Page 1 of 3 123 LastLast
Results 1 to 20 of 52

Thread: Kenai Chinook and some options

  1. #1
    Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Posts
    5,530

    Default Kenai Chinook and some options

    Dwight Kramer posted as an idividual an article in the Clarion on Kenai River chinook and some options for reducing exploitaion rates on large fish and the stock overall. The link is below and I thought people might want to comment.

    http://www.peninsulaclarion.com/oped/

    I will not copy his whole article in because of the copyright issues but his main points are as follows:

    • Set up alternating spawning conservation zones on the river to provide
    undisturbed spawning areas. I would set up four conservation zones. Zone 1 –
    the mouth to Rm19 Slikok Cr. would be open to fishing annually. Zone 2 – RM19
    Slikok Cr. to Rm30 Funny R., Zone 3 – Rm30 Funny R. to RM40 Bing’s Landing
    and Zone 4 – Rm40 Bing’s Landing to Rm50 Skilak Lk.. Zones 2, 3 and 4 would
    be closed to fishing for King salmon in alternating years to provide undisturbed
    spawning protection. Additionally, all other existing closed areas would remain in
    effect.

    • Insist that State and Federal agencies responsible for managing this resource develop and employ the most accurate field equipment to enumerate these stocks in both the mainstem and tributary waters. Accurate in-season information is a vital part of insuring adequate escapement objectives.

    • Return the slot limit to the pre 2008 measurements of 44in. –55in. and leave
    the slot limit in effect throughout the King season above the Soldotna Bridge.
    Most of the larger fish are females and this measure would help insure that these
    larger fish have a greater opportunity to spawn.
    • Apply the slot limit regulation to the PU fishery. All in-river user
    groups should share in this burden of recovery.
    • Add a second drift boat day per week that would be open to both guided and
    unguided anglers. This would allow another day of the week where fish could move more freely up-river without outboard disturbance and turbid conditions associated with heavy powerboat use.
    As Kenai area residents we share in the pride of our famous river known mostly for its large King salmon. If we fail to act soon we may further sacrifice the uniqueness of this great resource. We cannot rely on our agencies to do it for us. Their current mandates seem to be more about providing access and opportunity, and less about maintaining the quality of our fisheries. It is incumbent on us as anglers and conservationists to do so for the resource and future generations to enjoy in the same manner we have been afforded.

  2. #2
    New member
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Posts
    325

    Default

    I have just a couple questions related to this part of the article:

    Return the slot limit to the pre 2008 measurements of 44in. –55in. and leave
    the slot limit in effect throughout the King season above the Soldotna Bridge.
    Most of the larger fish are females and this measure would help insure that these
    larger fish have a greater opportunity to spawn.

    I thought most of the largest fish were male. Also, if the idea is to protect the 5 ocean females, 44" is still too big to protect many of them if I remember correctly. Please correct me if I'm wrong about this.
    Second:
    • Apply the slot limit regulation to the PU fishery. All in-river user
    groups should share in this burden of recovery.

    Although I think measures such as suggested could/would be helpful I am dissappointed that only in-river user groups would be hit with the responsibility or burden of the recovery effort.

  3. #3
    Member
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Posts
    3,079

    Default

    The vast majority of kings spawn below the soldotna bridge.
    It would disenfranchise lots of local Joe fishermen who live along the river.
    It would increase the number of boats in the lower river.
    Why have a slot season long above the soldotna bridge and the pu fishery, but not on the 20ga river miles in between? especially since that is where most of the kings are caught. Let's not forget a slot limit for the set nets l, if dwight wants all users to share the burden.

    BTW, is there any evidence that the slot limit works?
    It does work to give f&g a buffer and it does keep people off the river, but does it create more,bigger kings in future runs.
    In theory it should, but I am looking for any data, for salmon. I know a slot works in lakes for resident species, like walleye in Mn.
    Also, if the goal is more bigger kings on the beds, why not allow the retention of more of those small sub 28" or 30" kings we see a lot of. The jack size in many systems is 28".

  4. #4
    Member thewhop2000's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Wasilla
    Posts
    2,366

    Question Why just in-river users?

    If the burden should be shared, why are just sport and the PU fishery asked to be pro-active only. I say the salt should also be targeted and the commercial bycatch too.
    Everybody should do their part to help the resource, not just in-river users. IMO
    If a dipnetter dips a fish and there is no one around to see/hear it, Did he really dip?

  5. #5
    Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Location
    Soldotna AK
    Posts
    506

    Default

    As Kenai area residents we share in the pride of our famous river known mostly for its large King salmon. If we fail to act soon we may further sacrifice the uniqueness of this great resource. We cannot rely on our agencies to do it for us. Their current mandates seem to be more about providing access and opportunity, and less about maintaining the quality of our fisheries. It is incumbent on us as anglers and conservationists to do so for the resource and future generations to enjoy in the same manner we have been afforded.


    Above is a great statement one that all users of this resource should take to hart & not just in-river users , if its going to be its up to me type attitude to do the best we can for generations to come. I hope this thread turns into a community effort to save and rebuild are fisheries before we cant fish at all. I sure do not won’t another 20010 season even if it means no bait from Slikok down until adequate numbers are established.

  6. #6
    Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Posts
    5,530

    Default

    Whop, just for the record the set net fishery has been restricted by mesh size to minimize the catch of large chinook. They did their part 30 years ago or more. Relative to Yukon's comment on slot limits to the set net fishery the mesh size did that. If you look at the catch in the set net fishery it does not catch large chinook in proportion to their abundance. Taking the slot limit away and targeting smaller fish just makes the problem worse. It also reduces the escapement levels which means more closures. Not sure if Yukon appreciated the fact that when you combine the net fishery with the in river fishery the harvest has been proportional to abundance. The issue in my mind is whether the larger fish are spawning in the mainstem and being targeted at a higher exploitation rate and thus potentially overharvested. That would be an in river problem.

  7. #7
    Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    Soldotna
    Posts
    607

    Default

    I did not think that chinook caught in set nets could be released.....they were dead when seen......Is there something I don't know? Not being a set netter myself I am curious how the slot limit works for them. I'm sure some of you know and could share the info with the rest of us. thanks

  8. #8
    Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Posts
    5,530

    Default

    Believe it or not there was a release a chinook program in the set net fishery - it was a volunteer program and about 50 percent of the chinook at a couple of sites I monitored could be released. The problem was they just migrated toward the river and other nets. The mesh size limitation is the best way to reduce harvest of chinook and larger chinook while still maintaining a sockeye fishery.

  9. #9
    Member
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Posts
    3,079

    Default

    Nerka,
    What are they doing in Bristol Bay to reduce king harverst in the set nets? I believe there are better ways to reduce king bycatch than only mesh size. Kings tend to travel close to the shore and on the bottom. Every commercial fisherman I have talked with say that the kings they catch in the nets are caught in the botton few feet of the net. If the set nets are moved further off shore and brought up from the bottom they will catch fewer kings, which will put more kings past the counter and reduce the chance that all fishing would be closed. This action would not significantly affect the sockeye catch as most of them travel higher than the kings in the water.
    I believe this has been done in Bristol Bay with great success.

  10. #10
    Member fullbush's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Location
    Wasilla
    Posts
    2,674

    Default

    yukon, they're only in the bottom of the net because thats where they end up due to the small mesh. They roll down towards the leadline. I say buy the set netters out. The dipnet groups and the guides could ante up funds to cash them out. Say a million per permit. Yeah then the drift fleet could finally go to work and you could have the Kenai kings, they're not that marketable anyway.

  11. #11
    Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Posts
    5,530

    Default

    Oh if only it was that simple. Yukon, data from Cook Inlet indicates that this does not work. Your migratory behavior of salmon and impact on the sockeye fishery are both wrong for UCI. If it was that simple do you think that we would have had 40 years of conflict in UCI? The fact is that the set nets take less than 25% of the return and 75% go into the river. Of that 25% most are small fish. Therefore, if you want to conserve large fish you must go inriver - plain and simple in concept but hard to take if you are an in river user.

  12. #12
    Member
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Posts
    3,079

    Default

    Nerka, I know is not that cut and dry but it is a good start. I don't take at face value that of the kings caught in set nets that most are small fish. Are the sizes of fish printed on the fish tickets? Where can I get my hands on that data?

    Also, we both know that many kings do not make the fish tickets. Kinda interesting talk to commercial fishermen about the size of the kings they catch, not to mention taxidermist who can buy as many big kings as they need to get molds of big fish from set netters.

    Do you have a link or data to support that most of the kings caught in nets are small? i would be more than happy to review it. thx

  13. #13
    Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Posts
    5,530

    Default

    Yes, go into ADF&G and ask Jeff Fox or Pat Shields for the set net catch age and size composition data. The catch is sampled on the beach by a crew paid for by sport fish division (just the way it worked out because of historical budgets). I could only find 1999 on the web - sport fish division does not have their information out in an easy to get format. Anyway in 1999 1.2 - 10.9%, 1.3-27.5, 1.4-57.2, 1.5-4.1% for the sport fish harvest, in the commercial fishery 1.2 -26.3%, 1.3-24.5, 1.4-43.5, 1.5-2.78 Thus the sport fishery has a higher portion of larger older fish. I believe when one plots all the data these differences become more evident as recent years the 1.2 in the commercial fishery has approached or exceeded 50%. But go get the data for yourself Yukon and then get back to us.

    The idea fish do not make the fish tickets is another myth. Taxidermist can buy fish from commercial fisherman directly as long as the commercial fisherman has a catcher/seller permit. Thus those fish do show up on fish tickets. Also, the Department looked at this issue and wasted lots of money doing it and found nothing to support that widespread unreporting is taking place - at least the commercial fisherman are required to fill out a fish ticket as opposed to the sport fishery that has no reporting requirement.

  14. #14
    New member
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Posts
    325

    Default

    Nerka, I must not be understanding this data:

    "Anyway in 1999 1.2 - 10.9%, 1.3-27.5, 1.4-57.2, 1.5-4.1% for the sport fish harvest, in the commercial fishery 1.2 -26.3%, 1.3-24.5, 1.4-43.5, 1.5-2.78" Thus the sport fishery has a higher portion of larger older fish."

    What does 'portion' mean? Did you mean to say percentage of each user group's catch for each age class? I'd be interested in not only percentage of catch per age class per user group, but also number of each year group harvested per user group. That would provide more meaningful data. For instance, how many 1.5 commercially caught fish does the 2.78 percent represent numerically? Portion, in order to be meaningul to me would mean number of fish harvested for each year group by each user group. I don't think that's what you mean with your stats above, though. Can you clarify please?

    Second, If you could clarify the following:

    "at least the commercial fisherman are required to fill out a fish ticket as opposed to the sport fishery that has no reporting requirement."

    We are required to fill out harvest date for each king harvested (with the exception of those under 20"). Isn't that a reporting requirement?

  15. #15
    Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Posts
    5,530

    Default

    I believe recreational fisherman are not required to fill out a log book or anything like a fish ticket and then submit it within 24 hours of the fishery. The recreational harvest is estimated by the creel survey. If Yukon runs down the data he should have the harvest numbers

  16. #16
    New member
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Posts
    325

    Default

    It might be helpful if sports had to submit their 'harvest data' at the end of the season. This might provide better or at least amplifying data to the creel surveys. In other states, sports are required to submit annual catch data much like the dipnetters have to do here. Do you know if that's ever been considered here, Nerka? Seems like that would meet the needs of a bona fide reporting requirement. All they'd have to do is separate the catch record from the license so we could mail it in.

  17. #17

    Default

    Yukon, you said, "The vast majority of Kings spawn below the Soldotna Bridge".

    Interesting... Could you please identify the data sets that state that?

    ADF&G telemetry studies indicate that about 95% of the early run spawns above the bridge and 60% of the late run spawn above the bridge. It also showed that about 80% of the early run spawned in the tribs with the largest migration into the tribs usually ocurring between the 10th and 20th of July. This would mean that almost all of the early run is available for harvest throughout June and well into the intense July fishery.

    I really think this guy has the right idea about ratcheting down our harvest and looking for some conservation methods or it could mean the end of the large "Kenai King" as we know it and with it goes the tourism industry that you rely on. Unless you're only looking out for the short term you must know this to be true. I think we should all understand, after what we have seen in the fishery over the last 5 years, is that the status quo is not going to get our big Kings back.

  18. #18
    Member
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Posts
    3,079

    Default

    First of all, Mr. Kramer said nothing of ER or LR kings, just season long closures:

    ••Set up alternating spawning conservation zones on the river to provide
    undisturbed spawning areas. I would set up four conservation zones. Zone 1 –
    the mouth to Rm19 Slikok Cr. would be open to fishing annually. Zone 2 – RM19
    Slikok Cr. to Rm30 Funny R., Zone 3 – Rm30 Funny R. to RM40 Bing’s Landing
    and Zone 4 – Rm40 Bing’s Landing to Rm50 Skilak Lk.. Zones 2, 3 and 4 would
    be closed to fishing for King salmon in alternating years to provide undisturbed
    spawning protection. Additionally, all other existing closed areas would remain in
    effect.


    The kings spawn from around Eagle Rock on up river,it is all spawning beds. In the '90-'91 Bendock study that tagged spawning locations of Early Run Kings found that of the 36 fish tagged 9 spawned at or below the bridge, 15 between the bridge and the moose river, 5 between the Moose River and Skilak and 7 in or above Skilak. Per river mile of ER spawners below the bridge is very critical habitat for mainstem spawners. If you add LR spawners, from my understanding the majority of those fish spawn below the bridge, you have the majority spawning below the bridge. If you are fishing above Eagle Rock you are fishing spawning beds, plain and simple. Also, the Late Run fish hold below the bridge throughout most of the season and usually move up after king season is over.

    I do agree with your numbers, although I have not seen them in a report yet. The majority of ER kings spawn above the bridge, but as you indicated the majority of those are tributary spawners and not mainstem spawners. I was under the understanding a goal was to help increase the number of mainstem spawners as those are thought to be our larger 5-ocean kings.

    Over the last few board cycles there has also been major changes, such as increasing the area closed to king fishing, especially in the Killey River area, and the length of the closures. Included in that is the no bait in the ER above the Moose River, basically there is no effort in the Early run above the Moose River.

    There may be unintended consequences of increasing the size and length of the closures in the areas of the tributaries, anglers are no longer targeting tributary fish, but are forced to fish in areas that may hold more mainstem spawners. Not saying I necessarily agree with that, but it is something to think about.

    Also, if I recall my conversations with F&G biologists, there is no genetic difference between so called "Early Run and Late Run" mainstem spawners.

  19. #19
    Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Posts
    5,530

    Default

    http://www.sf.adfg.state.ak.us/FedAidPDFs/fms92-02.pdf

    Yukon, above it the Bendock report and I cannot find the figures you quote. Here is what Bendock has as a summary of a number of studies.\

    Early run spawners - 58% Killey River drainage, Funny River 19%, mainstem 16%. amd ptjer tributaries 7%.

    Late run spawners - Lower river 40%, middle river 26%, upper river 19%, interlake reach 13% and tributaries 2%

    In the years of Bendocks study for late run he had 33/72 fish spawn in the lower river for late run, 22/72 Middle River, 9/72 Upper River, 4/72 interlake, and 4/72 tribs.

    I am not sure where you got 36 fish tagged as in 1990 he tagged 94 early run fish and in 1991 he tagged 77 early run fish. Mainstem spawning fish were 26 in 1990 nd 7 in 1991 for the early run. All the rest were in tributaries.

    Anyway look at the report yourself and see how he presented the data. Look at Table 15 for his spawning distribution results.

  20. #20
    Member
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Posts
    3,079

    Default

    In my car waiting to pick up kids and on my phone so short response for now. I got my data from a bendock table included in rc3 from the 2002 bof meeting. It is at my office so I will respond more later when I don't have to type on my phone.

Page 1 of 3 123 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
  •