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Thread: KRSA out of bounds again with press release

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    Just to be clear I am not saying Kenai is strong or on forecast. I do not know. What I am saying is that the drift fleet needs to fish in the district to see what the run strength is based on current data. I am concerned that average size is small. ADFG is saying 6 year old Kenai sockeye looks below forecast. Being blind right now is a bad situation for managers.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Nerka View Post
    I am concerned that average size is small. ADFG is saying 6 year old Kenai sockeye looks below forecast. Being blind right now is a bad situation for managers.
    Took some friends dipping the other night and out of 15 fish (3 hrs fished) 75% were SMALLS. Barely larger than and a 4 lb Rainbow small. Didn't think much of it then, just chalked it up to them maybe being Russian River fish instead of Kenai fish. Last night took a drive and checked on folks fishing the Big Eddy area. Almost everything we saw was a dink...4-5 lbs. Something is definitely up with the size of fish so far. Maybe the later fish will have more size, who knows. Nothing seems to be normal this year.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Arcticwildman View Post
    Took some friends dipping the other night and out of 15 fish (3 hrs fished) 75% were SMALLS. Barely larger than and a 4 lb Rainbow small. Didn't think much of it then, just chalked it up to them maybe being Russian River fish instead of Kenai fish. Last night took a drive and checked on folks fishing the Big Eddy area. Almost everything we saw was a dink...4-5 lbs. Something is definitely up with the size of fish so far. Maybe the later fish will have more size, who knows. Nothing seems to be normal this year.
    I think the fish are just smaller this year, haven't seen many big kenai blue backs.


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    Out of the nine Kenai fish we caught today, eight were males. Small sample but interesting nonetheless.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Nerka View Post
    Fair question. My main concern is that the Department is not using the best science available to make management decisions and as a result will lose integrity and trust of the public. It is not about over-escapement. At this point in the return no one knows what the run looks like and ADFG instead of using the models developed over decades to figure it out used a method that cannot be defended with any scientific rigor.

    So let me explain how I view management. I view it has having three major components - the first is the resource is sustainable (some want to use MSY or SEG but the concept is the same), next one does not want to create chaos in the fisheries (the industry and public need some stability and predictability), and third are the other considerations like safety and what are the benefits of an action(economic and social). We manage fisheries to achieve these goals.

    In UCI with the mixed stock and mixed species complexity one cannot be a one move chess player. Too often the public focuses on chinook or sockeye or coho without understanding the tradeoffs and consequences of a management action. Just a few days ago it was chinook but today it is Kenai River sockeye. At this point in the season one has to gather all the data and put together an approach that deals holistic with the fishery.

    So what did ADFG do this week. They have jumped the gun on two stocks because of using average escapement curves for sockeye and chinook. This method is just not valid. But more to the point they ignored all the other tools in the tool box. As I have stated the offshore test fish program is designed for this type of year. On or about July 20th it gives a reasonable projection of total run strength. However, it needs to be calibrated with the fishery and especially the drift fleet catch. The program has not been calibrated since the last drift fleet Area 1 fishery. So right now the offshore test fish program is useless. Also the drift fleet catch gives one catch per unit of effort data which is useful to look at past years and see how the run is progressing. Also age and size data from the fish in the inlet is better estimated from larger sample sizes than the OTF program catches.

    ADFG also ignored data that suggest the 400,000 escapement number is bogus. For example the drift fleet caught 225 sockeye per boat in the corridor. If Kenai was so weak it has only 400,000 fish left in the return there is no way the drift fleet would have caught 225 fish per boat. Also, if the total return to Kenai is so poor the return per spawner for the brood year would be the lowest on record which is not likely.

    You asked about being proactive. That is exactly what I am suggesting. ADFG should have used the drift fleet in a proactive way to see what this return looks like. Instead, they have gone blind on the run size and now are waiting on escapement. What that does is create chaos in the fisheries and the cost of waiting will be lost economic value to all the industries and communities if they are wrong on the run strength (which is likely).

    ADFG put 40,000 sockeye up the Kasilof River this past two days when they should have been fishing given reports of fish on the beach. The plans are suppose to be abundance based given the chinook plans and yet they refused to fish over concern for Kenai sockeye only to turn around and fish today when fish probably are not on the beach. They missed an opportunity for a good chinook to sockeye ratio (the benefit issue). They also are saying that the Kenai sockeye run is so poor they will not meet the escapement objective yet the PU and sport fisheries are fishing full hours. Logic breaks down when one says Kenai sockeye are in terrible trouble but other fisheries can fish full out.

    Finally, I am not saying how strong this return is but that fishing the drift fleet today would not have impacted the final escapement significantly if the return is poor. They would not have caught any fish to speak of. However, if they came in with good catches ADFG could relax and start to plan how to harvest the surplus if chinook and other stocks show weakness.

    So not being a one move chess player in UCi in critical. Unfortunately the staff at ADFG is new to the inlet (except for one individual) and they are making rookie mistakes. I have made them myself and know how it impacts thousands of people in our community. In the past if one failed to harvest one could fish in August and try to make it up. Unfortunately the Board plans and political nature of UCI makes going outside the plans in August unlikely and therefore loss of economic value. One violates the what is the benefit question of the actions.

    Hope this helps people understand why I am being critical.
    Nerka, what about Susitna, Little Susitna, and Knik Arm (mainly Cottonwood and Fish Creek? If the Kenai component of the run is weak, the drifters will likely catch fewer fish, but the fish they catch will be weighted more heavily toward Valley sport fisheries and stocks of concern in the Yentna/Susitna. So in effect, you are criticizing the Department for not allowing a higher exploitation rate of Susitna fish by turning out the drift fleet more.

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    Quote Originally Posted by willphish4food View Post
    Nerka, what about Susitna, Little Susitna, and Knik Arm (mainly Cottonwood and Fish Creek? If the Kenai component of the run is weak, the drifters will likely catch fewer fish, but the fish they catch will be weighted more heavily toward Valley sport fisheries and stocks of concern in the Yentna/Susitna. So in effect, you are criticizing the Department for not allowing a higher exploitation rate of Susitna fish by turning out the drift fleet more.
    That seems like a bit leading question but not sure what is being criticized. A summary could be the managers got very heavily criticized about their decisions in the several long paragraphs you reposted then recently it posted something about the managers are blind because they have no data. So I am not sure if the issue is they should make no decisions because there is no data or the decisions were very bad because it lead to no data and the blindness. Also about a missing age of fish in the run and below forecast but thatÂ’s data but bad data confusing. Seems like they are wanting a decision to fish hard soon a couple days and see if it gets data so managers can get data about like if it is late and big small or medium.

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    The fish are coming, a big school is out there


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    Quote Originally Posted by willphish4food View Post
    Nerka, what about Susitna, Little Susitna, and Knik Arm (mainly Cottonwood and Fish Creek? If the Kenai component of the run is weak, the drifters will likely catch fewer fish, but the fish they catch will be weighted more heavily toward Valley sport fisheries and stocks of concern in the Yentna/Susitna. So in effect, you are criticizing the Department for not allowing a higher exploitation rate of Susitna fish by turning out the drift fleet more.
    Your post makes no sense given this year fishing pattern. The drift fleet has not fished the inlet for days. Northern stocks have not been overharvested. You are suggesting the drift fleet should never fish in the inlet because you want to catch those fish.

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    Quote Originally Posted by willphish4food View Post
    Nerka, what about Susitna, Little Susitna, and Knik Arm (mainly Cottonwood and Fish Creek? If the Kenai component of the run is weak, the drifters will likely catch fewer fish, but the fish they catch will be weighted more heavily toward Valley sport fisheries and stocks of concern in the Yentna/Susitna. So in effect, you are criticizing the Department for not allowing a higher exploitation rate of Susitna fish by turning out the drift fleet more.
    Posting that type of baseless rhetoric to justify one's own narrative only exposes how weak the narrative is.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Nerka View Post
    Just saw that KRSA is calling for a complete closure of the set nets. Typical KRSA - lets create chaos on no facts and misinformation. So for the record. The ADFG is watching their models but right now if the run is one day early they miss the lower end of the SEG by a few hundred fish. On the other hand if it is on time or late they make the goal. What KRSA is saying is that regardless of the sockeye return chinook SEG is the driving force in UCI and the impact on the community from a commercial closure does not count..

    So here is the best I can figure out. To date while the set nets have harvested a number of small chinook the large fish portion is very small. Probably less than 200 fish. So if the whole set net fishery had not been opened this year 200 additional large kings would have been counted. Does that drive a management decision - no it does not. Therefore at this point the set net harvest is not a significant factor in the final counts. If ADFG figures they will be around 13,500 does being at 13,700 drive a decision - no - the precision of management is not that good.

    So KRSA calling for a closure is just trying to wreck economic harm on the commercial industry to drive them to economic failure. Also, they are willing to let the sockeye return to the Kenai go above the goals for sockeye as they do not care about sockeye production. They should given guides and Alaskans are using sockeye more than chinook to fuel the economy locally.

    The question becomes what level of chinook escapement does one want for some level of sockeye escapement? Remember the 13,500 for chinook has a built in safety buffer so going under does not mean sustainable runs will not be achieved. Same for sockeye- going over the goal somewhat means lost yield but the run is sustainable.

    Right now everyone should just wait and see how this week develops. No need to jump off a cliff when the estimates for chinook are near or above the SEG and the precision of the estimates is not good. With the large fish goal the set nets are really not a major player anymore given they harvest mostly small chinook. ADFG should define what level of harvest the set nets can take to influence a management decision and act accordingly with the trade off decision on goals.

    And Will while I know your bias I would agree that given the ND stocks the trade off discussion has to include the ND. Does using the drift fleet to harvest Kenai sockeye to save a couple hundred chinook make sense if the ND is going to pay a price much higher. KRSA does not care about the valley just the Kenai River.
    Hmmm what do you think now with the latest EO’s????

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    Quote Originally Posted by Nerka View Post

    So here is the best I can figure out. To date while the set nets have harvested a number of small chinook the large fish portion is very small. Probably less than 200 fish. So if the whole set net fishery had not been opened this year 200 additional large kings would have been counted. Does that drive a management decision - no it does not. Therefore at this point the set net harvest is not a significant factor in the final counts. If ADFG figures they will be around 13,500 does being at 13,700 drive a decision - no - the precision of management is not that good.
    With your vast experience in UCI fisheries, how exactly do you know the proportion of large Chinook vs. small? Does ADFG have observers travelling to the beach sites? With my experience, ADFG shows up at the processor's docks and beach buying stations, but never have I witnessed them on the beach. Even back in the early 90s the large beach site I crewed at did not sell kings, especially large ones, to the processors. They even knew back then, that a high Chinook by-catch would result in less fishing time, or political drama. The kings went in "that tote". So, if the beach sites are still doing the same thing now as they did 25 years ago, then yes, you would have an abnormal percentage of small to large kings on the fish tickets. When both counters were going a few years ago, it appeared to average about 1.6-2.0 small to large kings, so more like 40-50% based on in-river estimates.

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    Quote Originally Posted by rmkak View Post
    With your vast experience in UCI fisheries, how exactly do you know the proportion of large Chinook vs. small? Does ADFG have observers travelling to the beach sites? With my experience, ADFG shows up at the processor's docks and beach buying stations, but never have I witnessed them on the beach. Even back in the early 90s the large beach site I crewed at did not sell kings, especially large ones, to the processors. They even knew back then, that a high Chinook by-catch would result in less fishing time, or political drama. The kings went in "that tote". So, if the beach sites are still doing the same thing now as they did 25 years ago, then yes, you would have an abnormal percentage of small to large kings on the fish tickets. When both counters were going a few years ago, it appeared to average about 1.6-2.0 small to large kings, so more like 40-50% based on in-river estimates.

    I only know what I catch. I report ALL Kings, and most are small. Probably fair to assume that there are dishonest folks in every fishery, and that the proportion of dishonest folks is relatively constant in every fishery. Only difference is that the proportion of harvest sampled is much higher in the comm fishery, reporting of EVERY fish is mandatory, and harvest estimates are available in a matter of hours.

    I'm soooo tired of this argument. I've spent way too much time on the banks of our rivers to give it legitimacy.

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    Quote Originally Posted by smithtb View Post
    I only know what I catch. I report ALL Kings, and most are small. Probably fair to assume that there are dishonest folks in every fishery, and that the proportion of dishonest folks is relatively constant in every fishery. Only difference is that the proportion of harvest sampled is much higher in the comm fishery, reporting of EVERY fish is mandatory, and harvest estimates are available in a matter of hours.

    I'm soooo tired of this argument. I've spent way too much time on the banks of our rivers to give it legitimacy.
    Yeah what came first? The chicken, the egg or the unreported king? It is easy to give the Facebook photos of people holding kings up out of the water before they let them go legitimacy which is also an illegal act.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Nerka View Post
    Your post makes no sense given this year fishing pattern. The drift fleet has not fished the inlet for days. Northern stocks have not been overharvested. You are suggesting the drift fleet should never fish in the inlet because you want to catch those fish.
    By what metric, Nerka? How can you state with such certainty, at this point in the season, that Northern stocks were not over harvested?

  15. #55

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    Quote Originally Posted by kidfromgarcia View Post
    Yeah what came first? The chicken, the egg or the unreported king? It is easy to give the Facebook photos of people holding kings up out of the water before they let them go legitimacy which is also an illegal act.
    I have seen a lot of pics of released Kings this year. None have been held out of the water.

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    Quote Originally Posted by rmkak View Post
    With your vast experience in UCI fisheries, how exactly do you know the proportion of large Chinook vs. small? Does ADFG have observers travelling to the beach sites? With my experience, ADFG shows up at the processor's docks and beach buying stations, but never have I witnessed them on the beach. Even back in the early 90s the large beach site I crewed at did not sell kings, especially large ones, to the processors. They even knew back then, that a high Chinook by-catch would result in less fishing time, or political drama. The kings went in "that tote". So, if the beach sites are still doing the same thing now as they did 25 years ago, then yes, you would have an abnormal percentage of small to large kings on the fish tickets. When both counters were going a few years ago, it appeared to average about 1.6-2.0 small to large kings, so more like 40-50% based on in-river estimates.
    No offense but you worked for an idiot. Large chinook catches means good index of a good return. That translate to more fishing time not less. Next ADFG has looked at unreported catch issues and they are not significant. Yes there are law breakers like your site but most fisherman know good catches mean more fishing. Also beach sampling vs at the plant has been looked at. You get the same age structures- again because people sell their fish

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    Quote Originally Posted by willphish4food View Post
    Nerka, what about Susitna, Little Susitna, and Knik Arm (mainly Cottonwood and Fish Creek? If the Kenai component of the run is weak, the drifters will likely catch fewer fish, but the fish they catch will be weighted more heavily toward Valley sport fisheries and stocks of concern in the Yentna/Susitna. So in effect, you are criticizing the Department for not allowing a higher exploitation rate of Susitna fish by turning out the drift fleet more.
    You really do not understand the fishery. If Kenai is weak overall fishing time is reduced which means lower exploitation rate not higher. It is simple math. The drift fleet has fished very few hours. Relative to index of run strength coho and chum are strong. Coho can withstand exploitation rates of 60 percent and the drift fleet is no where close to that. Also I did not say to turn them out more - I said fish on Thursday to find out what was out there. A poor catch would have given ADFG a week earlier to react with all fisheries.

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    Quote Originally Posted by smithtb View Post
    I have seen a lot of pics of released Kings this year. None have been held out of the water.
    Not going to get in an online fight, it would be none as in not in the photographs you looked at. Believe it or not plenty are out there on internet, think of it like thousands of dip netting cards fish and game says do not get filed back to fish and game by people every year and nothing is done about it. IMO more can be done to hold people to the regulation everywhere not just for unreported king caught by commercial. The end.

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    Quote Originally Posted by 323 View Post
    Hmmm what do you think now with the latest EO’s????
    I still think KRSA using chinook to try and close fisheries was wrong and the chinook forecast is saying the goal will be reached. Relative to sockeye closing PU one day was silly. One fish bag limit is more complex question to answer as it involves above and below counter issues. Above counter is allowed 200,000 fish to harvest if 900,000 reached. Not sure what they have harvested to date.

    ADFG is correct in what they are doing presently. They could open terminal area but that is questionable.

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    So commies had a(n open to the public) meeting with the Gov and Commish the other day. I did not attend, but learned from social media that the prez of the Guide Association showed up - pretty sure he wore a wig - and recorded the meeting. Pretty sure he gave the recording to Craig Medred.

    I know all of the folks on the Setnetter's Association board. None of them would act like that, and most of them support the inriver fisheries. I know there are a lot of good guides out there - please tell those jerks to drop the warrior mentality and start treating people with a little respect.

    The people I'm referring to are MAJOR Dunleavy supporters. Like many of Dunleavy's valley sponsors, they feel that commercial fishing contributes nothing to the economy and needs to be eliminated. They are in lock-step with Dunleavy's primary sponsor, Bob Penny, who has donated around a quarter Million dollars to the Dunleavy campaign.. This, folks, is Bob Penney politics.

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