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Thread: From the Horse's Mouth

  1. #1

    Red face From the Horse's Mouth

    This excerpt is straight from ADF&G's Official Website. We have nothing to worry about regarding our fish getting smaller. Those of you that are seeing/catching Dinks must be letting the biguns slip past you. The scientists have it all figured out. No Worries.

    "Commercial Fishing Can Lead To Little Fish, But Probably Not In Alaska
    Fisheries scientists are currently examining a possible link between commercial fishing practices and smaller fish sizes. KDLG's Adam Kane interviews Ecologist Stephan B. Munch about his research and John Hilsinger, Director of Commercial Fisheries. Director Hilsinger explains (at the 4:00 mark) how Alaska's commercial fisheries management practices and harvest means and methods work to protect species stock size in addition to other traits in order to maintain diversity and resiliency within specific populations"
    "96% of all Internet Quotes are suspect and the remaining 4% are fiction."
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  2. #2
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    Just for the record sport fisheries tend to lead to smaller fish in the harvest of resident species, especially if there is a size limit. People fish the stock down to that size. However, if the genetic diversity is maintained then when the fishing pressure is removed the population will recover. So what John Hilsinger is saying is that ADF&G management practice tries to maintain that diversity.

    However, if you want to discuss this more then start with early run Kenai River chinook. In my opinion the larger mainstem spawning fish have been overharvested and with it a selectivity toward higher numbers of fish spawning in smaller streams the overall size is being adversely impacted. Smaller streams tend to have smaller fish for obvious reasons.

    Also, reduction in size of a population can take place for a variety of reasons - food, shorter length of time at sea, harvest, so it would be good to get the paper that brought this up and see what the discussion is about. Do you have a reference Akres.

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    Nearly half a century of culling for "trophy", "world class" Chinooks in the heavily commercialized and exploited Kenai River Sportfishery...nuff said.

  4. #4

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    Size of Kings getting smaller have been reported/documented all over Alaska and the Pacific Northwest. Culling in a specific drainage like the Kenai ain't the reason for it happening. But.....I knew some would be bamboozled by the Science. These folks are so full of themselves, they just talk and talk, to hear themselves talk. Whatever happened to Sound Reasoning based on views of those that actually spend their lives afield?

    Nerka,
    It wasn't derived from a "paper". It was from the ADF&G's version of Talk Radio. They often get on the airwaves and spiel their spin. It is hilarious to listen the drivel. They have absolutely no idea what they are talking about, but....go on and on and on and on.
    "96% of all Internet Quotes are suspect and the remaining 4% are fiction."
    ~~Abraham Lincoln~~

  5. #5

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    Quote Originally Posted by Akres View Post
    It wasn't derived from a "paper". It was from the ADF&G's version of Talk Radio. They often get on the airwaves and spiel their spin. It is hilarious to listen the drivel. They have absolutely no idea what they are talking about, but....go on and on and on and on.
    Kind of like some people on this forum.

  6. #6

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    Quote Originally Posted by commfish View Post
    Kind of like some people on this forum.
    yep,
    There's at least four of them, that I am personally aware of. Good thing the vast majority of us know the scoop or those folks from Outside would get a lot of Bad Information.
    "96% of all Internet Quotes are suspect and the remaining 4% are fiction."
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    Member fullbush's Avatar
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    Akres w/ all due respect, you need to clean the slime off your polarized glasses and watch some of the trophy anglers operate. They practice there dubious catch and release practices until they've hooked the hog. What do you suppose this does to the gene pool? It culls out the bigguns is what it does. How on earth would commercial fishing cause the big kings to disappear? King gear on the Copper river flats was done away w/ in 1985. The largest mesh size we're allowed to use is 6", the bigguns hit the net and bounce off. The small ones get caught. AKres I like you despite your bias toward my livelihood, believe me when I tell you us commfishers aren't bad peeps

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    Forum Admin Brian M's Avatar
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    It seems to me that commercial fishing would select for larger kings over time. Smaller kings are more easily caught in gillnet mesh, whereas larger kings do not get ensnared and can more easily escape to spawn. Where am I wrong in this assumption, Akres? Explain the mechanisms whereby commercial fishing would in fact select for smaller kings, if you would.

  9. #9

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    Quote Originally Posted by Brian M View Post
    It seems to me that commercial fishing would select for larger kings over time. Smaller kings are more easily caught in gillnet mesh, whereas larger kings do not get ensnared and can more easily escape to spawn. Where am I wrong in this assumption, Akres? Explain the mechanisms whereby commercial fishing would in fact select for smaller kings, if you would.
    Quote Originally Posted by fullbush View Post
    Akres w/ all due respect, you need to clean the slime off your polarized glasses and watch some of the trophy anglers operate. They practice there dubious catch and release practices until they've hooked the hog. What do you suppose this does to the gene pool? It culls out the bigguns is what it does. How on earth would commercial fishing cause the big kings to disappear? King gear on the Copper river flats was done away w/ in 1985. The largest mesh size we're allowed to use is 6", the bigguns hit the net and bounce off. The small ones get caught. AKres I like you despite your bias toward my livelihood, believe me when I tell you us commfishers aren't bad peeps
    Everything I have seen, heard, witnessed and honestly believe is that; The bulk of the Kings are taken in the Drift Net Fishery/Pollack Fishery and Foriegn Fleet Dragging Net Fisheries, not the Set Netters.
    "96% of all Internet Quotes are suspect and the remaining 4% are fiction."
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    Member fullbush's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Akres View Post
    Everything I have seen, heard, witnessed and honestly believe is that; The bulk of the Kings are taken in the Drift Net Fishery/Pollack Fishery and Foriegn Fleet Dragging Net Fisheries, not the Set Netters.
    Drift Net/Pollack fishery? What pray tell is that? There is no such thing as a driftnet/pollack fishery! I'm a drift gillnet fisherman and I don't catch pollack! Dude please get your facts straight before you ruffle feathers. Set netters catch far more kings then do the drifters, because their nets are anchored to the beach w/ the leadline on the bottom. kings hit a drift net and bounce off. Furthermore there are no foriegn dragging net fisheries. Akres when you don't have all the facts and you make inflammatory statements it tends to annoy the crap out of folks that have the facts..just sayin

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    Quote Originally Posted by Akres View Post
    They often get on the airwaves and spiel their spin. It is hilarious to listen the drivel. They have absolutely no idea what they are talking about, but....go on and on and on and on.
    hmmm.......

  12. #12
    Member bushrat's Avatar
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    Default This bs gets old and hurts the forum

    Not sure how many members this AOD site has, but only one of them is on my ignore list. But I do get to see what he posts when others quote him. Very sad to see this continue on this site.

    Commfish hit the nail on the head with his comment, "kind of like some people on this forum."



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    With no intention of taking sides, because the comm v. sport argument is complicated, has the mesh size changed in the past few years? I used to sit near the comm fish docks in Kenai and watch what came out of the totes during sockeye season. There were a surprising number of big kings in there, and usually they were near the bottom. Never on top in plain sight. So my personal observations contradict the comm fish contingent here. I assumed small kings were in there, too, but were hard to recognize from a distance. How does a guy reconcile what he sees with what he reads?

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    Member fullbush's Avatar
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    Mr Pid I can only speak about the fishery I'm directly involved w/, the Copper river and PWS. We are restricted to 6" mesh, since 1985. When we were allowed to use king gear the mesh size was 8 1/4". All the fisherman I know use 5 1/4" or smaller because the sockeye swims right through otherwise.
    I hope I'm not the unlucky guy on your iggy list bushrat

  15. #15

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    Hi guys,

    Plenty of ignorance on the subject on my part still but willing to learn and catch up. Just had a couple of notes to add to the conversation on fish size. Overheard discussions in various tackle shops on more than a few occasions regarding kings getting smaller, not just on the Kenai but in the valley too. Is that really the case and if so, is it because of selective harvesting? Seems logical to me but what do I know. Plenty of evidence of this I suppose but if documented "facts" are obscured in some way, where do we go from here? Do we need total closures of some fisheries to recover genetic variability? What guidelines do you guys suggest in order to achieve this?

  16. #16

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    How about no retention of King Salmon over 28" (arbitrary number I pulled out of the air, but seems as if it would allow harvest of the 1.1and 1.2 kings leaving the rest to spawn)

    Leaves the big ones to spawn, and allows for the smaller kings to be harvested still. Might even cut down on angler participation in the fishery, thereby reducing crowding, erosion, hydrocarbons, etc.....

    Speaking of the Kenai river here, but this could be used in other systems as well.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Akres View Post
    Everything I have seen, heard, witnessed and honestly believe is that; The bulk of the Kings are taken in the Drift Net Fishery/Pollack Fishery and Foreign Fleet Dragging Net Fisheries, not the Set Netters.
    Akres, lets assume this is true. Then how can size be selected for? The fish that are harvested in these fisheries I believe are juveniles and size would not be an issue. In fact, trawl fisheries tend to catch smaller fish as larger fish can avoid the gear more easily. Also, in the commercial fisheries that target sockeye other posters are correct. The gill nets select for smaller chinook.

    On the question that was asked about chinook in totes one can get the size information from ADF&G on the UCI fisheries. In point of fact the commercial fisheries take more smaller fish and the sport fishery takes more of the larger fish. In the Kenai River late run chinook when you put the two fisheries together they tend to track the size distribution of the return fairly well - thus maintaining the overall size distribution.

    I think Akres just likes to create issues and sit back and watch the response. I had a dog that did that once - would cry to go outside and then when I let him out he turned around and came right back in. I think he was playing with me and Akres you remind me of that dog.

  18. #18

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    In this discussion I have heard nothing to change my mind. Cook Inlet is where I see and hear of things happening the most. Might be different in other parts of the State, but the talk I do hear, tells me it aint' so. There is not enough Sport or Personal Use Fishing for Kings, in most parts of the State for either to be a viable reason. So I am content in letting the numbers and size's of the King Stock to speak to the issue.
    "96% of all Internet Quotes are suspect and the remaining 4% are fiction."
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  19. #19

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    Quote Originally Posted by bushrat View Post
    Not sure how many members this AOD site has, but only one of them is on my ignore list. But I do get to see what he posts when others quote him. Very sad to see this continue on this site.

    Commfish hit the nail on the head with his comment, "kind of like some people on this forum."


    I know what you mean. One of the regulars is getting real close to getting put on my short list too.
    "96% of all Internet Quotes are suspect and the remaining 4% are fiction."
    ~~Abraham Lincoln~~

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by Akres View Post
    Everything I have seen, heard, witnessed and honestly believe is that; The bulk of the Kings are taken in the Drift Net Fishery/Pollack Fishery and Foriegn Fleet Dragging Net Fisheries, not the Set Netters.
    According to 50,000 Chinook length frequencies measured by observers during the 2007 Pollock fishery, the vast majority were under 30" and 15 lbs.

    I've worked set-net sites (sites closest to the mouth of the Kenai River) off and on over the last 40 years. The big Kings do not get gilled. They either blow through the net, or get caught in the net by their upper teeth/snout. All the sites I fished had a policy of running out and releasing these big Kings when they hit, especially when the runs were poor. The Kings could be released virtually unharmed, since they were basically just resting between the lead line and cork line. This saved the gear, mending/picking time, and was an ethical attempt at conservation of the big Kings. The 30 pounders and under were usually harvested. Some of the biggest Kings we got were caught on the wrong side of the net. They had obviously drifted back out of the River, spent after being caught and/or released. We got some with Kwikfish in their mouth. We also got some radio tagged fish that way (which I assume were damaged upon tagging, or caught and released by sportfishermen - one had been reported by anglers being caught at least twice).

    We can't continue to target and cull the largest fish in our sportfishery, and then wonder 40 years later why we have all these dinks. I am a proponent of a requirement to keep the first King caught, regardless of size, and tag out. Catch and release only (no harvest) with the big ones.

    Akres, I would like to see any data you have supporting your ideology.

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