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Thread: What happened to 40,000 Kenai kings?

  1. #1

    Default What happened to 40,000 Kenai kings?

    I just can't help but to think that with so many kings in the Kenai we would have had great fishing and seen kings rolling like in previous years.

    Perhaps this has something to do with the mysterious dissapearance of those Kings.

    Who knows what goes on below the surface of the cloudy Kenai river.



  2. #2

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    I heard that some of the furry critters in Alaska like to eat salmon.



  3. #3

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    Maby there was something at Mud island just above the sonar counter sucking up all of those Kings.





    In other words I am as likely to believe that 40,000 Kings entered the Kenai this year as I am to believe that any of these criters had anything to do with their disapearance.

  4. #4
    Member tull777's Avatar
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    Ha! Toooo Funny! Way To Be!!!

    -Eddie
    http://www.pbase.com/tull777

    http://www.eddiefisherphoto.com/


    "If you're too open-minded, your brains will fall out. ....."Tight Lines & Best Fishes"

  5. #5

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    Perhaps the sonar counts are not too accurate?

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    Yah, maybe kinda accurate as in better than a guess, but not super precise?

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    Maybe some kind of.......oh I don't know...........boss can come up with something better? Those boss types always know someway to do things better. Maybe an underwater sub to actually count each king?




    Here you go Hawg..... I'll address you directly.........do you have any ideas to improve the sonar or anything else to help out the management of the river or you just one of those folks who just like to complain? Just ONE good idea. Anything?
    Last edited by Akbrownsfan; 08-14-2007 at 14:51. Reason: wanted to add more words.

  8. #8
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    Here's a link to the ADFG web site that describes some of the ongoing research they are doing to improve their sonar projects.

    http://www.sf.adfg.state.ak.us/Regio...R/acoustic.cfm

    The Kenai River site has been used to test the next generation of sonar technology, DIDSON sonar. This new equipment really opens up the possibilites of site selection on the Kenai River. The existing sonar equipment is very site specific requiring a linear bottom profile. DIDSON is less sensitive to the bottom profile and thus has the potential to be used in areas that the existing sonar wouldn't work.

  9. #9

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    Quote Originally Posted by Akbrownsfan View Post



    Here you go Hawg..... I'll address you directly.........do you have any ideas to improve the sonar or anything else to help out the management of the river or you just one of those folks who just like to complain? Just ONE good idea. Anything?
    I hate to complain, but the resource is to unique to ignore and let it turn into another Columbia.

    I have suggested to fish and game several times during the last ten years that they move the sonar to a location above tidewater where fish are les likely to drop back and be counted numerious times. I tried to explain that in one of these threads. The Soldotna bridge area would be a good location.

  10. #10
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    Default hate to agreed

    Quote Originally Posted by hawg boss View Post
    I hate to complain, but the resource is to unique to ignore and let it turn into another Columbia.

    I have suggested to fish and game several times during the last ten years that they move the sonar to a location above tidewater where fish are les likely to drop back and be counted numerious times. I tried to explain that in one of these threads. The Soldotna bridge area would be a good location.
    Just for the record, the downstream and upstream movement of fish is picked up with the sonar that is being used. They correct for that. The main issue is pulling chinook out of the numerous sockeye counts. They are working on it but this should be a research project at this stage not an operational one but one has to agree that for whatever the counts are the runs appear to be maintaining a fairly good harvest in the two fisheries. There is the issue of large chinook and that could be due to a number of reasons - one of which is a selective sport fishery - the other is just good growing conditions in the marine enviroment are causing fish to return after less time in the ocean. I have not looked at the data in detail to make a judgement.

    However, I do agree with Hog on the idea of moving the existing counters upstream to the river mile 19 sonar site. I actually suggested that years ago but was shot down for costs and the fact the fish tend to hold in the lower river until late in the season before moving upstream. Those are good reasons if you only had one counter. My suggestion was to run two - one at the existing site and the other at river mile 19. Post season one would have a better idea of how the lower river counter was doing.

    In any event, the Didson may be able to separate fish stocks based on size but we will have to wait and see.

  11. #11

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    There are plenty of places where the river botom is similar in structure to the curent location, thus the curent sonar would work the same as it does now with the exception of counting fish that stage for a period of time in tidewater multiple times.


    I have another proposal that has les to do with determining how many fish are in the river, and more to do with protecting some of the ones that make it to their spawning grounds. I realize that this is unpopular with some folks, but I think it is in the best intrest of the fish.

    The upper river between Kenai and Skilak lakes is closed to King fishing because it is considered a spawning area. The section between Skilak lake and Funny river is also a majior spawning area and it should be closed starting in mid-late June to allow for a sanctuary for staging fish. I know that people who live on the river in that area would be unhappy, but in fairness what about the people who live in Cooper landing? Why are those spawning grounds more important?

  12. #12
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    Hawgboss I have to apologize. You did come up with an idea, an apperently good one. I am not a King person, so as long as there are enough I am pretty happy. Still everyone keeps lamenting the loss of the "hawgs".

    I like your idea of closing spawing beds. Why not?

    What about a slot of only 1 or 2 out of the 5 being over say 50lbs. I as a meat fisherman when it comes to Kings could live with that. Could and would other sport and guided fishers? Could PU people? Or what about lowering the limit on Kenai Kings, or maybe for out of state folks. Kasilof is just down the road as is Anchor river. Heck if people REALLY have to get a King to eat you can always snag in the Homer lagoon.

    And is this a real deal? I mean the big fish not being around? Nerka has a study been done on the average size King in river? Are there any net studies like up north? By asking I am not saying that people's experience fishing the rives is not useful or factual. I am just wondering if ADF&G has done the studies. I am pretty clueless when it comes to Kings as they are kinda out of my price range. (ie no boat). Thanks, and once again Hawgboss thanks for the input with your suggestions for improvement. Now if we can somehow decrease the pressure the Kenai is facing from all of us.

  13. #13

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    Quote Originally Posted by Nerka View Post
    Just for the record, the downstream and upstream movement of fish is picked up with the sonar that is being used. They correct for that. The main issue is pulling chinook out of the numerous sockeye counts. They are working on it but this should be a research project at this stage not an operational one but one has to agree that for whatever the counts are the runs appear to be maintaining a fairly good harvest in the two fisheries. There is the issue of large chinook and that could be due to a number of reasons - one of which is a selective sport fishery - the other is just good growing conditions in the marine enviroment are causing fish to return after less time in the ocean. I have not looked at the data in detail to make a judgement.

    However, I do agree with Hog on the idea of moving the existing counters upstream to the river mile 19 sonar site. I actually suggested that years ago but was shot down for costs and the fact the fish tend to hold in the lower river until late in the season before moving upstream. Those are good reasons if you only had one counter. My suggestion was to run two - one at the existing site and the other at river mile 19. Post season one would have a better idea of how the lower river counter was doing.

    In any event, the Didson may be able to separate fish stocks based on size but we will have to wait and see.
    You make a good post Nerka, I guess I need to take a sonar reading class.
    It does seem like with all of the adding and subtracting mistakes would be more frequent than if it was just adding. Then throw in determining species. I have never said that their job was easy, but my job is not easy anymore either. I spent 7 years catching kings in a drift boat, there was no need for a sled then, just put in at the end of the road and take out at Centenial, or put in at Riverquest and take out at Riverbend. There were lots of fish, and lots of big fish. There are not many fish the last few years compared to then, with this year being the worst by far unless you like magnum jacks.

  14. #14

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    Quote Originally Posted by Akbrownsfan View Post
    Hawgboss I have to apologize. You did come up with an idea, an apperently good one. I am not a King person, so as long as there are enough I am pretty happy. Still everyone keeps lamenting the loss of the "hawgs".

    I like your idea of closing spawing beds. Why not?

    What about a slot of only 1 or 2 out of the 5 being over say 50lbs.

    . Now if we can somehow decrease the pressure the Kenai is facing from all of us.
    The slot limit might be a good idea, I actualy asked fish and game for that years ago and some years later they implemented it during the early run, likely because others asked for it as well.

    Curently anglers are only allowed 2 Kings from the Kenai per year so you can't reduce that by much without being left with nothing.

    It is my opinion that the Kenai has some of the best habitat that I have seen, part of that is the cloudy water that offers protection to the juveniles. I think that if some changes are made and more kings, especialy big Kings are allowed to spawn that the river will be able to recover quickly, but changes need to be made before it is to late.

  15. #15

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    I have another idea that might be worth consideration. Due to the fact that Sockeye and Coho tend to travel in the uper part of the water colum while in salt water, and Kings tend to stay deep, often near the bottom, I think that the set nets should have net depth restrictions that would allow more kings to travel under the nets. Of course they would have to fish at and near high tide, but they could fish more often if this worked.

  16. #16

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    Quote Originally Posted by hawg boss View Post
    Maby there was something at Mud island just above the sonar counter sucking up all of those Kings.




    Does ADFG sell stamps, or tags for these?

  17. #17
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    I have to agree with Hawgboss about the closing of the spawning areas. As much as I hate doing battle in the lower River in July this is really the most "ethical" place to be fishing. The anglers who target the kings on spawning beds are really causing long term damage to the fishery---for what? -- A picture and poor meat?

    Hawgboss I would look for the guides to set the example on this. If KRSA pushed for the closure of these areas it would bring credibility to the matter. I also think the guides should lead the way on catch and release practices. I VERY rarely see guides release kings. I know many clients would be receptive to the idea. The guides create the culture of catch and kill. I love it when I see someone release a nice king on the Kenai---but it's pretty rare. I wonder why it's that way?

  18. #18

    Default Please tell me....

    [QUOTE=KenaiV;133661] The anglers who target the kings on spawning beds are really causing long term damage to the fishery---for what? -- A picture and poor meat?
    QUOTE]

    The difference between killing a king at the mouth of the river, and killing it off it's spawning bed.

    Neither fish will spawn once dead. A dead fish is a dead fish.

    I do support a full season long slot limit and I almost exclusively practice catch and release on Kenai kings, but I don't see the difference between a huge 50lb bright chrome fish caught in the lower river (that won't spawn), and a blushed 50lb fish caught upriver (that won't spawn).

  19. #19

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    Quote Originally Posted by KenaiV View Post
    I also think the guides should lead the way on catch and release practices. I VERY rarely see guides release kings. I know many clients would be receptive to the idea. The guides create the culture of catch and kill. I love it when I see someone release a nice king on the Kenai---but it's pretty rare. I wonder why it's that way?
    I don't actualy see it very often either, but it happens a lot. I Know a lot of guides who release a lot of kings, sometimes it is average fish, and sometimes it is 70lb fish. My boat released probably more than we kept this year, it depends on the client though, they always have the final say. People who have caught a lot of kings in the past in other states tend to look for the big ones and some of those guys are satisfied releasing the big ones. I rarely have a problem with anyone wanting to kill a dark fish if I tell them that it is no good. People who have never caught a King often will keep the first one that they catch, even if it is 10lbs. If they are happy with it, I am happy with it. Some think that it is embarasing to come in with small fish, I think that that is what is best for the resource, but it is always the clients choice, I do advise them if I think they should keep it sometimes (medium sized hens are my favorite to keep).

  20. #20

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    [quote=Sockeye Charlie;133670]
    Quote Originally Posted by KenaiV View Post
    The anglers who target the kings on spawning beds are really causing long term damage to the fishery---for what? -- A picture and poor meat?
    QUOTE]

    The difference between killing a king at the mouth of the river, and killing it off it's spawning bed.

    Neither fish will spawn once dead. A dead fish is a dead fish.

    ).
    That is realy simple to explain the diference.

    A bright fish in the lower river (asuming that it will spawn above the bridge) is only subject to being caught for however many days it chooses to reside below the Soldotna bridge.or where ever the deadline should be.)

    Lets say 5 days. That fish may not bite during that 5 day period, it may not bite for 10 days.

    Once that fish reaches its spawning area, it will hold in that area for a month or more, thus if fishing is allowed in this area that fish may decide to bite on the 15th, 16th, or 25th day. King Salmon work like that, some come in from the ocean and bite anything you put in front of them, and some won't, but at some point, for what ever reason that triggers it, they will most likely bite eventualy.

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