    Most of th e fishing is on the SolDuc, Calawah and Bogachiel, which join at Leyendecker Park to form the Quill. Treaty fishers can use nets and motors at and below Leyendecker, which is about 6 road miles from the beach. Most others fish above, some walk in and a lot of drift boat with Leyendecker being mostly the lowest take out.

    If you or Nerka or others are down this way and want a winter steelhead or salmon adventure, I have a cottage in the area, 2 br, well provisioned, and available.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Cohoangler View Post
    The graph that FishDoc posted is alarming.

    The commercial fleet in the Kodiak district during the summer (June Ė August) is harvesting something close to 95% Chinook salmon whose origins are the PNW, particularly the Columbia Basin. I knew thatís happening in SE AK, but I did not realize the Kodiak district folks were catching so many Chinook bound for the PNW.

    In the not so distant past, Funís explanation of the ocean fishery was accepted, because we didnít know any better. But not anymore. It should be painfully obvious that harvest in the ocean is NOT a randomly mixed fishery where the overall impact on a single stock is mitigated by the large number of stocks available. As Iíve said for awhile, specific stocks get hammered much harder in the ocean than others. And those stocks that inhabit the nearshore waters of Alaska, and are targeted by the commercial fleet appear to be the same stocks that are in trouble in the PNW. I will not lay the entire blame on harvest in Alaska, but it cannot be dismissed either.

    For those who believe this is an allocation argument, let me explain why itís not.

    First, it appears that almost all the salmon caught in the Kodiak district are there to feed, grow and mature. They ainít there for spawning. So with that amount of targeted harvest, the only fish that survive are the ones who spend the least amount of time there. That would be the fish who are genetically pre-destined to return at a small size (i.e., the smallest Chinook). So, over time, the size-at-maturity of the adults goes down. That is exactly what has been happening for the last few decades. So not only does ocean harvest reduce the numbers of returning adults (duh), but it also reduces the size-at-maturity, which reduces future production. Thatís a double whammy. If those fish were allowed to grow to maturity, we would begin to see the large adult Chinook that were once fairly common, but not so much in the past 30 years.

    Second, the amount of ocean harvest makes it increasingly difficult to sustain habitat improvements here in the PNW. We all know that restoring habitat takes time and effort. But if all that effort does nothing except feed the ocean fisheries in Alaska, all that effort will not return a single fish to the spawning grounds in the PNW. We could close fishing entirely down here and it might not make any difference if the fish are caught elsewhere. To sustain habitat restoration in the long term, we gotta see some return on the investment (i.e., fish on the spawning grounds).

    As TJ mentioned in his post, not all streams in the PNW are dammed or damaged by logging, etc. Many are in really good shape. Just as good as any in Alaska. And many are improving rapidly. But in many cases, the salmon returns are no better than the rivers that are not in good shape. So why is that?

    Part of the answer can be found in the graph posted by FishDoc. Theyíre getting caught elsewhere.

    Alarming indeed.
    Coho, does this start to fill in the blank about Where do Salmon go to graze? Maybe a couple hundred more scale sample studies and we will begin approaching a better understanding of grazing behavior and locations.

    In the interim, is there any finer detail on "BC" and West Coast"? There are hundreds of stocks in both categories, some stressed and some not. Doc's graph does suggest that major changes are needed in the offshore fishery if concern for certain in-stream stocks is serious and not just another environmental cudgel to whack coastal and rural folks with.

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    TJ - Yes, absolutely yes. This starts to fill in some gaps in our knowledge of feeding locations of Pacific salmon. As tagging technology improves, so will the data we're getting.

    But this isn't always good news. If the feeding grounds are well known, that's exactly where the commercial and recreational folks will be targeting. Everyone likes to fish where the fish are, and are actively feeding. Ideally, more enlightened fisheries management will prevail. If these stocks are within NMFS jurisdiction, they can be managed on a coast-wide basis. It appears they might be primarily within Alaska waters. But if they're from the PNW, they had to have crossed both State and international boundaries, which makes them within NMFS authority.

    Coded wire tags (CWT) and PIT tags can help identify the origin of these fish. But 99+% of the tagged fish are hatchery fish. We have to use tagged hatchery fish as a surrogate for wild fish since we can't tag enough wild fish to get a large enough sample size. So this information will help us identify the hatchery from which it came, but it will be difficult to expand that to wild fish stocks from specific rivers, except for large rivers such as the Columbia. Finer scale information on specific tributary to the Columbia or the Coast would be difficult to determine from just CWT and PIT tags. Even new technology such as Parental Based Tagging can't identify the origin of wild fish.

    These technologies could be used to identify the origin of wild fish if we could get enough wild fish to tag. But using stream sampling methods (e.g., seining or electro-shocking) to get enough wild fish for a statistically valid sample is extremely labor intensive, expensive, and not very successful. So we have to use hatchery fish. We can get millions of those from a single raceway with almost no effort or expenseÖ..

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    Quote Originally Posted by Cohoangler View Post
    In the not so distant past, Funís explanation of the ocean fishery was accepted, because we didnít know any better. But not anymore. It should be painfully obvious that harvest in the ocean is NOT a randomly mixed fishery where the overall impact on a single stock is mitigated by the large number of stocks available.
    Coho, you've misrepresented what I said.

    I didn't say anything about impacts being mitigated on a single stock. I said the impact is small. And I never said anything about randomly mixed fisheries. I said the fishery may be made up from hundreds of systems. Obviously each system is unique unto itself and those ocean fisheries that impact it. Nerka made a similar misrepresentation when he turned what I said about small impact into "reducing risk". It wasn't worth trying to explain to him that impact doesn't automatically equate to risk. Some here simply have their mind made up that ocean fisheries cannot co-exist with sustainable runs (even though they already do).

    I'm not sure why you are so "alarmed" with the origin of Kodiak harvests. We have known that BC and PNW stocks dominate those fisheries around Kodiak since 1980 when coded wire tags were recovered from foreign trawl and research vessels. That has been reaffirmed over an over in many other CWT and genetic studies since. The fact is, fisheries in the Kodiak area have been occurring on those stocks for decades, sometimes with bigger harvests, sometimes with less.

    I hope you understand that the graph's context is relative to the systems it represents in each reporting group. "British Columbia" and "West Coast US" represent dozens upon dozens of systems and multiple districts all lumped together. So when you see 2,500 West Coast Chinook or 4,000 BC Chinook harvested, those fish would be spread among dozens of systems. For example, although they are on the same chart, comparing Cook Inlet to British Columbia would be apples and oranges, since Cook Inlet doesn't produce nearly as many chinook as BC and their migration patterns probably aren't the same. Either way, maybe you can do the math for me because I just don't see any of those numbers equating to havoc on BC/PNW systems being claimed.

    Sorry, but this is about allocation. If those 2500 West Coast chinook were not caught in Kodiak, they would be caught elsewhere in other fisheries, if not by you in yours. In fact the issue of allocation rears it's ugly head quite clearly here, as some like yourself claim these fish are yours and you are being low-holed because you "pay the bills" in the state they originated. When really, that's not the way allocation of our nation's salmon work. The fact of the matter is ocean fisheries in Alaska (and other places) do catch non-local stocks. Always have. And ironically non-Alaskan fishermen and fleets, many from your own state, are the one's doing the catching. The object is to manage these fisheries sustainably - exactly why they are heavily regulated.

    I agree that older chinook lend themselves more vulnerable to being harvested by the mere fact they are in the ocean longer. However, they also lend themselves more vulnerable to harvest as they reach terminal marine and freshwater fisheries where they congregate, converge, and are ironically targeted for their size. Perhaps you could present a solution to the phenomenon.

    Alaska's ocean fisheries are heavily regulated and conserved. They are co-existing with many, many sustained fisheries throughout Alaska, BC, and the PNW. We are monitoring and studying them more and more (as the posted reports show). The suggestion that habitat restoration in the PNW does nothing but feed Alaska's ocean fisheries is rhetoric. The PNW has some serious habitat issues, some from that past that have forever damaged fisheries in PNW and Alaska. Restoration has in fact been shown to improve runs in the PNW, and returns have been rebounding very well. A better question is, among all this horrible ocean fishing occurring in Alaska, why are many once problematic PNW systems rapidly improving?

    Yes Coho, PNW salmon are getting caught elsewhere. They have for centuries, because salmon roam the vast ocean where fishing takes place. Unfortunately while that ADF&G graph Doc posted shows PNW chinook are caught elsewhere, it does not show that as a reason why some of your runs are not in good shape. That is your own conjecture. I believe Alaska's ocean fisheries and healthy PNW stocks can co-exist.

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    First, the Chinook salmon caught in the Kodiak salmon fishery are caught incidentally to fisheries targeting sockeye in June, and pink and sockeye in July and August. No one is "targeting" Chinook, since there's just not that many to be caught.

    While it is interesting when the harvests of marine fisheries are "sliced-and-diced" with these GSI stock composition studies, and while sometimes we learn some interesting things that perhaps we guessed at before (like the relative absence of Cook Inlet kings in the Kodiak harvest), I think what is missing in these studies is the overall context of these harvests in relation to the size of the stock aggregates (reporting groups) that they come from and trying to keep some perspective on these harvests. Unfortunately, not many of these studies incorporate exploitation rate estimations for harvested stocks, which is a much harder proposition than merely spitting out a stock-composition-of-harvest report.

    No one should be surprised that any analysis for stock composition of Chinook harvest in any marine fishery in the Gulf of Alaska will be dominated by BC/WOC stocks. The population of that stock aggregate far exceeds any other stock in the North Pacific and we know west coast/BC stocks are ranging even into the Bering Sea over their life cycle. For example, the Chinook escapement past the Bonneville Dam has averaged over 1 million fish/yr since 2013, and are at historical high numbers going back to the 1930's. The 2015 passage past the dam was the highest ever recorded in 75 years of record keeping--which broke the record set in 2014, which broke previous record set in 2013. Just hazarding a guess, but I'd say that passage past the dam has been greater than the Chinook annual returns for the whole state of Alaska, or close to it, over the past several years. If one wanted to add in the Willamette, Sacramento, other west coastal Chinook systems, west coast hatchery production, and the production (wild and hatchery)coming out of British Columbia, what would that annual Chinook return be to those two reporting groups outlined in the report? 2-4 million Chinook/yr over the past several years? Maybe more? The SE troll fishery catches around 200,000 annually, depending on their allocation, and the BC commercial and recreational fisheries catch maybe another 300-400,000/yr. I don't even know what the Oregon/Washington/California commercial, recreational, and tribal harvest is on top of that. However, I'd guess the exploitation rate of the Kodiak salmon fishery on this reporting group is some small fraction of 1%, so from a management perspective, inconsequential.

    How many thousands, or tens of thousands, of Chinook escape the commercial and recreational fisheries every year and mill around hatchery raceways in this region, surplus to the egg-take requirements of the hatcheries, and go un-utilized by any user group? I don't know, but I'd guess its far bigger number than some very modest harvest of west coast/BC Chinook in the Kodiak salmon fishery. I'm curious if anyone may know.

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    This is your quote Fun -And the good news is that being "mixed" means that the impact to any one system or stock is very small, as the fishery may be made up of migrating salmon from hundreds of systems around the world.

    As I pointed out this is just not a true statement and you keep saying it is. It does not make a difference how many other stocks are involved. It is about exploitation rates and potential impacts to the stock of concern. If you have a 1000 stocks or 100 but are exploiting equally across them then the exploitation rate is the issue not how many stocks are involved. But if you are not exploiting equally then you could have a higher impact on one stock over another. It is about exploitation rates. There are some mixed stock fisheries with very high exploitation rates. Which gets to your question of sustainability. How would one know if the stock is sustainable if undocumented harvest is happening. We have lots of stocks in the PNW that are threatened or endangered.

    FrozenNorth, again your 1 percent point is not the way to look at the fishery or it is not the only way to look at a fishery. In UCI the ESSN were shut down for 100 chinook salmon below the goal. That was less than 1% of the return and yet it costs thousands of dollars to UCI fisherman. So when looking at interception one has to look at the goals and trade-offs as I pointed out. Kodiak may be taking chinook in sockeye fisheries but the Board should look to reduce that harvest if possible if they feel the harvestable surplus is better taken at some other location in UCI or PNW.

    Other examples where a few percentage points make a difference in UCI are the Northern District chinook fishery where they were closed or severely restricted by harvesting 1000 fish out of a return of 150,000. So if the management agencies and BOF are trying to manage to that precision then 1% makes a difference. One could argue that should not be the case but the reality is ADF&G is making decisions at that level. So I will say it again. The Board does have to look at the bigger picture as you suggest and as I pointed out they have little chance of doing that with regional meetings.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Nerka View Post

    FrozenNorth, again your 1 percent point is not the way to look at the fishery or it is not the only way to look at a fishery. In UCI the ESSN were shut down for 100 chinook salmon below the goal. That was less than 1% of the return and yet it costs thousands of dollars to UCI fisherman. So when looking at interception one has to look at the goals and trade-offs as I pointed out. Kodiak may be taking chinook in sockeye fisheries but the Board should look to reduce that harvest if possible if they feel the harvestable surplus is better taken at some other location in UCI or PNW.
    .
    I was responding to the "alarm" expressed about the harvest of BC/WOC kings in the Kodiak fishery by trying to point out that the harvest/exploitation rate on those two (combined) reporting groups is minuscule--not 1%, but some small fraction of 1%--probably on the order of less than 0.5%. That's pretty darn small and that fact is clouded if all one looks at is stock composition of the harvest. It is strongly likely that 90%+ of these fish are of hatchery origin, not wild. This fishery occurs in the territorial waters of the State of Alaska, not federal. It would be amazing to me that we would actively manage local fisheries, forego harvest on local stocks, and the economic benefit that derives to the State from that, to manage for distant stocks that have exploitation rates in the fishery at this de minimis level. Which presumably is what would happen with with time-and-area closures to accomplish this. Especially when these same stock complexes are being harvested in the many hundreds of thousands elsewhere in the Pacific. All this in my opinion, of course.

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    Cliff Notes version...

    "So utterly inconsequential... what could it possibly hurt?"

    Does that capture it?
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    Quote Originally Posted by FrozenNorth View Post
    I was responding to the "alarm" expressed about the harvest of BC/WOC kings in the Kodiak fishery by trying to point out that the harvest/exploitation rate on those two (combined) reporting groups is minuscule--not 1%, but some small fraction of 1%--probably on the order of less than 0.5%. That's pretty darn small and that fact is clouded if all one looks at is stock composition of the harvest. It is strongly likely that 90%+ of these fish are of hatchery origin, not wild. This fishery occurs in the territorial waters of the State of Alaska, not federal. It would be amazing to me that we would actively manage local fisheries, forego harvest on local stocks, and the economic benefit that derives to the State from that, to manage for distant stocks that have exploitation rates in the fishery at this de minimis level. Which presumably is what would happen with with time-and-area closures to accomplish this. Especially when these same stock complexes are being harvested in the many hundreds of thousands elsewhere in the Pacific. All this in my opinion, of course.
    Just to be clear. Salmon are not owned by the State of Alaska but the Federal Gov. UCIDA just made that point with their lawsuit over this very issue. The State lost. Also, I pointed out other Alaska fisheries not just PNW are impacted. I am not saying that any action should be taken in Kodiak as I do not know the trade-offs only that they should be examined. The idea that a fishery should grow and proposer with stocks from other areas just because they can is what is at issue. And we know the Kodiak commercial fishery has gone into new grounds to intercept sockeye headed for UCI and taken chinook in the same manner. These are not clean fisheries in some areas.

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    Nerka,you keep trying to insert something in my statement that isn't there. Read what I said again. I'm saying if harvest is spread out among more stocks, the impact to any one stock becomes smaller. The proportion and potential for exploitation drops. That is a reasonable assertion. The antonym of what I said would be harvest in marine terminal fisheries, where stocks from a single system are specifically targeted and have large and direct impacts to that single stock. I never said a mixed-stock fishery reduces risk - that was your interpretation - it may or may not.

    Frozen makes excellent points. Your examples are easy to make when those fisheries are so close to origin where harvest has a much more direct impact.

    Stocks of concern seem to be your issue here. Of the entire West Coast, only the Sacramento and the upper Columbia spring run, are listed as endangered stocks. The reasons are quite obvious. Many others are listed as stocks of concern. But virtually all of these stocks have been studied and shown to have their own unique problems too. Add to that dozens of West Coast fisheries much closer to home are targeting these same stocks anyway. So using 2,500 Chinook we know are spread out from dozens upon dozens of West Coast stocks (mostly hatchery), far away in Kodiak where millions and millions of chinook roam the ocean, as a path to conserving West Coast endangered stocks, does not seem tangible. And foregoing Alaska's local stock fisheries to do that seems even less reasonable.

    As for sustainability, these fisheries in Alaska have been co-existing with sustainable West Coast fisheries for decades, if not centuries. The only thing different now is that we are gaining knowledge of where those fish originated. I am in support of using that knowledge to better manage the complexities of mixed-stock fisheries. But I am not willing to forego healthy Alaska fisheries in speculation that a Sacramento chinook might magically jump the dam, or so these chinook can just be caught in other fisheries closer to home.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Nerka View Post
    Just to be clear. Salmon are not owned by the State of Alaska but the Federal Gov. UCIDA just made that point with their lawsuit over this very issue.
    He didn't say Alaska owned them.

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    Quote Originally Posted by fishNphysician View Post
    Cliff Notes version...

    "So utterly inconsequential... what could it possibly hurt?"

    Does that capture it?
    Sounds like rhetoric to me.

    Doc, you posted the graph. So maybe you could explain it in context - something more than just Alaska is catching PNW chinook...

    How many systems and stocks does the "West Coast US" and"British Columbia" represent? What is the size of these aggregate stocks, and how much of all total chinook available do they represent? How many are hatchery produced? And most importantly, what level of exploitation is the fishery imposing on them? Does this level of exploitation justify foregoing harvest on other local Alaskan stocks?

    Your cliff note indicates you feel this fishery is having serious consequences and causing harm. IMO, that is an extremely vague and emotional conclusion. But if it is truly the case, then letís put your graph into context and perspective, and examine your numbers. That would only be honest and fair...

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    Quote Originally Posted by Nerka View Post
    Just to be clear. Salmon are not owned by the State of Alaska but the Federal Gov. UCIDA just made that point with their lawsuit over this very issue. The State lost. Also, I pointed out other Alaska fisheries not just PNW are impacted. I am not saying that any action should be taken in Kodiak as I do not know the trade-offs only that they should be examined. The idea that a fishery should grow and proposer with stocks from other areas just because they can is what is at issue. And we know the Kodiak commercial fishery has gone into new grounds to intercept sockeye headed for UCI and taken chinook in the same manner. These are not clean fisheries in some areas.
    Well.. UCIDA sued the NMFS, not the State of Alaska (though the State did petition to intervene in the appeal). The lawsuit specifically pertained to the three historical net fisheries that operate, in part, in the Federal EEZ and to the question of whether the NMFS can delegate management authority to the State for fisheries occurring in federal waters without developing a FMP as required by Magnuson-Stevens. Yes, NMFS/State of Alaska lost that case in the 9th Circuit, now the NP Council has to develop an FMP for those fisheries. I've read the case ruling, I don't recall any language about "ownership", but instead on the question of management authority between the feds and the State, and the responsibilities the federal government has before it delegates authority for those fisheries. But, I'm not an attorney. I believe Alaska has management authority over resources within the 3 mile territorial seas of Alaska, not the feds, that was the point I was making. And I would hope the State would manage its fisheries to the benefit of the people of Alaska given the particulars here.

    Also, I don't really agree that the prosecution of the salmon fishery in Kodiak has changed very much since 1980. Perhaps the boats are in general larger now than 35 years ago and more weather capable, but the nature of the fishery has changed little. I'm not sure what the "new grounds" would be the fleet is moving into. Anyway, that aside, think I understand your point of view on this issue.

  19. #39
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    Good discussion. Frozen makes some good points, but lemme add some perspective.

    I have no problem sharing the fish we grow here in the PNW with our friends up and down the Pacific Coast. But the concern is that it's not a mark-selective fishery, and it's being done primarily within the waters of the State of Alaska.

    If the folks in and around Kodiak want to catch and keep lots of PNW hatchery salmon, that's not a real concern. But those hatchery fish are mixed in with wild fish, and there is no requirement to release wild fish. Wild salmon cannot take the level of exploitation necessary to take a lot of those hatchery fish. So either the wild stocks get hammered into extinction or we have lots of hatchery surplus. Lately, we've had more than our share of hatchery surpluses, but unfortunately the wild salmon aren't rebounding as quickly.

    Plus, as Frozen has pointed out, and is shown in FishDoc's graph, those fish are being taken in Alaska waters. The State of Alaska has no authority to manage those fish to help anyone else except the folks in the State of Alaska. So even though these fish are in State waters, they need to be under Federal management because they cross State and international lines, and many of these stocks are in real trouble, due in part to the fishing that's occurring in and around Kodiak.

    I realize FishDoc's graph doesn't reflect high numbers of fish. But I consider it a sample. And most likely it's a representative sample. Expand that sample across the entire fishery around Kodiak, and those numbers will get very big, very quickly.

    Lastly, lemme hit the issue of ocean fisheries and "sustainability". I agree that ocean fisheries have been implemented for decades but I strongly disagree that it's been sustainable. The fact is we've implemented these fisheries without really knowing the impact on local stocks. That's not being sustainable. That's being ignorant. Now that we've been getting a lot more and better data about ocean migration and fisheries in the GoA, SE AK, and elsewhere, we are becoming more aware of what has been happening for decades. A lot has changed since 1980. Indeed, that was almost 37 years ago. All this time we've been blissfully unaware of the impact we're having on returns to the Columbia River, Washington/Oregon Coast, and BC. Now that we're getting a better picture, there is no turning back. The chorus of voices demanding more enlightened fisheries management decisions at the national and international level are growing.

    As fish managers we owe it to the public to fully understand the consequences of our decisions. Managing by ignorance, and calling it sustainable is a huge betrayal of the public trust. The public deserves better.

  20. #40

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    Frozen north,
    Was told once by a former cook inlet drifter who sold out and bought kodiak seine package in the 80's that when the big cook inlet returns of the late 80's were happening, he and others would go out in the shelikof tide rips and hold a hook in their seine targeting cook inlet sockeye. 3 bucks a pound and lots of them. Maybe b.s. but no reason for him to purposely lie to me he is out of both fisheries now

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