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Thread: Kenai and Kasilof Kings alternative

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    Default Kenai and Kasilof Kings alternative

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ir8QiLqPhjY

    The link above could eliminate bycatch of Kenai and Kasilof kings while still allowing harvest of sockeye. This method represents a change in method, but will certainly lessen the bycatch of non-targeted Kenai and Kasilof chinook.

    Some of you have stated that purse seines cannot be effectively used for selective fishing. I agree with you, based on the way purse seining has been historically employed. But this video proves that purse seining can be an effective, selective method of harvest if people are willing and committed to doing the right thing. It's not so much what we do, but rather, how we do it.

    Since we have relatively sketchy data regarding the actual strength and escapement of Kenai and Kasilof kings, this method could be very valuable in preserving these runs of chinook, before we unintentionally damage them further.

    Could this be a viable method to prosecute the Kasilof terminal fishery? How about the beach set net fishery? How about the drift gillnet fishery?

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    If you watch the video it is in calm water with little current. That is not Cook Inlet. Second, the concentration of fish in UCI is not that great per volume. I have set purse seines in UCI and the most we get in one set was about 1000 fish and that was on a calm day. On a peak day in UCI the commercial harvest would be 700,000 sockeye and maybe 1 million total fish if a pink year. It is just not practical to try this in these waters and with the volume of harvest needed.

    The terminal area at the mouth of the Kasilof is a possible spot but again the volume harvested and time and area to set the gear would preclude a very efficient harvest.

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    Char, there are a few distinct differences in the fisheries.

    What citizen group would one recommend for receiving the benefits of this fishing method?

    Would one consider the hatchery enhancement as a method to increase the sport users, commercial users....?

    I appreciate your sharing of the video. It's interesting to see how the folks on that particular river are able to selectively use a purse seine to get the wild stocks separate from the hatched stock.

    I've never seen that small of a seiner. That alone was worth watching the video.

    How would this benefit the Kenai? How would the labor price increase be offset? Would the fish be purchased for a higher price due to better marketing?
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    Default answers to Phish Finder

    Phish Finder,

    I certainly don't have all the answers, and I ask myself some of the same questions. I'll take a stab at the questions to keep the discussion going.

    Quote Originally Posted by Phish Finder View Post
    Char, there are a few distinct differences in the fisheries.

    What citizen group would one recommend for receiving the benefits of this fishing method?
    Commercial fisherman would sell the fish; King salmon would get released to continue their migration with very low mortality, so anyone concerned with king salmon stocks in those rivers would benefit. The public could benefit from a higher quality product. More on quality later.

    Quote Originally Posted by Phish Finder View Post
    Would one consider the hatchery enhancement as a method to increase the sport users, commercial users....?
    No! The idea of this method (the best way to selectively harvest with near zero mortality and zero bycatch)is to reduce harvest of non-targeted kings. The theory is that the increased number of kings reaching the spawning grounds would be better able to reseed the river themselves. The historical story on hatcheries is that they create a situation where we become dependent on them to ensure continued harvest, and where wild stocks' uniquely evolved genetics for these streams could eventually be watered down. Additionally, people tend to think hatcheries can offset the effects of the other H's: habitat (degradation), harvest, hydropower. This doesn't seem to have worked in the lower 48. I can't cite a single example in the lower 48 where hatcheries have been able to restore wild runs. Maybe someone can. Additionally, studies in the lower 48 have shown that hatchery reared fish, even if they are from the same genetic stock as the wild fish, have greatly reduced reproductive fitness compared to spawned and reared in the wild fish. Hatcheries are not the solution to declining runs in the Kenai and Kasilof, or any other river. Getting more wild fish to the spawning grounds is the surest way to ensure their continued existence.

    Quote Originally Posted by Phish Finder View Post
    I appreciate your sharing of the video. It's interesting to see how the folks on that particular river are able to selectively use a purse seine to get the wild stocks separate from the hatched stock.
    Indeed. This is a great example of a real selective harvest method in use today, and the tribes bought into it and have proved it can be done. Granted, it's on a small scale. But hey, the first bridges were small, too.

    Quote Originally Posted by Phish Finder View Post
    I've never seen that small of a seiner. That alone was worth watching the video.
    Yep.

    Quote Originally Posted by Phish Finder View Post
    How would this benefit the Kenai? How would the labor price increase be offset? Would the fish be purchased for a higher price due to better marketing?
    Kenai and Kasilof king numbers are not well enumerated (exception being the Kasilof hatchery kings). We can't effectively count spawning kings due to glacial turbidity, and the sonar has proven to be very questionable. We don't know for sure how bad things are, except for Slikok Creek, and things are extremely precarious there. It stands to reason that other components of the chinook run in both the Kenai and Kasilof might be similarly affected. We just don't know for sure what the situation is. This method ensures that non-targeted chinook at least make it to the river. I would argue that the highest and best use of Kenai and Kasilof wild chinook is in the river to repopulate it.

    Labor price: Great question. This method of seining would/should/could result in a much higher quality of fish than those in typical, large seining methods that do not sort fish, and rather, kind of crush them. Better quality means an increased sale price, which can offset the increased labor price. How did the tribe in WA offset this? It might help to ask them that. Perhaps they've already cracked the code, so to speak. One thing is for sure--they put the value of the stock ahead of their own personal gain. They probably had some motivation to do so. What I mean by that is if they didn't, due to endangered runs they might get shut down completely. Heaven forbid the Kenai king run gets damaged to the point that we face severely restricting/shutting down commercial as well as sports fishing to try to let the runs rebuild themselves. I don't mean to be claiming doom and gloom here; on the contrary, I want to ensure it never comes to that. A proactive method like this provides the best chance to prevent it, IMO.

    Marketing: Yes, I believe there may be some marketing opportunity--did you know that several notable restaurants outside Alaska (Washington) are refusing to serve wild steelhead sold by the Quinalt tribe? Basically, those establishments believe in the value of wild steelhead runs, and many of their customers complained about wild steelhead on the menu and threatened to boycott the restaurants. There may be some sort of eco-friendly stance that could help in marketing this more concientious harvest method's product. Maybe a marketing guy can chime in on this.

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    Char,
    You bring up some interesting points. I'm rather surprised that nobody else has jumped into this discussion.

    I'll see if I can dig a bit deeper and find some extra info.

    Let's keep the ideas rolling on this one.
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    Selective fishing is gaining momentum each year and WILL be the future of all commercial fishing someday. It's coming whether we like it or not. It's high time folks either jump aboard the train or get out of its way.
    "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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    I think we all have more time to argue about these things when it's not fishing/hunting season.

    I have a few concerns about the video..

    -are the fishermen being subsidized by Bonneville Power for using this method?

    -can AK fishermen actually make money using this slow method of fishing? Can fishermen in AK do enough volume to make it worth while? Looks they had a fairly big crew involved in this process too..

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    Quote Originally Posted by fishNphysician View Post
    Selective fishing is gaining momentum each year and WILL be the future of all commercial fishing someday. It's coming whether we like it or not. It's high time folks either jump aboard the train or get out of its way.
    Is selective fishing like catch and release sport fishing? If so the mortality rate will be off the charts. Sorry Doc, the special interest elitists train got derailed by a penny, and will be delayed while the passengers fight over who gets to keep the penny, meanwhile the train hauling groceries to feed humans is the train our fisheries biologists ride.

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    Quote Originally Posted by fullbush View Post
    meanwhile the train hauling groceries to feed humans is the train our fisheries biologists ride.
    My only problem with this fact is: WHICH " humans"? Alaskan's have demonstrated over and over again, they will sell their very souls for a "penny"....even to our competitors and arch enemies. Who are the True Beneficiaries of all this madness?
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