Results 1 to 20 of 20

Thread: Passed on local thoughts

  1. #1
    New member
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Location
    Kenai Peninsula
    Posts
    45

    Default Passed on local thoughts

    Dipnet success depends on definition of success




    My mom always said if "you argue with dogs, you will likely get dog bit." I always tried to take my dear mom's advice but after reading Les Palmer's article regarding "dipnet fishery success" I just have to respond.
    The notion that dipnetting for sockeyes at the mouth of the Kenai and Kasilof river is some sort of sacred rite always confused me. What happened in 1996 that changed Alaskan families catching fish with a pole with a daily bag limit to suddenly needing 60-plus sockeyes caught with a handheld gillnet? If the salmon "belong to all" why put thousands of people on only our local rivers and not rivers in Anchorage and Mat-Su? The state created this fishery; where is the state, with money and management, in helping to address the overwhelming impacts of the dipnet fishery in our community? Where do the PU fish really go? Ask FedEx, Alaska Airlines cargo, etc.
    Falling prey to the notion that because some money is generated and ignoring the overwhelming evidence of the garbage, fish waste, crowd and traffic control -- the list goes on -- by the PU fishery is a fool's argument. Salmon management returned healthy fish runs for all prior to 1996. We are approaching a one fish return to each fish that spawns. Shameful! Is that result really worth a few grand to the City of Kenai?
    Finally, thanks to the City of Kenai administration and Council for waking up to the fact state fishery managers and BOF members have highjacked our quality of life every July so folks can trash our beaches to catch more fish than an honest family will ever really eat.
    Vickie Tyler Kenai

  2. #2
    Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Posts
    5,526

    Default slow down Vickie

    Quote Originally Posted by ALASKAGUNHUNTER View Post
    Dipnet success depends on definition of success




    My mom always said if "you argue with dogs, you will likely get dog bit." I always tried to take my dear mom's advice but after reading Les Palmer's article regarding "dipnet fishery success" I just have to respond.
    The notion that dipnetting for sockeyes at the mouth of the Kenai and Kasilof river is some sort of sacred rite always confused me. What happened in 1996 that changed Alaskan families catching fish with a pole with a daily bag limit to suddenly needing 60-plus sockeyes caught with a handheld gillnet? If the salmon "belong to all" why put thousands of people on only our local rivers and not rivers in Anchorage and Mat-Su? The state created this fishery; where is the state, with money and management, in helping to address the overwhelming impacts of the dipnet fishery in our community? Where do the PU fish really go? Ask FedEx, Alaska Airlines cargo, etc.
    Falling prey to the notion that because some money is generated and ignoring the overwhelming evidence of the garbage, fish waste, crowd and traffic control -- the list goes on -- by the PU fishery is a fool's argument. Salmon management returned healthy fish runs for all prior to 1996. We are approaching a one fish return to each fish that spawns. Shameful! Is that result really worth a few grand to the City of Kenai?
    Finally, thanks to the City of Kenai administration and Council for waking up to the fact state fishery managers and BOF members have highjacked our quality of life every July so folks can trash our beaches to catch more fish than an honest family will ever really eat.
    Vickie Tyler Kenai

    Vickie - slow down - you have lots of questions and I will try to respond to these to give some perspective.

    1. The subsistence fisheries in the Kenai/Soldotna area were typically gill net fisheries on the commercial beaches. As I noted the subsistence was replaced by PU by court order and the in-river use of gill net web in dip nets was the result of some sport and commercial fisherman wanting to limit area and gear. The use of gill nets in a PU net is actually less surface area that a 10 fathom net used in salt water - both are gill nets in a way.

    2. Anchorage and Mat/Su - some of these streams just do not have harvestable surplus to deal with the number of people who want personal use fish. In the Mat/Su the issue is often access. Westside systems are just too small from putting unlimited numbers of people on them - one can argue the same for the mouth of the Kenai and Kasilof but the beaches do offer more chance of reducing habitat degradation than a small westside tributary to the Susitna River. Also, ADF&G has good counting abilities in the Kenai and Kasilof to manage the fishery.

    3. A one to one spawner return ratio has to do with a yield discussion not the biological health of the resource. Let me explain. Lets say the Kenai River had a spawning escapement of 1.5 million and it produced 1.5 million fish. If the goal was 1.5 then there would be no harvest. However, 1.5 million return would still be biologically healthy. There would be no yield. So try not to confuse the two issues. Escapement goals are set so the return from say 600,000 is around 3 million fish - that leaves 2.4 million to harvest by all user groups - plently for everyone. So do not be concerned about the 1:1 for biological reasons but you should be concerned that the yields have been reduced.

    4. The number of fish harvested per family is actually below the limit. I think the average family of four takes about 20 fish when they could harvest 55. Also, there will be law breakers in every fishery so I would not jump to the conclusion that most people send out Fed Ed boxes of fish. That is probably not correct - some law breakers do but so do sport fisherman that take over limits and commercial fisherman that set early or set late or fish more gear - it is not fair to label everyone a law breaker.

    5. The beaches are being harmed by the mass of humanity at Kasilof and Kenai (better at Kenai because of the actions of the city). However, if you live on the Kenai Pen. you know that July and tourist are important components of our economy and PU fisherman are part of that mix. It is the cost of living here. When I first moved here we did not have a McDonald's and that was great for me - However, growth promotes use and things some find more objectionable than others. We should encourage our officials to be responsible in development of fisheries and ADF&G and the BOF have not been relative to the PU fisheries. However, if you read this forum people who PU fish do not like this either - no one wants a dirty fishery.

    I hope this helps and if you have further questions send me a PM or post here again.

  3. #3

    Default

    The gillnet PU fishery is still alive and well - only for a limited time, and it requires significantly more commitment to a subsistence lifestyle. Of course many would prefer to be able to do it most of the summer, and would like it to be easy. Alas, dipnetting. When you have to drive 3 or 4 hours from the city you want a sure thing.

    As for your next point, basically what you are saying is that since the ecosystems near the population center of our state can't handle the load that its residents would put on it, Kenai Peninsula residents are forced to give away a resource that was once harvested for profit by many different user groups. That profit was used in part to enhance our state parks, river access, habitat preservation, and ADF&G resources, which you now would also like to use pretty much for free.

    You're not denying that our rivers are being harmed by this fishery, only that they're not being harmed as bad as Anchorage or Mat-Su rivers would be. Also, people are spending money here, and we like money, so what's the problem?

    Yes, the Peninsula depends on tourism. If the tourists acted the way that the dipnetters do, we wouldn't. Tourists buy groceries, gas and food too. They also pay good money to use our resource, and most of them respect it a whole lot more than the people that flood the mouths of our rivers.

    I have no idea about the 1 to 1 ratio, but I do know that we have steadily raised the optimum escapement goal in our rivers, and the total return has not risen accordingly. This leads me to believe that some are happier to have less total return as long as there are more fish flooding the river. This is not an efficient way to manage a resource.

    I am not a biologist, but have depended on this resource all of my life. It's more that just 50 fish a year for me. It's my home, my job, my way of life and it bums me out that so many people think they have a right to it when they don't even appreciate it or try to understand it. Not speaking about people in this forum but of the user group as a whole.

  4. #4
    Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Posts
    5,526

    Default a quick reply to smithtb.

    Smithtb - lets take the easy one first. The escapement goals have been raised because they do produce more fish. The original biological goal for the Kenai was 150,000 sockeye and that has been raised to 500,000 to 800,000 because production has increased. You can get the reports from ADF&G to show this. Also, work on the Kenai has shown that a single large escapement with smaller escapements can actually produce more fish - this is a variable escapement goal concept but it is tough to implement with the public.

    Relative to habitat damage and size of the systems. Of course the size of the system makes a difference in terms of use patterns. To protect habitat one limits use depending on habitat damage and small systems cannot handle large number of people - one the fish production is usually not there, bank degradation is usually greater, management is more complicated if harvest potential can more easily overharvest, and a host of other reasons. Access is also a major limitation.

    The for profit comment and paying for state parks and other stuff is just not true. Commercial fisherman do not even pay for fish management let alone all the other stuff you claim. I would assume guide sport anglers are even worse. So lets not point fingers at one group of fellow Alaskans and try to make them out as something they are not. They may be protecting habitat in the long run more than you think. Kind of like hunting groups protecting habitat so they can hunt.

    No one said what the problem with the existing dip net fishery or implied the money makes it o.k. What was said was that the mouth of the Kenai and Kasilof are easier to deal with smaller systems and the city of kenai has done a reasonable job attempting to do just that. Kasilof needs work but the fault is not the dip netters - it is the regulatory agencies. They are the one responsibile for promoting and implementing fisheries.

    Also, you make a generalized statement about how dip netters behavior. I would be less harsh if I was you. I find most people act the best they can and it is a few who taint the group. I can tell you in my experience there is not one user group who are better citizens than the others. I do not think you want me to bring out the skeletons in the commercial and sport fish closets in this discussion.

    Speaking of rights - every citizen in this state owns the resource in common. No one has a greater right to the resource based on where they live, with the exception of subsistence on federal lands (that is federal law not state law). So lets not throw stones at people who come down from Anchorage to harvest a resource they also own. Allocation can be different between groups but ownership does not change.

  5. #5
    Member
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Posts
    6,031

    Thumbs up a few bad apples

    Quote Originally Posted by Nerka View Post
    ...Also, you make a generalized statement about how dip netters behavior. I would be less harsh if I was you. I find most people act the best they can and it is a few who taint the group. I can tell you in my experience there is not one user group who are better citizens than the others....
    I absolutely believe this, 100%.

  6. #6
    Member thewhop2000's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Wasilla
    Posts
    2,366

    Default alaskagunhunter, which article?

    I googled and found no article from Les Palmer on dipnetting. Where did you see this?

  7. #7

    Default

    Actually, the Inriver goal for the Kenai this year was 750,000-900,000. It was raised again. Kind of hard to keep up I guess. Not sure exactly who sets these goals now, is it the ADF&G or the BOF?

    So that boat launch that you used to launch your boat, was that a state park, or the "City of Kenai Public Boat Launch"? Yes it's a public launch, owned by my city, paid for with my tax dollars that I and many others earned from this fishery. And those portapotties that you used, (and that others chose to not use and use the dunes instead) also paid for by the city. Those CIAA biologists?

    You credit the specific communities (Kenai, Kasilof) with what they have done to protect and control THEIR rivers, but then talk about how the fish that run up them are a resource that the whole state has equal rights to. Shouldn't the whole state then chip in when it comes time to clean up the beach, or repair the boat launch. Last I checked, city employees and residents do that. I'm sure many people also drive down from Anc to volunteer for habitat restoration projects. (OK that was a cheap one, I don't volunteer much either )

    I believe that work on the river has also shown that letting smaller amounts of fish escape at a time, so as not to flood the river with fish also leads to better yield. This can be accomplished by allowing ADF&G the freedom to open the commercial nets as it sees fit. Maybe you could bring this up in the next BOF meeting. Too far for me to drive... Ha Ha.

    Maybe I am too harsh on dipnetters. I know most of you respect the land, but its hard to get over the ones that don't. It's one thing to use another communities' resources - I head north to go hunting all the time. It's another to demand to use them and expect priority - priority that has been given to the dipnet fishery for the last 2 years.

  8. #8
    Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Posts
    5,526

    Default treating this as al learning experience.

    Quote Originally Posted by smithtb View Post
    Actually, the Inriver goal for the Kenai this year was 750,000-900,000. It was raised again. Kind of hard to keep up I guess. Not sure exactly who sets these goals now, is it the ADF&G or the BOF?

    So that boat launch that you used to launch your boat, was that a state park, or the "City of Kenai Public Boat Launch"? Yes it's a public launch, owned by my city, paid for with my tax dollars that I and many others earned from this fishery. And those portapotties that you used, (and that others chose to not use and use the dunes instead) also paid for by the city. Those CIAA biologists?

    You credit the specific communities (Kenai, Kasilof) with what they have done to protect and control THEIR rivers, but then talk about how the fish that run up them are a resource that the whole state has equal rights to. Shouldn't the whole state then chip in when it comes time to clean up the beach, or repair the boat launch. Last I checked, city employees and residents do that. I'm sure many people also drive down from Anc to volunteer for habitat restoration projects. (OK that was a cheap one, I don't volunteer much either )

    I believe that work on the river has also shown that letting smaller amounts of fish escape at a time, so as not to flood the river with fish also leads to better yield. This can be accomplished by allowing ADF&G the freedom to open the commercial nets as it sees fit. Maybe you could bring this up in the next BOF meeting. Too far for me to drive... Ha Ha.

    Maybe I am too harsh on dipnetters. I know most of you respect the land, but its hard to get over the ones that don't. It's one thing to use another communities' resources - I head north to go hunting all the time. It's another to demand to use them and expect priority - priority that has been given to the dipnet fishery for the last 2 years.
    Actually the in-river goal was 650,000 to 850,000 because the Kenai return was projected in-season to be less than 2 million total sockeye. The in-river goal has 150,000 to 350,000 sport fish harvest allocation above the sonar counter so if you subtract a harvest in the range of 150,000 to 350,000 the actual number of spawners is 500,000 to 700,000 - which is right inside the biological escapement goal. Do not mix up the in-river goal with the biological escapement goal. Also, smaller escapements on average do not produce good returns - for example under 300,000 it is unlikely you will see a 2 million return or more.

    Now to the paying for boat launches and other stuff you think the City of Kenai paid for out of your money. Not true. Lots of the improvements you see on the beach ( chain fence, barriers to traffic, and other suff) was paid from federal and state grants to the City. In excess of hundreds of thousands of dollars. So you are not correct to say that you pay as a resident of the city. In point of fact the PU fishery has provided a profit to the City in recent years (40,000 in 2009) and that could reduced your tax burden if the City wanted to pass it along to you.

    I never said the city of Kenai river - they control their lands.

    Just for the record the habitat restoration project at the boat launch road near the birding platform is being paid by the USFWS to the tune of 60,000 dollars. So you need to understand that lots of people outside the city are working on this issue - not just the residents of the city. The KWF replaced the culvert in cooperation with the city on the boat launch road - they had a grant to help do that.

    Since you said volunteers do not come from Anchorage - I am not sure about Anchorage but just to let you know a group of students came from Seldovia to help plant marsh grass at the boat launch road for free.

    Smithtb, there is lots of misinformation about these fisheries out in the public and that leads to misunderstandings and hard feelings. I am not running from the issues as they need to be tackled but we need to understand that all groups are using these resources and each group has it's issues. We need to focus on the issues not the group.

  9. #9

    Default

    Alright, point taken on the escapements. They had to lower their expectations due to a weak run. Many believe this weak run is a result of overescapement in the past. Larger escapements do not produce more fish either. In many recent years, save the last two, our rivers have been overescaped (I believe somewhere around 1.3 million in 04). This isn't good for things either. Largely this was due to ADF&G not being able to control the user groups the way they saw fit. Luckily, the BOF has eased some of the restrictions in the last few years. Also helps that some of the ADF&G biologists care more about the fish than their jobs. Who really sets these escapement goals now? Is it the biologists, or the BOF?

    I realize that the state and feds helps out with local projects. I realize that the money Anchorage residents pay to use our facilities and in sales tax helps pay also. I also realize that this place is madhouse in the summertime, and residents from all around the state are taking fish home while the other user groups are closed.

  10. #10
    Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Posts
    5,526

    Default be careful about what you ask for

    Escapement goals are set by both ADF&G and the BOF. ADF&G sets the biological goals while the BOF can set optimum escapement goals that take into consideration social issues.

    Relative to the commercial restriction at the end of July - be very careful what you ask for. The commercial fishery had harvested hundreds of thousands of Kenai sockeye when the commercial fishery was restricted. It was not closed. Components of the commercial fishery were closed but not the whole fishery - south fished on the beaches. However, one could argue that the commercial fishery overharvested the stock prior to July 24th and therefore no closure would have been necessary if the commercial fishery had been given less extra fishing time - time above the regular two periods.

    If commercial fisherman want everyone to close then it is not unreasonable to have those groups ask that no extra fishing time be given until escapement goals are projected to be met by in-river counts. Remember that the commercial fishery is one user group - commercial fisherman want to divide their fishery into drift or set, north or south of the Blanchard line, and other divisions. However, from a State perspective the commercial fishery is the combined gear types and therefore while one sub-group may be disadvantages in any given year the harvestable surplus of fish was harvested mainly by the commercial fishery. Just be careful smithtb of what you think is unfair as it may turn around and cause you more problems.

  11. #11

    Default

    Actually, I fish south beach, and usually get lots of fish time in the half-mile fishery. Very appropriate when there is a healthy Kasilof run. Maybe ADF&G should have closed us earlier last year, hindsight is always 20/20, but overescapement is just as bad... Yes we were restricted, not closed. So was the sport fishery. Actually, I believed that it was closed altogether, but not sure. I don't believe that dipnetting was restriced in any way or closed early.

    Interesting about how the escapement goals are set. Would it be a far strech to say that perhaps the BOF has "fudged" on the high side when estimating the sport fish harvest allocation? 150,00 - 350,000 seems like an awful big number. I know there is a lot of people fishing this river, but compare that to the dipnet harvest numbers - seems a little high to me, but that's just a guess.

    That being said, I was not one of those people holding a picket sign when the commercial fishery was "restriced". I thought it was responsible management. I also thought it was unfair that dipnet was the only fishery unrestricted. The user group that really got the shaft was the sport fisherey though. Souldn't they be the last group to be restricted? I can't do nearly as much damage with a rod and reel. Neither can any of you, that's why we use nets.

  12. #12
    Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Posts
    5,526

    Default remember the closing dates.

    Smithtb - you forget the closing dates restrict the PU fishery. Sport and Commercial fisherman fish into August. Every year, not just the poor years, the PU fishery is closed at the end of July. Would you be willing to have it be extended into August so everyone is treated fairly relative to the season closing date. I hope this makes my point that commercial and sport fisherman have other advantages and thus no closure in the PU fishery for one or two days at the end of their season is not unreasonable.

    Now if ADF&G had said that there was no way they could make the biological escapement goal and everyone must close I think the PU fishery would have been closed. However, that was not said. In fact, at the end of the season the set nets south were still fishing and catching Kenai fish - probably more than the dip net fishery could take in one or two weekdays. Also, ADF&G did not close for the season they restricted for a period or two when the decision was made. They indicated that harvestable surplus was still available and they may reopen the restricted areas. In that case the PU fishery still fishing is acceptable.

  13. #13

    Default

    My gear was all pulled before August this year. Seems that lately the amount of fish caught by anyone in August has been neglegable. Not arguing, just informing. Fishing usually really drops off after the end of July. Granted, every once in a while someone mops up late in the year, but not usually.

    I guess, however, that since these fish are a state resource that the whole state has equal rights to, the dipnet fishery should be equally as long as the sport fish and commercial fishery. Perhaps we should allow everyone to fish with 35 fathom nets as well just like the commercial guys.

    We can argue numbers, dates, and dollars till our keyboards wear out, but at the end of it all one fact remains - for the last two years the Kenai has had a(n argueabley) weak escapement, and when the numbers weren't strong enough, every user group got shut down, or "restricted" save one, dipnetting. I realize that it is a convenient and valueable resource for many, but given the way it has been forced upon us and poorly managed, no arguement will convince a local user that he/she hasn't gotten the shaft.

  14. #14
    Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Posts
    5,526

    Default I am a local user

    I am a local user and I do not feel a shaft at all.

    Also, poor escapements are due to overharvest if you want to go that route. The return to the Kenai was about 2 million each year so there was plently of fish for escapement. The ADF&G made the BEG goals so one may say they harvested perfectly. However, if you thought the escapements were too low then it is due to one factor - overharvest and the main harvester is the commercial fishery.

  15. #15

    Default

    Yeah, maybe should have been restricted earlier. Like I said, hingsight is 20/20. If I remember right the sonar numbers were strong initially and then kind of just dropped off. As too many fish is a bad thing too, don't you think ADF&G was trying to regulate properly? I think most would blame poor return, not overharvest. Why did the run drop off so rapidly? Poor survival rate, or overescapement in the parent years? You've brought up some really good points, but I still wonder - do you think we're letting too many fish swim up that darned river? (Not talking about the last 2 years, but quite a few before that.) I realize that if you subtract 150,000 to 350,00 for sport fish harvest, the escapement numbers look pretty good, but isn't 350,000 a little high? How is this number set?

    I said the Kenai had a(n argueably) weak escapement because I for one thought we got good numbers. There were many, however, that were fit to be tied, and thought the numbers were way to low (I suspect some of the same people that thought we needed a 350,000 sport fish harvest allocation) Seems like escapements similar to the last two years have produced record runs in the past however I'm no expert, as you've made quite clear.

    I'm not upset because I haven't been catching enough fish or getting enough fishing time. I'm upset because this fishery is turning into a gong show. I've said before I have no problem with dipnetting, but with how it's managed and regulated. Standing on the Kenai bluff, and even more so at Eagle Rock (during king season - whole different subject, I know), its hard to see a well managed fishery. Looks more like, well, a gong show. You've pointed out times when I was wrong on the numbers, and proven there is a lot of disinformation out there. Luckily, I keep my opinions within the confines of my friends and this forum. Unfortunately, I think that many of the people attempting to influence policy pertaining to this fishery are much less informed than I. The advent of yet another user group has only added to the confusion. While I realize the benefits for residents, it's hard not to wish that something would change.

    Thanks for the level-headed discussion, you've caused me to think about it a lot, and "recalibrate" some of my points of view. I realize that I came on a little strong out of the gates, but I think that the local setiment is quite strong against this fishery. Not because there's not enough fish to share, but because it's poorly managed.
    Last edited by smithtb; 11-21-2009 at 09:48. Reason: type-o

  16. #16
    webmaster Michael Strahan's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 1999
    Location
    Anchorage, Alaska
    Posts
    5,767

    Lightbulb Thanks, everyone!

    I want to compliment everyone involved in this discussion for handling yourselves with diplomacy and respect. Often these discussions turn into fights and create work for our moderators, but this one was a pleasure to read. Thanks!

    -Mike
    LOST CREEK COMPANY: Specializing in Alaska hunt consultation and planning for do-it-yourself hunts, fully outfitted hunts, and guided hunts.
    CLICK HERE to send me a private message.
    Web Address: http://alaskaoutdoorssupersite.com/hunt-planner/
    Mob: 1 (907) 229-4501
    "Dream big, and dare to fail." -Norman Vaughan
    "I have climbed my mountain, but I must still live my life." - Tenzig Norgay

  17. #17
    Member Scottsum's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    Kenai, Ak
    Posts
    395

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Nerka View Post
    I am a local user and I do not feel a shaft at all.

    Also, poor escapements are due to overharvest if you want to go that route. The return to the Kenai was about 2 million each year so there was plently of fish for escapement. The ADF&G made the BEG goals so one may say they harvested perfectly. However, if you thought the escapements were too low then it is due to one factor - overharvest and the main harvester is the commercial fishery.

    I know I'm jumping-in late here, but I'm curious as to your reasoning behind the logic that poor escapements are solely due to overharvest. It seems to me there are an incredible number of factors influencing returns, not the least of which is the overescapement of too many fish in the system. I know this is an unwinnable argument, but poor overall harvest numbers by many CI fishermen in the last couple of decades doesn't lead me to believe that commercial harvest is the primary cause of poor escapements. I guess we have to consider what constitutes a poor escapement as well, as some of the best returns in my memory were when Cook Inlet fishermen were allowed to fish almost indiscriminately but the escapement goal was, if I remember correctly, 250,000- 350,000. (late 80's, 92) The returns were less consistent back then, which could be a bright spot in the current management plan, but that remains to be seen. The reality is, the returns were huge in a few select years, but it wasn't due to managing for larger minimum escapement goals.

    I know you're better informed than I am on the actual numbers, and you've enlightened me with the facts before, so I am just picking your brain here. Thanks for the input.

  18. #18
    Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Posts
    5,526

    Default terms get mixed up

    Quote Originally Posted by Scottsum View Post
    I know I'm jumping-in late here, but I'm curious as to your reasoning behind the logic that poor escapements are solely due to overharvest. It seems to me there are an incredible number of factors influencing returns, not the least of which is the overescapement of too many fish in the system. I know this is an unwinnable argument, but poor overall harvest numbers by many CI fishermen in the last couple of decades doesn't lead me to believe that commercial harvest is the primary cause of poor escapements. I guess we have to consider what constitutes a poor escapement as well, as some of the best returns in my memory were when Cook Inlet fishermen were allowed to fish almost indiscriminately but the escapement goal was, if I remember correctly, 250,000- 350,000. (late 80's, 92) The returns were less consistent back then, which could be a bright spot in the current management plan, but that remains to be seen. The reality is, the returns were huge in a few select years, but it wasn't due to managing for larger minimum escapement goals.

    I know you're better informed than I am on the actual numbers, and you've enlightened me with the facts before, so I am just picking your brain here. Thanks for the input.
    People tend to mix the terms escapement with return, depending on where they are located. However, to clear up the confusion the term escapement is the number of spawners escaping all fisheries to spawn. The term return means the total return of salmon (spawners plus harvest). So for Kenai last year the total return was around 2 million but the escapement was around 500,000 (sport fish harvest figures are not in so cannot be precise here).

    Now to the issue of overharvest. If the return was 2 million and the harvest was 1.6 million leaving only 400,000 to spawn that would be an overharvest situation. Commercial fisherman harvest most of the sockeye headed to the Kenai so if one proportioned the blame it would go most to commercial harvest - note I said harvest. Commercial fisherman are not to blame - the manager of the resource is which would be ADF&G.

    When I worked for ADF&G there was a couple of years we did not meet the goal. It was our fault - plain and simple. There were reasons but we had the responsiblity to make the right call. The same is true when we go over the upper end of goals - in this case I would take less responsibility since politics entered the decision from Headquarters and they get to be responsible for those calls.

    Hope this helps. Keeping terms separate and in the proper context makes a big difference in understanding.

  19. #19
    Member Scottsum's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    Kenai, Ak
    Posts
    395

    Default Big years gone by?

    So what's your opinion as to the reasons behind the huge returns in the late 80's and early 90's? Was there some freak algae bloom somewhere that somehow allowed many of the smolt to survive that otherwise wouldn't have, or do you think a lower escapement goal might indeed lead to larger returns. I know, it's moot with the bof and politicians establishing the goals now, but I'm curious to hear your educated opinion after years in the management business.

  20. #20
    Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Posts
    5,526

    Default sorry for the late response

    Quote Originally Posted by Scottsum View Post
    So what's your opinion as to the reasons behind the huge returns in the late 80's and early 90's? Was there some freak algae bloom somewhere that somehow allowed many of the smolt to survive that otherwise wouldn't have, or do you think a lower escapement goal might indeed lead to larger returns. I know, it's moot with the bof and politicians establishing the goals now, but I'm curious to hear your educated opinion after years in the management business.
    The 80's had some perfect storms so to speak to produce sockeye salmon. First escapement goals were raised from 300,00 to 500,000 to 400,000 to 700,000. The systems responded with increased production. Second, the marine environment was in a warm cycle called the Pacific Decadal Oscillation. That makes for good salmon survival. Third, the largest resturns came from escapments near 1 million which the brood year interaction models show can happen. What reduces production is putting the large escapements back to back -

    So the years you speak of just had everything going for them.

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •