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Thread: letter to paper

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    Default letter to paper

    This letter appeared in the Clarion and I figured it will promote some discussion. I received it directly so copyright should not apply.

    KRSA comments miss the mark



    In a recent three-part KTUU-TV feature on Cook Inlet's salmon wars, Kenai River Sportfishing Association's Ricky Gease said, "Not that the commercial industry here isn't important but it's in the shadow of a giant here." Well, that's just not so. KRSA's relentless, well-funded, politicized push for more salmon into the Kenai and other Cook Inlet rivers at the expense of Cook Inlet's gill-net industry is misguided at best, disingenuous at worst.


    First, it is not a contest between "sport" and "commercial," it is an allocation decision between end-user groups: those who catch their fish and those who buy their fish from restaurants and stores. Only a small percentage of end-users of our fisheries get their fish with a rod and reel. The overwhelming majority of those who eat salmon get their fish from a market or from a restaurant.


    Second, KRSA disingenuously claims sport-caught fish are more valuable than commercial-caught fish, but they arrive at these voodoo economics by counting the total value of a sport-caught fish until it reaches the end-user but stop counting the value of a commercial- caught fish when it reaches the processor, ignoring thereby all the accrued economic value involved in processing, marketing, transportation, support industry, retail markets, restaurants, and more. If there's a giant here, it's the economics of the commercially-caught fish.


    Third, it is sheer, economic lunacy to advocate devoting more of our fisheries resources to an industry in decline -- sport fishing -- at the expense of Cook Inlet's gill-net industry. Area sport-fishing is off this year, way off, it will be worse next year as the American economy continues to contract, and it's not coming back any time soon. The days of easy money are over.


    Fourth, there is no "over-escapement debate" except in the minds of KRSA sycophants. One needn't be a rocket scientist or a hired biologist to know that you can only put so many cows on an acre of grass before compromising the next calf-crop. Common sense is all one needs to figure that out.


    We shouldn't be fooled or mislead. KRSA has long advocated the decimation of Cook Inlet's gill-net industry in favor of more sport- fishing "opportunity," particularly sport-fishing opportunity for the second-run kings that accompany the late run sockeye. No, we don't need more phoney reasons to further cripple our area's economy, our area needs a healthy gill-net industry as part of a diversified economic base -- especially in these troubled and uncertain economic times.


    John Nelson
    Soldotna

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    Member fishNphysician's Avatar
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    Interesting piece....

    Don't think Marcus, Gretchen, Carver, or neldecoy could have said it any better.
    "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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    I don't think he has ever read the study. I could be wrong and I am sure I will find out if he did or not.

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    Gosh - I thought we had heard the last rant from Marcus-the survey he references is not produced by KRSA but by the Alaska Department of Fish and Game. He and others like Grampy do not accept the validity of any survey that disagrees with their preconcieved notions......I just ignore their comments.

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    Default for the record

    Quote Originally Posted by gusdog44 View Post
    Gosh - I thought we had heard the last rant from Marcus-the survey he references is not produced by KRSA but by the Alaska Department of Fish and Game. He and others like Grampy do not accept the validity of any survey that disagrees with their preconcieved notions......I just ignore their comments.
    Just for the record the UAA Knapp stated before the legislative hearing that the KRSA study was flawed and that the ADF&G study could not be used to compare the value of the two fisheries. His testimony is on record if anyone wants to hear it.

    download gunnar's .pdf presentation

    then listen to the meeting in from the MPG

    you can follow his presentation.


    http://housemajority.org/coms/jcis/jcis_background.php

    I hope this works from the forum. I listened a long time ago.

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    Member willphish4food's Avatar
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    Default interesting

    "Third, it is sheer, economic lunacy to advocate devoting more of our fisheries resources to an industry in decline -- sport fishing -- at the expense of Cook Inlet's gill-net industry. Area sport-fishing is off this year, way off, it will be worse next year as the American economy continues to contract, and it's not coming back any time soon. The days of easy money are over."

    You know, this statement would be just as true if you transposed two phrases- sport fishing and gillnet industry. Look at this...

    "Third, it is sheer, economic lunacy to advocate devoting more of our fisheries resources to an industry in decline -- Cook Inlet's gill-net industry -- at the expense of sport fishing..."

    Interesting, huh? Looks like a knife that can cut both ways.

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    Quote Originally Posted by gusdog44
    He and others like Grampy do not accept the validity of any survey that disagrees with their preconcieved notions......I just ignore their comments.
    That's unfortunate. My take on the validity of KRSA's study was a reiteration of Professor Knapp's evaluation. Professor Knapp is probably the most renowned source for Alaska's fishing economic studies. Not sure why you reject his evaluation.

    I have certainly acknowledged that KRSA's study has a purpose, but I predicted that unfortunately it would be taken out of context and used by KRSA for the wrong reasons...to compare economic impacts of the commercial sport fishing industry to the commercial fishing industry...squash the already dying commercial fishery and further expand an already capacitized commercial sport fishery...in the name of "economic engine run hard".

    KRSA, backed by the likes of Bob Penney, undoubtedly has an extreme pro commercial sport fishing agenda, and an extreme anti-commercial fishing agenda. And that is too bad for all of us, and more so for our beloved river.

    I think Mr. Nelson's read is spot on.

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    Default So what is the more valuable industry??

    Quote Originally Posted by Grampyfishes View Post
    That's unfortunate. My take on the validity of KRSA's study was a reiteration of Professor Knapp's evaluation. Professor Knapp is probably the most renowned source for Alaska's fishing economic studies. Not sure why you reject his evaluation.

    I have certainly acknowledged that KRSA's study has a purpose, but I predicted that unfortunately it would be taken out of context and used by KRSA for the wrong reasons...to compare economic impacts of the commercial sport fishing industry to the commercial fishing industry...squash the already dying commercial fishery and further expand an already capacitized commercial sport fishery...in the name of "economic engine run hard".

    KRSA, backed by the likes of Bob Penney, undoubtedly has an extreme pro commercial sport fishing agenda, and an extreme anti-commercial fishing agenda. And that is too bad for all of us, and more so for our beloved river.

    I think Mr. Nelson's read is spot on.

    Are you telling this forum that the economic value of commercial fishing for the drift and stenet fleet is greater then the TOTAL value of sport fishing on the Kenai??? This is not just about COMMERCIAL sprot fishing, but real Alaskan's who are enjoying a resource. Have you taken a look at the PU numbers this year??? What is the value of that fishery alone?

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    Member thewhop2000's Avatar
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    Thumbs up 21,700 Cook inlet PU permits issued last year!

    Times that number of households by 2.78, the average alaskan household. That means over 60,000 Alaskans benefit from dipnetting the Kasilof or the Kenai alone. We are not even talking Juneau or Chitina numbers. I know I drop 300-400 dollars on a long weekend down there. Just my personal observation. I won't even bring up the economic study from fish and game this year about 780 million generated from South-Central Sports fisheries
    They say there is no way to compare that study with other studies that look at the commercial industry. That maybe so but 780 million is still a pretty big number.



    My next question is why are there 1500 commercial Salmon permits issued in UCI but only about half are fished every year? Does that mean that half make so much money they only need to fish every other year? Or is it just not economical to fish during certain years due to lower prices and Higher operating costs?

    We need a diverse economy and we need both commercial and sports industries. If we lose one or the other, we all lose.

    I have a buddy that has commercial fished PWS for 35 years. He was a highliner for years out of Cordova. What does he do nowadays? Works as a long shoreman. He says he makes better money than having to depend on a few thousand Reds and Kings making their way into his nets. Again, just my personal observation. It is my own belief that the commercial industry is the one in decline. A non partial view, Me thinks.

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    Member Danny Boy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TYNMON View Post
    Are you telling this forum that the economic value of commercial fishing for the drift and stenet fleet is greater then the TOTAL value of sport fishing on the Kenai??? This is not just about COMMERCIAL sprot fishing, but real Alaskan's who are enjoying a resource. Have you taken a look at the PU numbers this year??? What is the value of that fishery alone?
    Are you trying to tell this forum that real Alaskans are those fishermen filling the guide boats? From a complete economic perspective, I'd wager a good amount that more folks are impacted by commercial fishing but you're talking about the buyer in Seattle and the truck driver from Montana carting fish to the restaurant in Minnesota, not solely the Kenai Peninsula.

    Sure, the PU numbers are up but there's also a reason I'm writing this response on a Tuesday afternoon. And the PU numbers with the king fishery aren't just a byproduct of greater fish allocation to the sport fishing sector. Floated the Upper Kenai in September these past few years? More and more Alaskans are fishing, or more and more people are moving to Alaska to fish.

    You can't blame KRSA (or at least what I'd bet is a good portion of its members) for striving for greater allocations as they're a sport fishing entity. But, you can blame those willing to sacrifice one longstanding and economically beneficial industry for their own gluttony and greed.

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    Default value in sport fishing opportunities

    Anybody figure in the dollar value of sport fishing opportunites in attracting and retaining professional and skilled workers in southcentral Alaska?
    Living the urban lifestyle so I can pay my way and for my family's needs, and support my country. And you?
    ".. ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country" JFK

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    Default That is exactly what I am saying.....

    Quote Originally Posted by Danny Boy View Post
    Are you trying to tell this forum that real Alaskans are those fishermen filling the guide boats? From a complete economic perspective, I'd wager a good amount that more folks are impacted by commercial fishing but you're talking about the buyer in Seattle and the truck driver from Montana carting fish to the restaurant in Minnesota, not solely the Kenai Peninsula.

    Sure, the PU numbers are up but there's also a reason I'm writing this response on a Tuesday afternoon. And the PU numbers with the king fishery aren't just a byproduct of greater fish allocation to the sport fishing sector. Floated the Upper Kenai in September these past few years? More and more Alaskans are fishing, or more and more people are moving to Alaska to fish.

    You can't blame KRSA (or at least what I'd bet is a good portion of its members) for striving for greater allocations as they're a sport fishing entity. But, you can blame those willing to sacrifice one longstanding and economically beneficial industry for their own gluttony and greed.
    Up to 70% of the guided king sprot angler on the Kenai is an Alaskan... Suprised?? Shouldn't be the Kenai is a very specialized fishery and can be more cost effective to go w/ a guide vrs owning a boat, tackle, and knowledge to catch these fish.

    Additionally the single fastest growing sport fishery in the state is the middle river trout fishery... Of which is not dominated by guides, but by Alaskan's. Many Alaskan's come to the Kenai to sport fish, years like this I would gamble that the number of Alaskans coming down to the Kenai, beacuse so many other roadside fisheries are poor or closed.

    Commercial salmon fishing is a steadidly shrinking industry and doesn't produce the income to so many.... This is not just about guides, but affects everyone in the hospitality industry and beyond...

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    Default Alaskan Sport Fishermen

    Check out the upper Kenai and Russian Rivers. The moment the fish show up the river is elbow to elbow for miles - these aren't tourist that suddenly show up when the fish come into the river but residents including those that can't or won't pay $25- $30 or more for a red salmon in the stores.

    The commercial fishery is dying out due to many factors - one major being the competition from farmed salmon. High fuel cost and the poor economy down in the lower 48 are other factors that are helping to seal it's doom.

    I read the other day where something like 98% of the shrimp sold in the US are now FARMED! The commercial shrimp fishing industry is all but dead - can the commerical salmon industry be very far behind?


    Quote Originally Posted by TYNMON View Post
    Up to 70% of the guided king sprot angler on the Kenai is an Alaskan... Suprised?? Shouldn't be the Kenai is a very specialized fishery and can be more cost effective to go w/ a guide vrs owning a boat, tackle, and knowledge to catch these fish.

    Additionally the single fastest growing sport fishery in the state is the middle river trout fishery... Of which is not dominated by guides, but by Alaskan's. Many Alaskan's come to the Kenai to sport fish, years like this I would gamble that the number of Alaskans coming down to the Kenai, beacuse so many other roadside fisheries are poor or closed.

    Commercial salmon fishing is a steadidly shrinking industry and doesn't produce the income to so many.... This is not just about guides, but affects everyone in the hospitality industry and beyond...
    Living the urban lifestyle so I can pay my way and for my family's needs, and support my country. And you?
    ".. ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country" JFK

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    Forum Admin Brian M's Avatar
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    Fellas, the commercial fishing industry is not dying out. Yes, the industry has gone through changes - some painful - but it is not dying. Painting it as such does little to further these discussions.

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    Default thanks Brian

    Quote Originally Posted by Brian M View Post
    Fellas, the commercial fishing industry is not dying out. Yes, the industry has gone through changes - some painful - but it is not dying. Painting it as such does little to further these discussions.
    Thanks Brian for pointing out that the commercial fishing industry in Alaska is not dying out. I wish some of those posting would at least provide some data to prove their point.

    There was a valid question about the number of permits fishing. The answer for fewer permits fishing is economics. Some fisherman come from out of state and when the runs or price are down they elect to stay home. Flying to Alaska, maintaining a place to live, and costs of oeprations makes it hard to make a profit.

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    Default Who said anything about dying out??

    Quote Originally Posted by Brian M View Post
    Fellas, the commercial fishing industry is not dying out. Yes, the industry has gone through changes - some painful - but it is not dying. Painting it as such does little to further these discussions.
    If this is truelly a fair economic comparison, just how much do you think a sport or PU caught sockeye is worth vrs a commercially caught sockeye.... Really, tell us how many ppl does far doeas a commercial earned dollar vrs a sport or PU earned dollar? One in ten Alaskan is employed in the tourist trade... What do you think the commercial employmnet ratio is?? And how many of those commercial interests are from out of state?

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    Forum Admin Brian M's Avatar
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    Who said anything about dying out? How about the response right above mine:

    Quote Originally Posted by tvfinak View Post

    The commercial fishery is dying out due to many factors
    As for the full, fair comparison of the economics, I've never claimed any such expertise...nor did my response even come close to that topic. I'm not sure why you jumped on me - it was a simple point I was trying to make.

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    Default You and Tvfinak did.

    Ty you are pretty funny in these threads. Your title on the last post made me laugh as a matter of fact. Thanks for that.

    Then theres TV who says $25-$30 for sockeye...........what for a headed and gutted fish? I don't know how much it all cost me to dipnet a couple weeks ago, but I know it's not much cheaper than buying it.

    Ty you ask questions where I wonder if you want answers.......read Gunnar Knapps report on the economics. Maybe you have?

    I don't even worry about it, as the money isn't as important as the river, or the resource. While this thread is about that letter, and like most threads seems to have devolved into a commercial vs. commercial sport vs sport anglers. I have to wonder why it can't be about that (the river and resouce)? We all want substainable runs...............we have to manage fisheries that man impacts it's a simple as that.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Akbrownsfan View Post
    Ty you are pretty funny in these threads. Your title on the last post made me laugh as a matter of fact. Thanks for that.

    Then theres TV who says $25-$30 for sockeye...........what for a headed and gutted fish? I don't know how much it all cost me to dipnet a couple weeks ago, but I know it's not much cheaper than buying it.

    Ty you ask questions where I wonder if you want answers.......read Gunnar Knapps report on the economics. Maybe you have?

    I don't even worry about it, as the money isn't as important as the river, or the resource. While this thread is about that letter, and like most threads seems to have devolved into a commercial vs. commercial sport vs sport anglers. I have to wonder why it can't be about that (the river and resouce)? We all want substainable runs...............we have to manage fisheries that man impacts it's a simple as that.

    Well said. Bottom line is that none of the user groups will survive if the river itself and the fish that spawn in it do not. I never thought I would say this, but anymore, it is the commercial boys that care more about the big picture than most of the river guides.

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    http://www.iser.uaa.alaska.edu/iser/people/knapp/


    Ty and tv here you go

    Link to Knapps page, and his links to papers on the economics of both sportfish and commercial fish, as well as many other good papers. Now please read them if you want..........or stop saying you'd like answers b/c you don't.

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