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Thread: Don't cancel your June halbut trip!

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    Member AKCAPT's Avatar
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    Talking Don't cancel your June halbut trip!

    It looks like the pressure is coming to bear over the IPHC decision on the one fish bag limit. Legal action, political pressure, the State has come out seek alternatives to the decision....Don't cancel your June trip yet - I hate to say it, Alaskan Author but I told you so....

    I think everyone would be behind a fair, tranparent, plan to regualte the guided halibut fleet. However what happened in Canada was not only unfair but we now know is illegel.

    The long and short of it is that most sport fishermen ( with the exception of a few on this website...) were outraged by the decision and the forum where it occured. Fishermen are folks who are not afriad to write letters and make phone calls, lots of them. This pressure is paying dividends in this issue.

    Thats all I will say for now, but it is far from the end of the story......Makin' lemonaid from lemons....thats what we do.....

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    Default egg in the face...

    I will be glad to take it when and if it happens...

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    Member ak_powder_monkey's Avatar
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    So what are guides gonna do to limit their overcatch?
    I choose to fly fish, not because its easy, but because its hard.

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    Member AKCAPT's Avatar
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    Default over catch?

    The question should be what are the proper authorities do to regulate the harvest.
    Guides have always done what they are allowed to do. Take people out to catch their legal limit of halibut.

    Overage would assume that the charter sector in South Central is catching more than they are allocated.
    In fact the Guide Harvest Level is not an allocation but a GUIDLINE as to roughly where the harvest should be.
    In South Central Alaska if you take the average over the last five years, the charter fleet as at /or below the GHL. Only this last year was there any increase (8%) over the guidline number.

    This also corresponds to the first time the State had taken halibut catches into account in onboard log books and significantly increased their enforcement efforts.
    There were less fishermen take this year and the catch increased. This would lead me to belive that the old smapling methods were not really that accurate. This leads me to think that the method for determining the actual GHL was based on those same old sampling methods... Therfore the GHL number derived from the old catch estimates is not really good number to compare to the new harvest data....

    More than that, you will flip when you see this little gem:

    Look at this 2007 IPHC table??

    Area Explotible harvest CEY other Comm Total
    biomass rate removals Catch Removal
    3A 159 22.5% 35.78 7.57 26.20 33.77 -2.01

    What is says in common words is that there are 2 million pounds of halibut that are available to be caught at the 22.5% harvest rate in area 3A that are not being used.....These are fish that using the legal catch rate of 22.5% are being left in the water.....So there is no earthly reason to cut the charter catch, increase the long line catch and still leave 2 million pounds swimming around in the ocean....

    I would challange any of you arm chair fish biologists to figure out where I went wrong.... I know you will find no error because my friend called the IPHC biologst and he confirmed the error.... Wait until they see this in Washington DC....

    Plenty of fish to go around in area 3A for everyone!

  5. #5
    Member ak_powder_monkey's Avatar
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    So why is there a problem exactally?
    I choose to fly fish, not because its easy, but because its hard.

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    Default huh?

    There is more of a problem in SE Alaska where the charter fleet has caught more fish than they probably should have.

    that is why the IPHC decision for 3A was so puzzling and has not been very well received on any level. Not only was it unecessary but a two week reduction of the bag limit will cause local anglers to fish the two weeks before and the harvest will go up for the first two weeks in June and then during the time of reduction the average size of the fish harvested will increase as anglers will only be able to keep one fish. none of this will do anything to reduce the harvest in area 3A. It was not a decision that anyone with any knowledge of sportfishing would have selected. That is exactly why IPHC is not in the allocation business.

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    Member Alaska Gray's Avatar
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    How about a slot limit? Would this help?
    Living the Alaskan Dream
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    Anchorage, AK

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    Member ak_powder_monkey's Avatar
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by AKCAPT View Post
    There is more of a problem in SE Alaska where the charter fleet has caught more fish than they probably should have.

    that is why the IPHC decision for 3A was so puzzling and has not been very well received on any level. Not only was it unecessary but a two week reduction of the bag limit will cause local anglers to fish the two weeks before and the harvest will go up for the first two weeks in June and then during the time of reduction the average size of the fish harvested will increase as anglers will only be able to keep one fish. none of this will do anything to reduce the harvest in area 3A. It was not a decision that anyone with any knowledge of sportfishing would have selected. That is exactly why IPHC is not in the allocation business.
    Thats exactally what I thought which is why I was confused at the regulation change for south central.
    I choose to fly fish, not because its easy, but because its hard.

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    Member AKCAPT's Avatar
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    Default Slot

    A slot limit on second fish might help in SE but in 3A there is not need for anything beyond eliminating Captain and crew harvest.

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    Charterboat Operator
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    Default

    bieng a charter captain myself i agree with the slot limit idea. also in the elimination of crew harvest. I think as sport fishermen, the best alternative to keeping a healthy stock is the release of as many large halibut possible.
    Definitly stopping double trips per day would cut down on amount of fish harvested, also ensure the customer a much better time fishing with the tides instead of against a clock!

  11. #11
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    Default Magnuson Stevens ACT

    Here is an excerpt from the Magnuson Stevens act that should pretty much spell out how the fisheries shall be managed. Item 4 is the big one. This is why I believe the NPFMC did not impose any management plan"If it becomes necessary to allocat or assign fishing privileges among various United States fisherman, such allocation shall be (A) fair and equitable to all such fisherman". In order to make it fair commercial interests would have to reallocate to the sport sector as 90% to 10% is not in my opinion fair. If it were a fair allocation we would not have to be considering 1 fish limits, slot limits, one trip limit etc....

    98-623
    (1) Conservation and management measures shall prevent overfishing while achieving, on a continuing basis, the optimum yield from each fishery for the United States fishing industry.

    (2) Conservation and management measures shall be based upon the best scientific information available.

    (3) To the extent practicable, an individual stock of fish shall be managed as a unit throughout its range, and interrelated stocks of fish shall be managed as a unit or in close coordination. (4) Conservation and management measures shall not discriminate between residents of different States. If it becomes necessary to allocate or assign fishing privileges among various United States fishermen, such allocation shall be (A) fair and equitable to all such fishermen; (B) reasonably calculated to promote conservation; and (C) carried out in such manner that no particular individual, corporation, or other entity acquires an excessive share of such privileges.

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    Default Armchair biologists?

    I R 1, I guess. But for years I have heard that the big fish are the mommas that produce the future of halibutdom. Yet what do people target, and what do charter guys help them target....? Big mommas. I have never kept a halibut over 50 lbs (or so), and with the exception of one jello and one chalker, over these many years, all those halibut have been good eaters. Young=tender and less parasites. Old=... well the opposite. I wonder how many thousands of pounds of dry, wormy halibut has been thrown out over the years as people hauled home their barn door trophies only to find the eating not that great.

    My guess is that if the charters had put more emphasis on preserving the stock through NOT targeting the big fish, there might not be the limit we are hearing about today. I think the derby folks share a lot of the blame there too.

    It's been the same thing all through history: take all the big animals, and what you end up with is fewer and smaller animals. I know I'll catch some flack for this, but I hope someday we outgrow the "trophy" mentality.

    What about the notion of allowing people to catch one large fish or several smaller fish?

  13. #13

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    yup, that law just cost me a job!!! Be interesting to see how many more skippers are not running due to this................

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    Default Not a done deal!

    Tradbow: I thought that this was NOT a done deal yet but still has to be signed into law. Are you saying that guides are not going to be going out all summer just because of the one halibit limit for 2 weeks in one area and a month in another?

    Vietnam - June 70 - Feb. 72
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  15. #15
    Member AKCAPT's Avatar
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    Default lost your job?

    How could you have lost your job because of a one fish bag limit for two weeks? The PROPOSED regualtion is not a law yet and I will bet any of you a bag of roasted peanuts at the Great Alasaka Sportsman Show that it is not going through in our area. Look at the data above!

    The point of this thread is that it is not going through, do not cancel your charter.

    Manuson/Stevens does not apply to halibut....They are internationally managed.

  16. #16

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    Guy up and sold out.

    It's 45 days Dave.

    Already have a couple other prospects and have had one offer on the table since dec. So it's not all in vein I guess. still sucks, got that boat to my liking and got myself used to it, oh well, you dont learn if you always to the same thing everyday right? Guess that can apply to doing anything. Skippering a boat included.

  17. #17
    Sponsor offshore's Avatar
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    Sayak

    I've heard this time and time again. I do agree that big fish are good genetic stock and should be left to breed. That said-- the recreational catch is really insignificant to the commercial catch. Commercial guys make better money on big fish and you will be hard pressed to find someone who puts them back in the name of conservation. Although I do promote catch and release of big fish, I'm not going to guilt someone out of a fish of a lifetime.

  18. #18
    Member sayak's Avatar
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by offshore View Post
    Sayak

    I've heard this time and time again. I do agree that big fish are good genetic stock and should be left to breed. That said-- the recreational catch is really insignificant to the commercial catch. Commercial guys make better money on big fish and you will be hard pressed to find someone who puts them back in the name of conservation. Although I do promote catch and release of big fish, I'm not going to guilt someone out of a fish of a lifetime.
    Ask the old timers and you will find out that the numbers of decent size fish that were once close inshore are no longer there, though there are still chickens to be had. All the while the charter fleet moves farther and farther off shore in search of numbers of big fish for bragging rights. It isn't the commercial fleet that is decimating the inshore stock.

    So guilt or no guilt, if the charter captains are still trying to put clients on the big brood stock fish, thereby reducing their ability to reproduce, they really have nothing to complain about when their allocation is cut due to reduced stocks.

    Furthermore, I'm not so sure that the com guys target big fish. Quantity and poundage is what they are after.

  19. #19
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    The commercial guys used to fish close to shore back in the days when there were openings if the weather was bad or if they simply didn't want to burn the gas. And the commercial guys target whatever 'but they get. If it's a big one or small one, they ice it. They aren't picky.

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    Default Magnuson - Stevens Act

    Quote Originally Posted by Mel Roe View Post
    Here is an excerpt from the Magnuson Stevens act that should pretty much spell out how the fisheries shall be managed. Item 4 is the big one. This is why I believe the NPFMC did not impose any management plan"If it becomes necessary to allocat or assign fishing privileges among various United States fisherman, such allocation shall be (A) fair and equitable to all such fisherman". In order to make it fair commercial interests would have to reallocate to the sport sector as 90% to 10% is not in my opinion fair. If it were a fair allocation we would not have to be considering 1 fish limits, slot limits, one trip limit etc....

    98-623
    (1) Conservation and management measures shall prevent overfishing while achieving, on a continuing basis, the optimum yield from each fishery for the United States fishing industry.

    (2) Conservation and management measures shall be based upon the best scientific information available.

    (3) To the extent practicable, an individual stock of fish shall be managed as a unit throughout its range, and interrelated stocks of fish shall be managed as a unit or in close coordination. (4) Conservation and management measures shall not discriminate between residents of different States. If it becomes necessary to allocate or assign fishing privileges among various United States fishermen, such allocation shall be (A) fair and equitable to all such fishermen; (B) reasonably calculated to promote conservation; and (C) carried out in such manner that no particular individual, corporation, or other entity acquires an excessive share of such privileges.
    The Magnuson-Stevens Act does not pertain to the Halibut management, the Halibut Act of 1982 is the law although the North Pacific Fishery Management Council tries to comply with Magnuson when possible. they are not held to those standards though.

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