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Thread: DEATH VALLEY..... AK style

  1. #1
    Member fishNphysician's Avatar
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    Unhappy DEATH VALLEY..... AK style

    The list just keeps growing and growing.

    Who didn't see this one coming?

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    June 30, 2010

    PARKS HIGHWAY STREAMS, LITTLE SUSITNA RIVER CLOSED TO KING SALMON FISHING
    The Parks Highway streams in Unit 2 of the Susitna River drainage and the Little Susitna River are closed to fishing for king salmon effective at 11:00 p.m., Friday, July 2, through the remainder of the king salmon sport fishing season. Waters normally open to king salmon fishing in Unit 2 are now closed to all sport fishing; these waters include the lower sections of the Kashwitna River, and Willow, Little Willow, Greys, Caswell, Sheep, Montana, Goose, Sunshine, Birch, Trapper, and Rabideux creeks and all flowing waters of the Susitna River from the confluence with the Deshka River upstream to the confluence with the Talkeetna River.

    Little Susitna River anglers may continue to fish for species other than king salmon downstream of the Parks Highway bridge. Further, waters in Unit 2 normally closed to king salmon fishing throughout the year (upstream of the Parks Highway bridges or department markers, etc.) are not affected by this closure and anglers may continue to fish for trout and other species. Please refer to pages 26-28 of the Southcentral Alaska Sport Fishing Regulations Summary booklet for locations of boundary markers in these streams.

    A separate emergency order reduces the annual limit for king salmon in the Talkeetna and Chulitna River drainages in Units 5-6 of the Susitna River drainage from five fish to one fish effective at 11 p.m., Friday, July 2. Any king salmon recorded before Saturday, July 3, on the harvest portion of an Alaska sport fishing license or harvest record card does not count against the one king salmon that may be harvested after July 2.
    Even though fishing last weekend was much better than it has been the last couple of years at the mouths of Montana and Willow creeks, recent boat and foot surveys revealed low numbers of kings in traditional holding areas for this time of year. A helicopter survey of Eastside Susitna streams further substantiated far fewer fish than optimal for achieving escapement goals on several Parks Highway streams. Willow, Sheep, and Goose creeks have not met their escapement goals in the past three years.

    Given the close proximity to other Parks Highway streams, it is likely that a closure of the Parks Highway streams would transfer a significant amount of sport fishing effort to both the Talkeetna and Chulitna area and Little Susitna River. Any additional harvest associated with increased angler participation may jeopardize the likelihood of Talkeetna and Chulitna drainage streams and the Little Susitna River achieving their escapement goals this season.
    "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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  2. #2

    Thumbs up

    Late, but better than not at all. None of them should have been opened at all, until such time it was determined the runs could take the pressure. I would much prefer to see the BOF adopt the mindset of holding off any fishing at all, until such time it is determined the runs are meeting the minimum escapement goals. Of course that would make it a hard sale for the King Stamps. Thumbs up to the guys and gals making the call.

    Hopefully the Rainbows will take a huge hit, as the fishermen that normally go downstream will take advantage of the absence of Kings and focus on the Rainbows. Anyone of those creeks above the highway are exceptional trout waters, too good for their own good it seems based on the numbers. Size has fallen off, the past couple of years, but the sheer numbers tell the tale of the need to remove them. The Rainbows are voracious feeders on the salmon eggs and fry/smolt. As some see how productive the waters are, they might even change their old habits of chasing salmon and become trout fishermen.
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  3. #3
    Member JediMasterSalmonSlayer's Avatar
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    Default Death Valley......understatement?

    Not surprised....I figured, did not even make plans to go back to the valley this year after my trip mid june. Getting harder and harder every year to catch a king wading the creeks of unit2. It was less than 10 years ago that the valley streams all had kings head to tail in them during the closure periods of the weekend fishery. Not anymore.

    Hope things rebound one day?
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  4. #4
    Member bigcox's Avatar
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    Default

    Sucks, guess I know where I won't be going this weekend. I hope the system does rebound someday...

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  5. #5
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    Default Finally

    I agree with Akers. It makes more sense to start with them closed where previous years escapement goals have been struggling instead of a blanket shutdown of an entire region towards the middle to late end of season. I feel bad for the people who are going to go to those rivers this weekend just to get turned around because they dont follow these things close enough. Give people time to plan especially on major holiday weekends.

  6. #6
    Member PPR's Avatar
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    Default

    im confused on the wording. so is the deshka part of this closure, and if so it starts on the second right?

  7. #7
    Member fishNphysician's Avatar
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    Deshka is NOT part of the closure.

    Probably should have been, though.
    "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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  8. #8
    Member Alaskan Salmon Sith's Avatar
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by JediMasterSalmonSlayer View Post
    Not surprised....I figured, did not even make plans to go back to the valley this year after my trip mid june. Getting harder and harder every year to catch a king wading the creeks of unit2. It was less than 10 years ago that the valley streams all had kings head to tail in them during the closure periods of the weekend fishery. Not anymore.

    Hope things rebound one day?
    I remember 2003 and 2004 were amazing years. You could walk on the bridge at Montana Creek Campground and look down and see 100s stacked up kype to tail. It has been getting progressively harder to catch kings in the valley.

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  9. #9
    Member muzzyman87's Avatar
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Akres View Post
    Hopefully the Rainbows will take a huge hit.....Size has fallen off, the past couple of years, but the sheer numbers tell the tale of the need to remove them..
    Easy young Skywalker..... Dont point your finger at my babies

    Also, I can assure you that the size is there..

    I can also concur to the closer of king fishing until we figure out a possible solution to this issue. (the issue is clearly in the salt, in MY opinion) These fish(all fish) have successfully survived for hundreds if not thousands of years without any type of "thinning", so lets not freakout on the rainbows my friend...
    I am not against the flippin kenai, since I cannot but suspect it keeps armies of the unworthy from discovering every other stream... ~Paul O'Neil~/~Wyo2AK~

  10. #10
    Member Lake creek fishermen's Avatar
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    Dont understand. Would lake creek be closed? If so then no more fishing for me until august
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  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lake creek fishermen View Post
    Dont understand. Would lake creek be closed? If so then no more fishing for me until august

    Is it in unit 2? If so yes.....if not still fishable.
    Alaska: We're all here cuz we're not all "there"

  12. #12

    Wink

    Quote Originally Posted by Lake creek fishermen View Post
    Dont understand. Would lake creek be closed? If so then no more fishing for me until august
    They are going to keep Lake Creek open just in case someone might want to catch ONE KING. Judging from your previous posts, I think you are done for the year, if you tagged them. Time to catch up other important matters for now.
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  13. #13
    Moderator LuJon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by muzzyman87 View Post

    I can also concur to the closer of king fishing until we figure out a possible solution to this issue. (the issue is clearly in the salt, in MY opinion)
    Without getting good numbers on fry density and recruitment to the salt your statement is strict conjecture. Lots of things could be causing the river itself to not produce adequately. Water temps, habitat changes, in river predator boom. A boom of trout could create problems but I imagine it would be fairly low in the list of top things killing salmon. If there is an existing influx of trout it certainly could be worthwhile to increase the harvest limit.

  14. #14

    Default

    Thanks for posting. Rumors were flying last weekend of a closure. Guess they were more than just rumors.

  15. #15
    Member power drifter's Avatar
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Akres View Post
    They are going to keep Lake Creek open just in case someone might want to catch ONE KING. Judging from your previous posts, I think you are done for the year, if you tagged them. Time to catch up other important matters for now.
    From the way I read it they aren't counting the ones tagged earlier against the one king. Doesn't make any sense to me but lots of things don't make sense anymore.

  16. #16

    Wink

    Quote Originally Posted by LuJon View Post
    If there is an existing influx of trout it certainly could be worthwhile to increase the harvest limit.
    It wasn't that long ago, that bounties were placed on them. Also F&G used a Shock Machine on the Susitna Drainages, that used to kill off the larger trout in the spawning bed. They no longer do any of these things and offer them protection beyond belief. The Public Image is driving the train now, rather than good practices. How many times do we have to learn the lessons of the Predator Protectionists? This is no different that what has taken place with the wolves and bears. Go to anyone of the spawning beds and watch the salmon. For every salmon there will be 3 to 5 Rainbows laying right along the backside of females. Or in spring time, go to any one of the creek mouths and see what is laying in wait for the smolt heading out to sea. It doesn't take a bio to figure out what they are doing there.
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  17. #17

    Talking

    Quote Originally Posted by power drifter View Post
    From the way I read it they aren't counting the ones tagged earlier against the one king. Doesn't make any sense to me but lots of things don't make sense anymore.
    I was just going off what one of the local Troopers was saying. He might have been fuzzy on it all as well.
    "96% of all Internet Quotes are suspect and the remaining 4% are fiction."
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  18. #18

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Akres View Post
    It wasn't that long ago, that bounties were placed on them. Also F&G used a Shock Machine on the Susitna Drainages, that used to kill off the larger trout in the spawning bed. They no longer do any of these things and offer them protection beyond belief. The Public Image is driving the train now, rather than good practices. How many times do we have to learn the lessons of the Predator Protectionists? This is no different that what has taken place with the wolves and bears. Go to anyone of the spawning beds and watch the salmon. For every salmon there will be 3 to 5 Rainbows laying right along the backside of females. Or in spring time, go to any one of the creek mouths and see what is laying in wait for the smolt heading out to sea. It doesn't take a bio to figure out what they are doing there.
    I agree 100%.

    If we are going to manage the salmon runs on a optimum yield model, we need to look at all aspects of harvest including predatory actions by a resident species. Trout are no different than Northern Pike IMO, they need to be harvested just like any other fish, to keep their numbers down.

    Thousands of years ago no one cared to manage a river systems for optimum yield, so boom and busts occured naturally. If trout numbers go unchecked in the river systems we will see a gradual decrease in salmon runs over time. How many eggs and fry does a 30" Rainbow consume on the Kenai River? I'm sure it doesn't get to be that size by consuming insects.....

  19. #19

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    Don't care much for the black/white mentally that so often dominate fishery restrictions or regulations. Let's start king season with a very conservative approach (no bait, single hooks, limited days, decreased bag limits, ect) and build from there as runs prove themselves worthy of liberalization. Going from full closure to full bore makes no sense to me. Same thing restricting a fishery unless complete doom is in sight.

    I think this would help fishermen and guides and the local economies function to some degree while also making sure the salmon runs stay healthy.

    Just a woman's point of view.....

  20. #20
    Member mudbuddy's Avatar
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    Default

    Excellent thread & posts.
    Good info!
    Lets hope our F&G biologists are up to the task &
    become pro-active instead of re-active.
    Will cost $$$ though, to manage such a large & diverse watershed.
    The area the Palmer office has under it's jurisdiction is huge, West side of Cook Inlet & the Mat-Su drainage.
    They are going to need some funding.

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