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  • Originally posted by smithtb View Post
    Impossible to know on July 1st I would say but you know that. I have asked ADFG the same question and the only real answer I have gotten is "we will know when the run is over". I can't help but think they can do better.

    If we can accurately predict the size of the run, and if we know previous run size and timing, it would seem the good folks at ADFG could make some determination of whether the run is early or late. Especially if we utilize early indicators of abundance, such as ESSN and salt charter harvest to see what is coming, or perhaps some new creative method like commfish did with the OTF indices.
    Good point...I guess I should have said July 10-15th, as that is where the quarter point falls in the run I think. I would hope they could do better.....I hope they are looking into researching run-timing for late-run Kenai kings. I feel bad for them in a way though. I mean, they only have 4 years of DIDSON sonar counts to compare run-timing to. Plus, 2 out of those 4 years they switched the sonar off on August 10 (2010 & 2011), which pulls the mean timing earlier. Now they run it till August 15. I wish they would institute the 3 days of 1% rule the sockeye sonar does instead. Also, one of those years was REALLY REALLY late (2012).

    I just can't help but looking at this current year and trying to put myself in their shoes. I mean when they announced catch and release on July 17 the cumulative sonar count was the lowest they have ever had using DIDSON. They had to do it. Then when they announced their closure for Kenai kings on July 24, the cumulative sonar counts were equal to last year.....when only 17k kings were estimated in the sonar. Should they have known then that the run would match last years? On that date it was only 2k off of 2012....should they have guessed it would follow that run timing? Since then it looks like the run is going to fall somewhere in between those runs. How in the world could they have figured that out? Also, the counts started rocketing upwards as soon as they closed it. Go figure. They only have so much time to restrict the inriver fishery because it closes by regulation on July 31.

    One more thing that you mentioned TB....about the ESSN being an indicator of abundance....from what I heard this year, it sounds like a lot of set netters were rolling their kings, which is completely legal I know and IMO worthy of tipping my cap too when king runs are low. But, if that is true, then how can the ADFG use ESSN catches to get a gauge on run size? I don't think they can when that happens, but maybe I'm missing something.

    I hope the kings keep coming in for the next 13 days. I hope we get near 20k escapement. With the super big tides coming this week I'm not sure we will, but after these past few years I don't know what to expect anymore. To summarize, I hope the ADFG does look into trying to get a grip on Kenai king run-timing because it affects so many people. And...I hope that we don't have to start from ground zero when they move the king sonar upstream to the new sonar site.....but they probably will. I'm starting to like the idea of creating a window of no king fishing in river from like July 1 to July 7 or July 10. I'm done.

    Comment


    • Originally posted by Big Papi View Post
      Good point...I guess I should have said July 10-15th, as that is where the quarter point falls in the run I think. I would hope they could do better.....I hope they are looking into researching run-timing for late-run Kenai kings. I feel bad for them in a way though. I mean, they only have 4 years of DIDSON sonar counts to compare run-timing to. Plus, 2 out of those 4 years they switched the sonar off on August 10 (2010 & 2011), which pulls the mean timing earlier. Now they run it till August 15. I wish they would institute the 3 days of 1% rule the sockeye sonar does instead. Also, one of those years was REALLY REALLY late (2012).

      I just can't help but looking at this current year and trying to put myself in their shoes. I mean when they announced catch and release on July 17 the cumulative sonar count was the lowest they have ever had using DIDSON. They had to do it. Then when they announced their closure for Kenai kings on July 24, the cumulative sonar counts were equal to last year.....when only 17k kings were estimated in the sonar. Should they have known then that the run would match last years? On that date it was only 2k off of 2012....should they have guessed it would follow that run timing? Since then it looks like the run is going to fall somewhere in between those runs. How in the world could they have figured that out? Also, the counts started rocketing upwards as soon as they closed it. Go figure. They only have so much time to restrict the inriver fishery because it closes by regulation on July 31.

      One more thing that you mentioned TB....about the ESSN being an indicator of abundance....from what I heard this year, it sounds like a lot of set netters were rolling their kings, which is completely legal I know and IMO worthy of tipping my cap too when king runs are low. But, if that is true, then how can the ADFG use ESSN catches to get a gauge on run size? I don't think they can when that happens, but maybe I'm missing something.

      I hope the kings keep coming in for the next 13 days. I hope we get near 20k escapement. With the super big tides coming this week I'm not sure we will, but after these past few years I don't know what to expect anymore. To summarize, I hope the ADFG does look into trying to get a grip on Kenai king run-timing because it affects so many people. And...I hope that we don't have to start from ground zero when they move the king sonar upstream to the new sonar site.....but they probably will. I'm starting to like the idea of creating a window of no king fishing in river from like July 1 to July 7 or July 10. I'm done.
      While I feel for many within ADFG who are trying to do their job, I don't feel bad for ADFG as a whole. They've had decades to figure out how to count kings, or to admit that it's too hard in a river full of other fish. They have let dirty politics get in the way of good science and management. Get the commercial industry and the powerboats off the spawning beds and into the salt where they belong, and suddenly counting every single fish is less important - the Kasilof has faired pretty well over the years since it has had less pressure and increased protection... which is now being eroded as it becomes more and more popular.

      Yes, pretty cool that the Sockeye counter is pulled relative to a consistent formula - almost like someone was observing some sort of scientific process. I too hope that sport fish decides to pull the King counters consistently from year to year from now on, and feel that they should remain in till mid August since the fish are showing later and later, after the hoards of people and boats and pollution are gone from the mouths of our rivers.

      I'm sure it was tough for managers this year given fish behavior - I thought Sockeye would be early and Kings would be late. I was half right - but I know managers who were not at all surprised at the low counts in the first part of July given the tides this year. My question to them would be how many years do we need to observe a pattern before we can consider it likely to happen again. With what you stated about run timing and when the counters were pulled, what is "average run timing"? What is late? Next year, what date will ADFG use for "average run timing" when making projections? Average should change quickly if we only trust 4 years of Didson, no? It's all relative.

      As for the ESSN harvest as an index - yes that is screwed up now. Too much heat on the ESSN's for their King harvest. Too many fishermen feeling screwed if they do and screwed if they don't kill kings. ADFG could have helped that out if they had stressed the importance of that early indicator of abundance a little more over the last three years, and helped dispel the complete B.S. about the ESSN "Black Market" for Kings, and the idea that somehow this user group is less honest about harvest than another.

      As for moving to the upriver sonar site and starting from scratch - sounds like ADFG is bringing that one on themselves. The counter has been in the same spot for the last several decades. I'm all for improvement, but if a new spot is needed, run them both until a smooth transition is guaranteed. I'm sure they can find the funding given how easy it was to throw extra money at commercial enforcement this year. Personally I don't think an upper counter is going to be better for everyone - I don't trust creel reports any more than I trust the counter. At least the lower counter is before most of the inriver harvest. I think the move upriver will end up allocating more kings to the inriver fishery. But who knows.

      I would like the idea of no fishing on the river for the first part of July also if I didn't suspect that it would result in restrictions for the completely separate commercial Sockeye setnet fishery. I'm for no king fishing on the river period. Get off the spawning beds and kill 'em in the saltwater like everybody else. Open tidewater. Let Ricky-Bobby fish for kings down with all his dippers!

      Comment


      • Your frustration is understandable.

        However, the solution is to get more and better information through better methods of population enumeration (i.e., counting fish). Getting an accurate and timely estimate of the adult abundance is the MOST critical piece of information that a fish manager needs to make decisions. The estimate doesn't have to be perfect. But the error bounds around the estimate need to be reasonable, known, and accurate. That appears to be problematic on the Kenai, and perhaps the Kasilof too. That's not unusual when managing Pacific salmon. But the answer is to keep moving forward. ADF&G ought not throw in the towel, or retreat on developing better methods of estimation. They need to be creative in how they estimate returning adults.

        Onward and upward. Always.

        Comment


        • For people interested in learning more about the Kenai River king salmon sonar project, attached is a link to the 2014 operation plan for the project. The background provides a bit of history, site locations, and challenges of the project. The objectives also address the length of project operations and when to suspend operations for the season (less than 1% for three consecutive days). http://www.adfg.alaska.gov/FedAidPDF...2A.2014.06.pdf


          To read other sonar project reports (and those citations listed in the operation plan), you can access those reports using the following link:
          http://www.adfg.alaska.gov/sf/publications/

          The easiest way to use the search function is to select "Author" for the keyword under the "Field" dropdown menu box. Then type in the author's last name under the "Search String" box.

          Comment


          • Originally posted by fishNphysician View Post
            In 2011 and 2012, looks like they pulled the plug on the king counter after the Aug 10 count

            http://www.adfg.alaska.gov/sf/FishCo...n.kenaiChinook

            In 2013 they went all the way to Aug 15

            I know guys who caught 'em all the way into September last year
            Gotta love silver fishin

            Doc, I'm nearly certain that the counter was left in until August 15 in 2012. The fish count page does not show the last 5 days of counts - I have no idea why. I'll double check though.

            Thanks for the link Tally. I found this:

            "Daily estimates of fish passage will be produced for 16 May to 10 August. If daily estimates comprise less than 1% of cumulative passage for three consecutive days, operations may be suspended before 10 August."

            Haven't done a ton of research, but it seems goofy to me to have a cut-off date and a mathematical cut-off formula. The either-or does not seem consistent, but don't know how other counters are pulled. Does anyone else? And why the heck the 10th after we've established that Kings are running late and have left the counter in until the 15th for several years? The upper counter has been left in even later, according to the report.

            Comment


            • From the ADFG count page-


              King salmon run update:


              During the second outgoing extreme high tide on August 11 at the mile 8.6 sonar site, a large tree struck the departmentís marker buoy and left bank transducer severing the cable attached to the transducer and washing it downstream about a quarter of a mile. The equipment was retrieved but will not be re-deployed and sonar operations will end at the mile 8.6 location. The netting program at river mile 8.6 and the sonar program at river mile 13.7 will remain operational to provide king salmon passage estimates through August 15.
              On August 11 the daily estimated passage was 73 king salmon for a season total of 16,671 king salmon. Daily king salmon passage over the last four days has been less than one percent of the cumulative season passage. Through August 11, approximately 18% of the total king salmon passage occurred in August which is an average passage rate for that time period.
              Using average run timing approximately 97% of the run is completed at this time. The sustainable escapement goal was estimated to have been achieved on Tuesday, August 5th, after accounting for harvest and catch and release mortality above the sonar.
              The next summary is planned for late August and will be the end of season summary for the 2014 Kenai River late-run king salmon.

              Comment

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