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Thread: Changes to the Kenai Late-run Sockeye Plan

  1. #1

    Default Changes to the Kenai Late-run Sockeye Plan

    I think the Kenai River sockeye salmon management plan is pretty well written and provides for a good balance of competing users but I think there is room for improvement. I agree that the Kenai River sockeye salmon fishery should be managed primarily for commercial uses based on abundance. There usually is just too many sockeye salmon surplus to escapement that the sport and personal use fishery canít harvest. I agree with the allocation levels set out in the management plan which are contained in the inriver goals that vary depending upon run size. Without the inriver goals, the commercial fishery would be obligated to only put the minimum amount necessary for escapement, 500,000 fish. If all they ever put into the river was 500k, there wouldn't be enough for a sport fishery. I also agree with the provision that provides for a personal use fishery.

    Where I think the plan needs some work is clarifying which goal each fishery should be managed for. I believe that under (b) of the management plan, numbers 1, 2, & 3 are objectives that work together to achieve the spawning escapement goal while providing for inriver uses.

    ď(b) The Kenai River late-run sockeye salmon commercial, sport, and personal use fisheries shall be managed to
    (1) meet an optimum escapement goal (OEG) range of 500,000 - 1,000,000 late-run sockeye salmon;
    (2) achieve inriver goals as established by the board and measured at the Kenai River sonar counter located at river mile 19; and
    (3) distribute the escapement of sockeye salmon evenly with the OEG range, in proportion to the size of the run.Ē

    I believe the plan then lays out specific requirements for each fishery as to which goal they are to achieve. Under (c) the plan specifically states that the commercial fishery shall be restricted when the department determines the minimum inriver goal will not be met. Under (g) it specifically states that subject to the requirement of achieving the lower end of the optimal escapement goal, the department shall provide for a personal use dip net fishery in the lower Kenai River. And under (h) the plan states that subject to the requirement of achieving the lower end of the optimal escapement goal, the department shall manage the sport fishery on the Kenai River, ÖÖ... as follows.


    To me, the confusion begins under (b) when it makes a general statement including each of the fisheries, but then goes on to make specific requirements for each fishery. If the personal use and sport fisheries are required to be managed for the inriver goal then why isnít that specified under (g) and (h)?

    I believe it is because the commercial fishery is the primary tool used to control escapement into the Kenai River and as such, it can affect inriver harvest and participation.

    I believe the management plan should clearly state that the sport and personal use fishery is not responsible for meeting the inriver goal, only the OEG. I think sole responsibility for meeting the inriver goal should be the commercial fishery because they have the fishing power to control fish moving into the Kenai River. Why should the sport fishery below the sonar be responsible for meeting the inriver goal which is an allocation to the sport fishery? That doesnít make sense. In addition, the sport fishery below the sonar may harvest only 20,000 sockeye on a big year.

    The personal use fishery is limited to a short season, only 3 weeks, and starts out conservatively by only being open from 6am to 11 pm. This nighttime closure acts as a window similar to the commercial fishery which can pass fish through the fishery. The personal use fishery harvest and effort fluctuates depending upon how many fish are put into the river. The total run to the Kenai River could be over 4 million, but if only 700-800,000 fish make it into the river, the personal use harvest isnít going to be above average. If the personal use fishery is obligated to meet the inriver goal, then this fishery may have to close a week early, only to have the commercial fishery start fishing again once the inriver goal is projected to be met. It may only take a period or two of sitting on the beach for enough fish to make it into the river and push the counts up to achieve the inriver goal. I donít think the personal use fishery should have to close so the commercial fishery can continue to fish. If the personal use fishery season was open as long as the commercial fishery, then maybe things could be different, but it isnít. The history of the personal use fishery as it functions today has shown that harvest and participation will increase and decrease depending upon how many fish are entering the river. In a year like this season, harvests will likely be on the low side, just like the commercial fishery and the sport fishery.

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    Quote Originally Posted by commfish View Post


    I believe it is because the commercial fishery is the primary tool used to control escapement into the Kenai River and as such, it can affect inriver harvest and participation.

    I believe the management plan should clearly state that the sport and personal use fishery is not responsible for meeting the inriver goal, only the OEG.

    I think sole responsibility for meeting the inriver goal should be the commercial fishery

    because they have the fishing power to control fish moving into the Kenai River. Why should the sport fishery below the sonar be responsible for meeting the inriver goal which is an allocation to the sport fishery? That doesnít make sense. In addition, the sport fishery below the sonar may harvest only 20,000 sockeye on a big year.



    Amen brother, Amen.

    That is the way the totality of fishery was meant to be structured once all three of the major camps (commercial, recreational, PU) became entrenched.
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    Default Changes and clarifications

    I stated months ago that clarification was solely needed although I think some like the confused wording to defend their positions in favor of the commercial guys.

    There is clearly a lot of pressure to shut down the sport fishery when the commercial guys are shut down, remember the comments in the other closed thread that they (commercial guys) "paid the price"?

    Obviously the commercial guys want every fish they can claim at anyones expense; I forget who made the comment that they "need every fish to survive" as a justification.

    I've gotten beaten badly everytime I've suggested changing anything but the cause is worth fighting for - I'm behind you or in front if needed.
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    Default recreational priority

    Commfish - your plan is basically a recreational priority for Kenai River sockeye salmon. If the pu and sport fisheries do not have to meet the in river goal then the only burden of conservation is on the comercial fishery. This is contrary to the idea of sharing the conservation burden in proportion to harvest as presently written in regulations.

    Also, on a four million run the goal for the river is 850,000 to 1.1 million and when you add in the pu and downstream sport harvest the number of fish entering the river is welll over 1 million. As I noted earlier the sport fishery above the sonar counter does not take the allocation right now.

    Also, while you point out that the pu fishery ends at the end of July that was because of upriver sport fish concerns about coho. So to extend it into August is putting sport fishing upriver at lower fish abundance.

    TVfinak, because you cannot seem to get the idea that the plan is clear and working does not mean eveyone else does not get it.

    No one has yet to demostrate that in the overall big picture the Kenai River plan is not functioning as it should. I think the Board of Fisheries understands this and that is why it has remained pretty much unchanged since 1999 relative to allocations.

    Doc, the fishery was never intended to be structured the way commfish suggest. In point of fact the first management plans limited the total harvest of sport caugth sockeye to about 6 percent of the in-river return. Not sure what you meant by your statement.

    Also, the idea that sport fisheries should take a priority is counter to making the commercial fishery viable. Volume is important in low years and that was recognized by the Board with the variable escapement levels depending on abundance.

    So far it looks like a lot of complaints for no real justification or rationale for those complaints.

    Finally, if the goal is not reached with commercial fishery actions (this season) are you guys suggesting the other fisheries get to go on and not meeting the goal is no big deal. Lets say the run is 1 million and the goal of 650,000 is not going to be met and this is known in mid-July. Are you saying tough the sport fishery continues as well as the personal use fishery?

  5. #5

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    I don't think clarifying that the management plan should clearly state that the sport and personal use fishery is not responsible for meeting the inriver goal, only the OEG would change the priority. The fishery would still be managed primarily for commercial use. The commercial fishery would still harvest 70 to 90% of the surplus.

    Nothing would change on a run of 4 million, everyone would be fishing and no one would be restricted or closed unless the commercial fishery harvested more than 3.25 million sockeye. My change would only say that the personal use fishery and sport fishery below the sonar should not have to be restricted or closed so the commercial fishery could harvest over 3.25 million.

    Nothing would change regarding the requirement of meeting the OEG for both fisheries. If the OEG isn't going to be met, then the fisheries would still need to take action. Keep in mind that with the current assessment tools, the inseason run projections can't be made before July 22-25. If the run is under 1 million, regardless of when they finally figure it out, all fisheries would be still be closed. Especially since the commerical fishery would have likely harvested over 500,000 by the time they were aware that the run was a failure.

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    Quote Originally Posted by commfish View Post
    I don't think clarifying that the management plan should clearly state that the sport and personal use fishery is not responsible for meeting the inriver goal, only the OEG would change the priority. The fishery would still be managed primarily for commercial use. The commercial fishery would still harvest 70 to 90% of the surplus.

    Nothing would change on a run of 4 million, everyone would be fishing and no one would be restricted or closed unless the commercial fishery harvested more than 3.25 million sockeye. My change would only say that the personal use fishery and sport fishery below the sonar should not have to be restricted or closed so the commercial fishery could harvest over 3.25 million.

    Nothing would change regarding the requirement of meeting the OEG for both fisheries. If the OEG isn't going to be met, then the fisheries would still need to take action. Keep in mind that with the current assessment tools, the inseason run projections can't be made before July 22-25. If the run is under 1 million, regardless of when they finally figure it out, all fisheries would be still be closed. Especially since the commerical fishery would have likely harvested over 500,000 by the time they were aware that the run was a failure.
    The plan right now does exactly as you say commfish. If the OEG is not going to be met - either the sport fishery above the sonar takes more than they should or the in-river goal is not enough to provide for the upriver sport fishery (i.e OEG will not be met) then the downriver fisheries close. Or are you saying if the OEG is not going to be met then only the upriver sport fishery is closed? What you are proposing is exactly how it is done right now.

    Also, you are incorrect on the run size projection. One can make projections starting on or about 12 July. The error bounds goes down with as the season progresses but one can easily pick up a 1 million run with the OTF program prior to 22 July. Having run that program for years we never waited until 20 July to make a projection. We always started earlier. However, when the plans have cut off points the Department waits to get better estimates around those points- 2 and 4 million. Also, on a poor run the drift fleet catch would be showing it by mid-July. So again the question - does the below the sonar sport fishery and pu fishery close to make sure the inriver goal is met so there will be an upriver sport fishery or do they operate if if the upriver sport fishery is closed.

    You need to answer the question commfish since you said the downriver fisheries and pu fishery are not to close to meet the in-river goal. Yet the in-river goal has an allocation for the upriver sport fishery and the OEG.

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    Not to speak for commfish, but what I believe he is trying to articulate is that the burden of putting 650K ( or 750K or 850K, depending on the in-season run-size estimate) past the sonar at RM19 should rest ENTIRELY on appropriately managing the gillnetters to put those fish in the river.

    If that in-river goal still cannot be achieved with maximum cuts to the gillnet fleet after announcing the run-size update in the 4th week of July, then and only then would the sport and PU fisheries below the sonar be restricted to help in the conservation effort. A restricted lower river fishery should only occur if the in-river goal is threatened by either human-caused mismanagement of the commercial fishery or a natural-caused run failure.

    Achieving the in-river goal at RM19 is an allocative objective to feed an upriver sport fishery. If 650K pass the sonar, it's full speed ahead for the upriver fishery. A restricted upriver fishery should only occur when the OEG is threatened.

    As it stands now, if the comm fish managers fail to put 650K past the sonar, then the shortfall is paid for by needless restrictions to the in-river fisheries.

    As far as I can see it, that's commfish's big issue in a nutshell. His clarification to the management objectives make it crystal clear as to how the in-river goal and the OEG will be achieved. It also helps to add accountability to the management scheme as it would be readily apparent where the management failure lies if the specified goals were not achieved in any given year.

    CAPICHE ?
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    I could go for commfish's idea IF the PU limits were changed to mirror Chitina's. That would give regulatory consistency and reduce harvest in lean years.........

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    Quote Originally Posted by Nerka View Post
    Commfish - your plan is basically a recreational priority for Kenai River sockeye salmon.....
    I disagree with that interpretation because I disagree that personal use fishing with a dipnet is recreation:

    Ėnoun
    1. refreshment by means of some pastime, agreeable exercise, or the like.
    2. a pastime, diversion, exercise, or other resource affording relaxation and enjoyment.
    I would call it a Public Use Priority, which would include both sport (resident and non-resident) as well as personal use fishing.

    I concede that the primary management tool to control the dreaded overescapement is and should remain the commercial fishery, but (yet again) Upper Cook Inlet, boasting close and direct access to the vast majority of Alaska's resident population, differs from all the other commercial fishing districts in the state in that regard, and should, therefore undergo a review regarding the fishing priority.

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    Quote Originally Posted by fishNphysician View Post
    Not to speak for commfish, but what I believe he is trying to articulate is that the burden of putting 650K ( or 750K or 850K, depending on the in-season run-size estimate) past the sonar at RM19 should rest ENTIRELY on appropriately managing the gillnetters to put those fish in the river.

    If that in-river goal still cannot be achieved with maximum cuts to the gillnet fleet after announcing the run-size update in the 4th week of July, then and only then would the sport and PU fisheries below the sonar be restricted to help in the conservation effort. A restricted lower river fishery should only occur if the in-river goal is threatened by either human-caused mismanagement of the commercial fishery or a natural-caused run failure.

    Achieving the in-river goal at RM19 is an allocative objective to feed an upriver sport fishery. If 650K pass the sonar, it's full speed ahead for the upriver fishery. A restricted upriver fishery should only occur when the OEG is threatened.

    As it stands now, if the comm fish managers fail to put 650K past the sonar, then the shortfall is paid for by needless restrictions to the in-river fisheries.

    As far as I can see it, that's commfish's big issue in a nutshell. His clarification to the management objectives make it crystal clear as to how the in-river goal and the OEG will be achieved. It also helps to add accountability to the management scheme as it would be readily apparent where the management failure lies if the specified goals were not achieved in any given year.

    CAPICHE ?
    Doc, that is what is done right now. I do not see any difference. The commercial fishery is managed over the season to meet the in-river goal. The pu and down-river sport fisheries are restricted only when the managers make a mistake, the pu and sport fisheries harvest more than anticipated, or the run fails. Tell me where this approach is not being done relative to Kenai River sockeye salmon?

    The commercial fishery was not full out for most of the season. The drift fleet was restricted to smaller than district wide areas, the set nets were restricted to 1/2 mile, all the fishing time was not used, and finally a closure. What you posted is exactly what is done in the fishery. Tell me how it is different. Show me where the sport fishery and pu fishery have been restricted before the fourth week in July for sockeye - never happened. In contrast, the escapement goals have usually been exceeded.

    I think you guys are smoking something.

  11. #11

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    Quote Originally Posted by Nerka View Post
    Show me where the sport fishery and pu fishery have been restricted before the fourth week in July for sockeye - never happened.
    Maybe I'm misunderstanding your statement, but I believe it occurred in 2006 and in 1998. There are other years of restrictions but they occurred during or after the fourth week of July (although I don't understand the significance of actions begin taken before the fourth week).

    http://www.sf.adfg.state.ak.us/state...20Use%20EO.pdf
    http://www.sf.adfg.state.ak.us/state...Sport%20EO.pdf
    http://www.sf.adfg.state.ak.us/state...2/2RS11798.pdf
    http://www.sf.adfg.state.ak.us/state...2/2PU11898.pdf

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    akkona, I could be wrong, but I assumed Nerka was talking about this year....when the commercial fishery was restricted in the 4th week of July due to goal concerns, but the personal use and sport were not.

    I must say, after reading your links I have to wonder why similar orders for personal use and sport restrictions during the 4th week of July weren't issued this year...

    It is no doubt a complex thing to manage. But I would certainly like to see all users/fisheries working toward the in-river goal and OEG as the Plan requires, preferably at the same time.

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    Default Why shut down the sport fishermen?

    Since the commercial guys get the bulk of the fish and are used to manage the harvest it only makes sense to shut them down first. After all, the sport fishemen only catch a small percentage of the run; at best they only have a small effect on the run. If you are worried about the health of the run then shut everything down early for a period or for the rest of the run - not at the end after the damage is already done.

    Are you suggesting we shut down the sport fishery after the commerical fishing is effectively over to appease the comericlal guys (they did grip about getting shutdown), punish the sport fishermen for the management misjudgement, make everyone share the pain, or what? It would appear you have an anti-sport fishing / pro commercial bias here.

    Continuing shutdowns is another case for raising the minimum escapement goals - if you can't project correctly error in favor of the fishery.


    Quote Originally Posted by Grampyfishes View Post
    akkona, I could be wrong, but I assumed Nerka was talking about this year....when the commercial fishery was restricted in the 4th week of July due to goal concerns, but the personal use and sport were not.

    I must say, after reading your links I have to wonder why similar orders for personal use and sport restrictions during the 4th week of July weren't issued this year...

    It is no doubt a complex thing to manage. But I would certainly like to see all users/fisheries working toward the in-river goal and OEG as the Plan requires, preferably at the same time.
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    It is probably because the commercial fleet will catch more in one 12 hour opener than the entire sportfishery and PU fishery. In the end it was only 3 or 4 days they were open past the commercial fleet restrictions.
    How dare anyone argue with how F&G managed the fishery, they did a perfect job this year. Kudos, as always. Their wait and see method was flawless. Even with all the indicators saying there weren't fish in the inlet they allowed everyone to fish the regular openers around their July 22nd meeting when the wait and see method was put into place, they knew there would be more fish coming up the inlet, as Nerka pointed out. He was right and I was wrong, I thought the restrictions should have come earlier due to the indicators showing no fish, but he proved me wrong that just because all the indicators said low numbers of fish that it didn't mean more fish weren't coming.
    Then late in the season F&G changed the forecast from 2 to 4 million to under 2 million therefore lowering the low end from 600,000 fish to 500,000 fish and they hit their mark, perfect management. No reason to cover anything up, it was a prefectly managed season given the data and the fish numbers.


    One question for you Grampy, if you believe that the restrictions should have come at the same time, would you support liberalizing the sportfish and PU fishery when the commercial fleet is liberalized with EO's? That way everyone shares in the burden of conservation, in good times and in bad.

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    Lots of hindsight and critisism, but that's about it.

    tvfinak, the commercial fishery was shut down first. Not because they "get the bulk of the run", but because there was a concern for meeting the goals. Unfortunately that effort was not shared by the personal use and sport fishermen as they did not close...even though the Plan says all the fisheries will be managed to both the inriver goal and the OEG. Look at the links akkona posted...why didn't that happen this year?

    There is no question that the personal use and sport fishermen harvest less fish. But keep in mind the sonar goal was missed by only 35K sockeye...5% of the sonar count...and this is after personal use and lower river sport harvest.

    You need to look at the run timing. The last week in July produces a large amount of sockeye escapement. To say the commercial guys were shut down "at the end after the "damage was already done" is ignorant. The fish never came. But maybe you have a crystal ball or something. The commercial fishery has no idea how many fish go past the sonar until the count. You somehow want to put the cart before the horse.

    "Appease the commercial guys"? "Punish the sport fishermen"? "Share the pain"? You spew more garbage than I've ever seen.

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    Yukon, you're over the edge too.

    Nobody ever said F&G did a "perfect job". I mean where's your solution to do it any better?

    The personal use and sport fishery were open more than 3-4 days after the commercial fishery ended. Their last day fishing was the 24th. The last day we could personal use fish was the 31st of July...the normal end of season...almost a week later. Limit reductions above the sonar didn't go into effect until the 6th...almost two weeks later. It never did completely close.

    "Wait and see method"? How easily you ignore what has happened in prior years with late escapements, and the timing charts.


    Quote Originally Posted by yukon
    One question for you Grampy, if you believe that the restrictions should have come at the same time, would you support liberalizing the sportfish and PU fishery when the commercial fleet is liberalized with EO's? That way everyone shares in the burden of conservation, in good times and in bad.
    Not necessarily. I would liberalize according to our sustained yield principles and our fishery Plans and Laws. I would liberalize according to the goals, not commercial EO's. I see no need putting more fish in the River than what can be harvested. Otherwise we end up with unnecessary surpluses. However, we have experienced exactly what you mention. This year the Kasilof sport limit was doubled and the personal use extended and expanded, and we have seen that many times on the Kenai.

    I fail to understand what the problem is. There were plenty of fish to be had. If not on the Kenai, on the Kasilof. There are lots of happy faces and filled freezers. Could they have managed better to get that remaining 35K (5%)? Sure. But it happened. Only human. Again, is your problem that you don't have enough fish?

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    Did I say I had a problem or are you assuming? Don't be an "assumer". Have a great day, go out and catch a silver or two, I gotta go to the dentist.

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    Default some perspective.

    One of the problems with the management plans and how closure take place today is that there are few guidelines within ADF&G. When I was involved we had a guideline that maybe would have made things easier this year - for the public and ADF&G. That guideline was if the commercial fishery was closed for one regular period - no big deal - the other fisheries operated. However, if the commercial fishery had two regular period closures in a row then all fisheries downstream of the counter would close.

    The rationale for this is that there is nothing unique about regular periods. So a closure of one could result in fish moving and a full blown fishery the next day. Does not seem reasonable to close a sport fishery or pu fishery on one closure only to reopen the next day. However, with two regular period closure that means at least a week had passed with still a concern about escapement.

    Here is how it would have worked this year. The commercial fishery first regular period closure was on 28 July - the second on 31 July. So the fleet had not fished since 24 July. At this point a conservation concern is declared and the other fisheries close. So the pu fishery and downriver sport fishery would have closed on the 31st. This is the regular closure date of the pu fishery so no harm no foul. The downriver sport fishery should have closed at this time - both for conservation and to make sure the upriver sport fishery was allowed to proceed without restriction- the inriver goal has an allocation to them.

    I believe with this guideline in place then the user groups would know prior to the season how the fishery would be regulated in declaring a conservation concern. It worked for the 20 years I was around ADF&G.

    Unfortunately, ADF&G has not followed this guideline since 2000 and therefore the public just does not know how the two divisions will interact and thus the confusion on when things should happen.

  19. #19

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    Quote Originally Posted by Grampyfishes View Post
    tvfinak, the commercial fishery was shut down first. Not because they "get the bulk of the run", but because there was a concern for meeting the goals. Unfortunately that effort was not shared by the personal use and sport fishermen as they did not close...even though the Plan says all the fisheries will be managed to both the inriver goal and the OEG. Look at the links akkona posted...why didn't that happen this year?

    There is no question that the personal use and sport fishermen harvest less fish. But keep in mind the sonar goal was missed by only 35K sockeye...5% of the sonar count...and this is after personal use and lower river sport harvest.
    The commercial fishery never did completely close either, they continued to harvest Kenai River sockeye within the Kasilof River special harvest area. Iím guessing that after the genetic analysis of that catch will show that they probably harvested more Kenai fish then would have been saved by closing the personal use fishery. In addition, while regular commercial fishing periods were closed by emergency order, the commercial fishing season remained open until August 15.

    It has been posted several times before that the personal use fishery kept fishing because the law allowed it. Commercial fishing periods were closed as specified by law. The run strength of Kenai River sockeye salmon was forcasted to be between 2-4 million. The fishery was managed under that forcast through July 31 with an inriver goal of 750-950k. On August 1, the Division of Commercial Fisheries completed their inseason assessment and issued a fishery announcement which stated the run strength was determined to be less than 2 million and the inriver goal dropped to 650-850k. Up until August 1, the inriver goal was 750,000-950,000. There was no reason to think that the lower end of the OEG would not be met. This is also documented under the link provided under the ADF&G Cook Inlet Issues Paper thread.

    Reading the justifications on the sport fish emergency orders provided by akkona, they cited managing for the OEG (2006) and the BEG(1998), not the inriver goal.

    I think Nerka's post was a very good explaination. In addition to the PU closing at the end of the day on July 31, the sport fishery below the sonar closed one hour later. Nerka's comment about how a closure of the commercial fishery for a period could result in a reopening of the fishery is part of the point I was trying to make about the personal use fishery. I think what everyone wants to avoid is closing the personal use fishery before the season ending date only to see commercial fishing reopen and they are not able to get back in the water themselves. Iím not suggesting extending the pu season because I think the personal use fishery should focus on the most abundant species, sockeye, and not hammer the early portion of the coho run. I also think that keeping the pu season to only three weeks helps to keep harvest levels relatively stable.

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    Quote Originally Posted by commfish View Post
    The commercial fishery never did completely close either, they continued to harvest Kenai River sockeye within the Kasilof River special harvest area. Iím guessing that after the genetic analysis of that catch will show that they probably harvested more Kenai fish then would have been saved by closing the personal use fishery. In addition, while regular commercial fishing periods were closed by emergency order, the commercial fishing season remained open until August 15.

    It has been posted several times before that the personal use fishery kept fishing because the law allowed it. Commercial fishing periods were closed as specified by law. The run strength of Kenai River sockeye salmon was forcasted to be between 2-4 million. The fishery was managed under that forcast through July 31 with an inriver goal of 750-950k. On August 1, the Division of Commercial Fisheries completed their inseason assessment and issued a fishery announcement which stated the run strength was determined to be less than 2 million and the inriver goal dropped to 650-850k. Up until August 1, the inriver goal was 750,000-950,000. There was no reason to think that the lower end of the OEG would not be met. This is also documented under the link provided under the ADF&G Cook Inlet Issues Paper thread.

    Reading the justifications on the sport fish emergency orders provided by akkona, they cited managing for the OEG (2006) and the BEG(1998), not the inriver goal.

    I think Nerka's post was a very good explaination. In addition to the PU closing at the end of the day on July 31, the sport fishery below the sonar closed one hour later. Nerka's comment about how a closure of the commercial fishery for a period could result in a reopening of the fishery is part of the point I was trying to make about the personal use fishery. I think what everyone wants to avoid is closing the personal use fishery before the season ending date only to see commercial fishing reopen and they are not able to get back in the water themselves. Iím not suggesting extending the pu season because I think the personal use fishery should focus on the most abundant species, sockeye, and not hammer the early portion of the coho run. I also think that keeping the pu season to only three weeks helps to keep harvest levels relatively stable.
    Ding, Ding, Ding.........we have a winner!!!!!

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