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Thread: NUSHAGAK... another one bites the dust!

  1. #1
    Member fishNphysician's Avatar
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    Default NUSHAGAK... another one bites the dust!

    As if the EO to one fish two days ago wasn't bad news. It only gets worse.

    Add another basin to the growing list of dwindling king salmon stocks statewide.

    June 29, 2010

    NUSHAGAK-MULCHATNA DRAINAGE
    KING SALMON SPORT FISHERY RESTRICTED TO NON-RETENTION, USE OF BAIT PROHIBITED

    Retention of king salmon and the use of bait in all waters of the Nushagak-Mulchatna drainage is prohibited effective 12:01 a.m., Wednesday, June 30, 2010. Any king salmon caught may not be removed from the water and must be released immediately.

    These restrictions are made in accordance with 5 AAC 06.361, Nushagak-Mulchatna King Salmon Management Plan as adopted by the Alaska Board of Fisheries. The plan directs the department to restrict the king salmon sport fishery in the Nushagak River when the department projects the total inriver return will be less than 55,000 fish. These restrictions are implemented to ensure that the projected spawning escapement does not fall below 40,000 fish when projected inriver returns are less than 55,000 fish.

    Through June 28, an estimated total of 21,654 king salmon passed the sonar at Portage Creek with a projected total inriver return of less than 55,000.

    The department will continue to monitor the king salmon escapement and may liberalize this restriction or further restrict the sport fishery as specified in the management plan. For more information, call the area office in Dillingham at (907) 842-2427 or the Dillingham Sport Fish regulation recorder 907-842-REGS (842-7347).
    "Let every angler who loves to fish think what it would mean to him to find the fish were gone." Zane Grey
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    Unhappy nush closure

    Yea, it does suck, especially since I'm leaving Thurs till sun, to fish. It's hard to know what to do. catch and release a dwindling stock or go for it just catch and release. The outfitter is counting on us, the Kings run is very weak, but might just be late like the Kenai was, like the Deska was. I think I'm still going and hope it picks up and I,m not hurting a very valuable fishery

  3. #3
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    Default On the upside...

    This area is reputed to provide for quality silver fishing that has been overshadowed by what used to be good king fishing for years. It is unfortunate that anglers who have committed for kings now face a decline. This trend may or may not change.

    An owner of two lodges is bringing me in to cover the silver fishery in mid-August, and I will provide reviews of that fishery on both the websites of
    www.katmaitrophylodge.com and www.fishthenush.com.

    As an outside visitor and constant to the sportfishing profession, the wind of late seems to be drifting to me an unpleasant aroma of a decline of kings in some regions. That said, perhaps it's time to investigate a Plan B for Alaska fishing action that is a little more constant.

    That's my upside, and the owner should be posting these articles as the season ends. The way I look at it is in this simple sentence; "If you can't find the gold of the king, then move along and mine for silver..."

    Rosenberg/Florida
    "Two decades researching and defining fishing opportunities in the Last Frontier!"


  4. #4

    Default Nush

    I'm supposed to be heading our there tomorrow for 4 days....

    I am waiting to hear back from the fish bio in Dillingham as to whether further restrictions are coming. The last conversation I had with him was that a complete shutdown could happen soon. I'll post what he tells me later today.

    On another note, I am slightly confused by the amount of commercial fishing that continues to be opened in the Nushagak district? Sporfishing upriver is on the verge of a complete closure, however just yesterday a commercial fishing period was extended/opened in the Nushagak district. By the looks of the amount of previous announcements, the commercial bios are not concerned about the low numbers!?

    http://csfish.adfg.state.ak.us/newsr...=400&submit=Go

    Am I reading this wrong?

  5. #5
    Member sayak's Avatar
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    Default Long in the making

    When I first started com. fishing in the late 70s we were allowed to use king gear (larger mesh) and there was a viable king season. By the early 80s that season was closed down. Later I moved to Dillingham from a close by village and did the subsistence set net fishery for the freezer. We would also go up the Nushagak for rod and reel king fishing. Great fun, productive and virtually a locals only fishery. Then came the numerous king camps and the guides and, well, this is what we have today. Not saying that the sport fishery has produced this dearth, but I'm betting it has had its impact.

    By and large, red gear (smaller mesh) doesn't entangle that many kings. Also, they run in the channels rather than along the shores as reds do.

  6. #6
    Member sayak's Avatar
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    Default Long in the making

    When I first started com. fishing in the late 70s we were allowed to use king gear (larger mesh) and there was a viable king season. By the early 80s that season was closed down. Later I moved to Dillingham from a close by village and did the subsistence set net fishery for the freezer. We would also go up the Nushagak for rod and reel king fishing. Great fun, productive and virtually a locals only fishery. Then came the numerous king camps and the guides and, well, this is what we have today. Not saying that the sport fishery has produced this dearth, but I'm betting it has had its impact.

    By and large, red gear (smaller mesh) doesn't entangle that many kings. Also, they run in the channels of Nushagak Bay, rather than along the shores as reds do.

  7. #7
    Member sameyer's Avatar
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    Default

    I agree with Sayak, it seemed only a matter of time before pressures started affecting the Nushagak. But...looking at returns for the class years that produced this year's runs all around the state you see good to excellent returns. Obviously something else is going on besides pressures from sport, guide and commercial efforts that we are aware of.
    I remember those days in the early 70s in Kenai when commercial folks were fishing the early run kings. That was just before the Kenai King run became famous. Much as I despise what has happened to the Kenai over the years, I don't think we can legitimately blame any one of the interests or even all combined for what is going on literally throughout the state.

  8. #8
    Member TYNMON's Avatar
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by fishNphysician View Post
    As if the EO to one fish two days ago wasn't bad news. It only gets worse.

    Add another basin to the growing list of dwindling king salmon stocks statewide.
    Wait and see... Everywhere runs of both reds and kings have been late in the state.. Why should the Nush be any different.. Also, does anyone know what the commercial harvest was to date in the bay? These are important facts that should be considered before the Doctor gets everyone all riled up! Look at the Kenai and many other places were knee jerk reactions had negative impacts after the runs materialized...

    Likewise, why doesn no one care that the early run Russian sockeye were slaughtered in both net and sport fisheries and will barely make minimium escapement goals?

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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by TYNMON View Post
    Wait and see... Everywhere runs of both reds and kings have been late in the state.. Why should the Nush be any different.. Also, does anyone know what the commercial harvest was to date in the bay? These are important facts that should be considered before the Doctor gets everyone all riled up! Look at the Kenai and many other places were knee jerk reactions had negative impacts after the runs materialized...

    Likewise, why doesn no one care that the early run Russian sockeye were slaughtered in both net and sport fisheries and will barely make minimium escapement goals?

    While I hope you are right TY, there is the extenuating circumstance that the commercial fishery is in full swing and red escapements are looking good. This means lots of openers in the district that within the management plan do not require consideration for king escapement. SO, even if the fish are late (and they are getting close to waaaay late now) they will face a large and determined fleet of nets, requiring very large numbers to make up for the bycatch and get them upriver. This has happened in years past where a late king run became a victim of their own timing, but in those years enough had passed to meet the goals, it just reduced available kings to upriver fishermen during early July. The reason for this year's downturn is definitley a mystery. As was stated, parent years showed nothing of concern and the projected run was much larger even after putting together the current cumulative sport, subsistence and commercial catch.

    It's not dead yet, but C&R will not likely be lifted for the rest of the season.

  10. #10
    Member fishNphysician's Avatar
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    Default YEP, done for the year... it's official

    Quote Originally Posted by TYNMON View Post
    Wait and see... Everywhere runs of both reds and kings have been late in the state.. Why should the Nush be any different.. Also, does anyone know what the commercial harvest was to date in the bay? These are important facts that should be considered before the Doctor gets everyone all riled up!
    July 02, 2010


    NUSHAGAK-MULCHATNA DRAINAGE CLOSED TO SPORT FISHING FOR KING SALMON

    Sport fishing for king salmon and the use of bait is prohibited in all waters of the Nushagak-Mulchatna drainage effective 12:01 a.m., Monday, July 5, 2010. This closure prohibits all sport fishing for king salmon, including catch-and-release fishing. King salmon may not be retained or possessed; king salmon accidentally caught while fishing for other species may not be removed from the water and must be released immediately.


    These restrictions are made in accordance with 5 AAC 06.361. Nushagak-Mulchatna King Salmon Management Plan. The plan directs the department to close the sport fishery for king salmon and prohibit the use of bait if the spawning escapement of king salmon in the Nushagak River is projected to be less than 40,000 fish. Through July 1 an estimated 24,646 king salmon have passed the sonar at Portage Creek, and the spawning escapement is projected to be less than 40,000 fish.
    "Let every angler who loves to fish think what it would mean to him to find the fish were gone." Zane Grey
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    The KeenEye MD

  11. #11
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    Default Nushagak closed to king fishing as of Monday.

    As of Monday morning at 12:01 a.m. king salmon fishing is closed on the Nushagak river. Targeting or retaining kings and also use of bait (for anything) are prohibited. Sorry to be the bearer of bad news but wanted to keep folks informed who might be thinking of heading west. I'm headin up tomorrow to swing flies to try to catch a few if I can, and lots of chums if I can't....then I guess it's trout time.....bummer

    Oops, should have hit post reply earlier, doc's got the link.

  12. #12
    Member TYNMON's Avatar
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    Default For a little insite...

    Quote Originally Posted by Catch It View Post
    As of Monday morning at 12:01 a.m. king salmon fishing is closed on the Nushagak river. Targeting or retaining kings and also use of bait (for anything) are prohibited. Sorry to be the bearer of bad news but wanted to keep folks informed who might be thinking of heading west. I'm headin up tomorrow to swing flies to try to catch a few if I can, and lots of chums if I can't....then I guess it's trout time.....bummer

    Oops, should have hit post reply earlier, doc's got the link.
    Back in the Day when Dave Johnson was a guide on the Nush.. A similiar situation occurred were Nush was closed for 7-10 days then reopened when they figured out it was a technical sonar error.. The day it reopened Dave Johnson and Four clients landed 108 kings!!! Not sure how many quads they had but were able to catch so many due to the fact the river had been closed and the fact u can keep fishing while fighting fish when dragging... Just somperspective, I believe this occurred in the mid-90's...

  13. #13
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    Default Not this year....

    While it is more difficult to count kings amid tens ofthousands of chums and reds, fishermen (including me) have not had the experience as was seen during the year you mention Ty. It's been mostly short spurts of fish making for a fast hour or two each day and lots of time for conversation inbetween. This run was unlike any on record as far as timing and magnitude. Even when the commercial fishery was closed down the numbers of kings just never got up to what it should.

  14. #14

    Default

    We just got back from the Nush a few days ago.......slow for Kings but at least we got a few. We had lots of food/fun with the Chums, they were in thick. I knew it was gonna be interesting cause while listening to KDLG hearing the Comm fish biologist saying that they were not going to stop any of the sockeye openers due to the low escapment of Kings. Then a few days later hearing that a major processor was putting limits on fish deliveries. Just one of those years I guess! Either way us and the kids had a blast.

  15. #15
    Member fishNphysician's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by NERKA71 View Post
    I knew it was gonna be interesting cause while listening to KDLG hearing the Comm fish biologist saying that they were not going to stop any of the sockeye openers due to the low escapement of Kings.
    Sounds like they need to re-negotiate a new Nushagak Sockeye Management Plan that's a little less species-centric. Sockeye are obviously important, but the well-being of other species should also be considered in the plan. Sports are totally shut down to chinook while the nets go one their merry way. The chinook conservation burden should be shared a bit more evenly, eh?

    The past week saw 15,000 kings taken in the nets

    http://www.cf.adfg.state.ak.us/genin...sh_chinook.php

    The plan directs the department to restrict the king salmon sport fishery in the Nushagak River when the department projects the total inriver return will be less than 55,000 fish. These restrictions are implemented to ensure that the projected spawning escapement does not fall below 40,000 fish when projected inriver returns are less than 55,000 fish.

    Through June 28, an estimated total of 21,654 king salmon passed the sonar at Portage Creek with a projected total inriver return of less than 55,000.
    An extra 15,000 kings sure would've been a nice boost to making the escapement goal.
    "Let every angler who loves to fish think what it would mean to him to find the fish were gone." Zane Grey
    http://www.piscatorialpursuits.com/uploads/UP12710.jpg
    The KeenEye MD

  16. #16

    Talking

    Quote Originally Posted by fishNphysician View Post

    The past week saw 15,000 kings taken in the nets

    An extra 15,000 kings sure would've been a nice boost to making the escapement goal.
    And....I very seriously doubt that very many know of the Uncounted Number that are picked from the nets and thrown back in the salt. No market, no trouble sorting, no worries. If you have not watched it in action, you don't know what you are missing.
    "96% of all Internet Quotes are suspect and the remaining 4% are fiction."
    ~~Abraham Lincoln~~

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