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Thread: 10 commandments of fish management... interesting article

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    Default 10 commandments of fish management... interesting article

    Check this one out. Very appropo reading in light of some of the hot topics on this board lately.

    http://cbbulletin.com/Free/203765.aspx
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    Great article, Doc. Thanks for the post.

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    Thumbs up Alaska does it right. . .

    From the article: ". . .Hixon considers the traditional fishery goal of 'maximum sustainable yield,' which has been in place for decades, to be a flawed concept. A better approach is careful monitoring of catch characteristics to assess whether fish stocks are being sustained."

    Mr. Hixon, a professor of zoology at Oregon State University, could perhaps visit Alaska, learning how we are avoiding mistakes made by states like Oregon. Alaska's constitutionally-mandated policy of management for sustained yield is the envy of the world precisely because it carefully monitors sustainability of all fish stocks.

    Mr. Hixon should become aware that management for sustained yield does not necessarily preclude sustaining individual stocks.


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    If you look at the proposals for the next Board Of Fish meeting it is apparent that our commercial bretheren are in favor of eliminating the sustainable fisheries policy. Perhaps one of the commercial fishing guys on this forum will explain why this is a good thing for the resource.

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    Question Which ones?

    Quote Originally Posted by gusdog44 View Post
    If you look at the proposals for the next Board Of Fish meeting it is apparent that our commercial bretheren are in favor of eliminating the sustainable fisheries policy. Perhaps one of the commercial fishing guys on this forum will explain why this is a good thing for the resource.
    Could you please cut and paste those proposals or perhaps give us their numbers and a link to view them? Thanks. . .


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    Default history lessons

    Alaska does it right? In many respects , yes. But in other areas, the blunders of the past are being repeated.

    I believe Marcus has quoted more than once from Dave Montgomery's King of Fish: The 1000 yr run of salmon. He chronicles the plight of once-robust wild salmon populations in Europe, the East Coast, and the PNW over a short course of human history. Sadly the story is the same here as there, with the same sad outcome. Perhaps this is due to the inexplicable human tendency to keep doing the same dam(n) thing over and over again, expecting a different outcome! That's why wild Atlantic salmon in Europe and N America are toast. That's why Pacific salmon in the PNW are toast!

    British Columbia is currently at the threshold of collapse for many of its most important wild salmonid stocks. Given the right management decisions, they can probably still turn thing around. That's a mighty big "if"

    Alaska is the final frontier. She is still blessed with vast runs of salmon and untold acres of pristine habitat. Enough so that the runs seem limitless and inexhaustible. Enough so that mankind conceitedly takes the credit for "managing" that abundance... who's fooling who?

    Funny the Europeans all thought the same thing. Same with the colonists who settled the East Coast. Same with the masses that eventually followed Lewis and Clark to tame the "vast and limitless" PNW.

    Is Alaska next on the list? If some of the most basic fish management dogma is not challenged, why should anyone expect a different outcome 50-100 years from now?

    ***

    As the article points out, one of the most basic fish management principles that is taken as Gospel is the concept of "maximum sustained yield."

    I will not belabor all of the readers on this board, but for those who are interested, here's a link to discussion about how MSY has fared in the PNW over the past 50+ year history of the infamous Ricker curve.

    http://www.piscatorialpursuits.com/f...page/0/fpart/1
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    Question Faulting Alaska's resource management. . .

    Quote Originally Posted by fishNphysician View Post
    Alaska does it right? In many respects , yes. But in other areas, the blunders of the past are being repeated.

    As the article points out, one of the most basic fish management principles that is taken as Gospel is the concept of "maximum sustained yield."
    Can you be more specific, doc? Where and how exactly is Alaska repeating "the blunders of the past"? Living where you do—Washington, isn't it?—are you familiar with enough of Alaska's varied and vast fisheries to be taking our managers to task? That's not to say our managers are infallible but only to question your ability to and reasons for critical comment.

    Too, it's my understanding that Alaska manages for "sustained yield," not for "maximum" sustained yield. Or am I mistaken?

    Can someone help? How is our constitutional mandate worded?


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    I read that one way: Habitat, Habitat, Habitat, if you don't have good habitat you don't have good fisheries period.
    I choose to fly fish, not because its easy, but because its hard.

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    Default Agree

    Quote Originally Posted by ak_powder_monkey View Post
    I read that one way: Habitat, Habitat, Habitat, if you don't have good habitat you don't have good fisheries period.
    I'm no envoromentalist wacko, but I have to agree with you on this.

    In my life the most damage to fish spawning comes from human development around the upper rivers and streams of the fish. Where the land is BLM or Forest Service land the natural fish runs seem to sustain themselves better. Even around logging lands like Warehauser and Menasha in Oregon the steelhead, salmon, and searun cuthroat runs were all pretty good except in places where there were there was heavy development like cities and large communities.
    I have seen an awesome natural populated rainbow stream in a place where I drove through about 25 miles of clearcuts.

    The fisheries here are like nowhere else I have seen, and for someone who has experienced other fisheries, I see a state that has a golden opportunity to manage the fisheries correctly from the beginning instead of destroying it and trying to "bring it back".
    Hike faster. I hear banjo music.

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    United Fishermen of Alaska have submitted a proposal, #228, to repeal the Sustainable Salmon Management Policy, 5AAC39.222. This will be presented at the March Board of Fish meeting, along with another commercial fisherman proposal to cut dipnet limits. I strongly urge all of you who can to attend the March meetings and testify against 228 - otherwise all Alaskans, including commercial fishermen, lose.

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    Default a few problems with the concept

    The professor was making generalized statements and as such they do not apply for a number of fisheries but they do start discussions. If this was given to a high school class or even an introduction fish biology class it would be good for discussion. At a graduate level it is pretty simplistic since most graduates of good fisheries schools are developing models and management approaches that go well beyound these statements.

    When he said monitoring of the catch characteristics to assess whether stocks are being sustained he failed to take the discussion to the next step. In the Pacific NW they historically managed their salmon stocks based on catch and as a result overharvested in some cases. However, Alaska moved away from catch to escapement goal management and therefore user influence was diminished. Resources, both human and economic, were put into developing escapement goal monitoring programs. This is what makes Alaska salmon management what it is today. The professor should have indicated that salmon management should be based on escapement monitoring when practical and available. We should actually move away from using catch as the primary tool as catch statistics can take you down a very steep slope without one knowing it.

    Second, with escapement goal management comes the concept of maximum sustained yields. This is not a bad thing - put another way it means high sustained yields if you do not want to get hung up on terminology. What it did for Alaska is make people look at data and try to get the most out of the resources that are being managed. It also sent a message to developers and others that Alaska has a stake in maintaining habitat to maintain maximum sustained yields. So it is a philosophical issues as well as a biological issue.

    Finally, the professor is pointing out that when we make choices on what we manage and to what level we should be aware of what we are doing to the systems involved. In UCI for example, because of coho salmon allocation to sport fisherman, pink salmon essentially go unharvested - they are not managed to maximum sustained yield or even a high sustained yield. They go into the stream. Conversely, we manage sockeye to maintain high yields for all users. The professor is just stating the obvious - ask what these two decisions mean to the systems involved and put some resources into that task.

    One area in Alaska that we are failing is that we spend way too much money on allocation issues and not enough on basic biology. The recent discussion of unreported chinook harvest in the eastside set net fishery took over a half million dollars to study. Yet that half million dollars allocated to the biology of early run chinook salmon probably would have paid off better in the long run.

    So good for the professor to try to get the discussion on the table and I am sure he is getting all types of questions about what this or that means to him. The follow up may be more interesting than the article or talk that started this discussion.

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    Default MSY article by our current F&G commissioner

    Quote Originally Posted by Marcus
    Too, it's my understanding that Alaska manages for "sustained yield," not for "maximum" sustained yield. Or am I mistaken?


    I think this editorial by Denby Lloyd, current F&G commissioner, is very interesting and pertains to the above question as well.

    Editorial
    Several Shades of Sustainability

    By Denby Lloyd

    For Alaskans it begins right in our constitution. “Fish…belonging to the State…shall be utilized, developed, and maintained on the sustained yield principle,” and like all other natural resources, “…for the maximum benefit of its people.” The fight for Alaska’s statehood was centered on the need to rebuild Pacific salmon runs and to protect fishermen and communities along our lengthy coastline. Fifty years later we enjoy record-setting harvests and, for the most part, continued social and economic vitality supported by these wonderful fish.

    Fishermen, processors, managers, researchers and even politicians in Alaska tend to share a common view that puts the health of our fishery resources first. We rarely argue over the need to allow annual salmon escapements to pass unmolested to their spawning grounds, or to maintain sufficient biomass of groundfish and shellfish to produce future recruitment.

    We’ve also taken difficult steps to protect the health of the seafood industry, through various forms of effort control, and we’ve implemented innovative programs to protect the interests of coastal communities in the resources surrounding them. We have a strong record of designing these programs with broad public participation, through the Alaska Board of Fisheries and the North Pacific Fishery Management Council.

    Indeed much has been made, locally and nationally, of Alaska’s fishery management. Along with a reasonable measure of pride, however, sometimes creeps an uncomfortable degree of self-congratulation. Often we give insufficient credit, for example, to the favorable environmental conditions that have promoted decades of strong salmon returns, or to the fact that our groundfish fisheries are relatively new and uncomplicated compared to others around the country.

    Perhaps the most important advantage we enjoy in Alaska is a short modern history. Much of our habitat is still pristine and productive. And, as our fisheries have developed, there has been an abundance of prior history from more exploited parts of the world against which we can evaluate our management proposals. We have been able to learn from people’s mistakes.

    But that advantage can be all too quickly lost.

    There are readily apparent difficulties in deriving maximum sustainable yields from more than one neighboring stock of fish at a time. There is growing concern that we are eliminating older aged and more fecund fish in our pursuit of large harvests. And there is no assurance that heavily fished populations provide sufficient prey for their natural predators. Almost thirty years ago a notable fishery scientist wrote an “epitaph for the concept of maximum sustained yield;” recently the topic has been revisited by another scientist of note in a view on “the sustainability myth.” Yet MSY stands as a pillar of our state and national fishery policies. This poses an interesting conundrum for the emerging pursuit of ecosystem-based fishery management.

    In establishing large-scale IFQ and other types of rationalized fisheries, we’ve reaped the benefits of longer seasons, more precise quota management, and the ability of fishermen to better choose their most effective means of harvest. On the other hand, we’ve helped give away the value of those public resources, altered important subtleties in leverage between harvesters and processors, and not fully recognized that communities have legitimate interests in the disposition of fish in their areas.

    Policymakers will need to grapple with evermore sophisticated mechanisms for the distribution of social and economic benefits. Managers and scientists will need to continually assess the comfortable fiction of MSY in the context of ecosystem function. We all will need to keep in mind the public’s rights of ownership while limiting access to the resource among various users.

    But, just what is it that we are trying to sustain? It is certainly not just yield. It is not just the fish themselves. We are promoting possibilities for human endeavor: the opportunity to catch fish, to eat fish, to be financially and culturally enriched by these resources, to enjoy the benefits of healthy ecosystems. In this regard, Alaska’s constitutional framers had it right, using seemingly simple and innocuous language: fish…sustained yield…maximum benefit…people. So long as we learn our lessons well, restrain ourselves from the temptations of overharvest, and wisely share the benefits of these resources, fisheries can far into the future sustain many of our livings and our ways of life.

    In the end, perhaps all we need do is sustain an appropriate attitude: to avoid complacency, to challenge our assumptions, to evaluate the consequences of our actions.

    Denby Lloyd is currently serving a second stint as Director of Commercial Fisheries for the Alaska Department of Fish and Game. He’s previously worked for the Alaska Governor’s Office, the Aleutians East Borough, and the North Pacific Fishery Management Council. Soon he will return home to Kodiak to manage a fishery research laboratory.

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    Thumbs up Well said. . .

    Quote Originally Posted by bushrat View Post
    But, just what is it that we are trying to sustain?
    Well posted, Mark, and well said by Commissioner Lloyd. Just what is it that we're trying to sustain?

    I asked that very question on another thread, which deals with the slot limit for Kenai kings. In that instance, a proposal that is ostensibly aimed at just sustaining a particular fish population is in reality seeking to sustain the ability to merely play with those fish, catching and releasing them, and killing some in the process, which devotes the "harvestable" surplus to the mortality of catch-and-release.

    This is not a question of ethics. This is a question of being honest about just what we're trying to sustain. Are we trying to sustain a fish population to harvest to eat or are we trying to sustain a fish population to "harvest" for fun?

    Mr. Lloyd answered his own question thusly:

    "It is certainly not just yield. It is not just the fish themselves. We are promoting possibilities for human endeavor: the opportunity to catch fish, to eat fish, to be financially and culturally enriched by these resources, to enjoy the benefits of healthy ecosystems. In this regard, Alaska’s constitutional framers had it right, using seemingly simple and innocuous language: fish…sustained yield…maximum benefit…people. So long as we learn our lessons well, restrain ourselves from the temptations of overharvest, and wisely share the benefits of these resources, fisheries can far into the future sustain many of our livings and our ways of life.(emphasis mine)"

    Fish populations sustained just for catch-and-release must be managed differently than fish managed to eat. That's why it's critical to be honest about just what we're trying to sustain.


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    Default misusing the word "sustain"

    The article by Denby must be read from a prespective - that of a biologist, an economist, a policy maker... each reads what he says somewhat differently.

    Biologist are interested in yield as measured in numbers of fish or biomass. When they get into what is best for a community or the ecomony of an area they lose their ability to be objective - these are social areas that the word sustainability has a different meaning. Biologist should try to maintain habitat first so that populations of fish are healthy for future decisions on use.

    So when Marcus asks what are we sustaining the population for? It is not a biological question - it is a social question.

    The salmon runs do not need to have any yield to sustain the population - they just need clean environments.

    So why the term yield in the discussion and particularly maximum sustained yield? The answer is obvious if one reads the background information from the constitutional meetings. The framers wanted to send a message that fish resources are to be harvested and used, that they are to be managed, that industries and the public who count on them should have some expectation that they will be around for awhile.

    The word sustainable yield is a key phrase for a biologist and a policy maker. It keeps Exxon from spilling oil in PWS and saying that the mortality of fish is worth the cost of transporting oil- that some populations can be lost for the greater good of society - this was the trade off the State of Washington and the Federal Gov. made with building dams on the Columbia.

    Alaskan knew that and said no. We are going to use our resources but we are going to make certain that they are managed and protected from users - all users - fisherpersons and industries that do harm. Title 16 related to habitat protection came out of those discussions. The area office concept of fishery management evolved from those discussions.

    So today we find policy makers who want to allow mixing zones in salmon streams, allow habitat decisions be made in DNR, biologists in ADF&G involved in allocation decisions between users, and decisions are being made more and more in Juneau than at the area level. The framers may roll over in their graves on this one.

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    Cool Sustained yield—for what?

    Well said, Nerka, but actually it was Commissioner Lloyd and me that asked just what are we trying to sustain. "Sustained yield" or "numbers of fish or biomass" as you phrased it, is a biological question; what the sustained yield is used for is a social question.

    The "yield" from any sustained fishery may be devoted to several uses: subsistence, sport harvest for food, the harvest of c&r mortality, commercial nets, and so on. It's critical to distinguish between the various uses of any sustained yield—that's why, when anyone proposes means to sustain the yield a particular stock, what the yield is to be used for must be made plain and not camouflaged in high-sounding, deceptive bombast.

    It's not enough to cloak any particular use of sustained yield—commercial, subsistence, c&r, etc.—in the high-sounding rhetoric of "preservation" or "conservation." Preservation means nothing until we figure out the intended use for the yield being preserved. How else can Alaskans make informed choices when attempting to settle the social questions and priorities that present when deciding how to use sustained yield?

    On another thread, a post suggested extending the Kenai River king slot limit all the way through the season as a means of sustaining the yield of a particular sub-stock of fish. But what the poster didn't say was that implicit in his proposal was the premise that the sustained yield would be used to subsidize the mortality of c&r.

    Such hidden agendas have implications. How would management for a yield devoted strictly to the mortality of catch-and-release affect our local commercial sportfishery and the businesses that depend on it? How would yield devoted to the mortality of catch-and-release affect area residents who wish to harvest those fish for consumption? And so on.

    Alaskans are indeed going to use our resources, but we are going to make certain that they are managed and protected from users—all users—who would inflict their priorities on all of us in the name of undefined sustained yield.


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    Default Cart before the horse.

    (BTW, you can feel free to use my real name anytime when referencing "the poster" promoting "hidden agendas", Marcus.)

    FACT: The slot limit was enacted as a means to slow down the exploitation of the large ER mainstem spawners because the ER5-o fish in that part of the run were identified as a substock at risk.

    ****

    So let's get this straight once and for all:

    The codified C&R that occurs within the slot limit was established as a means to conserve/sustain the imperiled fish.

    The fish aren't being conserved/sustained for the purpose of promoting exclusive C&R fishing!

    ****

    That may be your take on it, but you have it completely bass-ackwards! You're putting the cart before the horse, John.

    If and when a healthy substock of large ER mainstem spawners can be consistently sustained in numbers with harvestable surpluses, then they could once again be targeted in the fishery. But obviously NOT a return to the same old fishery that got the fish into that imperilled status in the first place.

    What you really object to, Marcus, is that most proponents of the slot limit concept also happen to enjoy C&R fishing, which you undeniably abhor! Do you really think not having the slot limit in place is going to somehow keep the C&R crowd off the river? Guess what! With or without the slot, those of us who C&R will still do it. Even in the absence of a slot limit, nothing in the law prevents us from releasing a king we don't want to kill. NOTHING!

    Now I ask you... let's be honest.

    What's really got your goat is... that just maybe... there might be the slimmest infinitesimal chance.... that something you so vehemently despise... could actually serve some useful purpose in protecting a valuable resource?

    So what would you prefer as an alternative to codified slot-limited C&R? I've been fishing kings for a long time, and I have yet to discover a bait or lure or method that will only catch kings under 44 inches, John. Have you?

    If you don't want the fishery to release large kings (which WILL be caught despite the best of intentions) shall we just shutdown all king fishing, period? That's really the only strategy that would satisfy your objection to "slowing the kill rate simply to protract the killing." Is that really what you want?

    The choices seem pretty simple to me.

    1) Keep killing large kings indiscriminately like we did for 30 years before the slot limit came to be. Without the pesky C&R crowd and their silly slot limit, that means 100% mortality on big kings. Basically keep doing what we've been doing... yeah, look where that's gotten us!

    2) Shut all targeted king fishing to assure that no large ER mainstem spawners die in the process. Without that arrogant minority and its big boats, noisy/polluting motors, and bank-eroding wakes that means virtually 0% mortality. (Gotta account for a hapless fish or two that might succumb to the sockeye snaggers). But wait, what about all the "Joe Fishermen" who would be unfairly denied their God-given right to whack their two Kenai kings for the freezer or the smoker?

    3) Conduct responsible fisheries that target only those stocks/substocks that can tolerate the exploitation. Oh yeah... that ridiculous slot limit that keeps the pressure off all those big kings with only 3% mortality! And unlike option 2) let's not forget that by keeping a fishery open, it still allows all the meat-hunters to gather their two kings for the freezer or the smoker.

    So what'll it be, John? The answer seems pretty clear-cut to me.

    You know you always harp about how the harvest of food always entails some element of unavoidable waste. It's just the way it is.

    Maybe you should consider the same thing applies to the conservation of large ER mainstem Kenai kings. Letting them go means that perhaps 3 out of 100 will die. It's just the way it is! Some of us believe that's well worth the price of saving the other 97.

    How about you?
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    Marcus, can't we have both? The slot allows the population of 5-O kings to grow to a number so they can have a harvestable surplus. So when the population can handle the pressure, C&R fishermen can do thier thing, and the catch and kill crew and do their thing without hurting the population. That is what management is for, keeping, protecting and monitoring fish for Alaskans and others to fish for and eat. Maybe you should thank a C&R fishermen, they released a king so you can possibly catch an keep it.
    C&R is a tool, a simple managment tool to allow a fishery to continue and in this case, allow a component of the run to be protected while allowing harvest where there is a surplus. A big bonus of it is 25% or so of the run is protected allowing for bait to open sooner so when the June water turns to mud more people can possibly catch and keep a king.


    I can't remember who mentioned it or on what thread, but I am in support of raising the "Jack" size to 26 or 28 inches. I sat in the committee meeting at the last BOF meeting and thought it was a done deal, when it went before the board it got shot down due to comments by F&G that those fish are counted toward escapement. That was never mentioned in the committee meetings. It was a surprise to all in attendance and the general feeling was that the Kenai is in trouble if we are counting on those "Jacks" to make escapement.

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    Wink Missing the mark. . .

    Francis and yukon: First of all, Francis, while I object to c&r I am not anywhere near as opposed to it as you accuse me of, and I know full well that it slows—but doesn't eliminate—mortality. Second, while I deplore c&r, others don't, and they're entitled to their opinion.

    What I'm objecting to in the present case is cloaking c&r in the rhetoric of conservation and preservation. Conservation and preservation are not synonymous with c&r, far from it. Conservation and preservation can be accomplished many other ways. C&R simply devotes the harvestable surplus of a given fishery to the mortality of c&r.

    You are advocating an extension of the slot limit, which is essentially an extension of c&r fishing. You ask what I'd "prefer as an alternative to codified slot-limited C&R?" My preference is for informed choice. There are alternatives to extending the slot limit.

    We could eliminate bait entirely, and if I were forced to make a choice, that would probably be it. It would slow down harvest across the board and reduce the mortality of the trout that impale themselves on baited king plugs as well.

    We could limit access in lots of ways: time, numbers, etc. We could reduce the bag limit. We could go to permits. We could restrict commercial activity. And on and on.

    To advocate extending the slot limit admits there is a harvestable surplus of the particular fish in question, contends that that surplus is being over-harvested, and advocates slowing the harvest by devoting the decreased harvest to the mortality of c&r. If that's what the public wants, that's fine with me though it wouldn't be my choice.

    All I'm contending for is informed choice. Let the public know that there are alternatives to extending the slot limit if fish stocks are in jeopardy. Don't you recall the public outrage at the proposal to make the first run totally c&r? The public, by means of the slot limit, settled for a partially c&r fishery during June. Will the public be equally accepting of the entire Kenai River king fishery with a slot limit? I don't know. Maybe Alaskans would rather see the fishery restricted in other ways.

    Finally, Francis, please don't attempt to read my mind ("What you really object to, . . ." "What's really got your goat is . . ."). I appreciate your intent and efforts, but you really haven't a clue.

    yukon, I hope that answers your post as well.

    Tight lines to you both. . .

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    Default The real issue...

    Quote Originally Posted by Nerka
    Alaskan[s] knew that and said no. We are going to use our resources but we are going to make certain that they are managed and protected from users - all users - fisherpersons and industries that do harm. Title 16 related to habitat protection came out of those discussions. The area office concept of fishery management evolved from those discussions.

    So today we find policy makers who want to allow mixing zones in salmon streams, allow habitat decisions be made in DNR, biologists in ADF&G involved in allocation decisions between users, and decisions are being made more and more in Juneau than at the area level. The framers may roll over in their graves on this one.
    I posted the Denby article hoping some would appreciate the difficulty fisheries biologists and managers face, and also recognize the astounding foresight of our constitutional founders.

    A biologist recently told me that his job was "part art and part science and a whole lot of politics." He also told me that because of this he focuses just on the biological research and numbers, as he feels to do otherwise is to lose objectivity and then get into the social/politial aspect of biology. He does the research, crunches the numbers, and turns all that over to the manangers with objective reports, and lets them sort out the social/allocation/economic aspects of it all.

    I have several times posted in this forum and the hunting forum about HB 41 that seeks to return the Habitat Division back to F&G. To my mind, those "clean environments" and healthy habitat Nerka spoke of are the most important aspect of a sustainable fishery, yet few hunters or anglers want to even discuss this issue of Habitat permitting authority now being within DNR, the mixing zones (another house bill on that too) rules being changed...we just seem to want to fight over allocation issues and it is my view not enough of us are seeing the big picture.

    My God, Murkowski effectively gutted just what our founders were trying to ensure! Clean healthy habitat for our fisheries. A balance between resource development and protections to our habitat. So why the heck can't I seem to get more hunters and anglers involved in writing or calling their legislators and governor and demanding that we return habitat permitting back to ADFG?

    I think the "why" of it is that we get mired down in other "touchstone" issues that seem to be more important to us, like Kenai gillnets and the federal subsistence board decisions (for example) and just who should be allowed to harvest salmon and what size and what method etc etc etc.

    Meanwhile, the big picture is that salmon need clean waters, healthy habitat, and unobstructed waterways. That is the FIRST priority to my mind. Without that, we won't be fighting about allocation issues in future.

    You guys want a wake-up call? Well here it is:
    http://www.legis.state.ak.us/basis/g...mm=FSH&house=H

    Scroll down to the testimony of Matthew LeCroix, at 9:08:55am; it's about halfway down the page. I urge all of you to read his testimony on House Bill 41 and his personal experiences with ADFG and DNR as a habitat biologist and just what his fears are and what the truth is about having habitat permitting in DNR.

    That is the big picture. We need to see it now before it's too late.

  20. #20
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    Cool Critical mass?

    Quote Originally Posted by bushrat View Post
    . . . the big picture is that salmon need clean waters, healthy habitat, and unobstructed waterways. That is the FIRST priority to my mind. Without that, we won't be fighting about allocation issues in future.

    Well and rightly noted! But allocation, methods, means, and much, much more all work together to impact clean waters and healthy habitat.

    Anyone care to speculate about how all the septic systems on the banks of the Kenai and below its flood plane fared during the winter's ice jams and erosion? And what about groups of ten and more guys buying up Soldotna homes, pumping a succession of visiting anglers through the Kenai's ecosystem summer after summer? And what about the condominiums currently being built by Timber Wolf Lodge on the banks of the Kenai downtown Soldotna? How long before that idea takes off and spreads? The Aspen Hotel on the banks of the Kenai?

    This is not to necessarily fault any of the above, but when we add to them the river's current crowding, hydrocarbon pollution, and social issues, we begin to see none of the factors stand alone in the final reckoning of quality—quality of experience, quality of life, quality of the environment, and more.

    Are we at critical mass yet? I don't know, but it might be a good idea to figure it out before we go advocating ideas like extending the slot limit for the entire season thus allowing the Kenai king fishery to absorb even more pressure.

    What's next beyond a c&r slot limit? A 100% c&r Kenai king fishery? A fishery which would, in the words of ADF&G, enable ". . . managers to continue maximizing the opportunity to participate in [the Kenai king fishery] while reducing mortality to what can be termed 'catch-and-release mortality.' In this way, the economic value of recreational fishing [will not be] jeopardized as the opportunity to participate is not reduced."

    So how much more can the Kenai absorb? How many more hotels and condos, how many more boats, how many more anglers? Slot limits/c&r have no way of caring.


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