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Thread: Another dismal year for Kings?

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    Member coho slayer's Avatar
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    Default Another dismal year for Kings?

    Kenai Peninsula fish count numbers are way off what they should be. I hope things improve dramatically soon. If they don't, I think we need to seriously look at where they are all going and perhaps keep an eye on the million or so kings caught as by-catch by the pollack boats.....

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    Forum Admin Brian M's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by coho slayer View Post
    If they don't, I think we need to seriously look at where they are all going and perhaps keep an eye on the million or so kings caught as by-catch by the pollack boats.....
    While I agree that more knowledge is needed with regards to salmon migration patterns and effects of groundfish bycatch rates, the "million or so" figure you cite is vastly overstated. The record # of kings caught in the pollack fishery was 121,600 in 2007. That is not an insignificant number by any means, but it's a far cry from 1,000,000.

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    Juneau, 3 per day, and you can fish two poles.

    ah - sweet paradise.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Brian M View Post
    While I agree that more knowledge is needed with regards to salmon migration patterns and effects of groundfish bycatch rates, the "million or so" figure you cite is vastly overstated. The record # of kings caught in the pollack fishery was 121,600 in 2007. That is not an insignificant number by any means, but it's a far cry from 1,000,000.
    Where did you find that number? I've been looking around the adf&g website for that info since I saw that post!

    I just read an interesting article where biologists are working with fishermen off the coast of oregon to have them mark GPS waypoints where they catch chinook salmon as bye catch. The idea is to start closely monitoring the areas of open ocean where the salmon forage, as this information is still a mystery.

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    Member coho slayer's Avatar
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    Ok, I don't have the hard facts, I just recall reading something not too long ago about the huge by-catch of Cook Inlet kings by the big trawlers. I thought the number was near the million mark, the upper-hundreds of thousands, anyway. Upon thinking about it, I'm sure that number is way high, as there may not even be a million kings in the Cook Inlet fishery. I'm just reacting to no fish again. However, even 100,000 kings from the Cook Inlet region is a huge reduction in spawning salmon in a limited fishery.

    Regardless, where are all the kings going? Something ominous is happening somewhere......

    On the plus side, the Copper River reds are returning as we speak in crazy-good numbers.

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    Hard to say if the problem is bycatch. The bycatch numbers are way down right now is that because they took to many or is it caused by another problem. Yes they can say bycatch is down but so are the number of kings hitting the river. They cant take credit for that one. They may have even caused it but i cant say that. No proof.

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    Member TYNMON's Avatar
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    Unhappy Poor ocean survivals likely to blame not bycatch........

    Quote Originally Posted by kgpcr View Post
    Hard to say if the problem is bycatch. The bycatch numbers are way down right now is that because they took to many or is it caused by another problem. Yes they can say bycatch is down but so are the number of kings hitting the river. They cant take credit for that one. They may have even caused it but i cant say that. No proof.
    Kings are down almost state wide and including Canada... likely ongoing poor ocean condtions for kings is the culpret for continued small returns over the last three years....

    Additionally, the Columbia R is recieving the single largest jack returns on record... However, this is followed by two years in a row of strong jack returns that made officials over-forcast the reutns of four year olds tow years in a row... Why u may ask? Ocean conditions in the NW are very favorable, NOAA recorded one of single highest chinook denisities off the coast of Oregon in 30 years last spring.... Why not more adults u say for the NW... North migrating stocks from the NW only migrate North to BC and Alaska after there 3 year of life (jacks stay local in the NW), so adult fish that make the run to BC and Alaska from the NW are not surviving very well either along w/ local BC and Alaska stocks indicating very poor survivals for the North Pacific and Bering Sea....

    Pacific Decadal Ocilation thoery suggest when ocena conditions are great in the Pacific NW they are poor in BC and Alaska.... Seems to be holdong true... Unfotunately this cylce is thought to last 25030 years.

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    Quote Originally Posted by TYNMON View Post

    Pacific Decadal Ocilation thoery suggest when ocena conditions are great in the Pacific NW they are poor in BC and Alaska.... Seems to be holdong true... Unfotunately this cylce is thought to last 25030 years.
    I have read that normal ocean current fluctuations tend to increase salmon runs up here in AK and decrease the runs in the Pacific Northwest, and vice-versa; and that those current/temp changes are the Pacific Decadal Oscillation...but, isn't the name itself identifying these fluctuations as occurring on roughly a 10-year time span???
    "The Gods do not subtract from the allotted span of men's lives the hours spent in fishing" Assyrian Tablet 2000 B.C.

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    I'll stick my neck out and say that all commercial fisheries kill over 1 million kings a year as bycatch. Seiners, draggers, gillnetters, and trawlers do a number on king salmon. The 121k was only on a limited number of very large factory trawlers, that were required to have observers, and they only counted kings over 28" is my understanding. You also have to consider all the 15-28" kings that never get counted.

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    A dead king is a dead king. I wonder what the total king bycatch is for the whole fleet? Any one know?

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    Quote Originally Posted by nickster View Post
    I have read that normal ocean current fluctuations tend to increase salmon runs up here in AK and decrease the runs in the Pacific Northwest, and vice-versa; and that those current/temp changes are the Pacific Decadal Oscillation...but, isn't the name itself identifying these fluctuations as occurring on roughly a 10-year time span???
    Well put it to u this way... While ten years spans are part of the picture the NW has seen dramtic climate changes in the last four years... Things have switch to a pattern that closely resembles a pre-1977 era... So u tell me how long that has been? Springs are much cooler and in general most offshore patterns have been completely absent since 2003-04...

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    Forum Admin Brian M's Avatar
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    With regards to the trawler bycatch, I haven't read any indications that they are predominantly cook inlet fish. Conversely, most of what I've read explores the concern that they are in large part Yukon kings which are more imperiled.

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    You can have fewer fish show up to any given run due to changes in river from prior years. For example, flooding during spawning season or outmigration can hurt the survival rate for eggs/fry resulting in a decrease of the numbers of fish that return 4 or 5 years down the road. Those setbacks can be compounded when you factor ocean temp changes that can affect the availbility of plankton that are a critical food sourse early in the fish's life. In theory, hatcheries should help stabilize the numbers of fish returning since they can pick up the slack for wild stocks that are subject to changes in river habitat. With the growing numbers of fisherman on the rivers, increase in charter fishing, commercial catch, bycatch by other commerical fisheries, and changes in climate/ocean productivity, it's pretty hard to pin the blame on any one particular group.
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    Quote Originally Posted by ksbha4 View Post
    You can have fewer fish show up to any given run due to changes in river from prior years. For example, flooding during spawning season or outmigration can hurt the survival rate for eggs/fry resulting in a decrease of the numbers of fish that return 4 or 5 years down the road. Those setbacks can be compounded when you factor ocean temp changes that can affect the availbility of plankton that are a critical food sourse early in the fish's life. In theory, hatcheries should help stabilize the numbers of fish returning since they can pick up the slack for wild stocks that are subject to changes in river habitat. With the growing numbers of fisherman on the rivers, increase in charter fishing, commercial catch, bycatch by other commerical fisheries, and changes in climate/ocean productivity, it's pretty hard to pin the blame on any one particular group.
    All true especially when you consider that the probem spans the whole west coast and is not localized. In fact last year was a better year for Alaska than it was for California and Oregon.

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    Default Give it some time

    Third week of May and we are already here? This is an early Memorial weekend. When we get to mid June and the numbers haven't changed, then we can worry. IMO, we base fish runs on the one year that the fish came early and often. Patience.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Brian M View Post
    With regards to the trawler bycatch, I haven't read any indications that they are predominantly cook inlet fish. Conversely, most of what I've read explores the concern that they are in large part Yukon kings which are more imperiled.
    I thought that these fish where a mix of Bering Sea stocks??? Not just Yukon... Remember that Cook Inlet, Kodiak, ect kings do rear in the Bering Sea too!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Brian M View Post
    With regards to the trawler bycatch, I haven't read any indications that they are predominantly cook inlet fish. Conversely, most of what I've read explores the concern that they are in large part Yukon kings which are more imperiled.







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    The numbers arnt even off. Look at adfg kenai king early run counts.

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    Quote Originally Posted by TYNMON View Post
    I thought that these fish where a mix of Bering Sea stocks??? Not just Yukon... Remember that Cook Inlet, Kodiak, ect kings do rear in the Bering Sea too!
    I think that runs of kings stick together.. Back when I crewed on power troll boats, we'd fund big schools of kings off the beach. All those fish in that particular school had similar, very noticeable characteristics.

    The issue you guys have is if a few of your larger schools happen to wander in the path of these giant trawlers. It could really make a difference in the # of fish that return.

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    Default Yeah... check out that Kenai sonar!

    Quote Originally Posted by jakemckeown View Post
    The numbers arnt even off. Look at adfg kenai king early run counts.
    Aren't even off?



    I'd say they're WAY off, even for this time of year.

    Looking at historic runs, this one is off to the third worst in history. Cumulative 2009 count thru May 23 puts us at 357.

    All time worst was 1998 at 300 which eventually went C&R on June 5 under a BEG of 7200-14400. Final escapement that year was 7760.

    Next was 2002 at 339 which eventually went to total closure on June 11 under a BEG of 7200-14400. Final escapement that year was 6185.

    Next was 1991 at 458 which eventually went C&R on June 6 when the point escapement goal was 9000. Final escapement that year was 8842.
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