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Thread: Kenai River Commercial Operators Trends And Numbers. . .

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    Smile Kenai River Commercial Operators Trends And Numbers. . .

    While I wasn't able to attend last Thursday's Kenai River Special Management Area board meeting due to another commitment, several friends were. One, a board member, gave me some hand-outs from the meeting. One hand-out, titled Kenai River Commercial Operators Trends And Numbers, 1982-2007, is of interest as Alaskan's ponder a long-term vision for the Kenai. The report is, I believe, the product of Alaska Department of Natural Resources, Division of Parks and should be available upon request from the Kenai River Center: 260-4882.

    The report breaks down commercial users of the Kenai into the following categories:
    Total Fishing,
    Motorized Guides,
    Drift Guides,
    Non Fishing,
    Resident,
    Non Resident, and
    Guides Total.

    Considering where we'd like to see the Kenai in, say, 20 years, a backward look that far reveals trends. In 1987 there were 155 motorized guides; in 2007 there were 372 motorized guides. In 1987 there were 77 drift guides; in 2007 there were 53 drift guides. In 1987 there were 44 nonresident guides; in 2007 there were 113 nonresident guides.

    Over the past 20 years, motorized guide numbers have way more than doubled, drift guides have decreased by about 25 percent, and nonresident guides have increased by more than 100 percent.

    From 2006 to 2007, total guide numbers declined from 437 in 2006 to 425 in 2007. However, motorized guides increased by three, from 369 in '06 to 372 in '07 as did nonresident guides from 105 in '06 to 113 in '07.

    Total guide numbers decreased overall because drift guide numbers decreased from 68 in '06 to 53 in '07 as did non-fishing guides from 41 in '06 to 29 in '07.

    Clearly, over the past 20 years the Kenai River has absorbed a drastic increase in motorized guiding, a decrease in drift-boat guiding, and a great increase in nonresident guides. Where do we wish to see the Kenai at the end of the next 20 years?

    Added to these figures, how many motorized guides run two trips a day as compared to how many ran two trips a day 20 years ago? A KRSMA board member told me he believes the majority of Kenai River guides currently run two trips a day. I don't know. Finally, and for what it's worth, of the 425 commercial operators on the Kenai, it's my understanding that less than half of them are members of Kenai River Professional Guide Association.

    Where do we wish to see the Kenai in 20 years? . . .


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    I would like to see some sort of rational process for fishery management on the Kenai. I do not fish the Kenai during salmon season from the bank or boat. This year I did dipnet the kenai on two tides (nothing special and will be back to the Kasilof as I have for the past 6 years). I do also try my luck on the upper Kenai for rainbows a couple times a year. Nonetheless, I would not like to see the Kenai collapse because it would redistribute into other areas. Here are a couple of things needed:

    1). I would like to see some environmental impact studies, economic, and fishery management (not the pro-commercial junk science) studies of the commercial fishing, guides (drift and motorized), Native subsistence groups, and out-of state and in state bank anglers (of course listed in the order of importance for the AK board of fisheries and exactly how the fishery pie is managed).

    2). Lock down all neighboring fishing river/ocean areas so there is not a movement of the fishing pressure on to other areas until the above assessments and studies are complete.

    3). Buyout of a larger number of commercial fishing license (please no parroting of the commercial the over harvesting mantra nonsense). The remaining commercial folks will need to pay a 50 cent per fish tax (as a starter).

    4). Restrict guiding to a certain number or only allow a certain number of trips per season. Also, a complete ban on motorized boats on the Kenai would limit guides. As to those without a motorized boat a $50 per person per hour on the water tax including the guide should be set. The money here would be to offset the infrastructure costs and habitat restoration and of course hire troopers to harass the boaters kind of like how dipnetters and anglers are harassed now.

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    Not that many are running two trips a day. Most are doing 8-9 hour trips. I also believe the guide numbers are even lower as I was told that 10 of the motorized permit holders did not fish this year.

    Somehow this data is much different than what was posted earlier. Hmmm.....black helicopters.

    Also, my observations is that a lot of drift boats have motors on them for crossing Skilak Lake, the majority of them do, those are counted as power boats, so the data is not total representative of the what is commonly thought of as a power boat.
    I would like to see a graph of the increase since 1987 and when the numbers began to rise. If I remember correctly it has not been the last 5 years.

    Marcus, was there any data presented on the non-guide trends and useage?

    So guide numbers are actually down. It will be interesting to see how this data is "spun" to make it look like a huge increase, I think I am alread begining to see it......

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    Wink Black helicopters . . ?

    Quote Originally Posted by yukon View Post
    Not that many are running two trips a day. Most are doing 8-9 hour trips. I also believe the guide numbers are even lower as I was told that 10 of the motorized permit holders did not fish this year.

    Somehow this data is much different than what was posted earlier. Hmmm.....black helecopters.

    I would like to see a graph of the increase since 1987 and when the numbers began to rise. If I remember correctly it has not been the last 5 years.

    Marcus, was there any data presented on the non-guide trends and useage?

    So guide numbers are actually down. It will be interesting to see how this data is "spun" to make it look like a huge increase, I think I am alread begining to see it......
    yukon, what can be said about your doubts? I didn't write the report—it was, I think, written by Division of Parks. Give them a call and ask about your "black helicopter" fears.

    And do you have data as to how many motorized, fishing guides run two trips a day or only an opinion? If you have data, please post it.

    As I read the data, the increase in motorized guides over the past 20 years has been gradual.

    Yes, "total" guide numbers are down, but "motorized guide" numbers are up. No spin there, just who's doing what. As I noted above, drift guides and non-fishing guides decreased, accounting for "total" guide numbers being down while motorized guides have increased. Also, if as most folks seem to believe, the majority of motorized guides are running two trips per day, that fact would most certainly generate a perception of a "huge increase" in motorized guides. You really need some hard data to the contrary before attempting to question the numbers.

    The only data I know of that might bear on your question about non-guide trends and usage is the reported decline in Alaskans who fish. Lots of folks I know have quit the Kenai in disgust. . .



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    Angry A continuation of past trends? . . .

    Quote Originally Posted by yukon View Post
    I would like to see a graph of the increase since 1987 and when the numbers began to rise.
    Here you go, yukon, the increase in motorized guide numbers in five-year increments since 1987:
    1987 — 155
    1992 — 212
    1997 — 312
    2002 — 304
    2007 — 372

    If there's any explosion in motorized guide numbers since 1987, it's been pretty recent. Twenty years, 15, or ten years is less than the blink of an eye in a river's life.

    The commercial gill-net industry poses no threat to the Kenai or to its fish, having been under tight control since statehood.

    It is rather the motorized, sport fishery that is abusing the Kenai, its fisheries, and its ecosystem with erosion, hydrocarbon pollution, siltification, habitat destruction, crowding, degradation, trophy fishing, catch-and-release, selective harvest, and more.

    What don't you get? How much more of this "economic engine running hard" can the Kenai, its ecosystem, its fisheries, and area residents tolerate?

    Where do we wish to see the Kenai in 20 years? As a continuation of the trends of the last 20 years?

    Come on, now. . .



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    Quote Originally Posted by Marcus View Post

    Where do we wish to see the Kenai in 20 years? . . .

    As a non resident that comes to AK to spend money (fish) I'd like to see some hard limits put on the total number of guides, the total number of non res guides, and the total number of motor guides.

    Uncontrolled growth will be disastrous.
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    Exclamation Will be or already is. . .

    Quote Originally Posted by ysr_racer View Post
    Uncontrolled growth will be disastrous.
    From where I sit, uncontrolled growth is already disastrous. . .


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    Default Thanks

    Lots of folks I know have quit the Kenai in disgust. . .


    Thanks Marcus of digging up that information. It was interesting to me because I was one that quit fishing the Kenai in the early 80’s simply just too many people. I loved the river though, so when we had a couple of kids I changed to a drift boat just to escape the madness. Drift Boat Monday is the best thing that has happened to the river in a long time. Just my opinion. Thanks again.

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    Marcus, I find it interesting that you question my observations of most guys are doing one trip a day (IMO one reason guide numbers have gone up) but post the opinion of a KRSMA board member about guys doing doubles.

    You also make some pretty big statements about the "commercial sportfishery" and your opinion about what it has done to the Kenai. Data???? Do you have data that shows that the "commercial sportfishery" has done these things you claim?????

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    Thumbs down Motorized sportfishery is the problem! . . .

    Quote Originally Posted by yukon View Post
    Marcus, I find it interesting that you question my observations of most guys are doing one trip a day (IMO one reason guide numbers have gone up) but post the opinion of a KRSMA board member about guys doing doubles.

    You also make some pretty big statements about the "commercial sportfishery" and your opinion about what it has done to the Kenai. Data???? Do you have data that shows that the "commercial sportfishery" has done these things you claim?????
    Have no idea what you're talking about, yukon. . . it was a KRSMA board member who told me that he thinks most guides are doing two trips a day. . .

    And if it isn't the motorized sportfishery which is creating the problems of hydrocarbon pollution, siltification, degradation, erosion, crowding, selective harvest, etc., etc., etc., you tell me —who has done these things?

    Certainly not the gill-net industry. . .

    Come on, yukon, give us a break . . .

    Heaven help us. . . maybe the BoF will grant us another day or two of drift-only. . . Someone has to put a lid on the "economic engine" trends of the last 20 years!


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    Marcus, everytime I make a statement of observation you ask for data. I am just holding you to the same standard. For community peace and harmony, not hate and created controversy.

    My apologies Marcus, I thought in your post you said it was the "commercial" motorized sportfishery, but you just said motorized sportfishery.

    Things you left out, is that hydrocarbon levels never exceeded the standard in the Kenai River Special Management Area.

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    Thumbs down The love of money? . . .

    Quote Originally Posted by yukon View Post
    Marcus, everytime I make a statement of observation you ask for data. I am just holding you to the same standard. For community peace and harmony, not hate and created controversy.

    My apologies Marcus, I thought in your post you said it was the "commercial" motorized sportfishery, but you just said motorized sportfishery.

    Things you left out, is that hydrocarbon levels never exceeded the standard in the Kenai River Special Management Area.
    Well, golly whiz, if true, how important is that in light of where we wish to see the Kenai in 20 years? Give us a break, yukon, you and the rest of the commercial, motorized sportfishery are part of the problem. . . when will you admit it?

    "Problem, what problem," "Who, me?," just doesn't cut it.

    Speak up. . . are you willing to see the Kenai in 20 years as a continuation of the trends of the last 20 years?

    Do you and other guides still want 50-horsepower? Etc., etc., etc. . . . There's more at stake here than money. . .


  13. #13

    Default Over 10 parts per billion

    Yukon,

    The KRSMA was over 10 on Saturday 7/21. It was 11.5 ppB at RM 5 according to the handout from last Thursday's meeting. Also looks like it was over at River Mile 7, although there are no numbers on the chart. The KWF representative did state that the river was looking better than the last time it was studied with this level of detail.

    It also looked much better on the following Tuesday

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    Default hopeless

    Alaskariverrat - what exactly do you mean by junk science - give examples and the authors of those studies. Have the courage to state exactly what studies you are labeling so the authors can take you on and show where you are right or wrong.

    What is over harvest mantra? Again give examples. You reference a buyout - for what purpose? If one manages to goals with less effort it means more fishing time for those that are left. What is your point or objective.

    Allow no growth in other areas - what areas - the whole state, all areas even if they have surplus fish, what?

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    Nerka --

    First, lets start off by noting that the economic system of the state of Alaska works on behalf of those with wealth -- not the people. We shall call them the "corporate elite." This group runs the state and the people working for the state take their ORDERS from them. For example, the state is powerless against the oil companies, the natural resource companies, the tourist industry, the commercial fishing industry, etc.

    Junk Science? That is easy -- I will provide broad generalized examples.

    For starters most reports by the National Fisheries Institute, a PR group representing multinational commercial fishing processors/producers.

    Pew-funded lobbyists funded reports.

    The ADF&G is biased in favor of commercial catches. Over-escapement is a "tool" (not based on methodologically rigorous science) for continuing the commercial catch (the major political contributors to our elected officials). Given the political pressure that can be developed by the lobbyists, PR groups, and political action committees makes it difficult for alternative explanations to be fully realized within fishery management sector.

    Nerka -- explore a research idea, in regards to fishery management, that runs counter to the corporate elites agenda and see what happens.

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    Default Alaskariverrat -

    O.K. I got generalized statements that do not allow me to explore anything - no alternatives presented.

    However, enough on that. Relative to commercial interests lets assume there is no commercial fishery on the stock - early run Russian River red salmon in the Kenai, early run Chinook salmon in the Kenai River, the bulk of the Susitna River chinook run, the late run Kenai River coho, just to name a few. These all have escapement objectives or goals or have studies underway to establish counting techniques and goals. If the goals are being exceeded the sport fisheries are made more liberal in order to harvest fish excess to the goal. Do you not think this should be done. From your comments I suspect you think that excess fish to the goals should be allowed to spawn. Am I reading that correctly.

    If not then you must believe in escapement goal management (does not matter if the goal is correct or not). If you believe in escapement goal management then whether it is commercial fishery, sport fishery, pu fishery, or subsistence fishery that harvests the fish makes no difference.

    You cannot have it both ways. Either one believes in goal management - the backbone of Alaska fishery management or they do not. KRSA has a proposal in to the BOF to do away with escapement goal management. Is that what we want to do with Alaska salmon fisheries?

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    After a very mean spirited and hurtful e-mail from a member of these forums in which I was requested to stop, I will no longer participate in threads discussing Kenai River Management.

    Thanks,

    Yukon

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    Quote Originally Posted by Nerka View Post
    Relative to commercial interests lets assume there is no commercial fishery on the stock - early run Russian River red salmon in the Kenai, early run Chinook salmon in the Kenai River, the bulk of the Susitna River chinook run, the late run Kenai River coho, just to name a few.
    What?

    Viable natural runs of salmon without the benefit of directed commercial fisheries to prevent overescapement? . Say it isn't so!

    Preposterous!

    Sakes alive! Someone better make comm-fish aware of this embarrassing oversight. If they don't get off their duffs and establish some commercial fisheries on these stocks soon, God only knows what peril these runs might face if they are simply left to nature's whim.
    "Let every angler who loves to fish think what it would mean to him to find the fish were gone." Zane Grey
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    Thumbs down State consitution says "no" to "nature's whim" management. . .


    Now, doc, these are, relatively speaking, rather small runs, and there are "commercial" sportfisheries on some or all of these stocks as well as vibrant private sportfisheries, all of which are watched closely by managers in terms of overescapement. . . .

    Didn't you know that? . . .

    Are you implicitly advocating leaving Alaska's salmon runs ". . .to nature's whim" in violation of our state constitution, which mandates that Alaska's fisheries be managed for (maximum) sustained yield to the benefit of all Alaskans?



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    Cool Bottom line. . .

    Quote Originally Posted by fishNphysician View Post
    What?

    Viable natural runs of salmon without the benefit of directed commercial fisheries to prevent overescapement? . Say it isn't so!

    Preposterous!

    Sakes alive! Someone better make comm-fish aware of this embarrassing oversight. If they don't get off their duffs and establish some commercial fisheries on these stocks soon, God only knows what peril these runs might face if they are simply left to nature's whim.
    For anyone not "getting" doc's tongue-in-cheek post above, let me offer my take. As I read it, Francis is hinting or implicitly saying that Alaska's salmon runs do not need "commercial" fisheries as management tools, much less as a means by which to accomplish sustained yield to the benefit of all Alaskans.

    Of course, "commercial" fisheries, as the doc means it, are commercial gill-nets, seiners, long-liners, and such. Francis does not mean "commercial" fresh-water fisheries, i.e., guides.

    The bottom line here is the Kenai River's second run of king salmon. There exist special-interests, who, for one reason or another—trophy fishing, economics, property values, an obsession with big fish, etc.—desperately want every last second-run Kenai king in the river. But, since second-run kings and sockeye run together, Alaskans must opt to destroy Cook Inlet's gill-net industry for that to happen.

    One of the ways these special interests are currently using to hopefully accomplish their goals is to pooh-pooh the idea of "overescapment"—advocating instead "leaving the runs to nature's whims" tomfoolery.

    It's true that were Alaska's salmon runs left to "nature's whims" they would not be destroyed, but what would happen is that the harvestable yield of such fisheries would be foregone, the runs would be subject to wild and erratic ups and downs, and any Alaskans and area of the state that depended partially or wholly on commercial harvest other than commercial sport-harvest would be decimated.

    FishNphysician and others (Kenai River Sportfishing Association) have long advocated getting rid of Cook Inlet's gill-net industry to be replaced by outlawed fish traps or other unspecified alternatives, all for the purpose of putting every single, solitary, second-run, Kenai king into the Kenai River to be exploited by the commercial and private sportfishery.

    Don't be fooled by special-interests. Alaska's commercial fisheries along with commercial and private sportfisheries are all vital management tools and crucial means by which our fisheries are managed for (maximum) sustained yield to the benefit of all Alaskans.

    Doc, if I've misread you, my apologies. . . you're free to correct me.


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