Page 1 of 4 123 ... LastLast
Results 1 to 20 of 76

Thread: Update on Slikok Creek chinook

  1. #1
    Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Posts
    5,534

    Default Update on Slikok Creek chinook

    I just heard that Slikok Creek as of August 4th had 26 chinook pass the weir and only 16 females. Usually by this date the run is pretty well into the river according to ADF&G. That means for three years in a row and more to come I suspect the escapement has been 22, 16, and 16 females. This for a stream that use to produce hundreds of fish.

    So now what do we do - ignore it and say it is the cost of doing business. ADF&G Director of Sport Fish does not agree with that position as he told me via a phone conversation that ADF&G will not write this stream off.

    I had a petition in to try and get more fish into the stream but that was denied by the BOF based on ADF&G position. Now just what does this mean for the future? Larger closed areas in the mainstem river to reduce harvest? This is the classic issue with tributary systems that have slightly different run timing and a counting system that says things are better than they are.

    So I am interested in what people think should happen.

  2. #2
    Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Posts
    2,883

    Default

    16 femals...yikes.

    Actions speak louder than words. So it will be interesting to see what ADFG actually does. If Beaver Creek is evidence of what their intentions are, then kiss Slikok goodbye. Unfortunately all indicators show that the entire fishery must implode before anything happens. In my opinion the answer is getting people pressure off the fish. But nobody wants to hear that or go there.

    Your efforts on Slikok are very commendable Nerka. Keep us updated.

  3. #3
    Member JOAT's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    Soldotna, ALASKA since '78
    Posts
    3,720

    Default

    Skikok is my backyard and has been since we moved here in '78. The stream has been trampled to death over the years by non-fishing users. Easy access with the stream passing through acres of well developed private property can't help. I commend the efforts over the last dozen or so years to restore that habitat and basically rope off the access from the stupid public (especially kids on ATVs who used to drive through the spawning beds constantly).

    First, I don't really buy into the idea that the reason the escapement is down is because of fishing in the mainstem. The area around the mouth has been a no-fishing zone for quite some time. It needs to stay that way. But there's very little chance that someone downstream is catching all the kings heading for Slikok. I bet the real problem is a lack of smolts successfully getting out of slikok, destruction of spawning beds upstream, and predation of the fish once they pass the counter at the park. You know there is at least one good sized brown bear that has lived on that stream for years and fishes it every season. It's such a small tributary that it is easy picking for a bear to take whatever fish and roe he desires. The bear knows right where the weir is and where the primary spawing beds are. If you're counting 26 fish at the weir, I guarantee there are much less than that getting past the bear a couple hundred yards upstream.

    And let's not forget about the automobile junkyard, pastures, and ranch land that the stream passes through a mile further up. What do you suppose is leeching into the stream from that lot with 5 decades worth of old rotting cars piled on the bank? Or is that just an out of sight, out of mind issue?
    Winter is Coming...

    Go GeocacheAlaska!

  4. #4
    Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Posts
    2,883

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by JOAT View Post
    But there's very little chance that someone downstream is catching all the kings heading for Slikok.
    I would have to disagree. I believe many Slikok kings enter the river early, move and stage both above and below Slikok where fishing is open, and do not enter the Creek until later, when conditions or cicumstances are optimal. These Slikok kings become especially susceptible to harvest and harassment, since they occupy some of the most popular fishing holes, even into July.

  5. #5
    Member JOAT's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    Soldotna, ALASKA since '78
    Posts
    3,720

    Default

    Is there any scientific evidence that the Slikok kings hang out in the river upon arrival at the creek? Why would they? Are we tagging any outgoing Slikok smolt and have any of them been found up river on the return? Without some actual evidence, we can speculate all day long and get nowhere.

    Are we doing outbound smolt counts on this creek? How successful are the few returning salmon in producing offspring? If they aren't successfully spawning and producing large numbers of smolt, then naturally you're not going to get many back. When you get down to a couple dozen returning fish, I'd suspect that you're getting such a shallow gene pool that genetics is going to start coming into play. How healthy are the outbound smolt? Is anyone looking at this end of the equation?

    The river is shut down to north bank fishing from Jul 1 - Aug 15 from mile 18.6 to 20.2 (Slikok mouth is at mile 19) except for a tenth mile stretch directly across from the mouth. The area of the mouth is closed to fishing from a boat for the first half of the year and at the same time is is closed to all king fishing by any means and is fly-fishing only waters.

    The creek itself is permanently closed to any king fishing and is closed to all fishing from Apr 15 - Aug 15.

    How much more river do you think they need to shut down for this tributary? I'm not saying they shouldn't shut down more, I just want to know that there is a scientific process involved that is more than a summer hire with a click-counter standing at the weir for an hour a day followed by a board of administrators shutting down Kenai river fishing waters on an assumption.
    Winter is Coming...

    Go GeocacheAlaska!

  6. #6
    Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Posts
    5,534

    Default

    Joat, there is evidence. First the daily weir counts show entry patterns that indicated fish stay in the mainriver longer than other tributary spawners. Second, all the reasons you listed have been present in the past when the stream produced hundreds of fish. Third, it does not matter what the cause is at this point as we are significantly below what is needed to maintain a viable population. That means harvest needs to be reduced or eliminated by our standards of sustained yield in Alaska. Next, this stream has been monitored until recently by more than a summer hire - that comment was out of line. Long term local biologist counted this stream for years until the recent crew at sport fish division which stopped counting and watching the stream. That should not have happened but for today I would hope ADF&G will walk the stream for a habitat assessment and recommend any correction action. However, I was told they do not plan to do that. It shoud be done this summer.

    So no matter what the cause the number of spawners needs to increase to have a chance at a viable population - pretty simple concept.

  7. #7

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by JOAT View Post
    You know there is at least one good sized brown bear that has lived on that stream for years and fishes it every season. It's such a small tributary that it is easy picking for a bear to take whatever fish and roe he desires. The bear knows right where the weir is and where the primary spawing beds are. If you're counting 26 fish at the weir, I guarantee there are much less than that getting past the bear a couple hundred yards upstream.
    I find it hard to believe that a bear like that hasn't been provoked into a DLP Situation!
    "96% of all Internet Quotes are suspect and the remaining 4% are fiction."
    ~~Abraham Lincoln~~

  8. #8
    Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Location
    Soldotna AK
    Posts
    506

    Default

    I live on Endicott dr & your right that’s a big bear, he looks like he eats lots of fish, i have called F&G the last three years to voice my concerns with two kids that like to play outside I am fairly confident that the same brut. I set up a game camera last week after we spotted him walking the power easement behind the house. Not to snipe the thread but we need more spawners back to the creek, how are we going to make it happen?

  9. #9
    Member JOAT's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    Soldotna, ALASKA since '78
    Posts
    3,720

    Default

    The bear... so far he has been a very well behaved bear who stays away from people. I've walked on his fresh tracks in Slikok Creek park many times, yet you rarely catch a glimpse of the guy. Steers well clear of people and I've heard no reports of him getting into people's property/garbage/etc. Between the park and all the college property, he's got lots of land where he can stay away from people.

    As for the stream... when the population is this low, why the heck are we not employing hatchery techniques? What happened to the very successful process used in the past of doing an egg-take, hatching and raising healthy smelt, then releasing them into the spawning area to front load the population?
    Winter is Coming...

    Go GeocacheAlaska!

  10. #10

    Default

    We have to have Kings returning to the mainstem for them to get up the tribs. The sonar is wrong, ADFG has no idea how many Kings are entering the river. The sportfishing catch was way down, the test net #s were way down and the rest of the state was shut down to King fishng. There is a bigger problem than fishing sunken island or poachers cove. Ocean survival? Setnets? Pollack fishery? Now the Russian is closed for reds yet the commercial catch was outstanding--go figure.

  11. #11
    Member fishNphysician's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Location
    Aberdeen WA
    Posts
    4,516

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by JOAT View Post

    As for the stream... when the population is this low, why the heck are we not employing hatchery techniques? What happened to the very successful process used in the past of doing an egg-take, hatching and raising healthy smelt, then releasing them into the spawning area to front load the population?
    That is the absolute WORST precedent that could be set for Kenai chinook.

    Whatever ADFG decides to do, the hatchery option should be DEAD last.... and only after every other conservation strategy has been exhausted.

    It takes tremendous discipline to just say no.

    Mark my words... if the hatchery option is ever exercised, it will be the death of Kenai chinook forever more.
    "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

  12. #12
    Member willphish4food's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Location
    Willow, AK
    Posts
    3,368

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by fishguy View Post
    We have to have Kings returning to the mainstem for them to get up the tribs. The sonar is wrong, ADFG has no idea how many Kings are entering the river. The sportfishing catch was way down, the test net #s were way down and the rest of the state was shut down to King fishng. There is a bigger problem than fishing sunken island or poachers cove. Ocean survival? Setnets? Pollack fishery? Now the Russian is closed for reds yet the commercial catch was outstanding--go figure.
    Very sad. And the Department stated very clearly at the valley meeting Aug 11 that they are following the salmon management plans for the Kenai River, and managing the Cook Inlet commercial fishery based on the Kenai sonar.

  13. #13
    Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Posts
    5,534

    Default

    Which Kenai sonar willphisf4food - there are two. Commercial fisheries uses the upriver sockeye counter. Sport Fish uses the lower river chinook counter. Sport fish makes the call on chinook so the commercial fish biologist wait for them to declare that the escapement is below 17,300 before they act. That is in the plans.

    Just for the record the Russian River fish for the most part rear in the Upper Russian Lake system so it is not unusual for this system to be out of sync with the mainstem sockeye production.

  14. #14
    Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    Kenai, Alaska
    Posts
    195

    Default

    Just for the record the Russian River fish for the most part rear in the Upper Russian Lake system so it is not unusual for this system to be out of sync with the mainstem sockeye production.

    And Nerka, please tell the folks on this forum just what the two huge parent year over-escapements may have done to production in this system. I think that there are still many fishermen out there who still just don't get that part of salmon biology.

  15. #15

    Default Joe...

    Quote Originally Posted by Joe Lure View Post
    Just for the record the Russian River fish for the most part rear in the Upper Russian Lake system so it is not unusual for this system to be out of sync with the mainstem sockeye production.

    And Nerka, please tell the folks on this forum just what the two huge parent year over-escapements may have done to production in this system. I think that there are still many fishermen out there who still just don't get that part of salmon biology.
    Not to hijack this thread, but the goal for late run Russian sockeye has been 30,000-110,000 fish for awhile. The parent years for this years return are 2004, 2005 and 2006 (jacks). The escapements for those years were 110,244 fish; 59,473 fish; and 89,160 fish respectively. I don't think you can pin this year's bad return on over-escapement. Hopefully one of these days we'll be able to account for all the late run Russian reds harvested in all the fisheries (commercial, PU, sport, educational, subsistence) and get a better grasp on production.

  16. #16
    Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Posts
    5,534

    Default

    The problem with the goals is that they treat the late and early run as separate and not interacting. That is not true so the goal range is really not in sync. with the biology of the late system.. Also, as Big Papi points out the production of early run is known and the late run is estimated from age composition for the brood tables. So Big Papi one cannot say that one cannot account for all the harvests of late run and then quote the goal range as meaningful since the harvest data drives the production curves. There is a conflict in logic there.

    We can agree that these systems should be studies in a long term research program.

  17. #17
    Member TYNMON's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Corvallis, Oregon, United States
    Posts
    918

    Default

    Question... Are the brood table's based on biased collection methods?? The scales are collected on the sport creel and in river test fishery that at least skew both sex ratio's and size of fish collected. At least one entire age class is excluded from the brood tables and the sex ratio's are skewed because males are mis-identified as females for fish under 700mm...

  18. #18
    Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Posts
    5,534

    Default

    Have no idea what you are talking about - are you talking about chinook. We were discussing Russian River sockeye.

  19. #19
    Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Location
    Soldotna AK
    Posts
    506

    Default

    Not sure if to much habitat could be part of the problem on Slikok cr. Click image for larger version. 

Name:	004.jpg 
Views:	54 
Size:	84.8 KB 
ID:	37796. There is so much dead fall about a 1/2 mile up stream its choking it back. Click image for larger version. 

Name:	012.jpg 
Views:	52 
Size:	146.4 KB 
ID:	37797

  20. #20
    Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Posts
    5,534

    Default

    Thanks for the pictures fishhook. This actually looks like really good habitat. However, your point is valid - a complete evaluation of the stream for blockage of migration, habitat destruction, siltation of gravel spawning areas, and other factors need to be considered. Thanks again for the pictures. I hope the local ADF&G biologists walk the stream and take pictures along its whole length.

Page 1 of 4 123 ... LastLast

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •