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Thread: Low King Numbers

  1. #1

    Default Low King Numbers

    With the low volume of Kings in the rivers the past few years, I was wondering if ADF&G will make some changes to the harvest quotas for sport fisherman. I live in the Mat-Su and fish all of the local rivers. It seems to me that something needs to change.

    I love fishing Kings, but I surely want to see them in the rivers when my kids take their kids fishing years from now.

    I think the ADF&G should switch to catch & release only or perhaps limit the bag limit to 1 per family for a few years and go from there. Obviously, changes need to include the commercial fisherman as well.

    I would certainly be willing to have zero Kings in my freezer until things improve!

    Your thoughts?

  2. #2

    Wink

    Kings are the Money Fish for Sport Anglers.
    Reds are the Money Fish for Commercial Anglers.
    NOTHING, absolutely nothing will stop the flow of dollars, until there just ain't no more. The fewer the fish, the more valuable they become. It actually plays into the plan better, if there are shortages of each in respective locations. The Management Plan ADF&G uses to manage fish stocks speaks directly to and is driven by economics of the user groups. Competition in times of shortage, always drives the cost UP.
    "96% of all Internet Quotes are suspect and the remaining 4% are fiction."
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  3. #3
    Member Hunt&FishAK's Avatar
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    seriously......when they shut down the parks highway king fishin last year it really ticked me off and i would like to know what prompted the order.....i saw ALOT of kings in sheep creek, more than the year before....i only catch and release the last few years BUT i do keep chrome jacks and smaller males....all hens are released no matter what. One other thing i have noticed however is that almost all the other anglers i encounter on this stream ( more and more every year) are keeping the really big spawners that have already turned (and for what?) there is really no reason to not let them continue thier mission when it is so easy to catch smaller chrome males or jacks which are better eating. i also found several dead kings last year (one was over 60lbs) with just the eggs taken....i am friends with the people that own part of the stream bank aways down from the bridge and yes now i do my part to make sure they dont trespass. I vote for a slot limit like the kenai has at least for a few years...any fish over 20lbs should be released (or sometihng like that)...this will maybe ease the pressure that these streams get, and will allow the big fish genes to stay in the river....also keep it weekends only for salmon fishing like theyve had it....there is no guided fishing on sheep creek (that i know of) or montana, goose, caswell, kashwitna (maybe?), rabiduex, and sunshine creeks so i doubt it would hurt the local businesses.



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    Few fish in any of the Parks streams.The weekend before they shut it down I seen 13 fish on sheep & 3 on willow while floating.Never seen more than 9 on willow,should have been fish stacked in every hole at that time in those two creeks.

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    Sounds like Sheep Creek had good king numbers last year but many of the Park Highway streams were way below average. Maybe ADF&G thought it was better to close them all rather than leave a few open and have those streams get hammered by folks that normally spread out to other places.
    Slot limit on salmon? The science behind it is poor at best but if you are looking at ways to reduce harvest then maybe it would work for that.
    If most of the kings are turning before being harvested then maybe move the finish line farther downstream but this would have it drawback as well because then there would fewer holes left open to fish thus more crowded fishing conditions. Maybe have the season close a weekend earlier again more drawbacks. Reduce the seasonal limit? Hmm, I guess that I would have to say that if ADF&G feels like there is a shortage of kings then they would put in a proposal to reduce harvest.

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    Member Hunt&FishAK's Avatar
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    one day last season i walked from the bridge down to the beaver dam/ slough.....i counted at least 40 kings of all different sizes and then on my favorite hole 5 drifts 5 hookups.... im sure there were more than what i saw as the water was high and runnin kinda dirty. this was on sheep....every time ive ever fished it ive done well....why wouldnt a slot limit work? kings over or below a certain length should be returned to the river. i think it would help. besides that, ive never seen alot of anglers below the bridge.....mostly at the mouth is the only place ive seen it packed.



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    Sound science would want harvest across the different age classes and not targeted on one or two age classes. Slot limit for salmon on the Parks Highway streams would protect a portion of the run for sure but if there are not enough fish there are many ways to achieve lower harvest goals.
    I have seen what a slot limit has done ont he Kenai and my advice would to be careful of what you ask for as you just might get it.

  8. #8
    Member Hunt&FishAK's Avatar
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    im personally thinking slot limit or no king fishing period on the parks streams as a veteran of fishing those streams for 15 years. ones as good as the other in different ways....



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    The slot limit is a good idea but it'll still be a few years before the King fishing really turns back good again. Maybe.
    "Ya can't stop a bad guy with a middle finger and a bag of quarters!!!!"- Ted Nugent.

  10. #10
    Member Hunt&FishAK's Avatar
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    agreed, 7-10 years at least.



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    Well, if you like the slot idea so much for Park Highway streams you have about a month to put a proposal into the BOF meetings for UCI. I'm willing to bet that ADF&G will not be putting such a proposal in for that area so you will have to gather some data to help sway the BOF members to vote in support of this. Would help to go to the meetings next year and give testimony on it as well.

    I had property on Willow Creek for years and remember when we use to have to take a jet boat down the Willow or come down from the Susitna Landing to fish the Deshka or Alexander as the Deshka Landing did not exist yet. Time goes on and things change but I have a real hard time believing that a slot limit would gather much support from the majority of folks that fish the Parks Highway Streams. Especially considering the lack of data behind such a proposal but I have been wrong before so...

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    There's only really way with the low number is to just keep it closed and get the number back up. It starts with the guys in cook inlet too. It's a true way to maybe save the fish for everyone. I hate it but I fished all these valley creeks since I was little kid. I sucks to see things like this.

    Now some Are going to disagree but. If they can't get to the spawing grounds with numbers then there will be low returns.

  13. #13
    Member thewhop2000's Avatar
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    Default I've fished the Valley for 25 years....

    Before you ask for a slot limit, I would have to see the Data. The past couple of years has been blamed on the floods of 06 and ocean bycatch or temperature problems within the ocean feeding grounds. I'm for the closing of the fishery completely if it would mean the numbers might come back up. Look at the Deshka though. That was closed for a number of years and then we had a pretty strong fishery for another three years maybe? I'm shooting off the top of my head but the Deshka was a blowout last year and we still don't know why. It seems to be boom or bust. Anyone have the numbers to show the last ten years of escapement? I'm cooking dinner and don't have the time right now!!
    If a dipnetter dips a fish and there is no one around to see/hear it, Did he really dip?

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    Member Hunt&FishAK's Avatar
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    well then lets get it closed......no retention of kings on the susitna river streams....ya ready yet? ok go



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    Member Hunt&FishAK's Avatar
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    or better yet lets shut down the pollock dragnetters and other commerical fishermen ( i used to be a setnetter on cook inlet) hows that sound?



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    Glad I'm not the only one who feels this way..
    Quote Originally Posted by Hunt&FishAK View Post
    or better yet lets shut down the pollock dragnetters and other commerical fishermen ( i used to be a setnetter on cook inlet) hows that sound?

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    I can see it now,fish floating every where due to inproper handling while trying to measure a fish that can't leave the water,,,this will only do more harm then good...close it if you don't have enough fish,if one fishery has numbers and the rest don't you can't leave that one fishery open due to the number of people crashing the river. just my 2 cents
    I ♥ Big Sheep

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    i do not think the slot thing would fly. i hit a 40 pounder on montana early but of course that strean was a real dud for the year, never picked up from what i heard.

    again the problem just like with our southcentral hunting is lots of anglers with easier access than ever before. if we close the group of parks highway streams, then we'd have to close the little su i reckon.

    so deshka traffic will go up, same thing with the chulitna, talkeetna, etc. We have to acknowledge our sportfishing population is much larger than 20 years ago.

    I would say they should have 3 day openings for the lower susitna road streams instead of having the first 10 or 15 days open as they do. Little Su too. This would help some of the early run kings make it up river a ways. A big problem I see is folks are out in the streams en mass early in the season catching a large percentage of the early-runners. I was one of 'em this past year. Happens on all the suite of susitna streams.

    We ought to let more of these fish through early on....guaranteeing that a good bunch of king spawners get above the Parks HWY early on, for example. Then we can continue with the 3-day openers if things are looking good. I think this would be a good proposal.



    Blaming cook inlet commercial fishing doesn't begin to acknowledge that folks catching them in rivers need to continue to be a part of the solution as well. All have sacrificied a lot these last 25 years. But on land it is the guides who i hear whining most about any further restrictions on fishing dates. It would benefit all of us with the kings though. Little Su silvers would benefit a lot from this as well.

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    Red face

    You missed to hole point close the hole fishery down. From cook inlet to all the rivers on the valley. And wait and see in 5
    Years what the return looks like. The road were on know its not working.

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    i wouldn't mind that but i don't think the guides would agree.


    it was really sad for me to see the low numbers spawning in the upper little susitna last summer. if the early season was closed we could see what the returns were like and have the potential for some 3 day openers during king seaosn if the run is stronger than last year. same with the silvers, at least on the little su. very low escapement last year.

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