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Thread: Coping with the new halibut regulations...

  1. #1
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    Default Coping with the new halibut regulations...

    If you like to fish for halibut via guided charter services in Alaska, then pay attention to the new regulations and schedule your fishing times around them.

    If you come to Anchorage and fish anywhere nearby you are in the SOUTHCENTRAL REGION. From June 15th until June 30th you may keep only 1 halibut. All the rest of the season, the limit is 2.

    If you come to Juneau and fish anywhere nearby you are in the SOUTHEAST REGION. From June 15 until the end of July you may keep only 1 halibut. All the rest of the season, the limit is 2.

    This data is posted to help anglers in trip planning.

    That makes July the HOT month for halibut in Seward, Homer, Whittier, the entire Kenai Peninsula, and Kodiak. If you don't reserve ahead, you'll never find a boat.

    It DEVESTATES the Juneau, POW, Ketchikan, Sitka, Haines/Skagway, Yakutat, and Petersburg/Wrangell area with a 1 fish reduction by 45 days during the heart of the season.

    This is tough news. I didn't make the rules. I only play and advise others as a result of them...

    http://www.alaskanauthor.com

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    Smile The sky's not falling yet. .

    Quote Originally Posted by AlaskanAuthor View Post
    It DEVESTATES the Juneau, POW, Ketchikan, Sitka, Haines/Skagway, Yakutat, and Petersburg/Wrangell area with a 1 fish reduction by 45 days during the heart of the season.
    This judgment or opinion is premature and, in my opinion, overstated. . . let's wait and see. Heck, anglers have been spending high bucks to fish the Kenai for one fish per trip for years. Time will tell how many of our visitors are just coming up to load up on cheap halibut. . . my bet is not many. It's sport fishing, not meat fishing.

    Time will tell. The tour boat tax was supposed to decimate the tour boat industry too, but TV news the other evening noted that the tour companies are booking, and the season looks good.

    I don't think we get many summer visitors coming up to see how much they can get for how little or how cheap they can get by while milking Alaska's resources for fish-boxes-sent-home. Most of our visitors come to enjoy our scenery and experience a taste of how we live. They'll still be able to do both.


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    Just what the Kenai Peninsula needs, more pressure shifted from June to July.

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    Wink A puzzler for sure. . .

    Quote Originally Posted by yukon View Post
    Just what the Kenai Peninsula needs, more pressure shifted from June to July.
    It's indeed something of a puzzle why they didn't make the restriction in July when there's tons of pressure instead of in June when there's relatively little.

    What were they thinking?


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    I bet charter IFQs are sounding pretty **** good to them right now.
    I choose to fly fish, not because its easy, but because its hard.

  6. #6

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    Is there a link or something for where this reg is posted?

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    No, halibut IFQ quotas for the guides still does not sound pretty good. However, in the same vein, something did need to be done to curb the harvest. Unforunately the guides took a hard hit but I haven't seen anything where the commercial guys are making any type of sacrifice. Their by catch still is reported bigger than the entire charter catch. Maybe the best would be to restrict the growth of the charters? But then that may drive charter prices up too. I don't have the answer but I'm halibut fishing in July this year.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bill S. View Post
    I haven't seen anything where the commercial guys are making any type of sacrifice. Their by catch still is reported bigger than the entire charter catch.

    Commercial boats have a size restriction, charters don't. Perhaps a slot limit on the charters would've been more appropriate, however I have to agree with PowderMonkey (mutter mutter), had the Charters gone IFQ this would be a non issue. They had to've seen the writing on the wall and opted to bury their heads in the tidal flats (maybe their association should adopt the razor clam as their mascot?). As to the bycatch issue, how many dogfish and skates do the charters shake off on any given trip?
    “Life has become immeasurably better since I have been forced to stop taking it seriously.” ― H.S.T.
    "Character is how you treat those who can do nothing for you."

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    Default My verb tense...

    Maybe that word was premature as Marcus mentioned. Perhaps it was even too strong.

    I just keep thinking about the fishing visitor. There were over 250,000 out-of-state anglers who bought sport fishing licenses just last year. Their #2 choice of fishing quarry was this fish.

    King salmon lead the way for those anglers as the #1 choice. The king is very trophy related, even caught and released, and seldom talked about as the "fill your freezer" catch.

    The halibut is in a different league entirely. Seldom is it released, and it is highly sought after due to its flesh and the opportunity to get a good return on the ticket investment during an outing.

    I can't help but to anticipate a decline in charter revenues because of this. Then again, I also can foresee a rise in charter rates during the 2 fish take due to high demand and the make-up of the decline. I would not blame any charter operator for doing this.

    I did not mean to allienate anyone with this post. My bringing it into view is only to assist the angler with Alaska trip planning. That's why this forum is here, and that's why I contribute to it...

    http;//www.alaskanauthor.com

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    Default My thoughts

    Well guys i talked with my fishing and hunting partner about it for a while. I do not see this law affecting nonresidents very much in their trip planning. I still think just as many licenses will be sold along with as many halibut charters booked. Where guides will see a hit is in the residents. You will not see me nor my buddy fishing in june at 160+ dollars for one chicken, since that is all i ever catch. I assume most others in state will book in july as well.

  11. #11

    Default Hold On

    It is my understanding the IPHC ruling has yet to be signed by both secretary of state and secretary of commerce .Get your fax machine warmed up

  12. #12

    Default Ready.. Aim.. Fire..

    Those letters and faxs to: E-mail and fax are best

    United States Secretary of State:

    Secretary Condoleezza Rice
    US Department of State
    2201 C Street NW
    Washington, DC 20520

    Fax: 202-647-2283
    e-mail: crice@state.gov (VERIFY)

    United States Secretary of Commerce:

    Secretary Carlos M. Gutierrez
    Office of the Secretary – Mailstop 61
    US Department of Commerce
    14th and Constitution Avenue, NW
    Washington, DC 20230

    Phone: 202-482-2000
    Fax: 202-482-2741
    e-mail: cgutierrez@doc.gov

    NOAA Fisheries:

    William T. Hogarth
    Assistant Administrator for Fisheries
    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
    1315 East West Highway
    14th Floor
    Silver Spring, MD 20910

    Phone: 301-713-2239
    Fax: 301-713-1940
    e-mail: Bill.Hogarth@noaa.gov

    Alaska Senator Ted Stevens:

    The Honorable Ted Stevens
    United States Senate
    522 Hart Senate Office Building
    Washington, DC 20510

    Phone: 202-224-3004
    Fax: 202-224-2354
    e-mail webform: www.stevens.senate.gov/contact.cfm


    Alaska Senator Lisa Murkowski:

    The Honorable Lisa Murkowski
    United States Senate
    709 Hart Senate Office Building
    Washington, DC 20510

    Phone: 202-224-6665 Toll free (Anchorage) 877-829-6030
    Fax: 202-224-5301
    e-mail webform: www.Murkowski.senate.gov/contact.cfm#form


    Alaska Governor Sarah Palin

    Juneau Office:
    Governor Sarah Palin
    P.O. Box 110001
    Juneau, AK 99811-0001

    Phone: 907-465-3520
    Fax: 907-465-5400
    Email: http://gov.state.ak.us/govmailSP.php

    Anchorage Office:

    550 W 7th Avenue
    Suite 1700
    Anchorage, AK 99501
    Phone: 907-269-7460
    Fax: 907-269-0263
    Frank
    Alaska Wildrose Charters and Cabins
    www.wildroselodge.com

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    Smile

    AKA: Of all the guests we've had over past summers, I can't think of one who would consider one more halibut as a factor in trip planning. The folks we know are working with far more important time considerations when contemplating coming to Alaska. (My own personal opinion is that I wouldn't walk across the street for all the halibut up here. . . too tasteless. My theory is that no one eats halibut, they eat what's put on the halibut to give it flavor. To each his own. . . )

    profishguide: Thanks for turning on some light. That kind of information is worth ten thousand posts that consist of nothing more than cursing the darkness.


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    Quote Originally Posted by Bill S. View Post
    Their by catch still is reported bigger than the entire charter catch.
    Bill - You might want to be careful with this all-inclusive "they" label. The numbers you are referring to is the commercial draggers, not the long-liners. It is misleading to throw those numbers of by-catch when one is talking about allocation between long-line and sportfishing groups. The long-line bycatch waste of halibut is exceedingly small. Draggers are an entirely different segment and issue.

    -Brian

  15. #15

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    what is still interesting in this hole ordeal is the fact that we are trying to limit sportfish here and all the while there is going to be a steady but albeit slowly increase to the commericial catch quota.

    Something here just sounds backwards to me!

  16. #16
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    Default 1 fish or 2 fish

    Wihle some anglers may be wiling to catch 1 fish, it is the principle of the whole stupid action.

    by limiting the take for two weeks in June, it is going to shift local angler pressure to the first two weeks of June. Therefore we will be busier in early june than normal. During the time of a one fish bag limit we will high grade halibut and keep only larger ones. The net result should be an increase in the harvest for this year.

    Why on earth would a biologist suggest a two week reduction?

    there were other measures that would clearly have a more desirable effect - relimination of captian and crew harvest and one halibut trip per day would have brought the harvest down and cause little economic harm.

    Finally the Charter IFQ plan. If it has gone as planned quota would have been issued this year. In area to 2c between the new methodology for calculating the TAC and the charter overages.....The charter fleet would have issued enough quota to fish about half of their traditional season.
    So with that nothing is working right now. From the sound of it, no one likes limited entry here either....Minimum size won't decrease the harvest....

    Sounds like a serious problem not only for guides but for the anglers that use them.

    However with that said, I would be willing to bet that this latest action is DOA in Washington DC. It has not been made a regualtion or law yet and it will face a gauntlet of opposition from a ton of people.

    Hopefully it will get overturned without legal action.

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    Default Premature?

    Perhaps; but I rather doubt it. I most certainly would be pleased to have egg on my face with this one, but my inkling is that it will get signed.

    And as far as poohing the importance of this fish in influencing tourism goes, let the statistic's speak for themselves:

    "I just got back from Seward and have 41 pounds of halibut in the freezer..."

    48 postings and 4,409 readings later, this is probabaly the most active thread in the history of this fishing forum...

    http://www.alaskanauthor.com

  18. #18
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    so if I'm a guide and i have ifqs put on me I have an incentive to release the big spawners and keep only smaller chickens for my clients knowing that if I wanted to make more money this year I would have to release more fish and work with my clients to make it less of a meat fishery and more for fun. People in sport fishing hate limited entry for some reason I don't get while IFQs would not be ideal and a limited entry system like the salmon industry has would be simply because clients don't pay by the pound but by time. While limiting the catch for a month during the downturn of the season probably won't do anything, its a start. Face the facts people commercial fishermen will always catch a lot of fish I mean look at the columbia river, there is still a commercial season for ENDANGERED Chinook salmon there. Remember those who make a living fishing halibut are not huge corporations but rather people from Kodiak, Dutch Harbor, Kake, Pelican, Chiniak, Yakutat, and other coastal groups, by not being able to take two fish for a month you make those people who have very little economic opportunity, very poor education systems, who simply cannot integrate into a cash economy without fishing. By taking fish out of commercial fishermens pockets you will take food out of their and their families mouths and for what? So that you can take an extra fish or the dude from texas who just dropped 4 g's to come fish for buts can bring twice as many fish home. The charter fleet must be limited just as commercial fleets have for the past 50 years.
    I choose to fly fish, not because its easy, but because its hard.

  19. #19

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    Actually the largest amount of quotas are held by poeple and companies outside of Alaska. As a commercial fisherman I can tell you that it is not sport fishermen that are taking money from us. It is the commercial fishermans own inability to work together or have even similar views on any topic.

    This leaves everything up to biologists and office types to formulate plans that run our fisheries. Probably not the best people to do such because they look at things from one point of view. For instance you would never let a book keeper run a business. All they focus on is the numbers and they will cut the man power up what the company charges and run it into the ground. However, the voice from those that actually know what is going on is very divided. Therefore the voice is not heard.

    Commercial or charter, fishing needs to be regulated. As you can see, ADF&G and NMFS do not always come up with a great answer to the problems. However, most of us in here can't agree either. It is easy to say that something needs to be done but most only come up with a plan that preserves their own point of view and not the big picture. It is a difficult thing to regulate and one group or another will always feel cheated.

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