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Late run red fish counts in Kenai is ~500k low

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  • #16
    Originally posted by AaronP View Post
    Oh I got plenty for myself. What about the low numbers returning to the Russian?
    Look at the history of the Russian...you'll be hard-pressed to find the late-run not meeting goals (although you will find it exceeding goals, which is also considered not making goals). Plus historically there weren't as many commercial fishing restrictions as this year. Add to that the Kenai has easily met it's sockeye goals. Put it all together and your idea that the Russian late run was "gobbled up in Cook Inlet" by the commercial guys, just doesn't add up. It just makes for the typical uninformed, scapegoat blame game. Considering everything has been late, and a steady trickle, lets wait for the final count rather than jump to conclusions against the commercial fishery. If the late-run Russian escapement isn't made, it will certainly be an outlier, and not the trend.

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    • #17
      Yesterday's escapement was the second highest of the summer at 58K+.

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      • #18
        Originally posted by Funstastic View Post
        Look at the history of the Russian...you'll be hard-pressed to find the late-run not meeting goals (although you will find it exceeding goals, which is also considered not making goals). Plus historically there weren't as many commercial fishing restrictions as this year. Add to that the Kenai has easily met it's sockeye goals. Put it all together and your idea that the Russian late run was "gobbled up in Cook Inlet" by the commercial guys, just doesn't add up. It just makes for the typical uninformed, scapegoat blame game. Considering everything has been late, and a steady trickle, lets wait for the final count rather than jump to conclusions against the commercial fishery. If the late-run Russian escapement isn't made, it will certainly be an outlier, and not the trend.
        I hope you are right. I have nothing against the Com fleet at all. My gripe is with ADFG and the goal of getting the minimum amount of fish to the spawning beds and killing the rest. So what if we have a few more fish then the magical escapement numbers???

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        • #19
          Originally posted by Nerka View Post
          You cannot look at averages since in most years the Kenai goal is exceeded. Also, the goals vary by run strength. If you want to see how production is measured look at the brood tables for Kenai which are available from ADF&G on request.
          I confess I'm not an expert fisheries biologist, but from my limited understanding, brood tables are merely an index used for preseason forecasting. And in season forecasting (escapement numbers) are considered by some to be a better indicator than preseason forecasting anyway. But if my logic is not making sense, please feel free to elaborate and educate us. It makes logical common sense to me that if the average escapement trend continues to decline over a long period of time, that would indicate there is a problem with the sockeye population.

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          • #20
            Originally posted by AaronP View Post
            My gripe is with ADFG and the goal of getting the minimum amount of fish to the spawning beds and killing the rest. So what if we have a few more fish then the magical escapement numbers???
            You must not realize the large majority of sockeye escapements to the Kenai over the last 20 years have exceeded the top end of the escapement goal. You must also not be familiar with the Alaska Constitution Article VIII; which dictates that these fish be managed under the Sustained Yield Principle, and for maximum use. Escapement numbers are not "magical." They mean something, and are supported and justified by biological data. If the top end of the goal is exceeded, we have not met the goal, and yield is lost.

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            • #21
              Originally posted by Bushwhack Jack View Post
              It makes logical common sense to me that if the average escapement trend continues to decline over a long period of time, that would indicate there is a problem with the sockeye population.
              That makes no sense to me. First, it isn't happening. Second, escapement numbers are enumerated in-river, after harvest by the commercial guys, the dipnetters, and a lot of sporties. So you could have large populations of sockeye that are just getting harvested before the escapement is enumerated. Or you could have a small run that enumerates big escapement numbers in-river because (for example) the ESSN'ers did not fish. So although I get your drift, you can't try to correlate escapements with sockeye population the way you are trying. Escapements are simply a target number that managers try to achieve by either allowing harvest, or not allowing harvest.

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              • #22
                Originally posted by AaronP View Post
                I hope you are right. I have nothing against the Com fleet at all. My gripe is with ADFG and the goal of getting the minimum amount of fish to the spawning beds and killing the rest. So what if we have a few more fish then the magical escapement numbers???
                That's my gripe too. What is wrong with a few more fish living to sow their oats?

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                • #23
                  Originally posted by Bushwhack Jack View Post
                  I confess I'm not an expert fisheries biologist, but from my limited understanding, brood tables are merely an index used for preseason forecasting. And in season forecasting (escapement numbers) are considered by some to be a better indicator than preseason forecasting anyway. But if my logic is not making sense, please feel free to elaborate and educate us. It makes logical common sense to me that if the average escapement trend continues to decline over a long period of time, that would indicate there is a problem with the sockeye population.
                  No problem. Brood tables are made by combining the returning fish from a known spawning escapement. Since sockeye return anywhere from 1 to 8 years (most is 4, 5, and 6) then one waits to see how production was from that escapement. Doing this over time - in the case of Kenai River sockeye it is 30 years or more- one can see if production is declining or not. So the purpose is understanding what the system is doing. Annual returns are made up of a number of fish from various spawning numbers so using annual returns is not correct.

                  To set an escapement goal one takes the above data and uses it in various production models and see which one fits the best to the data. In the case of Kenai it is called a Brood Interaction Model adapted from a Ricker curve. Also with over 30 years of data one can see how yields have been impacted from various escapements. In the Kenai if 800,000 sockeye spawn on average one gets 4 million fish to harvest. If over 1.5 million the yield drops to about 2.0 million fish (just using round numbers here the actual difference is a little greater). Anyway putting more fish into the system can and does reduce average yields. Fish spawn on top of each other, compete for food in the rearing lakes, and in the ocean. So more is not better relative to getting harvest to higher levels.

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                  • #24
                    Originally posted by gr8fl View Post
                    Yesterday's escapement was the second highest of the summer at 58K+.
                    And that day was just knocked down to third place as the count yesterday was the top of the season at about 67K. Now, we just have to hope there aren't any 100K+ days, as I've got some CASH MONEY($25) riding on the fact that that won't happen before they stop counting this year.

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                    • #25
                      Should be fine - usually fish move quickly through the inlet and thus no build up. So 100,000 now would be very rare. Not even sure if it has ever happened.

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                      • #26
                        Originally posted by Nerka View Post

                        To set an escapement goal one takes the above data and uses it in various production models and see which one fits the best to the data. In the case of Kenai it is called a Brood Interaction Model adapted from a Ricker curve. Also with over 30 years of data one can see how yields have been impacted from various escapements. In the Kenai if 800,000 sockeye spawn on average one gets 4 million fish to harvest. If over 1.5 million the yield drops to about 2.0 million fish (just using round numbers here the actual difference is a little greater). Anyway putting more fish into the system can and does reduce average yields. Fish spawn on top of each other, compete for food in the rearing lakes, and in the ocean. So more is not better relative to getting harvest to higher levels.
                        Interesting. Makes sense. Hadn't thought about interspecies competition etc. So based on what you are saying there is actually an "ideal" escapement number. Do you know what that number or range of numbers is? If that is the case, then the last couple of years when the escapement was a little on the high end, that could have a negative effect down the road.

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                        • #27
                          Originally posted by Bushwhack Jack View Post
                          Interesting. Makes sense. Hadn't thought about interspecies competition etc. So based on what you are saying there is actually an "ideal" escapement number. Do you know what that number or range of numbers is? If that is the case, then the last couple of years when the escapement was a little on the high end, that could have a negative effect down the road.
                          Bingo. It's what a lot of people don't understand. More is less sometimes. It's called boom and bust cycle
                          Responsible Conservation > Political Allocation

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                          • #28
                            Originally posted by Bushwhack Jack View Post
                            Interesting. Makes sense. Hadn't thought about interspecies competition etc. So based on what you are saying there is actually an "ideal" escapement number. Do you know what that number or range of numbers is? If that is the case, then the last couple of years when the escapement was a little on the high end, that could have a negative effect down the road.
                            There is some debate on this number because of which model is best but 600,000 to 1 million is a safe range in my opinion.

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                            • #29
                              Originally posted by Nerka View Post
                              There is some debate on this number because of which model is best but 600,000 to 1 million is a safe range in my opinion.
                              That is a classic understatement!

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                              • #30
                                Originally posted by willphish4food View Post
                                That is a classic understatement!
                                Not really, ADF&G has kept the same goal for more than a decade for the BEG. The debate is on what the top end should be and whether an OEG should be established at all. But that is another forum. The goal will be met and probably exceeded this year for sockeye

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