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Thread: Les Palmer makes a good point

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    Member sayak's Avatar
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    Fish Hugger! (a joke)

    One thing bothers me about this age we live in. We see all the world, but Man, as being natural. I think Man is natural. Granted, many of the things we do aren't 'natural' per se - but we ourselves are. Our urges are. Some of those urges are to hunt, gather, kill, build, adapt the world to our desires, love etc. There are destructive and creative urges in our species. I think it's very natural for Man to want to hunt and fish. Our species has been doing it for millennia. Unfortunately for the rest of the species on our planet, we're REALLY good at it, and we get bored easily (the drawbacks of our huge brain and ability to make life easy for ourselves).

    One of the unnatural things we now benefit from is medicine and technology - so there are many many more of us than ever has been in the past. So yes, there is risk of overfishing, depletion or extinction of other species due to our urges (notice how the disappearance of megafauna across the world coincides with the rise of early Man). One of the ways we now mitigate the damage we do is to limit things like hunting and fishing.

    Is catch and release bad? Do a few fish get hurt? Probably. Yup. But... I think Man has the right to act naturally and engage in hunting and fishing activities - and it's just darn awful nice of us to let the fish go once in a while. Maybe we could have laws where you can catch and keep everything, but only if the fisherman uses actual branches instead of Ugly Sticks, uses hand braided fishing lines made from natural fibers and fashions his/her own hooks out of natural materials... I'd vote for that. And that would be some real sport!

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    I remember a few years back Les wrote a similar article. Les's point was you shouldn't "play with your food" and you should stop fishing after you caught a king. A guide wrote a letter to the editior and asked Les a question about his "catch and kill" ethic and whether he would actually retain a fire engine red, ready to spawn Kenai king if he caught one. He doubted Les would because it was lousy table fare and the fish would still have a chance at reaching the promise land.

    I'm pretty comfortable releasing a king on the Kenai. A study has shown (Bendix?) that one out of eleven fish will not survive releasing. In the catch and release fishing world this is very low. Granted the one fish out of eleven that dies is wasted to humans and to spawning, but it is not a waste to the ecosystem. The smolt, trout, eagles, bears, seals, gulls, flora and fauna, etc. are more than happy to accept a meal of dead fish.

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    Member sayak's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 375rugerALASKAN View Post
    Fish Hugger! (a joke)

    One thing bothers me about this age we live in. We see all the world, but Man, as being natural. I think Man is natural. Granted, many of the things we do aren't 'natural' per se - but we ourselves are. Our urges are. Some of those urges are to hunt, gather, kill, build, adapt the world to our desires, love etc. There are destructive and creative urges in our species. I think it's very natural for Man to want to hunt and fish. Our species has been doing it for millennia. Unfortunately for the rest of the species on our planet, we're REALLY good at it, and we get bored easily (the drawbacks of our huge brain and ability to make life easy for ourselves).

    One of the unnatural things we now benefit from is medicine and technology - so there are many many more of us than ever has been in the past. So yes, there is risk of overfishing, depletion or extinction of other species due to our urges (notice how the disappearance of megafauna across the world coincides with the rise of early Man). One of the ways we now mitigate the damage we do is to limit things like hunting and fishing.

    Is catch and release bad? Do a few fish get hurt? Probably. Yup. But... I think Man has the right to act naturally and engage in hunting and fishing activities - and it's just darn awful nice of us to let the fish go once in a while. Maybe we could have laws where you can catch and keep everything, but only if the fisherman uses actual branches instead of Ugly Sticks, uses hand braided fishing lines made from natural fibers and fashions his/her own hooks out of natural materials... I'd vote for that. And that would be some real sport!
    So, if I read you correctly, man is just driven by instinct and even when he doesn't need food, will still be out catching and releasing to scratch that instinctual itch. Interesting concept.

    I don't think Les is a "fish hugger", and as a one time commercial fisherman and an avid rod n' reel fisherman, I don't do much hugging either. In fact, you'll probably see more C&R folks hugging fish in front of a camera than meat fishermen. I enjoy fishing, but only fish with the potential of keeping, and then I'm done.

    Having said that, you'll find me standing with ALL fishermen, C&R, and keepers alike, in order to maintain the right to keep fishing. But if/when the C&R folks attempt to push only their agenda, I won't be a quiet adversary. Being a pragmatist, however, I admit that the days of my kind are coming to an end. Some day, even up here, it will be like the lower 48 where it is virtually all C&R on the rivers. That will be a sad day.

    BTW TC, I've eaten many red kings which we couldn't sell to the cannery, and they were excellent cooked, dried and smoked.

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    Quote Originally Posted by sayak View Post
    So, if I read you correctly, man is just driven by instinct and even when he doesn't need food, will still be out catching and releasing to scratch that instinctual itch. Interesting concept.

    Some day, even up here, it will be like the lower 48 where it is virtually all C&R on the rivers. That will be a sad day.
    Many of us have already reached this crossroad for King Salmon, Rainbow Trout, Grayling and even Pike. Catch and Release will be the only sportfishery allowed on many of our rivers and streams this season.
    The rivers that are going to be open are pretty remote and will require boat/plane access. With gas tipping around $4 a gallon for boats and $6 a gallon for planes, I'll be interested to see just how many still want to get out to satisfy their primal innerselves. I predict it will be a hard sell for the slopeheads to convince the little lady, that it is a wise investment in their happiness.

    As for myself, I think regulations should be in place that you are allowed to catch X number of targeted species and then have to stop fishing for the day. By allowing C&R and No Retention, is to say that you are allowed to kill as many fish as you can catch, but you can't keep any of them. Kenai River C&R is a whole nuther story when it comes to mortality rates of C&R, as there are many eyes upon the catch. In the vast majority of our fisheries the fish are not handled with such ginger. The mortality rate study on C&R Caught Kings, I would like to see (but never will) would be that of Lake Creek, Talchulitna, Willow Creek, Goose Creek, Montana Creek, Sheep Creek and all the others where Unguided/Unattended foriegners and novices are doing the C&R, as they as the preponderance of the makeup of fishers in these areas. I don't think any of us would like the numbers, that would come out of a study conducted in real life senarios.

    The studies ADF&G and the C&R crowd loves to cite, were done in carefully orchestrated fisheries, with professional fishermen, paying very close attention to what they were doing and making sure every possible precautionary practice was employed. Basically, they were set up and pulled off, with predictable results.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Akres View Post
    Many of us have already reached this crossroad for King Salmon, Rainbow Trout, Grayling and even Pike. Catch and Release will be the only sportfishery allowed on many of our rivers and streams this season.
    The rivers that are going to be open are pretty remote and will require boat/plane access. With gas tipping around $4 a gallon for boats and $6 a gallon for planes, I'll be interested to see just how many still want to get out to satisfy their primal innerselves. I predict it will be a hard sell for the slopeheads to convince the little lady, that it is a wise investment in their happiness.

    As for myself, I think regulations should be in place that you are allowed to catch X number of targeted species and then have to stop fishing for the day. By allowing C&R and No Retention, is to say that you are allowed to kill as many fish as you can catch, but you can't keep any of them. Kenai River C&R is a whole nuther story when it comes to mortality rates of C&R, as there are many eyes upon the catch. In the vast majority of our fisheries the fish are not handled with such ginger. The mortality rate study on C&R Caught Kings, I would like to see (but never will) would be that of Lake Creek, Talchulitna, Willow Creek, Goose Creek, Montana Creek, Sheep Creek and all the others where Unguided/Unattended foriegners and novices are doing the C&R, as they as the preponderance of the makeup of fishers in these areas. I don't think any of us would like the numbers, that would come out of a study conducted in real life senarios.

    The studies ADF&G and the C&R crowd loves to cite, were done in carefully orchestrated fisheries, with professional fishermen, paying very close attention to what they were doing and making sure every possible precautionary practice was employed. Basically, they were set up and pulled off, with predictable results.
    personally if fishing is closed to keeping it should be closed completely... C/R? BS... when moose season closes, can i go drag one in and let it go time and time again... if things are to a point harvest is not allowed.. then close the water completely.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Vince View Post
    personally if fishing is closed to keeping it should be closed completely... C/R? BS... when moose season closes, can i go drag one in and let it go time and time again... if things are to a point harvest is not allowed.. then close the water completely.
    BBBBBut....we gotta think about the poor lodge owners, the tackle shop owners, the gas retailers, the poor tourists and the guides. Their well being is so much more important than the fish.....or so it seems to me, anyway. Makes me wish for a Puke Icon...again.
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    It is hard to argue, just watch the bass fishermen on tv. They yank the fish out of the water and haul it around the boat by it's lip for 5 minutes while they weigh it and measure it then just toss it overboard and go back to fishing. These are the same people that dream of fishing AK. Heck just look at the number of pics on any website with people holding fish up for the camera w/ a thumb buried behind the gill plate. There are also thousands of people that hook em cherry red in spawning areas just to "play" with them.

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    I agree that C&R should not be practiced during King Salmon season.
    If you catch it and land it, you should HAVE TO KEEP IT!
    CFR Program (catch,fillet & release)
    But, what if you catch a chum or pink? I do not like them, I do know alot of people do not like eating these fish, either.
    So, what would the suggestion be for these fish, if they were to come in during King Salmon season?
    C&R or mandatory CFR?

    Also, others have mentioned pulling salmon off there spawning beds. If that is a major factor in keeping the salmon plentiful, then the season should be cut short in effort to not disturb the reproduction of this wonderful resource.

    Whatever answer there is out there to protect the returns of these salmon, quite a few people are going to be out of work for a few weeks. But I guess that is better than depleting the resource that Alaska thrives on and not have anything returning.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Akres View Post
    The studies ADF&G and the C&R crowd loves to cite, were done in carefully orchestrated fisheries, with professional fishermen, paying very close attention to what they were doing and making sure every possible precautionary practice was employed. Basically, they were set up and pulled off, with predictable results.

    If anyone doubts that spend a day on the Talachulitna and watch the all the catch & release boys doing their photo ops.
    Chuck

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    Quote Originally Posted by Akres View Post
    The studies ADF&G and the C&R crowd loves to cite, were done in carefully orchestrated fisheries, with professional fishermen, paying very close attention to what they were doing and making sure every possible precautionary practice was employed. Basically, they were set up and pulled off, with predictable results.
    Not true!

    I can tell you for certain the Kenai chinook mortality studies were NOT conducted by "professional" fishermen. The study sample came from fish caught by everyday anglers on the river. A 2-man crew cruised the river and approached any boat they saw that had just hooked up. The angler(s) were asked if the fish would be intended for release, and if they responded in the affirmative, they were asked to voluntarily surrender it for placement of a radio transmitter after netting the fish from their own boat.
    "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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    Yup, and I bet they weren't being careful at all with big brother right there (rolls eyes).

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    Quote Originally Posted by fishNphysician View Post
    Not true!

    I can tell you for certain the Kenai chinook mortality studies were NOT conducted by "professional" fishermen. The study sample came from fish caught by everyday anglers on the river. A 2-man crew cruised the river and approached any boat they saw that had just hooked up. The angler(s) were asked if the fish would be intended for release, and if they responded in the affirmative, they were asked to voluntarily surrender it for placement of a radio transmitter after netting the fish from their own boat.
    Doc,
    In the post I made a feeble attempt to caveat' the Kenai. I have watched the same people fish on the Kenai and on Lake Creek. They treat fish differently, for whatever reason that might be. Anyway/anywhere you cut it I would much rather see a daily bag limit set and when caught, STOP FISHING. Worth a try....seems as though what we are experiencing today just ain't workin'....for the fish.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Akres View Post
    Makes me wish for a Puke Icon...again.
    Here you go:

    http://www.clicksmilies.com/

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    Quote Originally Posted by Akres View Post
    I have watched the same people fish on the Kenai and on Lake Creek. They treat fish differently, for whatever reason that might be.

    I would much rather see a daily bag limit set and when caught, STOP FISHING. Worth a try....seems as though what we are experiencing today just ain't workin'....for the fish.
    Fair enough.

    No objections to retiring the rod for the day once a daily limit has been retained. Didn't realize that wasn't already a requirement in the Susitna streams... just figured it was.

    But like you, I am puzzled by the variation in behavior from one drainage to the next. Not sure what motivates folks to treat fish so poorly when they are destined for release.
    "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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    Quote Originally Posted by boomerang View Post
    Thanks, I'll find use for it.
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    The Les Palmer article sounds to me like a guy who liked the Kenai, bought property and enjoyed the place then, when many more folks started enjoying the same area he didn't like the crowds. I am not saying that there is an issue with release fish and how they were handled. Concerns of run health do to fish lost to trauma of sport caught and then released needs a little perspective here in my opinion. Anyone take a walk down the beach of any commercial fishing area? "Floaters" what we call them in Bristol Bay are fish that popped out of the nets and then died. They all become part of the ecosystem but the commercial catch and release has a far bigger effect than sport anglers could ever have.

    As far as catch and kill, can you imagine how many rivers accessible by the road system could the guides make multiple guided trips if you bonked the first fish you landed? The kill ratio would spike up tremendously IMO and less fish makes it to the redds. Coming from an area that has a hook size restriction and no bait it amazes me that the Kenai allows huge hooks and bait on any of its flowing waters. I think if you attacked the terminal equipment you would have better survival rate and less deformation, just my opinion.

    I love that we have the ability to discuss this type of subject in a safe environment. Peace and Safety for all.

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    Originally Posted by fishNphysician
    No objections to retiring the rod for the day once a daily limit has been retained. Didn't realize that wasn't already a requirement in the Susitna streams... just figured it was.
    It is, you can no longer fish any waters that hold the salmon you already you have limit of in the same day.
    However, there are some people who boat back to their camp, drop off fish, and go back for another limit.
    And when you call authorities about this, the first thing they ask is "Did you get pictures?" I answer "Well, uhhh officer, no I didn't want to get my butt kicked, so no, I did not get pictures."
    And the next day, you see the same people doing the same thing, with the same answer from the anchorites.

    Quote Originally Posted by George Riddle View Post
    As far as catch and kill, can you imagine how many rivers accessible by the road system could the guides make multiple guided trips if you bonked the first fish you landed? The kill ratio would spike up tremendously IMO and less fish makes it to the redds.

    I love that we have the ability to discuss this type of subject in a safe environment. Peace and Safety for all.
    I don't believe fishing is ever going to be that good again, well, not for quite some time. But let's just say that a guide does get limits for their clients..... instead of multiple runs each day, that a guide is limited to how many clients he can have per day, and no more than 1-3 runs per day.
    Also, which I am big supporter of this.....make it to where only Alaska Residents can have a guide service.
    And if they hire out of state guides, the guide license should be $375.00, instead of the normal $50.
    I have a few friends who are guides, and I have fished with them, and then to see other guides biz owners, who only live in Alaska from April through September using our resources, really annoys me. Especially when they claim to be "AN ALASKAN FISHING GUIDE".

    Limiting the access to the source will make for a better return in the future.

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    Quote Originally Posted by George Riddle View Post
    [FONT=Tahoma]The Les Palmer article sounds to me like a guy who liked the Kenai, bought property and enjoyed the place then, when many more folks started enjoying the same area he didn't like the crowds.
    If true, that would be one heck of an irony, because Les Palmer has been an outdoor writer for decades. IOW, his stock in trade contributed directly to his current unhappiness.

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    Quote Originally Posted by George Riddle View Post
    The Les Palmer article sounds to me like a guy who liked the Kenai, bought property and enjoyed the place then, when many more folks started enjoying the same area he didn't like the crowds. I am not saying that there is an issue with release fish and how they were handled. Concerns of run health do to fish lost to trauma of sport caught and then released needs a little perspective here in my opinion. Anyone take a walk down the beach of any commercial fishing area? "Floaters" what we call them in Bristol Bay are fish that popped out of the nets and then died. They all become part of the ecosystem but the commercial catch and release has a far bigger effect than sport anglers could ever have.

    As far as catch and kill, can you imagine how many rivers accessible by the road system could the guides make multiple guided trips if you bonked the first fish you landed? The kill ratio would spike up tremendously IMO and less fish makes it to the redds. Coming from an area that has a hook size restriction and no bait it amazes me that the Kenai allows huge hooks and bait on any of its flowing waters. I think if you attacked the terminal equipment you would have better survival rate and less deformation, just my opinion.

    I love that we have the ability to discuss this type of subject in a safe environment. Peace and Safety for all.
    Dead on George. On popular waters like the Kenai, it would be a slaughter, and guides would be turning over clients left and right with multiple trips booked every day, each taking out their limit. Boy, I know that there are substantial number of forumites who hate guides, and they would really hate them if they were turning over multiple clients each day.
    Trying to argue C&R vs C&K with Palmer is about as productive as discussing the merits of Christianity with the Taliban. Both sides have made up their minds already, and you won't convince the other side of changing.

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