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Thread: Gillnets score another victory...

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    Member fishNphysician's Avatar
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    Default Gillnets score another victory...

    The feds have authorized another gillnet fishery in the Tustumena/Kasilof basin.

    Looks like the Ninilchik tribe is flexing some political muscle these days.

    Sorry TRBO... another hit to the basin. Wonder who's gonna monitor the catch? With enforcement budgets strained to capacity, I'll bet catches will be self-reported.

    :beathead:

    Here's the article from the Peninsula Clarion:

    Federal Subsistence Board addresses peninsula issues
    No to RAC, yes to fishery


    By PATRICE KOHL
    Peninsula Clarion

    The Alaska Federal Subsistence Board voted down a proposal to create a separate subsistence council to represent the Kenai Peninsula, but passed a proposal to open a winter subsistence fishery targeting residential fish in Tustumena Lake, in a meeting on Thursday in Anchorage.

    The proposal the board passed allows residents in Ninilchik to subsistence fish for lake trout, rainbow trout and Dolly Varden in the lake this winter using gillnets and jigging gear, despite state concerns that the fishery might harm resident species stocks.

    Comparing the proposal’s quotas to historical estimates of sport fish harvests of residential fish from the lake, board members supporting the fishery said the proposed fishery was modest and not likely to harm the lake’s residential stocks.

    The winter subsistence fishery allows for a quota of 200 lake trout, 200 rainbow trout and 500 Dolly Varden. All gillnet subsistence fishing on the lake will be discontinued once the quota for any one species has been met.

    Historical estimates collected by the Alaska Department of Fish and Game show sport fish harvests of rainbow trout, lake trout and Dolly Varden have ranged in the low hundreds for each species, said Office of Subsistence Management fisheries biologist Doug McBride.

    The state disagreed with the fishery’s proponents, arguing that because resident fish grow and reproduce slowly, a subsistence fishery would be risky.

    Fish and Game deputy commissioner David Bedford said the proposed subsistence fishery does not fit with the conservative fisheries management plans that have helped Alaska maintain rich genetic diversity among its trout species.

    Supporters of the fishery, however, said that because the fishery requires subsistence fishermen to report their catches within 78 hours of harvest, fisheries managers could respond quickly if catches indicate fish are being overharvested.

    Additionally, supporters said the subsistence fishery’s prohibition on fishing within a quarter mile of the mouth of any tributary to the lake, where fish are believed to congregate and feed during the winter, would help protect fish.

    Bedford, however, also said Ninilchik residents already have plenty of fishing opportunities to meet their harvest needs under current regulations, and if the board were too follow its own regulations, it would not allow the proposal to be considered.

    The Tustumena subsistence fishery was proposed by the Ninilchik Traditional Council as a special action request, meaning the board was asked to consider the proposal outside of its normal regulatory cycle.

    Fish and Game has argued that subsistence regulations only allow the board to consider a special action request when there are extenuating circumstances, such as sudden stock decline or other unforeseeable changes in a fishery.

    When board members asked U.S. Department of the Interior attorney Kenneth Lord for council on how the extenuating circumstances requirement applied to the special action request for a subsistence fishery, he said the regulations are ambiguous.

    Lord said regulations are clear that the requirement applies to an emergency special action request, but less clear as to whether it also applies to nonemergency special action requests, and that the question has never come before a court.

    “So we are left with a situation where the board has some discretion to interpret its own regulations,” he said.

    When the council voted on the subsistence fishery proposal it passed five to one, with all but the board’s chair, Mike Fleagle, voting in support of the fishery.

    Fleagle said he did not worry the fishery would pose a conservation issue, and only declined to vote for the proposed fishery because the request fell outside of the normal regulatory process.

    “I’d like to be consistent in requiring a definable, predictable process as much as possible,” he said.

    Because the fishery was proposed as a special action request, it is temporary and will only be open this winter, unless a proposal to continue the fishery is supported during the normal regulatory cycle next year.

    Following its consideration of the subsistence fishery proposal, the board picked up and then dropped the proposal to create a Kenai Peninsula Regional Advisory Council.

    In Alaska, 10 regional advisory councils, or RACs, help guide board decisions addressing subsistence uses of fish and wildlife on federal public land and water.

    The Kenai Peninsula is represented by the Southcentral RAC, which also represents Prince William Sound, Copper River drainage, Cook Inlet drainage and the inland waters and lands of the Glennallen area. The board put forth the proposal to create a Kenai RAC earlier this year, saying the Southcentral RAC is too big.

    But at Thursday’s meeting the board shifted, with members saying that although the Southcentral RAC has a lot on its plate, it has been doing a good job addressing the issues in its region.

    In addition, some board members where concerned that 10 of the 12 people who had applied to become members of the proposed Kenai RAC were from nonrural areas, saying that a board consisting largely of nonrural members might not represent subsistence users to the extent it should.

    But not all board members agreed.

    “My understanding is that we have had very excellent applicants that applied, many of them did have a strong history with subsistence,” board member Gary Edwards said. “I would certainly think that, that’s what we should be looking at — not whether someone is from Kenai or Cooper Landing or Ninilchik.”

    Some, however, also argued the origin of the proposal goes against the intent of the Alaska National Interest Lands Conservation Act, the law which mandates the continuation of subsistence uses on federal public lands in Alaska.

    David Case, an attorney representing the Ninilchik Traditional Council, said that because the proposal originated with the board rather than among subsistence users or in a RAC, that it runs contrary to the bottom up process supported by ANILCA.

    On Thursday, the board also began consideration of a proposal to reconsider a Ninilchik customary and traditional use designation for the Kenai River drainage on federal lands, tabled the issue until today in the interest of time.
    "Let every angler who loves to fish think what it would mean to him to find the fish were gone."
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    Unhappy Not quite. . .

    Quote Originally Posted by fishNphysician View Post
    The feds have authorized another gillnet fishery in the Tustumena/Kasilof basin.
    Looks like the Ninilchik tribe is flexing some political muscle these days.

    Now, now, doc, it's federal law that has the muscle, and the feds that authorized the fishery, not the tribe. Let's not go there. . . the courts decided all this some time ago.

    Please, no more stirring up of neighbor against neighbor, Alaskan against fellow Alaskan.

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    Default Pure allocation

    This is a pure allocation decision, not a biological issue. Not one biologist worth their merit will say a take of 200 individuals will impact the population in the lake.

    The State has all types of fisheries in which the catch is based on the honor system. In fact, most sport fisheries harvest data comes from a statewide harvest survey. This survey assumes people will be honest. To imply that the natives of Ninilchik will not be honest and therefore this is an enforcement issue is somewhat insulting to the natives.

    I agree with Marcus on this one. The issue is purely allocative and the reason that natives and others in rural areas of the Kenai have to go to the federal government and courts is that the state system failed them. Commercial and Sport fishing representatives eliminated them from large areas of UCI.

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    Wink

    Quote Originally Posted by Marcus View Post

    Please, no more stirring up of neighbor against neighbor, Alaskan against fellow Alaskan.


    Stir the pot? Moi?

    Just passing along newsworthy info.

    So is it the messenger or the message that you object to, Marcus? If it's me, then a PM would suffice. If it's the story, then perhaps your objections should be directed to the editor of the Peninsula Clarion.

    Ditto for the editor of the Anchorage Daily News regarding the related story about the Ninilchik subsistence priority in the Upper Kenai River Basin.

    http://forums.outdoorsdirectory.com/...ead.php?t=6100
    Last edited by fishNphysician; 11-18-2006 at 15:41.
    "Let every angler who loves to fish think what it would mean to him to find the fish were gone."
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Nerka View Post

    The State has all types of fisheries in which the catch is based on the honor system. In fact, most sport fisheries harvest data comes from a statewide harvest survey. This survey assumes people will be honest. To imply that the natives of Ninilchik will not be honest and therefore this is an enforcement issue is somewhat insulting to the natives.
    OK, I may have been out of line with that one. It's just that every gillnet fishery I have ever encountered in the past, native or non-native, has had serious deficiencies in catch reporting and/or significant problems with overharvest. Difficult to fathom that this fishery will be any different... but let's just hope I'm wrong.
    "Let every angler who loves to fish think what it would mean to him to find the fish were gone."
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    Smile Neither. . .

    Quote Originally Posted by fishNphysician View Post
    So is it the messenger or the message that you object to, Marcus?
    I object to neither, doc — not the message and not you. I object to the terms in which the message is couched. . . same ol', same ol' divisiveness—evil gillnets, native "political muscle," and so on. . . Let's stick to ideas. . .

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    Default

    I will be out there with a gillnet and I suggest everyone else should be too, in protest, just make sure to use BIG mesh size as to not hurt rainbows as much
    I choose to fly fish, not because its easy, but because its hard.

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    Let's see...

    800 people entitled to catch 900 trout? And they have the entire winter to do so?

    Tell me again why anyone would need a gillnet to kill what amounts to little more than one trout per person. And they'll have all winter to catch them?

    Makes you wonder what on earth they really want to catch with those gillnets. Talk about trying to kill a fly with a sledge-hammer.

    What's wrong with hook and line? Certainly has the potential to be much more selective... especially if they are interested in maximizing the allowable harvest of each species. I mean why take a risk in getting shut down early if the non-selective nets have already killed the entire quota of rainbow before the allowable Dolly quota has been consumed.

    And what size mesh do you think they would be considering? Larger mesh to target the largest most productive breeding stock in a resident trout population?

    And what about by-catch? Are there late-run coho in the system?

    Too many questions unanswered, too many uncertainties that don't pass the "smell test".... anybody detect the odor of fish?
    "Let every angler who loves to fish think what it would mean to him to find the fish were gone."
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    Angry Sowing discord. . .

    Quote Originally Posted by fishNphysician View Post
    Let's see...
    800 people entitled to catch 900 trout? And they have the entire winter to do so?
    Tell me again why anyone would need a gillnet to kill what amounts to little more than one trout per person. And they'll have all winter to catch them?
    Makes you wonder what on earth they really want to catch with those gillnets. Talk about trying to kill a fly with a sledge-hammer.
    What's wrong with hook and line? Certainly has the potential to be much more selective... especially if they are interested in maximizing the allowable harvest of each species. I mean why take a risk in getting shut down early if the non-selective nets have already killed the entire quota of rainbow before the allowable Dolly quota has been consumed.
    And what size mesh do you think they would be considering? Larger mesh to target the largest most productive breeding stock in a resident trout population?
    And what about by-catch? Are there late-run coho in the system?
    Too many questions unanswered, too many uncertainties that don't pass the "smell test".... anybody detect the odor of fish?
    Doc,

    Nothing will be gained by hatefully abusing and insulting the motives and values of the Ninilchik folks. I'm sorry, but that's despicable.

    The federal courts have decided the subsistence/traditional use question years ago. If you don't agree with the law, work to change it.

    Your post is mean-spirited, sowing discord and distrust among neighbors.

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    Default

    Sorry if painting a worst-case scenario comes across as mean-spirited. As a doctor I must consider the "what ifs" from a worst case perspective.... it's engrained in my thought processes. It's how my world works... nothing mean spirited about it. Just playing devil's advocate for the moment to reveal the potential Pandora's box this decision has opened.

    I challenge the managers and participants in the fishery to openly and honestly address my concerns:

    1) Employing gillnets seems to be a gross mismatch to the magnitude of the intended catch.

    2) What size fish do they intend to target with said gillnets? Without mesh-size parameters, it's anybody's guess.

    3) What about by-catch? What other species will be migrating through the fishing grounds? What about the other "non-glamor" resident species in the lake?

    We are talking about "ideas" aren't we?
    "Let every angler who loves to fish think what it would mean to him to find the fish were gone."
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    Smile Good manners. . .

    Quote Originally Posted by fishNphysician View Post
    Sorry if painting a worst-case scenario comes across as mean-spirited. As a doctor I must consider the "what ifs" from a worst case perspective.... it's engrained in my thought processes. It's how my world works... nothing mean spirited about it. Just playing devil's advocate for the moment to reveal the potential Pandora's box this decision has opened.

    I challenge the managers and participants in the fishery to openly and honestly address my concerns:

    1) Employing gillnets seems to be a gross mismatch to the magnitude of the intended catch.

    2) What size fish do they intend to target with said gillnets? Without mesh-size parameters, it's anybody's guess.

    3) What about by-catch? What other species will be migrating through the fishing grounds? What about the other "non-glamor" resident species in the lake?

    We are talking about "ideas" aren't we?
    When one questions, abuses, and insults the motives of others, one is doing much more than "painting a worst-case scenario." One is strumming the strings of discord.

    Moreover, Solomon has been telling us all that a "prudent man forsees evil" for more than a couple thousand years now, ingraining it in our thought processes. No job title has a lock on anticipating what can go wrong—it's the way everyone's world works.

    The legalities which have precipitated the current state of affairs is water long gone under the bridge, but though they may be a day late and a dollar short, let's hear your ideas about what should be done now. Let's hear some constructive ideas about what you'd like to see done now, and tell those interested how to help. By all means send your ideas to the federal subsistence board, attend its meetings, write the Ninilchik tribe and ask them to reconsider their claims, and ask like-minded folks to do the same.

    In the meantime, let's be respectful of the claims of the Ninilchik folk and of the government that has defined, supported, and instituted those claims. Keep in mind too that while some don't like native claims, neither did some like Rosa Parks taking a front seat on the bus.

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    Default motives vs. reality

    Well Doc, not sure if you are aware of the history of this proposal but the rural residents of Ninilchik requested a 500 coho salmon dip net fishery. This was turned down. They then went to option 2 which is the approved fishery.

    On the coho fishery ADF&G objected on biological grounds and they did not do so for the second fishery. So I think you can ease your fears. A gillnet fishery in the winter in the lake is not going to hurt any stock in one or two years. I am sure ADF&G will along with sport fishing groups be watching this fishery more closely than the others on the peninsula.

    Nothing smells here to me - a group of rural residents who have a priority asked for a fishery to meet their needs. If the fishery is productive then that is the end of it. If their needs grow they will ask for more. Simple allocation and we should keep the discussion to that topic.

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    NILILCHIK IS NOT RURAL, WHOEVER THESE PEOPLE ARE WHO THINK THEY ARE NEED TO SHUT THE HECK UP! there are so many ways to legally harvest fish without a gillnet and without putting stocks at risk by the subsistence boards line of thinking I should have priority for little susitna river fish because the pioneers of Eagle River used to go there and fish. If you can drive to the lower 48 without taking a boat or a plane you are not rural and you should play by the same rules as everyone else. These people are the people who destroyed the Russian River rainbow fishery 50 years ago, that was their traditional use they need to shut up and go take their 5 dollies a day they can legally take now with a glob of eggs on the bottom of the lake, its really not that hard. ANY NILICHIK RESIDENT WHO SUPPORTS THIS IS A WHINEY SPOILED SOB ******* WHO DOESN'T GIVE A HOOT ABOUT THE RESOURCE AND DOESN'T NEED TO HARVEST THE FISH ILLEGALLY AND NEEDS TO SHUT UP. sorry for being inpolite but these people who even ask for this piss me the hell off. Its time to step up to the plate and make an ammendment to our states constitiution so that we can decide who is rural (not Nililchik) and wecan controll subsictence means and methods (bows and arrows and spears ****it make it traditional)
    Last edited by Daveinthebush; 11-20-2006 at 11:55. Reason: Language
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    Isn't the means of fishing still yet to be determined?

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    Wow, with all that's been said I am confused. As I see it we/they already have the ability to harvest a more than fair amount of reds by dipnetting. If that isn't enough fish for a family then there is usually the option to catch 6 each in the lower part of the river. I know for a fact that if I resided closer to the Kenia I could legally take enough fish to feed several families. Isn't it easy enough already?

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    Default irrationale thoughts ak powder monkey

    Gee Ak Powder Monkey maybe you should take a chill pill. First, the definition of rural is in law and if you want to change that join over 20 years of lawsuits and debate but do not think you can just yell louder and swear more and acheive anything - pretty child like behavior. Rural is used because to favor natives only would be unconstitutional in federal and state law. So it is the rural residents that requested the fisheries but that rural component has a strong native presence.

    Second, the personal use fishery has no priority so it is a separate fishery and should be treated as such. The subsistence priority has to do with times of shortages -

    Third, if you were at all sensitive to native culture you would know that fishing in a traditional area is more than catching fish for the eating. It is part of their culture and that is what a large portion of this is about. Just because white settlers want to define what is right for native culture does not make it right. Go to the native site across from the Russian River and see how proud and happy those folks are to share this fishing/hunting site with you. Maybe you would have a better understanding of the issues. Better yet talk to the people in Ninilchik about how they were essentially ignored in the discussion of their culture at the Board of Fish meetings over the last 40 years.

    Finally, there are plently of resources of the Kenai Peninsula to meet the needs of all users and I challenge any commercial or sport fisherman to say otherwise. If we want to look at the whole suite of fisheries everyone of us has something that is excellent by all standards. From silver fishing in Seward to Halibut in Homer and all the trout lakes and streams between we have it great. Stop and think about that and then tell me we are doomed.

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    How often is the native site open? Every time I drive by it, the gate seems to be closed?

    I agree that the natives should be allowed to uphold their ancestry.

    Isn't this a Rural issue and not a Native issue?

    I am a sports fisherman. I will keep fish and eat them all winter. But what I enjoy to do is practice C&R for rainbows, dollies & steelhead (we won't get into the C&R issue now). I am just looking at this issue as a threat to a very productive fishery that is used by many people. If nets are allowed in the upper Kenai, I think it would have an adverse effect on the resident fish population. These resident fish are a substantial resource to many guides who rely on the upper Kenai.

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    This is were the confusion really mounts. We do have it good in many respects however, with the recent turn of events I can see why some may say we are doomed. Recent topics on this forum include, limiting halibut to 1/day, allowing nets in the Kenia, and the Kenia being listed as impaired with restrictions coming. What is all this coming to and where does it stop?

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    Hey I have no problem with natives upholding their heritige but they don't need gillnets to do it, I think subsistence priority should mean that traditional methods must be used, as in sprears bows and alder cord nets. This however is not a native non native issue this is a rural non rural issue. There are a limited number of freshwater fish on the keani, of course the salmon runs are fine but people have in the past destroyed great trout stocks on the pennisula, I am concerned about that.

    I'm angry and you should be too. ANILCA if you read it, applies to times of shortage and to rural residents these are not rural residents and it is not a time of shortage.

    If this were a native issue their would be no debate, but they should freaking fish and hunt like thier forefathers, without fiberglass, motors, monofiliment, plasic, metal, motors, gasoline, hemp twine, anything that wasn't here before white contact. I have no problem with that otherwise they need to be like the rest off us and if they have problems bring them to the board of game and get accomidated LIKE THE REST OF US.

    ALL MEN ARE CREATED EQUAL!
    Last edited by Daveinthebush; 11-20-2006 at 13:29. Reason: Language
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nerka View Post
    Finally, there are plently of resources of the Kenai Peninsula to meet the needs of all users and I challenge any commercial or sport fisherman to say otherwise. If we want to look at the whole suite of fisheries everyone of us has something that is excellent by all standards. From silver fishing in Seward to Halibut in Homer and all the trout lakes and streams between we have it great. Stop and think about that and then tell me we are doomed.
    Have you looked at Ressurection Creek? There used to be lots of silvers there, now not so much. Sixmile creek? There used to be salmon rainbows and dollies in there, now not so much. Have you looked at the Russian River? The rainbow fishery got destroyed by overharvest. Have you looked at Cooper Creek? There used to be a sockeye run rivally the russian there, now there is nothing save a handful of dollies that spawns there. Have you looked at the early run king fishery on the keani? How bout English Bay? If those are excellent by All standards you have mighty low standards.

    Now explain to me why Ninilchik is rural and say willow is not? How bout Peter's Creek? I mean there's a native tribe who lives there, so peter's creek must be rural. So explain that?
    I choose to fly fish, not because its easy, but because its hard.

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