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Thread: More bad news for the Valley Salmon

  1. #1
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    Default More bad news for the Valley Salmon

    Here is a link to the Daily News article in this mornings papers:

    http://www.adn.com/fishing/story/285142.html

    I was surprised to hear the F&G biologist say that 50% of the Valley sockeye were caught by commercial fishermen.

    "Commercial fishermen typically catch about half the sockeyes before they reach the river, which means only an estimated 172,000 reds would make it into the Susitna River drainage, Willette said."

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    Default poor article

    Quote Originally Posted by Yukon
    I was surprised to hear the F&G biologist say that 50% of the Valley sockeye were caught by commercial fishermen.
    Yukon,

    Hey, hope things are going well for you this winter.

    I noted in the article that there are no quote signs around that statement. I mean, Komarnitsky is not directly quoting Willette. Could be Willette said that exactly, but really not sure. I am not fond of writers not using direct quotes when they interview people...and by not using quotes they often misrepresent what someone says.

    I often will write to newspaper reporters saying they should have expounded more on this or that, but the feedback is usually something along the lines of "that isn't what the editors feel is important" or "it's too complicated for readers" or "there isn't enough space or time" etc. Which is all true.

    Overall, people in the Valley should be clamoring more on the issues of Yentna/Susitna rearing habitat problems. Like I said in other thread, just saying "pull the nets" is kind of naive in that it isn't that simple. Guess we'll see what the BOF decides in the near future.
    Best,

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    I do agree, seems a lot of "liberties" are given to reporters these days. I have been to many meetings and events (even had articles written about me) and I read the paper or watch the news about that event and I wonder if I was at the same event. It is amazing the spin that can be put on things and what is written about and what is left out. They also seem to interview people on the extremes and no so much the middle of the road guy who in reality represents the majority of the people.

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    Default some perspective

    Mark was quoted but only in part. Prior to the studies completed recently the drift fleet was thought to expliot sockeye at about 50% based on the sonar counts and no restrictive actions in the drift fleet. So what was not said was that with the forecast ADF&G will be restricting the commercial fishery to try and reach the escapement goals. As I posted on another thread the expolitation rate drops significantly when they do that - look at 2005 and 2006 data from the genetic retport.

    Again, this appears to be more hypebole than fact and as such people will get worked up. Nice job Anchorage Daily News of getting it wrong.

  5. #5

    Default Interesting research results

    So, the 2006 Susitna sockeye study seems to be suggesting that there are alot more fish up there than the sonar thought (at least in years like 2006 when the drift net doesn't get to fish much.) If this holds up in other years, this seems to raise at least as many questions at it answers.

    Is the Yentna sonar still any kind of index or is it just random noise?

    Why doesn't it work? And if the Yentna count is not related to fish numbers how come it used to count more bubbles in the past than it used to?

    Does this mean that the Yentna SEG is still a basis for management or does it go in the trash can?

    Does this mean also mean the Kenai and Kasilof sonars are similarly suspect? If not why not?

    If there are really are that many sockeye up there, does that mean that everything is fine and the central district drifters and northern district fisheries have been unnecessarily restricted and should be opened back up?

    If it does get opened up but we really don't know how many northern district sockeye there are during the year, how do we ensure that it is managed sustainably?

    How does this jive with the whole beaver & pike argument? If there are bunches of sockeye up there, did this run decline after all? Were there even more Susitna fish before the beavers and pike did their dirty work or is the whole beaver and pike thing just an argument of convenience?

    If there were more fish historically than now, doesn't that mean that all the historical run sizes and stock comp numbers in the inlet are off?

    And finally, 2006 was one of the latest timed sockeye runs in recorded history. Fisheries were managed conservatively early on partly because there was concern over whether the Kenai would meet minimum goals. How representative do we think that is of a normal year and is that why the 2007 commercial harvest numbers of Susitna fish were so much higher than the 2006 harvest number?

  6. #6
    Mark
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nerka View Post
    ......Again, this appears to be more hypebole than fact and as such people will get worked up. Nice job Anchorage Daily News of getting it wrong.
    Some of us have been worked up about this. And some of us still are.

    More:

    ....Executive director Gary Fandrei of the Aquaculture Association said his crews are working on an answer to that last question by doing water quality studies in seven area lakes and counting outgoing smolt from those lakes.

    He also noted that in at least one lake, a beaver dam affected the salmon. Crews counting salmon in 2006 at Shell Lake pulled out a beaver dam, and the next day saw a flood of 21,000 salmon, he said.....
    The state has been active in intensive pike management in Southcentral Alaska for years now, but absolutely nothing has been done about intensive beaver management. We even see opposition to such actions in the Anchorage area, as if beavers are endangered or something.

    Beaver pelt prices have plummeted to just $15 or so while marten/sable have skyrocketed due to rising fur demand in Asia.

    Like in wolf/bear intensive management, why doesn't ADFG advocate "intensive management" for beaver in the Susitna drainage?

    Why does the trapping industry in Alaska never get any breaks like the commercial fishing industry does?

    Beaver bounties might help both industries.........

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bfish View Post
    So, the 2006 Susitna sockeye study seems to be suggesting that there are alot more fish up there than the sonar thought (at least in years like 2006 when the drift net doesn't get to fish much.) If this holds up in other years, this seems to raise at least as many questions at it answers.

    Is the Yentna sonar still any kind of index or is it just random noise?

    Why doesn't it work? And if the Yentna count is not related to fish numbers how come it used to count more bubbles in the past than it used to?

    Does this mean that the Yentna SEG is still a basis for management or does it go in the trash can?

    Does this mean also mean the Kenai and Kasilof sonars are similarly suspect? If not why not?

    If there are really are that many sockeye up there, does that mean that everything is fine and the central district drifters and northern district fisheries have been unnecessarily restricted and should be opened back up?

    If it does get opened up but we really don't know how many northern district sockeye there are during the year, how do we ensure that it is managed sustainably?

    How does this jive with the whole beaver & pike argument? If there are bunches of sockeye up there, did this run decline after all? Were there even more Susitna fish before the beavers and pike did their dirty work or is the whole beaver and pike thing just an argument of convenience?

    If there were more fish historically than now, doesn't that mean that all the historical run sizes and stock comp numbers in the inlet are off?

    And finally, 2006 was one of the latest timed sockeye runs in recorded history. Fisheries were managed conservatively early on partly because there was concern over whether the Kenai would meet minimum goals. How representative do we think that is of a normal year and is that why the 2007 commercial harvest numbers of Susitna fish were so much higher than the 2006 harvest number?
    For someone who is suppose to be a consultant to KRSA you sure show a lack of understanding of the UCI programs, history, and management. I am shocked sometimes by your lack of knowledge on sonar counting, apportionment of counts, the biological conditions in these sytems, and the list goes on. Just for the record have you ever flown or been on the ground in the Susitna/Yentna river lakes and creeks ( sockeye systems) and if so which ones?

    Counts of sockeye in the Yentna is a function of sonar targets and apportionment by a fishwheel. Where error is taking place has not been identifified. Also, the error is not known since the mark/recapture methods have not been useful. The weir data is better.

    Second, comparing the Kenai and Kasilof to the Yentna is a fools game. The river conditions are much different, the species composition is much different, and the migration of fish in the system is much different. If you had looked at the historical data or talked to anyone you would know this. Maybe it is time to get out of the office and get into the field or talk to those who have been there.

    Pike and beaver dams impact certain systems in the Yentna and Susitna and therefore production can be fine in one system and not another. No one is saying that Yentna is not having production issues - it is the cause and pike and beaver dams are much more likely. Also, recent data by ADF&G has provided more insight into this but you can find that out for yourself. I am not going to do your consulting work for you.

    The data for 2005 show a low exploitation rate and the rate for 2007 is also within allowable levels. However, the point is that ADF&G has taken actions in low return years and is meeting the escapement goal. No one can argue that the goal of 200,000 is not being met given the error for the sonar - even using the weir counts.

    You have to go back to the drawing board to create a conservation concern in that is related to harvest. So now you start to question the whole data set so you can create a conservative fishery. Nice try but that dog will not hunt.

  8. #8

    Default Same old Nerka

    Quote Originally Posted by Nerka View Post
    For someone who is suppose to be a consultant to KRSA you sure show a lack of understanding of the UCI programs, history, and management. I am shocked sometimes by your lack of knowledge on sonar counting, apportionment of counts, the biological conditions in these sytems, and the list goes on.
    Pot, meet kettle.

  9. #9

    Default And another thing

    Quote Originally Posted by Nerka View Post
    You have to go back to the drawing board to create a conservation concern in that is related to harvest. So now you start to question the whole data set so you can create a conservative fishery.
    Heaven forbid the central district commercial fishery begins to be managed conservatively. Didn't I just read an ADFG report that concluded they are two of the top three most heavily-fished sockeye stocks in the state?

    Seems like ADFG's top scientists are questioning the dataset too. That's why the Kenai sockeye goals were reclassified from a BEG to an SEG. That's why a genetic stock identification study of the commercial stock comp was started. That's why a Kenai sockeye sonar evaluation was started. That's why the Yentna escapement studies were started.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bfish View Post
    Heaven forbid the central district commercial fishery begins to be managed conservatively. Didn't I just read an ADFG report that concluded they are two of the top three most heavily-fished sockeye stocks in the state?

    Seems like ADFG's top scientists are questioning the dataset too. That's why the Kenai sockeye goals were reclassified from a BEG to an SEG. That's why a genetic stock identification study of the commercial stock comp was started. That's why a Kenai sockeye sonar evaluation was started. That's why the Yentna escapement studies were started.
    Wrong again Bfish. These studies were not just started. They are a part of a 30 year history of trying to understand UCI management actions and resource production.

    Relative to the pot and kettle you did not answer my question. Have you ever been on the ground in the sockeye systems of the Susitna River basin - which ones and where?

    You also have not made any case for a resource problem due to harvest in the inlet. The studies you quote show just the opposite. Also, if ADF&G is exploiting Kenai and Kasilof are such high rates (the report you cite does calculate them wrong per reviewer comments) how are these systems doing so well in production?

    Also, again your lack of knowledge about the Kenai BEG and SEG is showing. The SEG was set as the brood year interaction model would have a varying escapement goal and that was not considered a good management approach for the public. So an SEG that is set at the same range as the previous BEG - 500,000 to 800,000 spawners.

    So Bfish - given more fish are going into the Susitna than thought meaning a lower exploitation rate, less fish are being caught in the inlet fisheries than thought (lower exploitation rate), and that ADF&G has been conservative in the management of the Susitna stocks (numerous yearly closures of the fisheries) what part of the statement - it is not a harvest problem you do not understand?

    End of discussion.

  11. #11
    Mark
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nerka View Post
    .....These studies were not just started. They are a part of a 30 year history of trying to understand UCI management actions and resource production.....
    Got any idea how many more decades of study might be needed before some "understanding" on the Susitna/Yentna sockeye situation might be forthcoming?

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    Default I do

    Mark, the studies have been inconsistent and misdirected by those who do not understand the system. Probably 3 million dollars have been spent on mark/recapture studies that have failed. If that money had been spent on studing the individual lakes like I and others wanted starting in 1985 we would be further along right now.

    Genetic work was started in 1991 but was not considered useful because techniques for classification was not improved until just recently. However, those samples we collected in 1991 were used to make the baseline for the recent studies. It took 17 years to get a genetic program that works if the samples are representative.

    I suspect we are 5-10 years out from getting a good handle on some of these issues - that assumes funding is consistent and studies focus on individual lakes. For some systems (beaver dam problems) the actions can take place more quickly.

    The Mat/Su needs to put more habitat protection in for their streams as the population expands. That will take time as the valley folks like the Kenai folks do not like regulations.

    Pike control methods will take 5-10 years to refine and following that those lakes that have pike and are treated will take 5 years or more to recover.

    The above is for sockeye salmon - coho salmon have even less information available and ADF&G Sport Fish leadership is removing counting weirs and running away from basic research on coho. Really stupid to do as far as I am concerned - but that is Sport Fish Division -

    I am going off the forums again as information is really not wanted. Instead, Bfish and others just want to fight about allocation and harvest instead of protecting the resource or working on the real issues in the Suistina.

  13. #13
    Mark
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nerka View Post
    Mark, the studies have been inconsistent and misdirected by those who do not understand the system. Probably 3 million dollars have been spent on mark/recapture studies that have failed. If that money had been spent on studing the individual lakes like I and others wanted starting in 1985 we would be further along right now.....

    ......I suspect we are 5-10 years out from getting a good handle on some of these issues - that assumes funding is consistent and studies focus on individual lakes. For some systems (beaver dam problems) the actions can take place more quickly....
    I read that as good news. I'll be interested to see what actions regarding beavers that will be proposed by the department.

    ....The Mat/Su needs to put more habitat protection in for their streams as the population expands. That will take time as the valley folks like the Kenai folks do not like regulations.....
    What kind of habitat protection measures do you think would be appropriate?

    ....Pike control methods will take 5-10 years to refine and following that those lakes that have pike and are treated will take 5 years or more to recover.....
    I'm unfamiliar with the pike control methods you might be referring to.

    What can be done that hasn't already been tried unsuccessfully?

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    If habitat and pike seem to be the culprit, as some here are suggesting. And they don't want the commercial harvest curtailed because of those reasons. Then I ask why? Why shouldn't ANY harvest method be curtailed until the problem is solved. Why continue to take fish if numbers are dropping?

    Escapement goals are great but they only tell how many are making it back to the streams and rivers. It doesn't address how many are actually returning to the ocean. What if these salmon are making over the beaver dams but the smolts are unable to return because of their because of size. It won't matter how many are returning to the rivers if if the smolts cannot return to the ocean. So do we still allow commercial harvest in open waters even if it is a habitat or pike problem? Isn't any problem a problem as a whole?
    If you take the woods out of the woodsman you have nothing left but a man in the woods.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Maineguide View Post
    Why shouldn't ANY harvest method be curtailed until the problem is solved. Why continue to take fish if numbers are dropping?
    I agree! If we are unsure as to the problem, then why have these escapement goal numbers decrease, not increase? If there is a possibly that habitat and pike are causing the majority of the problem wouldn’t you want to make sure more fish made into the river?

    Shouldn’t all parties be interested in fixing it? How much money has been spent by the commercial fisheries towards habitat and pike control?

    No group is being held accountable or taking responsibility for any of these problems. That is too bad, because there should be enough fish for everyone.

  16. #16

    Default These questions have been answered...

    "What kind of habitat protection measures do you think would be appropriate?"

    In case anyone forgot, two days ago Nerka wrote...


    Quote Originally Posted by Nerka
    Su/Yentna Dave, if the health of the watershed is the issue then the people of the Mat/Su better get going as they do not have the protection of federal lands to keep the headwaters of streams healthy.

    First, the Mat/Su should implement good buffers along streams. What they have now is useless.

    Second, they should invest in a watershed planning program for development - keeping large tracts of land in a natural state.

    Third - they should force agencies to work together for the health of the watershed.

    Fourth - they should define those lakes and rivers at risk of pike and beaver dams and start a program to deal with those issues.

    Fifth - they should put their energy in the school system for programs like adopt a stream to teach young adults how to be good stewards.

    Sixth - they should read and understand the commercial fisheries of UCI so they can discuss the issues from fact not emotion.

    On this last point your comment about corking off the river is not a very good one. All types of issues come into play - fish quality over the season, market ability to handle the large pulses, processor limitations on large volumes of fish coming in a short time, interception of other species - allocation impacts - and the list can go on. The proposal you suggested has been discussed for 30 years and rejected because the cost/benefit ratio is just not good.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Maineguide View Post
    Why shouldn't ANY harvest method be curtailed until the problem is solved. Why continue to take fish if numbers are dropping?
    So can we assume that you won't take any fish on the Deshka this year? Even if it's legal and there is no closure, ANYTHING that can be done to help the fish until the problem is solved should be done, right?

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    Wink Lmao. . .

    Quote Originally Posted by Brian M View Post
    So can we assume that you won't take any fish on the Deshka this year? Even if it's legal and there is no closure, ANYTHING that can be done to help the fish until the problem is solved should be done, right?

    What ARE you smoking, Brian? . . .


  19. #19
    Mark
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ishmael View Post
    "What kind of habitat protection measures do you think would be appropriate?"

    In case anyone forgot, two days ago Nerka wrote...
    ....First, the Mat/Su should implement good buffers along streams. What they have now is useless.....
    Compared to the Kenai River, there is no development on Susitna/Yentna river systems.

    I agree that good buffers will keep them that way, but that doesn't explain the current crisis.

    ....Second, they should invest in a watershed planning program for development - keeping large tracts of land in a natural state.....
    Compared to the Kenai River, the Susitna/Yentna river systems are a huge wilderness.

    I agree that good buffers will keep them that way, but that doesn't explain the current crisis.

    ....Third - they should force agencies to work together for the health of the watershed.....
    Does that include the ADFG Commercial Fishing side?

    .....Fourth - they should define those lakes and rivers at risk of pike and beaver dams and start a program to deal with those issues.....
    I agree 1,000%.

    Again, what kind of "program to deal with those issues" do you suggest?

    .....Fifth - they should put their energy in the school system for programs like adopt a stream to teach young adults how to be good stewards.....
    "Rainforest-In-A-Box" mentality.

    Our children are already subjected to a full plate of propaganda. Give them a break........

    .....Sixth - they should read and understand the commercial fisheries of UCI so they can discuss the issues from fact not emotion.....
    I agree 1,000%.

    I'd especially like to see our next generation of citizens get the full picture on the economics of commercial salmon industry on the macro scale.

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    Question ? ? ? ? ?

    Quote Originally Posted by Nerka View Post
    I am going off the forums again as information is really not wanted. Instead, [Some]. .just want to fight about allocation and harvest instead of protecting the resource or working on the real issues in the Suistina.
    Did everyone or anyone read this? . . .

    This endless droning on and on and on about the "commercial salmon industry" (which "commercial" are we talking about—sport or gill-net?) does get wearisome. We've heard it and heard it and heard it . . . ad nauseum. . .

    Sheesh. . . go tell it to the Board of Fisheries . . .


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