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Thread: KENAI PROPOSALS: Got jack?

  1. #1
    Member fishNphysician's Avatar
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    Default KENAI PROPOSALS: Got jack?

    We started a pretty good discussion on this subject last summer. For reference, here's the link :

    http://forums.outdoorsdirectory.com/...ad.php?t=13255

    There are four "jack proposals" on the books for consideration at BOF 2008.

    #255 (KRSA) Increase the daily bag to 2 king salmon, only one over 28 inches. Only fish over 28" count toward the annual limit.

    #256 (Johnson) No limit on kings under 28".

    #257 (Estes) Daily limit one king under 30", one king 30" or greater.

    #258 (Hiner) Raise the jack cut-off to 25 inches instead of 20 inches.

    Which of these do you feel can be biologically supported? Which one do you feel is most likely to pass political muster? Or are they all doomed for failure?

    What you see is all you get. Chime in folks!



    "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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    The KeenEye MD

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    Default none of these

    ADF&G is opposed to all of these for good reasons. First, the percentage of jacks in the total return is very close to the combined percentage in the commercial and sport fish harvest. Therefore, the run is being harvested in proportion to the return.

    Second, the literature as cited by ADF&G is that jacks under 28 inches are spawning and that the size of a fish is more related genetically to the female than the male.

    Third, the percentage of jacks in some of the tributaries is making the spawning ratio near 50:50 so without that component the ratio would be skewed - have not looked at these data myself but was told this.

    So at this point the jack discussion should be dead in the water. There is no biological reason for harvesting these fish since they are not out of proportion in the total harvest. Also, the return of jacks is highly variable and a few years of high jack numbers does not require any action from a management viewpoint.

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    Member fishNphysician's Avatar
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    Default

    In simple terms, the inordinately high proportion of LR2-o's in recent returns can be interpreted in one of two ways.

    1) The problem is there are too many jacks. The solution is to harvest more jacks.

    --- OR ---

    2) The problem is there are too few salmon in the larger older age classes (LR3-o's, LR4-o's and LR5-o's). The solution is to stop harvesting so many of the larger,older kings.

    My personal bias leads me to believe that the in-river fishery has led to the depletion of the larger, older fish over the past 35 years. I don't think I am alone.

    Because chinook harvest is currently constrained by the 2-fish annual limit, harvesting fewer big fish almost necessarily translates to harvesting more small fish, and vice verse.... not quite a zero-sum game, but close.

    In contrast, all of the jack proposals on the table fall along the strategy of simply harvesting more jacks in an open-ended fashion. The problem with that startegy is it does nothing to curb the collective overharvest of larger, older kings. In these proposals, harvesting more small fish does NOT translate to harvesting fewer big fish... in fact, they are entirely independent parameters.

    I am inclined to agree with you nerka... these proposals may be doomed, but not necessarily for the same reasons. I'm just not so sure that any of these proposals actually do what we need them to do.

    I know this would be horribly unpopular, but one sure way to take pressure off the larger fish is to keep the 2-fish annual bag, keep the 1-fish daily bag, but thow in an inch-cutoff (say median length for the entire LR population) where harvest would be limited to one fish above said cut-off and one below. Or as a compromise position (for those who strongly oppose a LR non-retention slot limit)... perhaps limiting folks to no more than one slot-sized fish or bigger in the annual bag.

    WOW! Did I really just type that? I'll probably be crucified for it, but look, I'm just talking (typing?) out loud for the purpose of exploring ideas to toss around. Haven't really analyzed all the potential repercussions or unintended consequences, but nothing really jumps to mind just yet.... except that a lot of folks sure would be disgruntled about not being able to kill TWO BIG KINGS each year.

    Your thoughts?
    "Let every angler who loves to fish think what it would mean to him to find the fish were gone." Zane Grey
    http://www.piscatorialpursuits.com/uploads/UP12710.jpg
    The KeenEye MD

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    Default one above and one below

    I think we should deal with the issue of larger fish in a comprehensive manner. First, do we really have a problem as opposed to speculation. If we do then what measures should we take and how do we measure failure? That is the problem with the exisitng regulations which have no test criteria.

    Your proposal doc would limit the harvest of older fish if it was enforceable. Not sure how that would be done.

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    Member ak_powder_monkey's Avatar
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    Default

    I like your idea, I think the kenai river should have a 1 fish over 50" or 2 fish below 40 inch seasonal limit, go for meat or go for trophy. I don't think too many small fish are the problem and with my limited understanding of population genetics, that would be a horrible idea because it would decrease the overall size of the gene pool. I am of the opinion that the large trait is probably a ressesive trait so two small kings could likely produce a large king given the right sets of genes. Furthermore reducing the overall gene pool will lead to less genetic diversity.

    Plus jacks are definately under 20 inches, I've seen 24 inch kings spawning.. Hopefully these will all be shot down quickly.
    I choose to fly fish, not because its easy, but because its hard.

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