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Thread: Kenai slot limit goes away today.

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    Member fishNphysician's Avatar
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    Default Kenai slot limit goes away today.

    My summer would not be complete without my annual plea for folks to at least consider making the personal sacrifice to help further protect the river's depleted population of big ER kings.

    These slot fish were protected thru all of May and June, but when the calendar kicks over a day into July, suddenly the very same fish are magically transformed into LR kings, and by the letter of the law, they are fair game... WHACK!

    When you bring that mega-hawg to the boat, pause for a moment to reflect on the genetically unique creature in your landing net. Heaving it over the gunnel will deprive that trophy fish of its one and only chance to pass on its obvious genetic fitness. Four decades of selectively harvesting the biggest and most fecund broodstock in the run has clearly taken its toll.

    Do your part to help reverse this trend!

    Now I'm sure some of you skeptics would argue, "What's the harm? It's just one fish. Escapement has been met, right? Besides, who's to say that MY fish isn't a LR king?"

    Fair enough. But have an appreciation for the collective effect of your actions when multiplied by thousands of Kenai anglers each and every year.

    At the very least, consider the maturity of the fish in question before wielding the wood shampoo. If the fish is blushed or red or missing sea lice, it didn't come in today.... it's been in the river a few days at the very least, perhaps a week or two. That's a big ER king... the very fish the slot limit was intended to protect! Had it been caught yesterday or a few days earlier, you would have been legally required to release it.

    Anyone fishing the river that has taken the time to educate him/herself on this issue knows deep down what the right thing to do really is. Let your conscience be your guide... and just let 'em go!

    If you have a guided trip in the next few days, and you believe in this cause, let your guide know at the outset that you have NO intention of keeping a slot-sized fish, especially one that is showing color. Emphasize that your selfless actions protect not only the depleted population of large fish, but your guides livelihood as well. Do NOT get bullied into tagging a fish you do not wish to retain! In the heat of the excitement that goes along with landing every big fish on the river, things happen fast and before you can blink, that hog is flopping on the deck. Remember, the second that trophy king leaves the water you must legally tag it.

    If your goal is to put a giant king on the wall, just remember that the fish need not be purposely killed for you to get your wish. A quality fiberglass replica looks better than and will outlast a skin mount FOREVER! Remember that Kenai River Spoprtfishing Assn (KRSA) sponsors Release-A-Hog, a unique program that rewards conscientious anglers for releasing those Kenai giants. With the reward money, that trophy mount of yours can be had for next to nothing!

    http://www.kenairiversportfishing.co....asp?CAT_ID=25

    It's not rocket science, folks! Those fish belong on the gravel... not in the fish box!

    JUST LET 'EM GO!
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails 06-26-05 Kelvin RAH cradle.jpg   06-26-05 Kelvin RAH headshot.jpg  
    "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 Please release me....

    Yes, please release all of those big colored slot kings so that I will have more targets for when I decide to go Catch and Release fishing for big colored slot kings next week. If you release your fish and let it live, there's a better chance that I can have a 10 or 15 fish day each day next week - which means I can play 10 -15 big colored slot-sized fish to exhaustion, then lift them out of the water for another picture for my vain glorious website.

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    Default One for the gravel!

    "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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    Excellent post... I don't think that many realize that this is one of the worlds great "wild" fisheries that relies on mother nature to sustain it's wonderful gene pool.

    Personally, I don't keep one that isn't well below the slot limit at any time. As one that loves to hunt & fish, I would be ashamed to have a Kenai trophy king on my wall that wasn't a replica mount. JMHO

    Art

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    Member alaskachuck's Avatar
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    Thumbs up Im in

    I get to go on a guided trip on the kenai next friday. The company I work for gets to send 2 people on a big fishing party sponsered by a major building supplier in anchorage. I dont care to keep any kings to be honest I just would like a nice 8x10 to hang on the thing the wife and I call our Wall of Honor. Lots of bows, dollies, reds silvers on it but it is lacking a king. So rest assured anything i catch slot or not will be released. I just cant wait to see the look on the guides face and the other fishermen if i catch one. You want to what???????
    Grandkids, Making big tough guys hearts melt at first sight

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    Member fishNphysician's Avatar
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    Arrow

    Quote Originally Posted by alaskachuck View Post
    So rest assured anything i catch slot or not will be released. I just cant wait to see the look on the guides face and the other fishermen if i catch one. You want to what???????
    Thanks for the support, Chuck! Your singular reply just made posting this thread completely worthwhile.

    Make sure you wear waders on the boat, and request that the guide beach the boat if/when you land that big one. Then you can get a framable pic for your Wall of Honor like the dude featured in my last post.

    Otherwise it's really hard to get a quality pic of a big king from just your own boat. You can't take the fish out of the water if you intend to release it. So you end up with part of a fish sticking out of a net with someone leaning very awkwardly into the frame. The results are almost always less than impressive.

    If your guide is NOT comfortable with the idea of beaching the boat and having you step out into the water (you are forced to stay in the boat), the best you can hope for is to have someone in another boat take the pic for you. Not always available nor convenient.... but definitely do-able.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails 06-26-05 guides play fishing.jpg  
    "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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    Default catch n release is becoming more and more common for Kenai Kings

    I would say that more and more of my clients are opting to do catch and release. It will not suprise the guide if this is what one wishes to do while king fishing on the Kenai. In fact I go over this subject every morning before we start fishing so I know what to expect and have a game plan beforehand either way the person that catches a king wishes to go with it.

    However, I will say that getting a picture from another boat is a much better option than trying to tow a big king to shore. To many times I have witnessed kings (and rainbows) be towed around in a net for several minutes or more while looking for a lilely spot to take pictures. The speed of the current with the drag in the water of the fish in the net is not a good combination. When done right it is another story but sadly that is not the case in most instances.

    Most guides on the Kenai have a buddy or two that they work with and a call over the radio or cellphone quickly brings another boat in which makes for a quality picture which when does right is as good as it gets and does not harm the fish.

    I know of the Fishing Day that Akchuck speaks of and in this fishing day catch and release is talked about with the group as a "good thing to do" and even encouraged before they get out on the water.

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    Default Towing a king to shore is a bad idea...

    Quote Originally Posted by iceblue View Post
    I would say that more and more of my clients are opting to do catch and release. It will not suprise the guide if this is what one wishes to do while king fishing on the Kenai. In fact I go over this subject every morning before we start fishing so I know what to expect and have a game plan beforehand either way the person that catches a king wishes to go with it.

    However, I will say that getting a picture from another boat is a much better option than trying to tow a big king to shore. To many times I have witnessed kings (and rainbows) be towed around in a net for several minutes or more while looking for a lilely spot to take pictures. The speed of the current with the drag in the water of the fish in the net is not a good combination. When done right it is another story but sadly that is not the case in most instances.

    Most guides on the Kenai have a buddy or two that they work with and a call over the radio or cellphone quickly brings another boat in which makes for a quality picture which when does right is as good as it gets and does not harm the fish.

    I know of the Fishing Day that Akchuck speaks of and in this fishing day catch and release is talked about with the group as a "good thing to do" and even encouraged before they get out on the water.

    In no way do I condone towing any fish to be released to shore let alone a large king.... These fish face tough recovery in many cases because they are tough to land and are very tired. When fish are towed water runs though their lungs backwards effectivily drowning them.

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    Member alaskachuck's Avatar
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    Thumbs up OK

    Im not looking to beach the boat or anything. I have many many quality shots of all my other fish. Ill go with the pic in the net is fine or if i can get another boat to shoot one just as well. The main option I have is that I have video with sound on my little digital camera. I would be just thrilled to have it on video to watch over a long winter. I can take a frame from the video and create a picture. So if i do get one it will be taken care of like a newborn. Thanks for the help guys I really appprecaite it. Being an upper river bow guy this king thing is new to me. Well it might as well be. I have not fished the lower river for kings since around 82. Looking forward to a good time, meet some new friends and maybe get lucky and hook a fish.
    Grandkids, Making big tough guys hearts melt at first sight

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    Default Beaching a C&R king...

    Towing a big fish in the bag is NOT the ideal way to do it. Dragging the fish backwards in the net is obviously a BIG no-no. As is dragging the fish curled like a horseshoe in a too-small bag... it will be crushed against the mesh.

    Safely towing a fish in the bag requires two things:

    1) Use a BIG generous bag that accomodates the full length of the fish without curling or smothering it

    2) Orient the fish snout-first into the the path of travel as it is towed.

    This is how C&R saltwater big-game fish like marlin, sailfish, and swordfish are resuscitated prior to release. Just hang on to the leader or the fish's jaw to keep water freely flowing past its gills until the boat is beached.

    My preference is to NOT put the fish in the bag in the first place. Pre-plan the battle and your landing spot ahead of time, and head toward shore while the fish is still on the line. Once the boat is pinned to shore, jump out and beach the fish from the bank.
    "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 Think your on shore pictures are great Doc...

    Quote Originally Posted by fishNphysician View Post
    Towing a big fish in the bag is NOT the ideal way to do it. Dragging the fish backwards in the net is obviously a BIG no-no. As is dragging the fish curled like a horseshoe in a too-small bag... it will be crushed against the mesh.

    Safely towing a fish in the bag requires two things:

    1) Use a BIG generous bag that accomodates the full length of the fish without curling or smothering it

    2) Orient the fish snout-first into the the path of travel as it is towed.

    This is how C&R saltwater big-game fish like marlin, sailfish, and swordfish are resuscitated prior to release. Just hang on to the leader or the fish's jaw to keep water freely flowing past its gills until the boat is beached.

    My preference is to NOT put the fish in the bag in the first place. Pre-plan the battle and your landing spot ahead of time, and head toward shore while the fish is still on the line. Once the boat is pinned to shore, jump out and beach the fish from the bank.
    I think there is nothing greater than a picture of a huge fish being held and released from shore by someone in waders... The location and condition have to be right to accomidate such pictures and do so w/ out harming a large fish.

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    Good information Doc. It is information like this getting out for others to think about and use that will help all us in the long run.

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    Quote Originally Posted by fishNphysician View Post

    If your goal is to put a giant king on the wall, just remember that the fish need not be purposely killed for you to get your wish. A quality fiberglass replica looks better than and will outlast a skin mount FOREVER! Remember that Kenai River Spoprtfishing Assn (KRSA) sponsors Release-A-Hog, a unique program that rewards conscientious anglers for releasing those Kenai giants.

    http://www.kenairiversportfishing.co....asp?CAT_ID=25




    Thought I'd share these pics of a 360 degree replica created by Mark Oslund of Alaska's Real Life Taxidermy.
    "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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    That is one of the nicest salmon mounts I have ever seen! Looks like it belongs in a museum. What is the name of his business?

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    Mark and Suzi Oslund run Alaska's Real Life Taxidermy, here in Anchorage. Mark has won many local and national awards. If you would like more information shoot me a PM. He works with guides all around the state. You should see what he is doing with halibut tails, it is pretty cool!

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    Default Beauty way to go

    Truly a work of art - Thanks for posting it up.

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    Member alaskachuck's Avatar
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    Default Nice

    I was looking at his work at the wareshouse last month. He does some amazing mounts and yours it a great one for sure. Just a beauty to look at
    Grandkids, Making big tough guys hearts melt at first sight

  18. #18

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    I have never kept a trophy king. I always let them go. I just snap a picture and say bye....The smaller ones, well they make great freezer fare don't they? Poor little guys........

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    More food for thought about why it's a bad practice to keep killing your biggest most fecund broodstock. I saw and lifted this from the halibut thread.

    Super-Predators: Humans Force Rapid Evolution of Animals

    Robert Roy Britt
    Editorial Director
    LiveScience.com robert Roy Britt
    editorial Director
    livescience.com – Mon Jan 12, 5:17 pm ET
    Acting as super-predators, humans are forcing changes to body size and reproductive abilities in some species 300 percent faster than would occur naturally, a new study finds.
    Hunting and fishing by individual sportsmen as well as large-scale commercial fishing are also outpacing other human influences, such as pollution, in effects on the animal kingdom. The changes are dramatic and may put the survival of some species in question.
    In a review of 34 studies that tracked 29 species across 40 different geographic systems, harvested and hunted populations are on average 20 percent smaller in body size than previous generations, and the age at which they first reproduce is on average 25 percent earlier.
    "Harvested organisms are the fastest-changing organisms of their kind in the wild, likely because we take such high proportions of a population and target the largest," said lead researcher Chris Darimont of the University of California, Santa Cruz. "It's an ideal recipe for rapid trait change."
    Darimont told LiveScience that while he considers the changes to be evolutionary, some biologists consider them phenotypic and, without evidence of genetic shifts, would not call them evolution.
    The study found dramatic change in several fish species and creatures as small as snails and as large as bighorn sheep and caribou.
    Dominant force
    The results, published online today in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, are similar to a host of other scientific conclusions dating back nearly two decades.
    In 1990, Douglas Chadwick wrote in National Geographic magazine how trophy hunting - the practice of selecting only the largest beasts to kill -"has caused a decline in the average size of Kodiak Bears [in Alaska] over the years."
    By harvesting vast numbers and targeting large, reproductively mature individuals, human predation is quickly reshaping wild populations, leaving smaller individuals to reproduce at ever-earlier ages, Darimont explained.
    "The pace of changes we're seeing supercedes by a long shot what we've observed in natural systems, and even in systems that have been rapidly modified by humans in other ways," Darimont said. The study found the changes outpace by 50 percent those brought on by pollution and human introduction of alien species.
    "As predators, humans are a dominant evolutionary force, he said.
    Others agree the problem is serious. Columbia University biologist Don Melnick recently said trophy hunting is akin to selective breeding and is "highly likely to result in the end of a species."
    Surprising ability to change
    One surprise: The capacity of creatures to change.
    "These changes occur well within our lifetimes," Darimont said. "Commercial hunting and fishing has awoken the latent ability of organisms to change rapidly."
    Changes occur in two ways. One is sheer genetics:
    Evolution can favor smaller fish able to pass through the mesh of gill nets and survive to reproduce, thereby passing on genes for smaller offspring.
    Another change process is called plasticity. Shifts to earlier reproduction, for example, can occur because there is a lot of food and fewer fish to dine on it. The fish eat more and reach maturity sooner.
    "Whatever the underlying process, shifts to earlier breeding spell trouble for populations," Darimont said. "Earlier breeders often produce far fewer offspring. If we take so much and reduce their ability to reproduce successfully, we reduce their resilience and ability to recover."
    One specific example: the overfished Atlantic cod on the eastern coast of Canada. Less than two decades ago, they began mating at age 6. Now they start at age 5.
    Government problem
    In some cases, as other studies have found, the problem results from decades of big-game hunting and, more recently, poaching. Some populations of African elephants, for example, have unnatural percentages of tusk-free animals among them now, because hunters and poachers favor the ivory.
    But some government rules contribute to the problem.
    "Fishing regulations often prescribe the taking of larger fish, and the same often applies to hunting regulations," Darimont said. "Hunters are instructed not to take smaller animals or those with smaller horns. This is counter to patterns of natural predation, and now we're seeing the consequences of this management."
    Darimont thinks new policies are in order.
    "While wolves might prey on 20 animals, humans prey on hundreds of thousands of species," he points out. "We should be mimicking natural predators, which take far less and target smaller individuals."
    Policy shifts may or may not save a species, however.
    "It's unknown how quickly the traits can change back, or if they will," Darimont said.
    "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 advocate

    Doc,
    You are indeed an great advocate for many worthy causes.
    We need to start by calling every guide and outfit that posts giant DEAD Halibut, and giant Dead King salmon on there adverstisements, and ask them instead to show Giant LIVE Halibut, and Giant LIVE king Salmon being released back into the water.
    Many have finally accepted and bought into the Live trout stuff, but just today I looked at this coming years Soldotna Chamber Of Commerce vacation magazine, and it was cover to cover with dozens of pictures of Giant Dead Fish..
    What can we do?
    How do we get people to change?
    What is it going to take to make it unpopular to kill a big fish?


    Max
    When you come to a fork in the trail, take it!

    Rentals for Canoes, Kayaks, Rafts, boats serving the Kenai canoe trail system and the Kenai river for over 15 years. www.alaskacanoetrips.com

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