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Thread: Salmon Wars: Part 3 -- Debate over too much escapement!

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    Member Crab_n_fish's Avatar
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    Default Salmon Wars: Part 3 -- Debate over too much escapement!

    "But at the same time, Fish and Game doesn't want too many spawners -- over-escapement is also blamed for reducing the productivity of future runs."


    Go here for the full article:

    http://www.ktuu.com/Global/story.asp?S=10702966

    Discusses who, what, when, where, why and how the Kenai fishery is managed for sustainability of numbers...As usual lots of finger-pointing...Overall a good article to keep in your archives.

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    Default Classic Quotes.........

    It's pretty much the accepted theory everywhere," Fox said. "That's fishery science. You can only put so many of anything on the spawning grounds if you put more than that eventually it's going to cost you."
    Jeff Fox..

    Windows work horrible," Johnson said. "I mean, the whole idea of the state managing it instead of the federal government was so that they could open and close the fishery according to what they saw. Windows are just another handcuff for them."
    Most ppl don't realize that the early run Russian R sockeye greatly benifit from small late run's... Funny that Comm fish could give a rip about the management of the Early Run fish... Poor king fishing throughout the road system, at least Alaskan's had the early run Russian sockeye to fall back on thanks to low returns of late run fish and overescapement..

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    Default this is just crazy

    Quote Originally Posted by TYNMON View Post
    Jeff Fox..



    Most ppl don't realize that the early run Russian R sockeye greatly benifit from small late run's... Funny that Comm fish could give a rip about the management of the Early Run fish... Poor king fishing throughout the road system, at least Alaskan's had the early run Russian sockeye to fall back on thanks to low returns of late run fish and overescapement..
    Ty - please provide the data to support your early run late run relationship. You continue to make these statements with no data or proof. First, in looking at production you should do it by brood year so I would hope you have the brood year data on the Russian River - I do not think you have it for late run as the harvest is mixed in the mainstem river fishery. So you really do not know what the late run Russian River production is. However, if you have data I would love to see it. Otherwise this thread is over.

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    Default Wow.... Such an angry responce Nerka ...

    Quote Originally Posted by Nerka View Post
    Ty - please provide the data to support your early run late run relationship. You continue to make these statements with no data or proof. First, in looking at production you should do it by brood year so I would hope you have the brood year data on the Russian River - I do not think you have it for late run as the harvest is mixed in the mainstem river fishery. So you really do not know what the late run Russian River production is. However, if you have data I would love to see it. Otherwise this thread is over.
    So you are the expert Nerka and u tell this forum that there is no relationship between early run and late run Russian River sockeye production? Are they not competing for the same limited resources in the lake's as fry?? Let me get this straight and make sure I am understanding you attacks on my charater once again...

    If you have a large production for late run Russian Scokeye will they not limit the resources of the Early Run fish and vice versa?? What data do I need? Please clear things up that I don't understand... Are you telling this forum that the early run escapments goals are not set low to limit the competition and maximize the production of the late run????

    I would say that the verdic is still out and the KRSA funded study that is in it's last year of field collection concerning the genetic composition of Cook Inlet Commercial, Personal Use, and sport harvest will be some very enlighting data...

    You know you have the data Nerka.. Ball is in your court, please educate me and this forum on exactly what the relationship in production is between the early and late runs of sockeye for the Russian River.

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    Default ADFG Russian River Sockeye Mng Plan (5AAC 56.075)

    RUSSIAN RIVER SOCKEYE SALMON MANAGEMENT PLAN (5 AAC 56.075)

    The purpose of this management plan is to ensure an adequate escapement, as determined by the
    department, of sockeye salmon into the Russian River system and to provide management
    guidelines to the department to reduce conflicts between various users of this resource. Because
    early and late Russian River system sockeye salmon are discrete stocks with established
    escapement goals, these stocks shall be managed by the department as a separate entity without
    regard to Kenai River system sockeye salmon run size, except as specified within the
    management plan. In the Russian River, sockeye salmon passage is monitored by a weir at the
    outlet of Lower Russian Lake. Early-run Russian River sockeye salmon stocks are harvested
    primarily by the sport fishery. Late-run Russian River sockeye salmon stocks are harvested in
    both the Cook Inlet commercial salmon gillnet, and Kenai-Russian River sport fisheries.
    Outlook
    No formal forecast is prepared for either the early-run or late-run Russian River sockeye salmon.
    The escapement goal for the early-run stock is 14,000 to 37,000 fish past the weir. Based upon
    recent return performance of this stock (escapements of 24,000 to 86,000 fish in the past five
    years), average fishery performance is anticipated.
    The escapement goal for the late-run stock is 33,000 to 121,000 fish past the weir. It is
    anticipated that the return in 2006 will approximate the recent five year average of 80,000 fish.
    Commercial Fishing Management
    Since, at present, it is not possible to separate the harvest of late-run Russian River sockeye
    salmon from other sockeye salmon stocks in Cook Inlet, restrictions on the commercial fishery to
    conserve Russian River sockeye salmon and meet the escapement goal is limited to meeting the
    inriver goals for the Kenai River late-run sockeye salmon as measured by the river mile 19 sonar
    counter. Commercial fisheries management strategies are described in the Kenai River Late-Run
    Sockeye Salmon Plan web page.
    Sport Fishing Management Strategies
    Given the outlook described above, no fishery restrictions are anticipated in this fishery. The
    opening date for this fishery is June 11. Generally, by June 20, a decision can be made as to
    whether the escapement goal for the early-run will be achieved and the sanctuary area can be
    opened. If the escapement goal for the early-run is projected to be exceeded, the bag and
    possession limits may be liberalized from 3 per day and 3 in possession to 4 per day and 8 in
    possession.
    STATE OF ALASKA


    If restrictions or liberalizations to the late-run fishery are necessary, they would likely occur
    during late July or early August. Restrictive management actions in the sport fishery could
    include reduction in daily bag and possession limits, restrictions by time and area, or closure.
    Liberal management actions would likely include an increase in bag and possession limits,


    and/or extension of the fishing season.

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    Default You made the wild statements

    Quote Originally Posted by TYNMON View Post
    So you are the expert Nerka and u tell this forum that there is no relationship between early run and late run Russian River sockeye production? Are they not competing for the same limited resources in the lake's as fry?? Let me get this straight and make sure I am understanding you attacks on my charater once again...

    If you have a large production for late run Russian Scokeye will they not limit the resources of the Early Run fish and vice versa?? What data do I need? Please clear things up that I don't understand... Are you telling this forum that the early run escapments goals are not set low to limit the competition and maximize the production of the late run????

    I would say that the verdic is still out and the KRSA funded study that is in it's last year of field collection concerning the genetic composition of Cook Inlet Commercial, Personal Use, and sport harvest will be some very enlighting data...

    You know you have the data Nerka.. Ball is in your court, please educate me and this forum on exactly what the relationship in production is between the early and late runs of sockeye for the Russian River.
    Ty, you made the claims and therefore you should support your position. However, I will provide some insight. Both stocks rear in the Upper Russian Lake system and some fry drop down into Lower Russian Lake. It is possible that even some fry move all the way downstream to Skilak Lake. The spawning area for the two runs are different. For your claim of interaction in a negative way there must be a limiting factor in the rearing environment. If the limiting factor is in the spawning environment then a negative interaction may not take place because the lake rearing environment is not at capacity. The stream spawners in the Russian system may in fact be controlled by egg to spring fry survival not spring fry to fall fry. So when you make a claim of negative impact I would like to see the data you have. I did not attack your character I asked you to support your position with data not speculation. If you cannot do that just say so and we can move on.

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    Default The entire point is that the early run and late run compete......

    So why are u arguing that there is not a coorillation??? Smaller late run escapments would possibly allow for larger rearing capacity and vice versa.. Of course there is a whole bunch of variation in rearing areas that are likely density dependent.

    Some of the old papers on the Russian R showed great age class variation compared to know... Why is this? Personally I would like to see the early run managed for larger escapements... I assume that it is not as a competition w/ the commercially valuable late run sockeye.

    These runs are very manipulated by sport, PU, and commercial fisheries not to mention opening and closing of the fish ladder at the falls.

    Ken are u suggesting that there is no interaction and competition between these two runs beacuase there is rearing habitat below the Russian so when at capacity those fish are diplaced to possibly better rearing habitat such as Skilak Lake?

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    Default what is overescapement?

    Interesting statement by Jeff Fox regarding overescapement. What he failed to mention is that "overescapement" as defined in the Cook Inlet is talking about lost economic opportunity in the commercial fishery, not biological overabundance. The Kenai has never seen a run that did not at least replace itself- the upper limit has yet to be found.

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    Default Over-escapement = "lost" resource or ??

    From the historical accounts I've read the rivers on both coast of U.S. were teeming with salmon when the settlers arrived here. Apparently the "overescapement" didn't wipe out the species - commercial fishing and economic development about did them in.

    I have to wonder about the loss of nutrients for the trees and other plants along the stream banks. Good habitat along the rivers is vital to the small fry and returning fish yet the large numbers of dead fish along the banks decaying and furnishing nurishment to the plants is called "over escapment".

    Has anyone studied the growth rings of trees along the river banks and tried to see if there is a relationship of "over escapement" to periods of better growth? The need for this study would seem like a "no brainer" to me but I haven't located any data of this being done.


    Quote Originally Posted by willphish4food View Post
    Interesting statement by Jeff Fox regarding overescapement. What he failed to mention is that "overescapement" as defined in the Cook Inlet is talking about lost economic opportunity in the commercial fishery, not biological overabundance. The Kenai has never seen a run that did not at least replace itself- the upper limit has yet to be found.
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    Default cannot believe this comment

    Quote Originally Posted by willphish4food View Post
    Interesting statement by Jeff Fox regarding overescapement. What he failed to mention is that "overescapement" as defined in the Cook Inlet is talking about lost economic opportunity in the commercial fishery, not biological overabundance. The Kenai has never seen a run that did not at least replace itself- the upper limit has yet to be found.
    This comment is typical of the knowledge of some users in UCI and reflect a total misunderstanding of production curves and what overescapement means. I cannot believe that someone who has been around UCI for years and served on an advisory chair and reads this forum still posts this stuff.

    For Tvfinak - the issue of overescapement is about yield not the biological health of the resource per se or the economic well being of one user group. When too many fish spawn or rear in an environ the resulting production can be reduced which reduces yield.

    Will, you do not understand Ricker curves and frankly they do not apply to the Kenai sockeye system. But for sake of discussion the loss of yield takes place well before one reaches the replacement point. At the replacement point there is no yield - the number of spawners produces a return which equals the number of spawners. Thus is one continues putting that number of spawners in the system the yield would be zero.

    In the Kenai spawning escapements of 1.3-1.4 million produce returns of less than 3 million. Thus the yield is 1,600,000 fish if this continues as opposed to yields 3 million fish at lower escapements. Also, if one accepts the potential for counting error in the Kenai then the 1.4 million fish may have in fact been close to the replacement point. One does not need to be at the replacement point to define a production curve - it just helps. So what you are saying is bogus on a number of points.

    Now for the record the best model for the Kenai is a brood year interaction model and that model suggest that 500,000 to 800,000 spawners produces the best average yields.

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    Default That is all find and dandy... All wrapped up in a neat little package, but...

    Quote Originally Posted by Nerka View Post
    This comment is typical of the knowledge of some users in UCI and reflect a total misunderstanding of production curves and what overescapement means. I cannot believe that someone who has been around UCI for years and served on an advisory chair and reads this forum still posts this stuff.

    For Tvfinak - the issue of overescapement is about yield not the biological health of the resource per se or the economic well being of one user group. When too many fish spawn or rear in an environ the resulting production can be reduced which reduces yield.

    Will, you do not understand Ricker curves and frankly they do not apply to the Kenai sockeye system. But for sake of discussion the loss of yield takes place well before one reaches the replacement point. At the replacement point there is no yield - the number of spawners produces a return which equals the number of spawners. Thus is one continues putting that number of spawners in the system the yield would be zero.

    In the Kenai spawning escapements of 1.3-1.4 million produce returns of less than 3 million. Thus the yield is 1,600,000 fish if this continues as opposed to yields 3 million fish at lower escapements. Also, if one accepts the potential for counting error in the Kenai then the 1.4 million fish may have in fact been close to the replacement point. One does not need to be at the replacement point to define a production curve - it just helps. So what you are saying is bogus on a number of points.

    Now for the record the best model for the Kenai is a brood year interaction model and that model suggest that 500,000 to 800,000 spawners produces the best average yields.
    I don't think anyone here is arguing the value of Ricker curves....

    Couple of questions... So what is the specific run composition of these 500-800,000 spawners??? Isn't there populations shifts from one area to another, meaning actual escapment is not nessisarily directly coorilated to the harvest...

    All these assumptions that you have asserted are based on the Kenai late run as one giant populations not reproductively isolated....

    How can this be.. It is clear that the Russain River fish are reproductively isolated by very large measurable distance... The other populations much more closley related, but that is not to say that they are still the same population....

    The bigger picture is smaller componets of a induvidual return are hammered by the commerial, sport, and pu fishery. Yet, they are managed for one escapement goal.... In all likelyhood the smaller poulations are underseeded due to large exploitation rates that don't affect the larger populations such as the Russian R.

    In many respects this is a mixed stock fishery.. These fish are not all spawning in the same locations and all have very induvidual adapations. So even if high straying occurs from one population that is less affected by overharvest, those would have a much lower survival rate.

    So in all reality 500,000-800,000 fish is proabably a very good number, but depending on the exploitation rates, the upper end may be much better for the smaller populations that have may suffer the ill affects of overexploitation and many other various changing environmental factors...

    Production in a very complex watershed like the Kenai is always changing and never static to assume that we fully understand the current composition is very niave..... So many suggest erroring on the safe side and managing for larger BEG's that may in fact result in lower production but in fact be a much healthier and diverse population.
    Last edited by Brian M; 08-01-2009 at 10:47.

  12. #12

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by tvfinak View Post
    From the historical accounts I've read the rivers on both coast of U.S. were teeming with salmon when the settlers arrived here. Apparently the "overescapement" didn't wipe out the species - commercial fishing and economic development about did them in.
    Bingo. I can't believe these guys "manage" our fish....

  13. #13

    Default Not this stuff again

    Quote Originally Posted by Nerka View Post
    Now for the record the best model for the Kenai is a brood year interaction model and that model suggest that 500,000 to 800,000 spawners produces the best average yields.
    For the record, this model has been rejected by ADFG as a biological basis for UCI sockeye management based on a review by their top scientists:

    http://www.sf.adfg.state.ak.us/FedAidPDFs/sp07-12.pdf

    They concluded that the existing stock-recruitment data did not define an escapement goal range expected to produce maximum sustained yield (e.g. a biological escapement goal).

    The data did meet the criteria for a sustainable escapement goal (e.g. escapements that provided demonstrable harvest surpluses). Thus, the Kenai sockeye goals are now designated as an SEG.

    As Ty correctly observed, the argument over kenai sockeye escapements is not whether overescapement is theoretically possible, but whether we have ever seen it. Willphish is correct that no Kenai sockeye escapement has ever failed to replace itself.

    This indicates that:
    1. we don't really know the true shape of the stock-recruitment curve,
    2. current estimates of curve parameters and the brood year interaction argument may well be an artifact of a lack of contrast, very large errors in sonar estimates that have recently been identified, and spurious statistical correlations, and
    3. we won't know the true nature of the relationship until we see replicated statistical production data from a wide range of escapements over a variety of ocean conditions.

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    Default The myth of "other escapement"

    The concept of "over-escapement" appears to be a near-sighted means to support commercial fishing. When I googled "salmon nutrients bodies plants rivers" I found 77,200 sites covering the value all those "wasted resources" that escape the commercial nets to die upstream. A few of the many sites include: http://www.enature.com/articles/detail.asp?storyID=507, http://www.csus.edu/indiv/m/merzj/Re...20nitrogen.htm, and from our very own AF&G http://www.wc.adfg.state.ak.us/index...articles_id=97

    By eliminating the flow of nutrients with fishing nets we are once again screwing up the balance of nature that worked so well before man arrived. Forget the argument over a few smaller fry - let us look a the long term effects of starving our whole eco-system of the millions of fish that used to return to the stream and rivers.
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    Default Great quotes from Bfish link....... Very, very interesting...


    Simulations of the brood-interaction model show a policy of alternating escapement goals, rather than a constant escapement goal policy, maximizes sustained yield. However, implementation of such a management scheme to achieve maximum sustained yield would severely disrupt the existing fisheries. From a biological perspective, there is good reason to believe in a brood interaction effect, but little reason to believe the effect is multiplicative.

    Estimates of recruits from these levels of escapement ranged from a low of about 2 recruits per spawner to a high of about 16 recruits per spawner.

    First, by accepted standards, scientifically determining maximum sustained yield escapement levels from brood-year information requires that "large" escapements have frequently failed to replace themselves. Such failure is the working definition for large escapements. With 31 years of recruit estimates available for the Kenai stock, no such failure has been observed, thus indicating that the observed escapements in the data set have been "small" relative to carrying capacity. When escapements are small, ability to estimate the production curve for a stock against a background of environmental "noise" is problematic because little of the curve has been exposed to observation.

    Second, there is substantial uncertainty in the set of escapement and recruit estimates for this stock because of unknown precision and potential bias in both the annual set of catch apportionments and in the annual set of escapement estimates. Assumptions associated with annual catch apportionments are known to be violated; for instance, total escapements by age for all sockeye salmon stocks caught in Upper Cook Inlet are not annually monitored. The assumption that all sockeye salmon that escape into the Kenai River swim through the sonar beams at mile 19.5 is also likely not true; thus the escapement estimates are probably biased low. As a result of these basic data issues, the stock-recruit data itself is suspect, likely biased and has unknown precision. As a result, we cannot adequately separate measurement error from environmental noise with this set of stock-recruit data.

    That is, a pattern of very high escapements in year
    i-1 (e.g., 1.3 million) followed by very low escapements in year i (e.g. 100,000) are predicted to provide substantially more potential yield than are escapements in the range of 500,000-800,000. However, implementation of such a management scheme to achieve maximum sustained yield would severely disrupt the existing fisheries.
    http://www.sf.adfg.state.ak.us/FedAidPDFs/sp07-12.pdf

    This paper outlines that escapement goals of 500-800,000 are MANAGMENT BASED... NOT BIOLOGICAL BASED... I have stated this many time on other threads and got my ***** handed to me by Nerka and Gramps Fishes.... Even with the unceartaintly of the outcomes of these models, it is quite clear the Kenai is underseeded....

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    Default long term effects

    If I recall in the threads last year Gramps kept repeating that his interest was in the long term health of the fishery. With the underseeding and the loss of essential nutrients it appears that the whole "over-escapement" topic needs to be investigated IF a long term bilogical goal is to be sought - not just a shorter term profit for the commercial guys.

    Quote Originally Posted by TYNMON View Post

    This paper outlines that escapement goals of 500-800,000
    are MANAGMENT BASED... NOT BIOLOGICAL BASED..

    . I have stated this many time on other threads and got my ***** handed to me by Nerka and Gramps Fishes.... Even with the unceartaintly of the outcomes of these models, it is quite clear the Kenai is underseeded....
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    Default

    The concept of yield is a man-made construct based on a "resource extraction" worldview.

    "Yield" is basically the surplus production above and beyond replacement.

    Let's look at two hypothetical examples of production.

    1) 3 million adult recruits derived from an escapement of 3 million spawners. Zero "yield"

    2) 2 million adult recruits derived from an escapement of 500,000 spawners. Yield = 1.5 million or 300% of the parent escapement.

    Example 1 demonstrates a biologically healthy population, maximum transfer of ocean-derived nutrients, and unquestionable abundance. Unfortunately from a resource extraction perspective, even though the population is 50% bigger than example 2, there is NO "yield".

    Example 2 demonstrates a population that is functioning well from a productivity standpoint for that individual stock. If harvested to MSY, 1.5 million fish are artificially taken out of the system... fish that will NOT make a contribution to the nutrient biomass of the system. Example 2 puts 2.5 million less carcasses in the river than example 1. Relatively speaking, the riverine ecosystem is clearly being deprived of nutrients due to the deficit in carcasses. Without good indices to measure the impact, it is very easy to conveniently dismiss the effect as long as the target stock continues to be harvestable. With 1.5 million fish in totes and a "yield" of 300%, who's gonna give a rip?

    With a resource extraction priority, salmon managers have historically taken Option 2 each and every time.

    Alaska is no different. Without a paradigm shift AWAY from the MSY Mantra, fisheries in the Great Land are no less likely to follow the path of salmon depletion that has already occurred in all other parts of the world.
    "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

    Quote Originally Posted by tvfinak
    "over-escapement" appears to be a near-sighted means to support commercial fishing.
    Quote Originally Posted by tvfinak
    "wasted resources" that escape the commercial nets
    Quote Originally Posted by tvfinak
    By eliminating the flow of nutrients with fishing nets we are once again screwing up the balance of nature
    Quote Originally Posted by tvfinak
    commercial fishing and economic development about did them in.
    tvfinak, here you go again with your anti-commercial fishing crusade. Please educate yourself with our fishery laws, and how and why our fisheries are managed successfully with regards to escapements, yields, productivity, sustainability, and commercial fishing. Like most years in the past, once again you could almost walk across the abundance of sockeye at the Russian River. Management of this system is not only working, but by the looks of the liberalized Russian River sport fishery, working very well...conservatively on the side of lost yield.


    As Nerka pointed out, I would also like TYNMON to support his early run - late run relationship with something more than basic assumptions that only scratch the surface of what is a very complex issue with almost too many variables. We can't begin to manage our fisheries based on emotion, or how we assume things work. So TYNMON before you send another thread into emotional ablivion, how about some facts.


    Willphish4food, Jeff Fox did not talk about biological abundance. He talked about productivity and how overescapements can cost you. Lets not take something from a newpaper and spin it worse than it already is. I believe the fishery is healthy and optimized for maximum sustained yield under the requirements of our fishery laws, and that it provides all user groups viable opportunity...At least using the technology available to us.


    Bfish, the change in philosophy from BEG to SEG is debatable, very complex, and dare I say partially driven by political pressure. Obviously our fishery was managed very well for sustainability and maximum yield for a long time using BEG.


    TYMON, you say "it is clear the Kenai is underseeded". Again, I would like to see facts showing that, rather than emotional speculation that someone like tvfinak thrives on. So what is optimal, and when does the Kenai become "overseeded"?

    As for the topic...overescapement is a fact of life...at least if you want to consider our established and proven fishery laws concerning sustainability and yields.

  19. #19

    Default Not

    Quote Originally Posted by Grampyfishes View Post
    the change in philosophy from BEG to SEG is debatable, very complex, and dare I say partially driven by political pressure.
    So science is "good" science when it supports your position but "bad" science when it does not? The science on this one is by John Clark and Doug Eggers, who were authors on the aforementioned report. Together they have probably 60 years of experience between them. Their scientific credibility is unimpeachable.

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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by tvfinak
    If I recall in the threads last year Gramps kept repeating that his interest was in the long term health of the fishery.
    Yes, in agreement with our proven and established fishery laws that have provided all user groups with the most abundant, opportunistic, and sustainable fisheries in the world, my interest is in the long-term health of the fishery. What is your interest?

    Quote Originally Posted by tvfinak
    With the underseeding and the loss of essential nutrients it appears that the whole "over-escapement" topic needs to be investigatedp
    What "underseeding" and "loss of essential nutrients" are you talking about? The Kenai has a long history of providing a healthy fishery and a surplus of fish.

    Quote Originally Posted by tvfinak
    not just a shorter term profit for the commercial guys
    Yet another stellar remark bashing commercial fishermen, who have been an integral part in sustaining the wonderful bounty of the Kenai, and who are subject to establised management laws, not their own making based on profits.


    Quote Originally Posted by fishNphysician
    Alaska is no different. Without a paradigm shift AWAY from the MSY Mantra, fisheries in the Great Land are no less likely to follow the path of salmon depletion that has already occurred in all other parts of the world.
    Alaska's fishery management is very different than of other parts of the world where fisheries have depleted. In fact we have become the envied model for the rest of the world.

    You and tvfinak apparantly want to change our fishery laws...the same laws that provide you with a ridiculous amount of fish and fishing opportunity. Does the Kenai not provide you with enough fish or something?

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