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Thread: Wow!! Sockeye home pack amounts per commercial permits

  1. #1
    Member thewhop2000's Avatar
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    Default Wow!! Sockeye home pack amounts per commercial permits

    Just got an e-mail from AOC, concerning Commercial fishing home packs and the numbers of sockeyes retained statewide, per permit. I was surprised to find the average fish take was @ 80 sockeye. Remember, this is per permit. 2005 through 2009, per fish and Game.
    It is written in state statute that comfishers can take fish home but it must be recorded on fish tickets. There are also NO set amounts that a comfisher can take. That said, I don't wish comfishers ill but next time I hear screaming from a commercial fishermen that dipnetters take too many fish, or we see proposals to cut back permit limits, just try to remember this little fact.
    Another point I would like to make is at the last BOF meeting, there was a proposal to allow charter boat crews the ability to retain fish while fishing with clients. That did not pass as far as I have heard anyway.
    My question is why are comfishers allowed to retain fish, for personal use, while commercial fishing but Charter boat operators are not? As far as I am concerned they are both commercial entities making money off the resource. Just does not seem fair in my eyes.
    Anyone care to comment?
    It also seems like this might have to be moved to the management thread since I am hop-sketching around on different fishery issues.
    Brian M. ?
    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 MRFISH's Avatar
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    A statewide average of 80 sockeye? That sure seems like a pretty high number to me, but I haven't looked at the data.

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    Default just clarification maybe

    The data set using commercial permits may not be accurate because of the way fish are reported. Let me give you an example from UCI. A family may fish more than one permit and more than one family may be associated with the family operation. Therefore, in UCI, especially with the set net operations the PU fish may be reported on just one permit and this may be for more than one family. It is hard to judge how these family operations report harvest on permits.

    Relative to taking fish out of the commercial harvest there is a reason for that. Once the fish are retained for possession they are the property of the commercial operator and therefore if he or she keeps them he is in essence buying them from himself. That is different than a commercial charter boat operator who is gaining value.

    One thing that is confusing is that commercial fisherman can keep fish out of their commercial catch and report it as personal use but the laws that govern the use I believe are not the same. The PU fisherman is suppose to retain it for immediate family consumption and cannot barter it or give it to friends and other family members.

    Commercial caught fish may not have those limitations since they are considered commercially caught. Therefore, a commercial fisherman I believe can give them away at will and use them anyway he wants. Therefore, higher use may happen because of that. So these fish are not really PU in the classic sense.

    Hope this helps the discussion.

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    Member thewhop2000's Avatar
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    Default Tried to post the info from F&G but...

    I'm a screaming idiot for copying and pasting from Microsoft office trial edition ,that has expired Go figure!!
    I was really surprised to see those numbers also.
    I'm just saying I started the thread to see what others thought. Now I need to clarify that a commercial permit can have 3 or even five crew members and those all go on one ticket? I'm not sure so I was hoping someone smarter than little ole me could fill me in?
    Mr. Fish, can you explain? I e-mailed a biologist from comfish but he has not bothered to respond to my requests for clarification.
    I do not want to be seen as giving only slanted information to make a point but I'm asking. If there is one thing about this site is, people will jump all over you if your P's and Q's are not crossed.
    So... Are fish tickets separated by crew members or permits? The way I read State Statute is, a permit must report on a ticket but that permit can be multiple comfishers off that same ticket and permit?
    As for the Charter operators, what is good for the goose should also be good for the gander. Just my little ole .02 cents worth.
    Believe me, I'm not associated with the Charter industry nor do I have any fish to fry.( God help me with my sayings I picked up along in life) (pun intended!!!).
    I just look at things as there should be some sort of order and fairness in our dealings with each other. Pollyanna, I know. What the heck. Any others have any thoughts?

    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 ak_powder_monkey's Avatar
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    Well the home pack goes towards the commercial allocation so what?

    80 fish split by say 3 crew members (reasonable average crew size) is just over 25 fish a person given to PU fishermen. Seems pretty fair to me, especially considering the average PU fisherman takes more than 25 depending on the number of people in their household.
    I choose to fly fish, not because its easy, but because its hard.

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    Member thewhop2000's Avatar
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    Default Hey, powder monkey...

    Last years take for dippers, UCI, was @340,000 fish divided by @ 30,000 permits for UCI. Do your math. That comes out to 11.3 fish per permit. Not per person. The average household in Alaska is 2.78 people.Divide that by the permit take and you get four fish per person, per year.
    That is the point I am trying to make. Dippers don't take a lot of fish but you would not know this by the proposals that come out every three years, just for UCI. Or every year statewide.
    Keep this in mind when the proposal book comes out in a few months for next year. That is my point!!
    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 MRFISH's Avatar
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    Whop...salmon retained (but not sold) out of a commercial catch must still be reported on a fish ticket for the sake of a full accounting of the harvest...and that fish ticket has the fishermen's limited entry permit # on it...even if some of that was retained for crew members (they must have a crewmember license...but they're just employees of the permit holder, per se).

    I'd love to take a closer look at the source of AOC's figure...is there more background information that they provide, or a link to a summary report or something?

    As I mentioned earlier, it still seems a bit high IMO. I grew up fishing on my parent's boats in PWS (boat/permit each for ma and pa) and we never retained anywhere close to 80 fish in a year, with 2 permits. I'm sure some folks do, but to get to an 80 fish statewide average, some people have got to be retaining a heck of a lot of fish. Additionally, you have a number of fisheries where sockeye catches aren't very significant or are non-existent (like the Yukon R, Norton Sound and Kotz, to name a few)...are these included in there, too? Or is this selected data...areas/gear types to arrive at that figure?

    In any case, it is all still accounted for. I believe that no matter what kind of "use" definition/label applies to the retained but not sold fish, it's still counted as commercial catch for the sake of any allocation plans between commercial and other, if applicable.

    Additionally, this (almost always) is fish that would be caught and sold otherwise...if commercial fishermen couldn't retain it...they'd just sell it; it's fish caught with commercial gear during open commercial fishing periods.

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    Member willphish4food's Avatar
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    It would certainly make sense to a crew member, if allowed by captain to retain "homepack" fish, to do so. After all, how much is a crewshare? 10% on the high end? Yet with homepacks, they retain the entire value of the fish, and are able to sell it if they wish to pocket the entire value. And the captain, if he were to sell his homepack, pockets the entire profit. It would be legal to do so, as they are still commercially caught fish, which may legally be sold or bartered.

    Not saying this happens, but it would certainly work for putting the profit into one pocket instead of many.

    So what really does happen to homepack fish? If you are to believe some of the testimony given to the board when someone in the commercial industry is asking to restrict, limit, or eliminate personal use fishing; "No one can possibly eat that many fish in a season!"

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    Member MRFISH's Avatar
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    No, the fish retained from commercial catch in the discussion we're having here cannot be sold:

    5 AAC 39.010. Retention of fish taken in a commercial fishery
    (a) A person engaged in commercial fishing may retain finfish from lawfully taken commercial catch for that person's own use, including for the use as bait in a commercial fishery. Finfish retained under this section may not be sold or bartered. (my emphasis)

    Now, if they're going to sell the fish (as a catcher/seller or whatever), they must put it onto a separate fish ticket in the normal fashion.

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    Exclamation the big picture

    Whop, if you can take a look at the bigger picture you may be able to see a whole DIFFERNT picture. I've been sport fishing all my life, and comm fishing for about 30 years. I can see it from both ways. At first glance it does seem wrong (what you are saying). At first glance it also seems wrong that this new fishery should have so much priority, geez you danged dipnetters are taking alot of fish with almost no history to support it. Different views from differnt angles, eh? What the hey, you get 6 or 3 or 2 fish if you use a pole, and then you get how many if you use a net?? looks goofy to me.

    Jump on a commercial fishing boat for a season and see it from the other side and it will change you mind I bet. As a deck hand you'll be able to see how the comm season gets shut down, and then the dipnetters get to fish as you sit it out and don't make anything for that day. Also, don't believe every thing you see about statistics, some times they are manipulated, some times they are just wrong, and different areas of the state are different.

    AS far as home pack goes, I put one up when ever I can from my set net sites. Let me tell you, it is REALLY tough to make any money (or a living) commercial fishing and every little bit to make it work is needed some times. The number of fish we take home, ( and what I have seen others do) is miniscule compared to the over all take. We work HARD for what we get.

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    Default Saltwatertom...

    No doubt you guys work hard at fishing. Just like I work hard at being a carpenter. I'm not begrudging you for commercial fishing. I have spent time filming friends out of Cordova while bowpicking. It was work but fun at the same time.
    I'm just looking at the numbers and that surprised me, all I'm saying.
    I do see it from both sides but I do take exception to one thing you said. About dippers not having a history. The AHTNA people were dipping in the early 20 Century, off of the copper. They invented the dipnet but through time, modern metals and Mono changed from willow branches they were using. Howe much history do you need to say it's OK for someone to have a shot at the resource?
    On another note, when, say a drifter puts his net out, that is one heck of a wall of death to Salmon, compared to a five foot hoop. A dipnetter gets one or two at a time and a drifter can get, How many?
    So when you say that you get frustrated when you can't fish but dippers can, it is not like we are making a killing one or two fish at a time. Look at my math in an earlier post.
    Mr. Fish, I am going to forward the e-mail to your other account and maybe you can post it here. I'm too computer stupid to get it done. Also thank you for the earlier post on my questions.
    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 MRFISH's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by thewhop2000 View Post
    Mr. Fish, I am going to forward the e-mail to your other account and maybe you can post it here.
    Thanks Whop. Attached is a pdf file of the salmon. I blanked out the names/email addresses in the header.

    It's not a statewide average across all permit holders...it's the average of the unique permit holders that reported retaining some fish on at least one fish ticket, by species, per year.

    So from the spreadsheet...statewide in 2009, 619 permit holders reported retaining 16,689 sockeye salmon (at 49,758 lbs)...for an average of 32 sockeye salmon (avg 80 lbs) among those that retained sockeye salmon...not across all permit holders fishing.

    For a true statewide average, you'd need to apply the amount of fish caught but not sold across all salmon permits fished (which, according to CFEC was 7,378 in 2009), that gives an average of 2.26 sockeye per salmon permit holder fishing (6.74 lbs)

    CFEC data link for 2009:
    http://www.cfec.state.ak.us/gpbycen/2009/00_ALL.htm
    Attached Files Attached Files

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    2 fish. Thanks MRFISH.

    A commercial fisherman can do whatever he wants with his fish. He just has to report the ones he doesn't sell, and not use them for barter or sale. His "own use" doesn't exclude, giving them away, shiping them to his friends and relatives, using them for bait, donating them to a worthy cause, or having one heck of a big fish fry for the community. That's what owning a commercial permit happens to mean...authority to use a big net to catch lots of fish. Nothing says he has to sell them all...or even any. Of course he doesn't make any money on the one's he doesn't sell.

    I don't understand trying to make comparisons between the commercial fishery and personal use or sport fisheries...Different regulations and statutes, different management, different permits, different allocations, different means and methods, etc., etc. I keep hearing the word "fairness" pop up, but I just can't make a connection to why the sport or personal use fishery should be treated the same as a commercial fishery. They are far from the same. Regardless, any sport or personal use fisherman can buy a commercial permit and keep as many fish as he wants. In fact many sport and personal use fisherman do just that...commercial fish too.

    FYI, I calculated (in this post) how many sockeye a family of 4 could harvest in my area alone by sport and personal use fishing. 1,159 fish. And that was just between June 11 and July 31, and didn't include Kings, Cohos, or Pinks. Finally, of course commercial fishermen are frustrated when they are closed for escapement concerns while the in-river dipnet fishery continues. Why shouldn't they be?...If a conservation or escpament concern truly exists, it should be shared by all the fisheries.

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    Default So Mr. Fish...

    It looks like there are those comfishers that retain fish and then there are those that don't? So, for 2009, there were 619 permits reporting @ 16,000 fish for homepacks? Of course that does not include statewide numbers cause I know UCI has almost 1600 Salmon permits but only about 1200 are fished from year to year. Am I wrong about this?
    You found the true statewide number of permits but not all report on a fish ticket for homepack? That means that there are those that sell and keep and those that only sell?
    How did or why did the Bio that put this together leave out the rest of those permittee's? That is where I am confused!!
    It seems it comes down to the seller/keeper and the seller only? Just by looking at the graph, it gets a little confusing for me.
    By the way Grampy, how the heck have you been? Ain't seen you posting for a while!!
    If a dipnetter dips a fish and there is no one around to see/hear it, Did he really dip?

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    Default try to help here

    Whop - a commercial fisherman can do three things with a fish

    1) sell to a processor or become a processor 2) get a catch/seller permit and sell the fish himself - these fish cannot be processed and 3) retain fish for personal use defined here to mean anything the permit wants to do with the fish except sell them or process them for sale.

    All three actions are recorded on a fish ticket to keep track of the number of fish caught.

    However, a permit holder can do what they want with the fish except sell or barter them.

    I am not sure why AOC would send out misinformation except to create confusion and distrust among groups. Pesonally I think they are the worse thing to happen to Alaska fish and game management in the history of the State.

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    Quote Originally Posted by thewhop2000 View Post
    It looks like there are those comfishers that retain fish and then there are those that don't?!!
    Definitely

    So, for 2009, there were 619 permits reporting @ 16,000 fish for homepacks?
    619 permit holders that reported retaining appx 16,000 sockeye salmon...the number of permit holders retaining the different species varies. You can sum the total salmon retained from this data (102,530 for 2009), but cannot sum the number of permit holders retaining salmon regardless of the species (at least in this format) because undoubetly, some of the same permit holders that reported retaining sockeye also retained one or more other salmon species and they are also counted in the permits under those other species. I'm sure F&G could run an "all salmon species" data field to get that information, though.

    Of course that does not include statewide numbers cause I know UCI has almost 1600 Salmon permits but only about 1200 are fished from year to year. Am I wrong about this?!
    Unless the header on the spreadsheet from F&G is wrong, this is the statewide tally. The 7,300-ish permits number I referenced from CFEC is the number of salmon permits that actually fished, statewide. Statewide, the number of salmon permits issued in 2009 was 11,116 (almost 4,000 of these permits didn't fish).

    You found the true statewide number of permits but not all report on a fish ticket for homepack? That means that there are those that sell and keep and those that only sell?
    How did or why did the Bio that put this together leave out the rest of those permittee's? That is where I am confused!!
    It seems it comes down to the seller/keeper and the seller only? Just by looking at the graph, it gets a little confusing for me.
    As I said, unless the header on the spreadsheet is wrong/misleading, these are the statewide #'s for salmon home pack and the number of permit holders retaining each species...but this wasn't my data request (and I don't know exactly what the requestor actually asked for)...I'm just going with what you sent me. It looks to be statewide, though.

    You or anyone else could certainly re-frame the question/data request to possibly get it broken out by management area to see what's happening specifically in UCI or elsewhere...

    On one last note, I'm not positive that ALL management areas require reporting of retained but not sold salmon, but I think it's pretty much everywhere. The statewide regulation I cited earlier that allows home pack should just be amended to make the reporting required statewide, too...to avoid any confusion. But I know that while I was on the BOF we finished up putting it into some areas. The requirement to report homepack on fish tickets is in each area's regulations. For instance, it's in 5 AAC 21.355 for cook inlet:

    5 AAC 21.355. Reporting requirements
    A commercial salmon fisherman shall, at the time of landing, report on an ADF&G fish ticket the number of salmon, by species, taken but not sold.
    Last edited by MRFISH; 04-06-2010 at 15:28. Reason: lots o' typos

  17. #17

    Default Surprised at numbers

    I'm surprised at those numbers. I commercial drift fished CI for 12 years, and knew many, many fisherman. On our boat, we never kept more than 5-8 sockeye for the whole season, and that was between 2-3 guys. Of the many drift fisherman I knew, I would say the average # of fish kept per permit was maybe 10, no more than 20. We were there to make money, not eat our profits. 80 per permit seems unrealistic, but that's just 1 man's opinion.

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    Okay, I went digging through the regs and also called the right person (I doubt you read this...but if you do, thanks, Kerri!) to get it straight on where reporting of homepack fish is required. Sorry if my earlier ambiguity led to any confusion. It is now required statewide, but this has only been applicable for the past few years.

    Prior to this, reporting of home pack had been a hodge podge of different requirements (or none) across the different management areas. Many of these different regulations are still in the specific regulatory chapters for each management area (under 5 AAC). For example, in the chapter for Cook Inlet (5 AAC 21.xxx), all salmon retained for home pack were required to be reported on a fish ticket, while in the PWS chapter (5 AAC 24.xxx), only Chinook salmon caught and retained for homepack on the Copper River flats/Bering River had been required to be reported (as just two examples).

    A new (commissioner's) regulation was adopted in 2008 (I believe...dunno if it was effective for 2008 or not until 2009) that now requires all species caught but not sold (retained for homepack) species to be reported on a statewide basis, and that can be found under 5 AAC 39.130(c)(10):

    (c) The first purchaser of raw fish, a catcher-seller, and an individual or company that catches and processes or exports that individual's or company's own catch or has that catch processed or received by another individual or company, shall record each delivery on an ADF&G fish ticket. Fish tickets must be submitted to a local representative of the department within seven days after delivery or final delivery if multiple deliveries are made, or as otherwise specified by the department, for each particular area and fishery. The operator of a fishing vessel whose port of delivery is outside this state, or who sells, transfers, receives, or delivers fish in the Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ), shall submit a completed ADF&G fish ticket, or an equivalent document containing all of the information required on an ADF&G fish ticket, to the department before the fish are transported out of the jurisdiction of this state. At the time of delivery, or as otherwise directed by the department, fish tickets must include the following:
    [...]
    (10) the number of fish of any species retained by a commercial fisherman for that person's own use as specified in 5 AAC 39.010;


    The reporting requirements for the different regions had been in place for varying years prior to this new statewide regulation, but from what I understand, the full reporting should have been in place since at least 2009 and maybe even for 2008 on a fully statewide basis.

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    okay, I know that thewhop posed the question in one of his earlier posts...but can we please have one thread that doesn't de-evolve (or devolve?) into the same old arguments about whether charters are commercial fishermen or not. Salient points aside (and both sides have theirs), that horse has been beaten to death on here. Many, many, many times. Over and over. Again and again. Repeatedly. And then it starts all over.
    Last edited by MRFISH; 04-06-2010 at 19:23. Reason: added point and spelling clean-up

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    Default My bad!!!

    I stated something to that affect a couple of posts ago. Yea, let us not go down that road, PPPLLLLEEEAAASSSEEEE!!!!
    If a dipnetter dips a fish and there is no one around to see/hear it, Did he really dip?

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