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Thread: Kenai Kings Where do they go

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    Member DRIFTER_016's Avatar
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    Default Kenai Kings Where do they go

    With the problems with this years king #'s from California to SE Alaska, I started thinking where do the big Kenai kings spend their time in the sea. Any body know the open water migration patterns for the Kenai's stock of big kings? Do they get caught often out in the open ocean? Inquiring minds want to know!!!

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    Still a big mystery.

    So far they don't show up in huge numbers in any of the established marine fisheries outside Cook Inlet.

    Genetic data coming in future sampling will help ADFG to figure it out a bit better over the next decade.

    That could be a mixed blessing.
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    I also do not think that anyone really knows the path that the Kenai Kings take out in the open ocean. However, some are caught around Kodiak every year. Not saying that is a problem but it indicates that at least some are coming back home from that direction.
    Interesting that few show up in the winter "feeder" king fishery out of Homer.

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    It's probably a good thing for Kenai kings that so few show up in marine fisheries outside of Cook Inlet.

    The 4- and 5-salt life histories that help the Kenai grow the biggest kings so far have NOT been an issue with marine survival.

    In contrast, stocks from the PNW routinely swim into feeding grounds heavily exploited by established marine fisheries. The likelihood that a fish would survive 4 or 5 years of intense ocean harvest is greatly diminished. This situation creates intense selection pressures AGAINST kings genetically programmed for these longer marine life-histories. Staying out in the ocean makes it all the less likely that these fish will survive to spawn and pass those traits on to the next generation. For many PNW stocks, the "larger and older" phenotype is becoming a genetic dead end.
    "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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    I only have some idea

    I choose to fly fish, not because its easy, but because its hard.

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    Default Kenai Kings

    I have often wondered where one might be able to locate some Kenai kings in Cook inlet.I remember reading an article in Ak magazine on the fat Kings they get over in Old Harbor on Kodiak,I believe they mentioned that most of those were Kenai bound kings like Iceblue mentioned.

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    Those giant Old Harbor kings are a sight to behold! Not sure where that FAT stumpy stock of kings originates, but to me they are built VERY different from the typically leaner, more streamlined Kenai fish sporting proportionally bigger heads and tails.

    Click on the link below to see what I mean....

    http://www.ifish.net/board/showpost....5&postcount=92

    Also check out this photo....






    Even the stumpiest (is that even a word?) Kenai king I've ever seen in the Inlet or in the river pales in the girth department. But who knows... we are seeing more sexually mature fish that may have morphed into something completely different from what they looked like as active ocean feeders off Kodiak Island. My gut feeling tells me they are different, but the proof is in the genetics.

    It will be exciting to see what kind of genetic data comes out of that Kodiak fishery over the next few years.
    "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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    Member SoggyMountain's Avatar
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    SSSSSSHHHHH!!!

    I almost suggested in my unscientific way that Kenai Kings are residents.

    Cook Inlet, and the gulf.

    Unlike the marketing of the river itself, I also look across the inlet to areas like Tyonek that know what you don't.

    I can't prove it, but I believe these fish are regional, and, I believe they are resident.... not venturing beyond Alaska except to spy on the Russians.
    "...just because we didn't agree with you doesn't mean we didn't have good discussion. It just means you missed it." -JMG-

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    Member DRIFTER_016's Avatar
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    I find it strange in this day and age that the fisheries guy's have no idea where this strain of kings spend their open water time. Obviously they spend it away from traditional fishing grounds or the Kenai would be devoid of them by now. It would be nice to know just from a scientifc stand point.

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    Well NMFS is doing a pretty intense genetic study of Kings and Chums caught as bycatch in Bering Sea Trawl fisheries. I think we had something like 45 to 80 observers on pollock boats and each got between 30 to 250 (requested amount) of tissue from the Kings this last season. So should have some pretty wide ranging genetic info in a year or so.

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    Heaven n back without a trace

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    I wonder what river the petersburg fish came from...

    (the petersburg fish was ~125# caught in a fish trap in the 40s if anyone has a link to the picture I'd like to see it again it looked like a pink only GIANT...)
    I choose to fly fish, not because its easy, but because its hard.

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    You mean this one?



    If any of you are interested in a thread loaded with BIG king pics click on this one....

    http://www.ifish.net/board/showthread.php?t=3073
    "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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    Member DRIFTER_016's Avatar
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    Man....that's a chunky salmon there!!

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    My thought would be that the Petersburgh king shown was headed back to the Skeena system. They are pretty well known for there big kings with a released king a few seasons ago believed to be close in size (if not bigger) than the current world record of 97 plus.

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    Those Skeena fish sure are big. It will be really interesting once the DNA tests from the bycatch kings come back. A power troller caught a monster out of Sitka 4 or 5 years ago. The locals stole it and had one hell of a BBQ.

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    I remember that being in the paper. A 96 or 106 lbs or something.

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    Default It would stand to reason

    that if the ADF&G DID know where the kings go in the winter that they wouldn't tell anyone... it would make the kings a target year-round and that wouldn't be very good for the stock, now would it?

    I'm the first to admit that if I knew where a bunch of kings were in the winter I'd be all over them...
    "He who is slow to anger is better than the mighty, and he who rules his spirit is better than he who takes a city." ~ Proverbs 16:32

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    Quote Originally Posted by Back Country Robb View Post
    that if the ADF&G DID know where the kings go in the winter that they wouldn't tell anyone... it would make the kings a target year-round and that wouldn't be very good for the stock, now would it?

    I'm the first to admit that if I knew where a bunch of kings were in the winter I'd be all over them...

    They spend 5-7 years @ sea, not just the winter months.
    If they new where they went they may be able to protect them as they are an important strain.

  20. #20

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    Given that that draggers in the Bering killed at least 130k this last year as bycatch, I think we have a good idea where the kings go....

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