Anyone know whats up with the commercial fishing operation going on today in the mouth of the Kenai??
Anyone know whats up with the commercial fishing operation going on today in the mouth of the Kenai??
Snce drift gillnetting does not open til june 21 and set gilnetting in this area does not open until july 8 I can only assume that you sre posting misinformation
First, only three fisherman is fishing and that is under contract to ADF&G for cost recovery. I believe one is near the Kenai and the other two are further south of the Kasilof River.
A few years back when the budget was in terrible shape the legislature passed a bill that diverted some general fund costs to a cost recovery program for ADF&G. This is done all over the state. The idea was that in UCI the offshore test fish program could be funded by harvesting salmon to pay for it. This program has been reviewed by the legislature each year and continues under their authority.
The ADF&G waited until the chinook return and fishery were back on track before they started. The harvest of chinook will be minimal as the cost recovery targets sockeye.
Nerka...I understand the Department's ability to sell fish caught during management's test fishing projects, like the OTF, and it is regularly done in other management areas as you state...but is this simply fishing to help pay for other management projects?
Not sayin' that this is necessarily wrong, and budgets are almost always too tight, but it's not something commonly done in other areas (to the best of my knowledge), if this is the case here.
They fish now so as to avoid conflicts. This is before the July PU, Comm, and Sport Fisheries get rolling. It is before the Kasilof PU fishery in most years. This year they waited until the chinook issue was resolved.
Normally they fish farther south but the processor picks the fisherman and the spot to fish. The contract is actually with the processor which makes contracting much easier.
Why are fish destined for the Russian River, a dedicated sport fishery, being harvested to pay for a comfish program? Why isn't the test fishery and cost recovery program prosecuted during the commercial fishing season on commercial stocks? Why has ADF&G targeted sockeye that the BOF and UCI management plan identify as a sport fishing stock? 6000 fish, which is about what they need to harvest to get $60,000, is close to 20 percent of projected escapement. The whole thing is just nuts. Kenai River Sportfishing web site and facebook pages have more detail about this.
I can't believe that ADFG is set netting for $$$ when we are concerned about early run king #s. The management of the early run is a joke! Guides and sportfishermen are being crucified by the communities of the Kenai peninsula for being greedy. Some people believe ADFG gave in to sportfishermen and opened the fishery." No backbone" was the quote in the paper. I believe the commercial and PU fishery had something to do with opening the sportfishery.
ADFG will say they are meeting escapment goals but why are is the escapment #s 1/2 of what they used to be?
The management of this fishery is failing. Sportfishermen catch such a small # of fish compared to what goes on in the salt. Until commercial bycatch, and harvest of these kings is stopped, we will continue to see the decline of Kenai Kings.
I will answer your questions but facts will no longer apply here as politic will rule and that is a sad situation for all users.
So lets take each of your points and show the true colors of KRSA and your post.
First this is not a program for commercial fisheries. It pays for management of the late run sockeye run offshore test fish program. Last time I looked the PU and sport fisheries were taking about 500,000 late run Kenai sockeye, a couple hundred thousand sockeye from other systems, and these are part of the management plan. To make a statement that this is commercial fisheries only project is a misstatement and typical of what KRSA puts out. Keep people angry with misinformation and try to eliminate the commercial fisheries from UCI. I am sick and tired of KRSA and there supporters making a fight of every issue and using misinformation to do it.
Second, most of the fish are being harvested at the lower sites near the southern boundary which means they are mostly if not all Kasilof. So saying they are a sport fish stock is again trying to divide the department and users when it is not necessary. They are fishing now as the price is much better. They are getting over 3 dollars a pound so they catch less fish to get to their objective. If they wait to July they get about 1/3 the cost and therefore must get 2/3rd more fish. That means more fish out of the user groups not less. It also means more conflict with all users.
Third, this is not nuts. It is what the legislature and the public has seen for years. They are not fishing on stocks without a surplus. The early run chinook and Russian River sockeye are not in any trouble.. They waited until the chinook run is back on track and in recent years early Russian River has exceeded its goals, even if they are catching a few Russian River fish.
What this is about is KRSA and your post trying to have every fish in UCI for your use and to heck with the community and other users. Nice try but that will not fly.
Also, where was KRSA when Slikok Creek was discussed. I guess 16 spawning females is fine with KRSA but a few surplus sockeye harvested by ADF&G to help manage the fishery is not acceptable.
First of all, I do not speak for Kenai River Sportfishing, the NRA, my church, ABATE or any other group or association of which I am a member.
Secondly the "cost recovery" fishery is being prosecuted at the set net site closest to the mouth of the Kenai in addition to other sites that are not in the public view so haven't been noticed before.....if in fact this was done in the past on this stock.
Why is a cost recovery fishery targeting Russian River fish?
Why is commercial test netting being done on a stock that is not normally fished commercially?
Why did the netting start at midnight on Monday, the exact time the Kenai opened to harvest of Kings? Seems a touch convenient that the river re-opened just in time for this commercial operation to take place.
If I am called a rabble rouser for bringing this to the attention of the members of this forum then so be it.
rc23 has started a thread "is it real" where he posts the press release from Kenai River Sportfishing Association about this issue......
Second, you continue to call it commercial netting. It is a cost recovery program of ADF&G. They are not commercial fisherman at my last check.
You continue to say they target Russian River which is not true. The catch from the net nearest the Kenai is less than a few hundred fish out of the 2000 caught to date. The majority of fish are Kasilof fish being caught near Ninilchik.
Sorry you do not get on the beach but previous cost recovery has taken place in full view of the public. It is also reviewed each year by the legislature and has been for years.
This year the processor selected the fisherman based on the contract. The state requires a fair and open bidding process. The previous contractor lost the bid to a new one and that contractor uses different fisherman. Plain and simple.
This is not a biological issue at all. No stocks are threatened and goals are being met. If you have such a concern about Russian River why are you not calling for the closure of the sport fishery? Does a few hundred fish really put the goals at risk - not.
The fishery started when the concern for early run chinook salmon was removed by sport fish division. That is the plain and simple truth. The Department held off until the stocks could withstand the harvest. To date 12 chinook have been harvested and these are small due to the gear being used.
You say you do not speak for KRSA - how nice. You are on their Board of Directors and you posted a link to their site. You carried their water and as a Board member you cannot hide under the individual banner.
I did not call you a rabble anything. I called KRSA dishonest and that they are misinforming the public with their web page information. They claim, in a link you posted, that all 6000 fish are Russian River. That is a bold face lie.
I also said that KRSA created conflict in this community and does to create allocation and political decision making. I take on ADF&G all the time but this time they were totally transparent and to imply otherwise it not truthful. The contracts are public information, the time of fishing is in the contracts, the legislature reviews the annual report of these activities, and the legislature must reauthorize the actions.
Again, I will restate my opinion on this. It has been mischaracterized as a commercial operation, it has been misstated what stocks are being targeted, it has been misstated that this is a new project, it has been misstated that sport fisherman do not benifit from the programs, and as a result of all this Department staff are under fire for doing their job and doing it at the direction of the legislature.
I guess that anything that does not match up with the world view of people with commercial fishing ties is just plain wrong. Arguments between Nerka and me won't settle anything nor will it lead to any kind of agreement between us....lets just watch and see how this plays out and then make up our minds about the rights and wrongs.......please note also that my first post on this issue was a question about what was going on and the only information that has been forthcoming is from KRSA. I would expect the department to clarify any confusion about what was being done but they have been silent so far.
We will see nothing on this issue except the further demise of ADF&G as a biologically run organization. We will see a Commissioner have to make a political decision based on an up coming election and the power of political groups. That is a sad commentary on the system and the role of KRSA in it.
I reviewed the Cook Inlet Area Commercial Fisheries Management reports and found no description of the "cost recovery" project, no reported harvest, no reported value. In contrast, I found test fish harvest information from other area management reports. Can you provide a link to any reports or documents accessible to the public that provides any information at all on this "cost recovery" project? It seems like if it was as transparent as you say, it should be easy to find information on project activities.
I also looked for the authority of the commissioner to conduct "cost recovery" projects. The closest I could find was the following:
Sec. 16.05.050. Powers and duties of commissioner.
(a) The commissioner has, but not by way of limitation, the following powers and duties:
(14) to sell fish caught during commercial fisheries test fishing operations;
Do you know if this is the authority F&G is using to conduct the "cost recovery" project?
Isn't this project a bit different than what is done in Bristol Bay and the Yukon River? It appears that the Cook Inlet project does not collect any information and is not a test fishery. Rather the project is labeled a "Cost Recovery" project and it is purely to earn money to fund the actual test fish project. Aren't the Bristol Bay and Yukon projects actual test fish projects that collect information to be used in management of those fisheries?
Is there any other F&G project in the state that conducts a "Cost Recovery" project on wild stocks to fund other projects?
Does the statute above actually cover a "cost recovery" project? I wonder if that interpretation of the statute has been reviewed by legislators.
Bristol Bay has a cost recovery project.
The contract was put out and advertised and has been each year. I assume you need to look on Big Admin for it or ADF&G admin. I picked up a copy from the ADF&G office. They usually put it out in April or early May.
I would suggest you call ADF&G Pat Shields and ask for the information on catch. They can retrieve it but it may take some effort at a busy time of year. I will ask in the morning where it can be found or requested.
Relative to legislative authority the amount to be harvested is in the budget for ADF&G. The authority to do this may be in statue or covered under the test fish authority. At one time when I did it that was the regulation used but I think it was changed after a legislative review.
This is not a new subject. It is gone through review numerous times and frankly commercial fisherman are usually the ones to object. They do not like any fish harvested by the State.
2) I see some one already asked this, but I'll ask it again......if this was a transparent operation, where can we as the public find the harvest data, by time and statistical location in any commercial fisheries report of this cost recovery program? I've looked, and I can't find it anywhere. You said earlier that traditionally this cost recovery would've been going on earlier, but they held off until the Kenai king fishery recovered. Why didn't they wait until Sportfish lifted the restriction on "natural" Kasilof kings??? You said they usually fish near Kasilof, why did they start the cost recovery before they lifted restrictions on wild Kasilof kings? And from what I've heard, this has been going on for years. They didn't make the goal in the Kasilof last year for kings.
3) Also, is this data included in the post-season run reconstruction?
Craig Medred had an article about this in the Alaska Dispatch yesterday.
As far as transparency - no one on the sportfish side of ADF&G, including the director, seems to have been aware of this "cost recovery" operation. I would think that the divisions (boy is THAT an appropriate word here) would be in communication with one another about out of season fisheries no matter who was conducting them......and that is just what this is. An out of season fishery, with fishermen being compensated for their efforts, and the fish being sold to fund an activity that primarily benefits commercial fishermen.
I haven't seen any comments from the department, officially anyway, about this issue. It will be interesting to see what they have to say.
You know people on this forum sometimes want to be spoon fed and define that as transparent. That is not transparent. Transparent means they can get the information which is available. You just have to ask. What people want me to do it do the leg work for them. There is nothing hidden here. Call ADF&G and ask for it. Do a little work. Making transparent the same as spoon fed is just not willing to do a little work. A phone call to the local ADF&G office will get you the information.
Yes the harvest is included in the run reconstruction data as it becomes part of the harvest.
It doesn't matter if they catch 1 fish or a million fish in this fishery. The fish were not allocated to our government; if they want a piece of the allocation pie then they should fight for it at the BOF meetings just like the rest of us. Furthermore, since the Department is now involved in profiting directly from Cook Inlet fishing, it raises the spectre of conflict of interest when they come before the BOF with data.