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Thread: Why do they commercial fish for salmon?

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    Member jrogers's Avatar
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    Default Why do they commercial fish for salmon?

    It seem like there are so many professions that become obsolete, will commercial salmon fishing eventually be one? I donít mean in the sense of being replaced by farmed salmon, but by using a more economical method of harvesting the fish, such as a fish wheel or some other form of trap at the place that they are returning to. Since salmon always return to the same location at a predictable time, it seems like there would be a much more efficient way of harvesting them commercially, especially the ones that come from hatcheries. Think of all of the labor and fuel currently being used with the current method. It seems like it would be much more efficient to harvest them using another means. Is there some reasoning why this is done the way we currently do it?
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    Member alaskachuck's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jrogers View Post
    It seem like there are so many professions that become obsolete, will commercial salmon fishing eventually be one? I don’t mean in the sense of being replaced by farmed salmon, but by using a more economical method of harvesting the fish, such as a fish wheel or some other form of trap at the place that they are returning to. Since salmon always return to the same location at a predictable time, it seems like there would be a much more efficient way of harvesting them commercially, especially the ones that come from hatcheries. Think of all of the labor and fuel currently being used with the current method. It seems like it would be much more efficient to harvest them using another means. Is there some reasoning why this is done the way we currently do it?

    So do share with us YOUR more efficient ways, means or ideas. Maybe we could just put out up some floating road maps and direct them to the processers, or give them some GPS systems and let them swim into the canneries (sp). The fuel used, boats used, methods used is an economy. They provide jobs to alot of people. Why dont we find a better way to sport fish for them too. It is not like we burn any fuel, labor, time, effort that way either. Im sorry but the reason it is done this way is, that it is the way to catch the fish and make a living. Find me an outboard to run on solar power, and hemp net, and free labor then we can make a difference

    Im sorry for being such and ***** in this response. I looked and your a long time member with quite a few posts and this one just blew me away. Maybe Im having a bad day but I have fished for a living. Hell it put me through college. So Im more than willing to see other ways to do it. It is just obvious there is not a better way at this time
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  3. #3

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    Fish traps were probably the most efficient,but they developed a bad reputation back in the day.

    With current knowledge of the habits and needs of spawning salmon populations,they could be a good tool but I doubt that will happen.

  4. #4

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    If you are to limit commercial fish harvesting to an area such as the mouth of a river, you simply greatly take away from the ammount of area able to be covered by said commercial fisherman. This would ultimately cause great fights over the scare ammount of prestine location available, causing a few key players to control the market, meanwhile everyone below them is shut out of of business.

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    Member jrogers's Avatar
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    Just to clarify, I was asking a question, not advocating any change. I heard a statement along these lines a while ago, and I really did not have an answer as to why it is best the way it is. Maybe the reason is that we have a lot of history doing it that way, and it provides jobs, and that is just the way it is. My thought was that maybe there were some other reasons, or science for the way things are done.

    I did not intend to offend anyone, unless it is an offense to just ask a question.
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    To my mind, the answer is that fish,and salmon in particular, have several values,competing with and complementing each other in each of us as individuals. I sympathize with wildlife management folk.

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    Elementary...

    We used to use fish traps and weirs and similar with the ability to catch all the fish that showed up. We were on the road toward extinction just like we did with buffalo in the great plains. So, we regulated the industry forever by instituting a total ban on fish traps. It is impossible to reverse said law, just as it would be impossible to reverse the 1934 Firearms Act so that we could all buy a fully auto Thompson down at the drug store.

    The current method of commercial fishing allows more competition and therefore more "businesses" participating in the industry. It's a good balance between cost and difficulty while allowing for an indefinitely sustainable resource.
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    Like it was said in an earlier post, If all fishing efforts were concentrated in one spot, there would not be enough room for the amount of people that fish, the rich would get richer and the little man would no longer be able to fish. Another thing about commercial fishing is, for the most part it is really just a hobby anymore for a lot of people, much like trapping. There are fewer and fewer people that can really make a living commercial fishing anymore.

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    Member jrogers's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JOAT View Post
    Elementary...

    The current method of commercial fishing allows more competition and therefore more "businesses" participating in the industry. It's a good balance between cost and difficulty while allowing for an indefinitely sustainable resource.
    Joat,

    This is along the lines of what I was looking for. Thanks for the explaination.
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    Member alaskachuck's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jrogers View Post
    Just to clarify, I was asking a question, not advocating any change. I heard a statement along these lines a while ago, and I really did not have an answer as to why it is best the way it is. Maybe the reason is that we have a lot of history doing it that way, and it provides jobs, and that is just the way it is. My thought was that maybe there were some other reasons, or science for the way things are done.

    I did not intend to offend anyone, unless it is an offense to just ask a question.

    No offense taken. I was and am in a rotten mood at it came out wrong too. My bad. I thought about it and thought about my post. This was one of those nights I should have just let it go. It is a good question, but I dont believe there are alot of good options out there at this time. Again I do apologize
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    Member Dirtofak's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by alaskachuck View Post
    No offense taken. I was and am in a rotten mood at it came out wrong too. My bad. I thought about it and thought about my post. This was one of those nights I should have just let it go. It is a good question, but I dont believe there are alot of good options out there at this time. Again I do apologize
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    Member alaskachuck's Avatar
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    Thanks Dirt I do think I have a fix too. Looks like I might get in a few hours on the kenai this weekend. I love going to see my shrink. Dr Kenai
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    Member ak_powder_monkey's Avatar
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    Commerical fishing is inefficent for a reason, to distribute the natural wealth of this state to the most people possible and provide maximum benifits to the state of Alaska. It is also ineffecient to allow for better management.

    Before statehood, canneries from Seattle set up weirs across major rivers catching all the fish, and employing folks from out of state for very little money. It lead to the collapse of salmon runs all over Alaska, and is one of the major reasons Alaska became a state.

    For the record there are commercial fisheries where fish wheels are legal gear on the Yukon River

    The inefficentcy of gillnetting is one of the reasons I loved it, the harder you worked the more money you made, you can't say that about many professions.
    I choose to fly fish, not because its easy, but because its hard.

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    Member ak_powder_monkey's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by icook4 View Post
    With current knowledge of the habits and needs of spawning salmon populations,they could be a good tool but I doubt that will happen.
    They would be great for cost recovery operations at private hatcheries
    I choose to fly fish, not because its easy, but because its hard.

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    Quote Originally Posted by alaskachuck View Post
    Thanks Dirt I do think I have a fix too. Looks like I might get in a few hours on the kenai this weekend. I love going to see my shrink. Dr Kenai
    If the weather looks good, I may have my Lake Louise Brown Jug fix too! When I am in a negative mood, I really don't need negative temps too...... Still pissy, need a bit of ice fishing to aid the cause.
    Mike

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    Default Quality

    It seems to me that with several species of salmon, the quality of the meat is superior when still in the salt. Depending on which river system they are migrating to will depend on the quality of meat once they have entered the river system IMO. Pinks caught in salt are great, but once they hit fresh water... dog food.
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    Quote Originally Posted by ksbha4 View Post
    It seems to me that with several species of salmon, the quality of the meat is superior when still in the salt. Depending on which river system they are migrating to will depend on the quality of meat once they have entered the river system IMO. Pinks caught in salt are great, but once they hit fresh water... dog food.
    Despite what people say, I totally disagree about pinks being good in the salt. I grew up commercial fishing and have tried humpy's a lot and have never liked them, and if they were so great, then fisherman would get more than 3-5 cents per pound, heck one year, we couldn't even sell them because no one wanted them

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    Looking at the volume of salmon caught in the ocean by commercial fishermen every season, I can't imagine all of those fish heading into the rivers. Seems like there would just be too many of them. Are most of the salmon that caught in the ocean commercially hatchery fish? If so, then I could see one reason why you would need to catch them at sea and not just wait by the river mouths. Volume.

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    I see it a lot like public buses and commuter trains. They're forecast to make private cars obsolete and they're way more efficient than private cars while being much cheaper for the individual riders. Any of us care to give up our cars in the name of efficiency and saving money?

  20. #20

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    I've done my share of crewing on Power Trollers in SE AK, and currently hold a hand troll permit for Salmon in SE.

    The quality is the main issue. Nothing beats a hook/line caught fish. Bled, gutted/gilled, packed on ice/slush. Good market out there for those ocean bright fish, particularly Kings and Coho's. You won't find many trollers who will expend the time/energy with Pinks. Not enough money in them.

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