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Thread: 2019 Cook Inlet Salmon Management

  1. #41
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    Quote Originally Posted by MRFISH View Post
    There's been a lot of discussion at the Board in the past about competing escapement goals and the consensus (at least among board members when I was one) has pretty much been: trying to achieve the lower end of one goal is more important than trying to prevent going over the top of another goal.
    Mr. Fish - this statement is one when I hear it makes me mad that the Department let you and other Board members leave it at this point. It is a meaningless statement. All goals in UCI are SEG or BEG goals which means they are high sustained yield or maximum sustained yield goals. That translates to how much yield does one want to have with competing goals? Yet the Board members consistently made this discussion as if it was a conservation issue about the health of the stock. They should have been corrected.

    In addition, the staff should have made the Board discuss the real trade-offs. The Board never has done that in a meaningful way. For example this year the Kenai River and Kasilof sockeye return had around 3 million sockeye for harvest. So lets assume that the Kenai River chinook projection was accurate and the final number would be 13,000 - 500 fish short of the goal and lets say that projection was made on July 15th. At that point there was probably 2.5 million fish left to harvest. Would you have closed the commercial fishery and let the escapement into the Kenai and Kasilof River go to 2.5 million in the Kenai and over 400,000 in the Kasilof? What if the projection was 200 fish short like in 2012. Remember in making your answer the total ESSN harvest of large chinook with the fishing this year was only 900. Or would you say I will give up 300 chinook to harvest 1.5-2.0 million sockeye using the terminal area, the 600 foot fishery, and the whole ESSN when Kenai came to the beach this year? What about 100 chinook. I know this is hypothetical but in decision analysis this type of trade off questions are asked and can be mathematically reported. I was involved with this type of trade-off discussion with where a pipeline should be built in Kodiak in 1978. The process is well established in the literature. If the Department had the experience to have Board members do this type of exercise it would have helped over the decades of decisiion making in UCI.

    Now while the Board did not do this they did something else which provided some guidance. They used the tier approach in the escapement goals to recognize on poor returns every sockeye harvested in important to the commercial fishery. However, they made paired restrictions that reduced hours, put in windows, and reaffirmed the Commissioner E.O authority to go outside the plans to manage for escapement goals. This year the Commission went outside the plans to manage for user satisfaction in the PU fishery. On two Saturdays when the windows were over, the chinook projection was well above the goal he refused staff desire to fish sockeye to meet the sockeye goals. Instead he gave up escapement goal management for allocation. That is not in his authority. The Legislature has allocation criteria that must be followed. The Board of Fish does follow these in making allocation decisions. The Commissioner ignored this law and history. No one can deny this happened. Local staff made detailed notes of exactly what he said and the rationale for his decisions.

    Finally, one cannot look at the final results and judge management decisions. At the time of the major sockeye decisions the chinook projections were above the goal. Post season review of management decisions must always be based on what data was available at the time of the decision.

  2. #42

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    Quote Originally Posted by Nerka View Post
    This year the Commission went outside the plans to manage for user satisfaction in the PU fishery.
    This is not accurate. The Kenai River Late-Run King Salmon Management Plan states that if the use of bait is prohibited, commercial set net periods are open for no more than 48 hours per week. It does not say that set net periods must be open for 48 hours per week.

    The only out of plan actions of which I am aware were in August when the drift net fishery was opened district wide after three consecutive days of sockeye catch of less than 1% the season's total. The management plan directs that this fishery close in most of the central district after 2 days of less than 1%. This action benefited the commercial fishery. I do not know whether the recommendation for this action originated in area comfish management staff or higher up.

  3. #43
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bfish View Post
    This is not accurate. The Kenai River Late-Run King Salmon Management Plan states that if the use of bait is prohibited, commercial set net periods are open for no more than 48 hours per week. It does not say that set net periods must be open for 48 hours per week.

    The only out of plan actions of which I am aware were in August when the drift net fishery was opened district wide after three consecutive days of sockeye catch of less than 1% the season's total. The management plan directs that this fishery close in most of the central district after 2 days of less than 1%. This action benefited the commercial fishery.
    Wrong. The absence of action is an action. On two Saturdays staff recommended fishing to meet goals. The Commissioner said no so PU fishery would benefit. Therefore not only was the intent of the King salmon management plan violated but the overall UCI plan was violated as the Commissioner was not managing to goals. Guys just admit the Commissioner managed for what he said he was doing - favoring the PU fishery. His own words.

  4. #44

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    Quote Originally Posted by Nerka View Post
    Wrong. The absence of action is an action. On two Saturdays staff recommended fishing to meet goals. The Commissioner said no so PU fishery would benefit. Therefore not only was the intent of the King salmon management plan violated but the overall UCI plan was violated as the Commissioner was not managing to goals. Guys just admit the Commissioner managed for what he said he was doing - favoring the PU fishery. His own words.
    If I am following you correctly, you are accusing the commissioner of acting improperly outside of his authority. This is a very serious allegation. Can you point me to a specific provision in the administrative code or management plans that the commissioner violated with regard to no action on the Saturday's you reference? I'm sure that I don't know or understand the management plans as well as you do so I could use a little help here.

    And if the sole basis for your conclusion is your unique insight and understanding of this fishery and the implications of acting or not acting, I'm having a hard time understanding how these subjective inferences rise to the level of improper conduct.

  5. #45
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    There were lots of options for sockeye management that were NOT used this year. As mentioned by Nerka, the Kasilof terminal, while nothing short of a goat rodeo, would have helped with the Kasilof over escapement while not hurting Kenai kings. Another option (but not in the rule book) would have been to have fished a Kenai 600' fishery including the north beach and East Forelands.

    Talking to my north beach friends, those on the beach caught very few kings in the Salamatof South section so since the beach nets didn't catch the kings, then a Kenai 600' fishery would have been an appropriate call.

    I know that I saw more jumpers on the beach after we were shut down than I did during the time we were fishing. That equates to millions of dollars in lost revenue as we set netters weren't fishing. Its time for the Peninsula govt to lobby for better management within the East side fishery as the economic loss is huge when we put 600,000 - 800,000 more fish up the river than we desire. Sure Bob P and company won't like it but his hundreds of thousands of $$$ towards Dunleavy's election does nothing for supporting the borough economically when we let a resource swim by with no value added options taken.

    Nerka, how about Area M intercept on the CI bound kings? Any data you can pass along or ideas for managing them for optimum CI returns? I hear that they won't release catch data because its an alarming number of CI kings (and reds) that get caught.

  6. #46
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    I've heard from a few people who use the shallower nets that they are catching fewer kings. Given fishing shallower nets do not catch as many sockeye, if the trade off is less sockeye and fewer king vs no sockeye and no kings, wouldn't fishing shallower nets make sense to those who want to catch any sockeye? It's obviously not ideal, but better than no fishing isn't fishing shallower gear for longer better than not fishing at all?
    “I would rather have questions that can't be answered than answers that can't be questioned.” Physicist ― Richard Feynman


  7. #47
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    Quote Originally Posted by Patsfan54 View Post
    I've heard from a few people who use the shallower nets that they are catching fewer kings. Given fishing shallower nets do not catch as many sockeye, if the trade off is less sockeye and fewer king vs no sockeye and no kings, wouldn't fishing shallower nets make sense to those who want to catch any sockeye? It's obviously not ideal, but better than no fishing isn't fishing shallower gear for longer better than not fishing at all?
    Agreed, I'd much rather get fishing time with 29 mesh gear with the hopes of getting some fish vs sitting on the beach watching the jumpers swim by. I fish 8 nets on the beach and at least 4 if not 5 of those nets are 29 mesh deep. I notice no difference in the number of fish caught in a 29 vs 45 mesh deep net and, I hope all the kings swim by underneath.....

    I'd like to see F&G give us a "phase out period" of maybe 3-5 yrs at which time all gear has to be 29 mesh. I think we'll catch near as many sockeye but much fewer kings and, its a good PR move on our part to show that we are in fact trying to not catch kings.

  8. #48
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bfish View Post
    If I am following you correctly, you are accusing the commissioner of acting improperly outside of his authority. This is a very serious allegation. Can you point me to a specific provision in the administrative code or management plans that the commissioner violated with regard to no action on the Saturday's you reference? I'm sure that I don't know or understand the management plans as well as you do so I could use a little help here.

    And if the sole basis for your conclusion is your unique insight and understanding of this fishery and the implications of acting or not acting, I'm having a hard time understanding how these subjective inferences rise to the level of improper conduct.
    Is removing bait when the king salmon season is over in your management plans? So if they make do not make spawner goals on other rivers do they disallow bait? Nerka Bfish can you answer those questions? If the answers are both no to my questions this whole idea of following plans and making plans is just about putting lipstick on a pig. The pig being a bad run and the lipstick being trying to make up for it when you cant

  9. #49

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    Quote Originally Posted by kidfromgarcia View Post
    Is removing bait when the king salmon season is over in your management plans? So if they make do not make spawner goals on other rivers do they disallow bait? Nerka Bfish can you answer those questions? If the answers are both no to my questions this whole idea of following plans and making plans is just about putting lipstick on a pig. The pig being a bad run and the lipstick being trying to make up for it when you cant

    It's all good kid. If you read the e.o. in it's entirety, coho anglers are urged to avoid areas where kings may be concentrated. Problem solved!

  10. #50
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    Quote Originally Posted by gunner View Post
    It's all good kid. If you read the e.o. in it's entirety, coho anglers are urged to avoid areas where kings may be concentrated. Problem solved!
    So you actually think they solved the problem of having a bad king run by not allowing bait for coho fishing and telling people to avoid areas where kings may be concentrated? This is the kind of thinking that is exactly the problem disallowing bait has no effect on helping the bad king run. You got a bunch of government people and public that loves useless regulation.

  11. #51
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    Quote Originally Posted by kidfromgarcia View Post
    So you actually think they solved the problem of having a bad king run by not allowing bait for coho fishing and telling people to avoid areas where kings may be concentrated? This is the kind of thinking that is exactly the problem disallowing bait has no effect on helping the bad king run. You got a bunch of government people and public that loves useless regulation.
    Quote Originally Posted by SmokeRoss View Post
    If Kings hadn't been over fished in the river the past 3 or so decades, we would be having decent returns now, and setnet commercial fishing wouldn't need drastic restrictions to help get a few more Kings up the river. Guides targeting Kings should have been reduced to a fraction of the current numbers a LONG time ago. The Kenai should have gone to drift only fishing for Kings years ago. Watch for more in river restrictions in the future, and smaller returns of Kings. Smaller Kings also. The Kings are screwed. Have been for a many years. Slot limits were a poor attempt to try to get a few big Kings to spawn. Didn't work. None of the recent rules have helped much. Too little, too late. The writing has been on the wall for a long time, but has been mostly ignored. They're done. You might see a year or 2 of decent returns in the future, (along with a lot of hand wringing and wailing) but my bet is on a continuing downward spiral of our once great King fishery.
    I completely do not buy most of your reasoning because it is happening all over the state in places where the habitat has not been hammered like the Kenai habitat. Kings are going away all over not just Kenai. It is way bigger than a bunch of guides or gill netting. Your taking the easy way out by blaming something simple. It is the environment.

  12. #52

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    Quote Originally Posted by kidfromgarcia View Post
    So you actually think they solved the problem of having a bad king run by not allowing bait for coho fishing and telling people to avoid areas where kings may be concentrated? This is the kind of thinking that is exactly the problem disallowing bait has no effect on helping the bad king run. You got a bunch of government people and public that loves useless regulation.
    I think you have it wrong kid. My understanding is the e.o. not allowing bait and multiple hooks is no longer in effect. Commisioner Penney, or whatever his name is has classics and other considerations to worry about, so what little chinook loss due to this relaxation of the e.o. are inconsequential, at least in his point of view,which is to ensure the sportfish guide industry prospers ,no matter what the long term costs to the resource are.

  13. #53

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    Bfish, the allegations of improper conduct by the ADFG Commish, and bias/favoritism to a particular user group, that are being rampantly spread in this forum, was the legal basis for the CIFF to file for a TRO and Injunction against ADFG that was recently resolved by the courts. Judge Jason Gist just recently ruled on the legal action, and refused to issue the TRO and Injunction. His ruling found no legal merit or evidence to support the above allegations. So, those allegations have been presented to the Court (a neutral body), reviewed by the Court, and rejected by the Court. Interestingly, the same legal strategy from CIFF was also undertaken a few years ago (against another Commish) and were also rejected by the Court (by a different judge).

    .
    Quote Originally Posted by Bfish View Post
    If I am following you correctly, you are accusing the commissioner of acting improperly outside of his authority. This is a very serious allegation. Can you point me to a specific provision in the administrative code or management plans that the commissioner violated with regard to no action on the Saturday's you reference? I'm sure that I don't know or understand the management plans as well as you do so I could use a little help here.

    And if the sole basis for your conclusion is your unique insight and understanding of this fishery and the implications of acting or not acting, I'm having a hard time understanding how these subjective inferences rise to the level of improper conduct.

  14. #54
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    Quote Originally Posted by NorcalBob View Post
    Bfish, the allegations of improper conduct by the ADFG Commish, and bias/favoritism to a particular user group, that are being rampantly spread in this forum, was the legal basis for the CIFF to file for a TRO and Injunction against ADFG that was recently resolved by the courts. Judge Jason Gist just recently ruled on the legal action, and refused to issue the TRO and Injunction. His ruling found no legal merit or evidence to support the above allegations. So, those allegations have been presented to the Court (a neutral body), reviewed by the Court, and rejected by the Court. Interestingly, the same legal strategy from CIFF was also undertaken a few years ago (against another Commish) and were also rejected by the Court (by a different judge).


    .
    This is not true from what I understand. The TRO was not about what I am suggesting. So my concern was not addressed by the courts. Also the Injunction hearing and depositions are in the future. There was two parts of the case and the judge has let discovery go forward for the injunction part of the case. So what you have posted is not correct. In a TRO hearing no testimony was allowed - it was about legal standing, harm to individuals, and the merit of winning the case. I heard this directly from the parties involved but I am not a lawyer. I just know other groups are preparing to question a number of issues in both State and Federal court. This is far from over.

  15. #55
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bfish View Post
    If I am following you correctly, you are accusing the commissioner of acting improperly outside of his authority. This is a very serious allegation. Can you point me to a specific provision in the administrative code or management plans that the commissioner violated with regard to no action on the Saturday's you reference? I'm sure that I don't know or understand the management plans as well as you do so I could use a little help here.

    And if the sole basis for your conclusion is your unique insight and understanding of this fishery and the implications of acting or not acting, I'm having a hard time understanding how these subjective inferences rise to the level of improper conduct.
    Not avoiding your questions just running out of time recently. I will respond in the next day or so. There are a number of references one needs to look at and list for you.

  16. #56

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    Quote Originally Posted by Nerka View Post
    Not avoiding your questions just running out of time recently. I will respond in the next day or so. There are a number of references one needs to look at and list for you.
    Nerka, my best wishes are with you. I thoroughly enjoy a good hearty back and forth,

  17. #57

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    Nerka, you are incorrect on a number of issues. Judge Jason Gist did indeed deny CIFF's request for a TRO and Preliminary Injunction in his court ruling. This is excerpted verbatim from the Courts Summary Decision issued on 5 AUG 2019: "For the reasons stated herein, CIFF has failed to demonstrate a probable success on the merits of its claims. Accordingly, its Motion for TRO and Preliminary Injunction is DENIED". You are correct that the Case is divided into two parts: 1) Request for TRO and Preliminary Injunction, and 2) Request for a Permanent Injunction and that Judge Gist did not issue a ruling on Count 2. In addition, you are incorrect in what was discussed at the hearing, and "it was about legal standing, harm to individuals, and the merit of winning the case". The hearing was much more far reaching than that, and included many additional topics including the following that was discussed by CIFF Attorneys, State Attorneys and Judge Gist. In the interest of brevity I am only going to address the issues involving allegations about improper conduct by ADFG and bias/favoritism (which was the focus of my OP). CIFF in its original Court Filings identified those very issues as being relevant as a legal basis for granting of the TRO and Injunctions. In point of fact, CIFF did indeed bring those issues to the Courts attention during the hearing with Judge Gist, and they were discussed, and questions were asked to both CIFF and State Attorneys. Lastly, CIFF has many legal approaches they can pursue in the future if they so decide, including the Permanent Injunction. I have no idea whether or not they plan future action, but any additional legal actions will require a large expenditure of funds.
    "
    Quote Originally Posted by Nerka View Post
    This is not true from what I understand. The TRO was not about what I am suggesting. So my concern was not addressed by the courts. Also the Injunction hearing and depositions are in the future. There was two parts of the case and the judge has let discovery go forward for the injunction part of the case. So what you have posted is not correct. In a TRO hearing no testimony was allowed - it was about legal standing, harm to individuals, and the merit of winning the case. I heard this directly from the parties involved but I am not a lawyer. I just know other groups are preparing to question a number of issues in both State and Federal court. This is far from over.

  18. #58
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    Quote Originally Posted by NorcalBob View Post
    Nerka, you are incorrect on a number of issues. Judge Jason Gist did indeed deny CIFF's request for a TRO and Preliminary Injunction in his court ruling. This is excerpted verbatim from the Courts Summary Decision issued on 5 AUG 2019: "For the reasons stated herein, CIFF has failed to demonstrate a probable success on the merits of its claims. Accordingly, its Motion for TRO and Preliminary Injunction is DENIED". You are correct that the Case is divided into two parts: 1) Request for TRO and Preliminary Injunction, and 2) Request for a Permanent Injunction and that Judge Gist did not issue a ruling on Count 2. In addition, you are incorrect in what was discussed at the hearing, and "it was about legal standing, harm to individuals, and the merit of winning the case". The hearing was much more far reaching than that, and included many additional topics including the following that was discussed by CIFF Attorneys, State Attorneys and Judge Gist. In the interest of brevity I am only going to address the issues involving allegations about improper conduct by ADFG and bias/favoritism (which was the focus of my OP). CIFF in its original Court Filings identified those very issues as being relevant as a legal basis for granting of the TRO and Injunctions. In point of fact, CIFF did indeed bring those issues to the Courts attention during the hearing with Judge Gist, and they were discussed, and questions were asked to both CIFF and State Attorneys. Lastly, CIFF has many legal approaches they can pursue in the future if they so decide, including the Permanent Injunction. I have no idea whether or not they plan future action, but any additional legal actions will require a large expenditure of funds.
    "
    I think we are disagreeing on the issues that I am bringing up and what the TRO stated. The judge did not have testimony only the lawyer understanding and therefore most of those involved figured the TRO would fail but the hearing on the permanent injunction would be a different story. I have not talked to the people who filed or their lawyers. I am getting this second hand from good sources. That group figures they win with depositions in the State case for use in the Federal case. It may be a good move since the State personnel cannot speak freely without a court order.

  19. #59

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    I think there is a basic misunderstanding of what the legal process of the TRO and Injunctions do and how they are executed. These are intended as a relatively easy, quick, and inexpensive legal means for an aggrieved party (in this case CIFF) to ask a judge to intervene in order to stop whatever aggrieved action they specify, without going to a full-blown trial. And that trial is NOT relatively easy, quick, or inexpensive. For a TRO and Preliminary Injunction, the aggrieved party has to specify why they are aggrieved, give a legal basis to support that (and the DFG Commish is a meanie and doesn't like us, won't hack it in front of a judge), and also state what they want the Court to do. The Preliminary Injunction is used for a very quick resolution of issue and a specified period of time. The Permanent Injunction is used to make the action permanent. You are correct that there is no actual witness testimony for a TRO/Preliminary Injunction, but that does not mean that potential evidence is not discussed. In fact, the aggrieved party gets to present their "evidence" to support their action, the Judge reviews it, and can ask questions about it to both parties. The Judge then makes a determination on the likeliness of the legal action to succeed, and can issue a Court Order of Action (or not) to give the aggrieved party what they ask for. In this legal action, the CIFF has a long list of things that it wanted the Court to order, and many of those things were direct requests to stop actions specified by regulation and BoF direction. Quite frankly, that means that CIFF wanted a Court Order to stop specific actions mandated by the BoF and ADFG regulations. And that is untenable to the State (as it should be in the States view, as it would prevent State regulation of the fishery). The evidence bar and legal arguments to get a Judge to approve that is going to be quite high, as no Judge wants to overrule previous regulations and BoF direction. And Judge Gist did not feel that CIFF had presented a strong enough case to prevail in future legal actions so he DENIED the Motions for TRO and Preliminary Injunction. CIFF can now proceed to other legal approaches should they so desire, but future legal actions are NOT going to be relatively easy, quick, and inexpensive. I sure hope CIFF has deep pockets lined with money should they choose to go further, because it's going to get very expensive from this point on. CIFF tried this tactic before in a very similar case, and even issued an appeal all the way to the Alaskan Supreme Court, but they ultimately failed. And IMNSHO, I really don't see any way they can prevail this time either. Nerka, I strongly urge you to get a copy of Judge Gist's Final Ruling to review yourself (it is public record), as it details all the legal reasoning, including CIFF demands, and make your own determination as to whether or not CIFF demands are reasonable and legally sustainable. I did, and my conclusion is, no way Jose.
    Quote Originally Posted by Nerka View Post
    I think we are disagreeing on the issues that I am bringing up and what the TRO stated. The judge did not have testimony only the lawyer understanding and therefore most of those involved figured the TRO would fail but the hearing on the permanent injunction would be a different story. I have not talked to the people who filed or their lawyers. I am getting this second hand from good sources. That group figures they win with depositions in the State case for use in the Federal case. It may be a good move since the State personnel cannot speak freely without a court order.

  20. #60
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    Turning to the courts to resolve fishery management disputes never ends well. Trust me.

    One side might get a favorable/adverse ruling, but that only serves to prompt similar lawsuits, and opens up other avenues for further lawsuits in other areas of disagreement (what’s good for the goose…..).

    In the end, the only folks who benefit are the attorneys. Sometimes, legal actions can’t be avoided, but it should be the ‘option of last resort’.

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