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Thread: Kings in Set Nets

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    Default Kings in Set Nets

    Quote Originally Posted by bushboy View Post
    67 lbs from the Kenai in 1978 on a rod and reel. 98 lbs from Cook Inlet setnetting in 1984. Somewhere I have a picture of a buddy and myself holding 4 kings that weighed 98, 94, 92 and 88 lbs from the same day - we caught 15 kings that day and the smallest one weighed 62 lbs.

    This quote is from the "largest king" thread in the fishing forum. Set nets don't catch large kings.....hmmm.......

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    Default gee yukon

    Quote Originally Posted by yukon View Post
    This quote is from the "largest king" thread in the fishing forum. Set nets don't catch large kings.....hmmm.......

    First, Yukon anyone can post anything on forums. Lets see a picture or some proof.

    Second, no one has ever set set nets do not catch big chinook. They just catch less of them than the other age classes because of the mest size. Also, this says 1978 and does not say where or when - saying he caught 15 chinook and the smallest was 62 pounds makes this report very suspect - if chinook are that abundant then other age classes should have been taken.

    So again, lets not get a thread started on a posting from another thread. Lets drop this one as it serves no purpose.

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    Serves no purpose to who? I personally would be real interested to read about size and numbers of Kenai kings caught in set nets.
    I was at Sportmans Wharehouse today and on their wall of fame board there is a group of guys standing in a commercial skiff holding a real big Kenai King. Easily bigger than anything that I was able to get in my boat the last few seasons. Makes one wonder...

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    Yea you can catch big kings in a set net, he probably had a school of big kings swim into his gear. Mostly they get tangled in the little fleshy thing at the front of their mouths. That is not normal.

    Theres no net commercial fishing for early run kings or reds any more, the late run hasn't failed to reach its escapement goal in a long time.

    Meanwhile the new commercial fleet, the one without permits or taxes continues to catch many more big kings than the old one will.
    I choose to fly fish, not because its easy, but because its hard.

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    So, when the nets go in sometime around June 18 - 20 they are not catching any early run kings? The biggest of the big second run kings seem to come into the Kenai and Kasilof in the last part of July. So, if by chance the first run kings are followig a similar pattern then...

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    Default my 2 cents

    Hi everybody! My only concern with this issue of kenai kings in setnets is one of honesty. I have worked on some setnet sites over the years. First, let me state that these were some of the hardest working people I have ever worked with. All of those I worked for were local people, and I learned from each and every one of them. That being said, I did notice one practice consistent to them all that bothered me. When the kenai kings became a hot topic, and measures were taken to record how many kings were being taken in the set nets, ALL of them started taking most of their kings home instead of to the cannery. And why not!! These are smart men and women. They realized that their success catching kings might be used against them. While we have measures in place to know where the rest of these kings are ending up, there is no incentive in place for the setnetters to honestly report their king catches. And, to my knowledge, no enforcement or observation of this practice. If a sportsfisherman or personal use fisherman fails to record a kenai king and they are caught the fines and penalties are substantial. For a more complete understanding of how much impact set nets have on kenai kings more accurate information is needed, because in my opinion most of these are going unrecorded.

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    Forum Admin Brian M's Avatar
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    Should large kings only be reserved for sports fishermen and guides? If we're going to protect them all around, fine, but complaining about commercial take just so that we can kill them in the river? I found it amusing that the post in question from the large king thread showed anger at the commercial take while taking pride in killing muliple kings of nearly equal size in the pictures that followed. Dead in the nets or dead on a stringer, the fish is still not breeding.

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    Default this is why I thought this would serve no purpose

    Iceblue and gotfish - here is some information for you. The age and size of commercial caught chinook in the eastside set net fishery is monitored and reports written. So iceblue all you have to do is look them up. Reports like Yukon posted are meaningless as there is no proof from a post on a forum - he was just starting a thread to create a reaction - do not take the bait - but since you did I want to give you some information.

    Gotfish, a set net fisherman can take home a chinook salmon. However, you are incorrect on the reporting. The fisherman must report it on a fish ticket by law. That can be done when he goes to the cannery after the other fish are delivered or when he signs the fish ticket. So there is a record of chinook kept and not sold.

    The State has spent tens of thousands of dollars looking for significant underreporting of chinook harvest and has failed to fine any. These studies are published. Does a set net fisherman not report a chinook some time - I am sure they do - just like an angler fails to report a chinook on the annual limit. However, there is no indication of widespread non-reporting of chinook. It is in fact to their disadvantage. The early catches give an indication of run strength and the more caught the higher the total return estimate and the greater probability they can continue to fish for sockeye. That is a major incentive to not hide chinook.

    Hope this helps and again - lets not get off on this topic - we have beat it to death on other threads and as I said it serves no purpose to point fingers at a whole group of people - and yes Yukon I know what about the guides when people do it - however, it is the position of the guide industry as spoken by their representatives that I debate.

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    During my lifetime, I've commercial fished many of the sites just south of the Kenai River's mouth. Mostly from 1960-1980, a little bit in 1990's and a little bit in 2000's. Here's my observations:

    In the early years commercial fishermen wanted the Kings and got a great price for them. Conservation wasn't really an issue back then. They were abundent. These guys did not target the largest Kings, but would not hesitate to harvest one. After all it was their livelihood. In fact if they saw a King "hit" the net, they would commonly launch their skiff, and go get it before it busted through the net. It was easy for those big fish to get through a net in a snap. Cost them money in gear too. The largest Kings usually get caught by their teeth, not head and gills, which can shred the net fast.

    When conservation of the Kings became an issue, say around late 1970's and 1980's, the commercial guys realized that if they didn't help conserve the Kings, they would be put out of business. So they began cooperating with research and counts. Some already began the practice of releasing Kings. I know I released many myself.

    Then the issue became more heated due to the growing sport commercial guide industry. So most of the commercial fishermen began releasing them, in good faith. Instead of launching boats to harvest a king trashing their net, they would go out to release it. The price wasn't worth the chance of losing their fishery, which is sockeye based anyway. Conservation of the King became "the way it is". Most of those guys fishing out there have a great concern for conserving the resource. They are smart enough to realize their livelihood relies on it.

    Here's what's interesting. Most recently, I witnessed several Kings in those same nets that were caught on the wrong side of the net. Many had Kwikfish in their mouths. Two had radio tags that were placed on them in-River. Most hit the net without fight. They were in good shape, but spent. I would imagine they were the result of catch-release fishing, break-off's, or just sport fishing pressure. It was a common occurrence. We reported those kinds of situations to F&G, but I don't think they keep track of it. They ask questions and pick up their radio gear, but that's aobut it.

    Quote Originally Posted by yukon
    Set nets don't catch large kings...hmmmm...
    That's an odd comment from someone who commercially guides for the same fish. And obviously it's another one of these trolling, baiting, sportsfishermen vs. commercial fishermen baits from someone who's a transplant to the guide fishery and who has never commercial fished. It shouldn't be a surprise that set nets can catch large Kings. They have for a century. It's just that now more get released. I say kudos to the King conservation efforts of the commercial guys. It's hard to fish sockeye without catching a King. I think if they could do that, they would. You should talk to one.

    Yukon, if you have a point, you should make it.

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    Default fair enough nerka

    Thanks for the clarification on the reporting Nerka. Once again I didn't have all the facts. But I would be willing to bet that I could, for free, find a pretty significant number of unreported fish. Not that it really matters. Like I said, honesty was my only issue here.

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    Default and..................

    I know lots of the set netters try to release the kings only to have them end up dead in the neighbors gear, and I know if there was a way not to catch them most would be happy to just catch reds.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Grampyfishes View Post
    Most recently, I witnessed several Kings in those same nets that were caught on the wrong side of the net. Many had Kwikfish in their mouths. Two had radio tags that were placed on them in-River.
    Gasp! You mean that sport-fishing actually causes mortality to the large kings they are so vocal about protecting? From those who play the fish for a long time in order to get pictures of a perfectly still fish, sometimes played to shore for an even more dramatic picture? Say it ain't so!

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    Why does every response have to be one of attack on this forum? Salmon of all kinds and sizes get caught in set nets, drift nets, PU fishery, and the sport fishery here in Cook Inlet. This should not be a big suprise to anyone.

    What is really dissapointing is the failure of the different user groups to work together for the better of all the user groups.

    The commercial set net and drifters here in Cook Inlet need to have their nets in the water to be able to make money. Same for the inriver commercial folks except that they need to be able to have their boats out on the water. The non commercial folks all just want their piece of the pie and understandably so.

    Is it possible for more king salmon to make it past the nets and into the rivers and at the same time allow for the fishery be managed so that the nets are out fishing more for the target species of sockeye than they are set up to do so in the current management plans? Is it possible to establish a corridor along the beaches that will pass more kings along and allow more net time? Is there more money in the commercial net industry to take better quality salmon and to be able to bleed, ice them, and ship them to select markets rather than a mass harvest of salmon like is more typical of the fishery now? Or is the current way the fishery is managed all that we can hope for in the future?

    Are there other things or ideas that should be looked at to achieve the above mentioned path of "more for all while working together"?

    I know that starting at the bluff outside of Homer and running all the way to the Kenai River that the kings are real close to shore as witnessed by the marine sport fishery and at the same time not many sockeyes are seen jumping in this same close to shore area. Or, do the sockeye in fact travel this same lane in the numbers that they are in a little farther off of shore? Would shallower nets allow the deeper traveling kings to get by while harvesting the sockeye or would this action simply achieve a negetive result? I am honestly asking and not trying to start anything here. I know that Cook Inlet is relatively shallow and that the set nets tend to go dry at low tide so maybe this is a terrible idea.

    Is there a better way than what we have in place at this time?

    Is there a way that all the users can work together so that all will benefit? If not, than the type of banter that goes on here will never end.

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    Meanwhile search Kenai King on google and see all the dead giant kings from commercial fishing
    I choose to fly fish, not because its easy, but because its hard.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Brian M View Post
    Gasp! You mean that sport-fishing actually causes mortality to the large kings they are so vocal about protecting? From those who play the fish for a long time in order to get pictures of a perfectly still fish, sometimes played to shore for an even more dramatic picture? Say it ain't so!
    For a forum administrator that is sure a good attempt at sarcasism and cetainly not helping in answering questions or making this thread any less confrontational.
    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
    For a forum administrator that is sure a good attempt at sarcasism and cetainly not helping in answering questions or making this thread any less confrontational.
    Fair enough. I know that I am expected to be the model of decorum at all times, but I must admit that I have a sarcastic streak that rears its ugly head from time to time. I don't think my post was confrontational, but yes, it was sarcastic.

    I suppose I grow weary of the blame for all fishery problems being laid squarely at the foot of commercial fishermen.

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    Default iceblue answer

    iceblue you asked some questions that have been discussed for 30 years. However, you really asked the question from one viewpoint which is part of the problem - how to get more kings in the river. That helps in-river users but another equally valid question is why should commercial fisherman not be allowed to catch what they do right now - less than 20% of the total return? Until all the user groups stand in the others shoes they will never discuss anything. Your questions would put people on the defensive right away. They have to jusify their fishery in answering your questions.

    I think the first thing people should do if they want to work for solutions is to read the historical record. The questions you ask have been examined and answered.

    Just my thoughts on what the problem in UCI is - no one understands the fisheries in total and the historical records and data bases have been ignored by the users.

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    Meanwhile search Kenai King on google and see all the dead giant kings from commercial fishing
    ...and the local Visitor Center, Chamber of Commerce, You Tube, sport shows, magazines, etc.

    Nerka, I couldn't agree more with your last sentence.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Brian M View Post
    Should large kings only be reserved for sports fishermen and guides? If we're going to protect them all around, fine, but complaining about commercial take just so that we can kill them in the river? I found it amusing that the post in question from the large king thread showed anger at the commercial take while taking pride in killing muliple kings of nearly equal size in the pictures that followed. Dead in the nets or dead on a stringer, the fish is still not breeding.
    Thanks for you previous response. I take exception to this remark as well. Your second sentence: "If we're going to protect them all around, fine, but complaining about commercial take just so that we can kill them in the river?"

    Closing Alexander Creek to King fishing for all sport fishermen is that protecting them all around when king fishing for commericial fishermen has not benn closed at all. There was also consideration of closing the king fishing on the Deshka but as of right now the plan was to keep it open if it makes escapement goals it may remain open next year and it still can be closed by emergency order before the season is over if the kings don't show. Will they stop the commercial take?

    All streams on the east side of the Su are closed to taking Kings. Is this something the commercial fishermen had to give up?

    You said if it was to protect them all around fine. Is this what you consider across the board fairness? Not too many ending dead on the stringer in in these rivers this year.

    Nerka, I would really like to read these historical records. I have gone over the fish counts on these rivers since they have kept records but I would like to read the historical records. Perhaps you could give me a link.
    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 Brian M View Post
    Fair enough. I know that I am expected to be the model of decorum at all times, but I must admit that I have a sarcastic streak that rears its ugly head from time to time. I don't think my post was confrontational, but yes, it was sarcastic.

    I suppose I grow weary of the blame for all fishery problems being laid squarely at the foot of commercial fishermen.
    Administrator or not, I think you pounded the point right close to home -no pun intended. Sometimes honestly, mixed with sarcasm, really, really hurts our feelings.......

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