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  • #61
    If the commercial folks could set their gear to only catch the target species (e.g., sockeye), the folks who are concerned about the impacts on Chinook would have nothing to complain about. The commercial folks could harvest 100% of their allocation of sockeye without being concerned about effecting the weak stock (Chinook). The gear being used (e.g., set nets) are targeting the very abundant sockeye, but the recreational folks are concerned about the incidental catch of Chinook, which, even if they are abundant (which they aren't), are considered to be "their" target species (rightly or wrongly). In my view, that's a gear problem. The creative, but impractical, idea of a fish wheel is intended to develop a "clean" fishery that allows retention of only the target species, while returning the weaker stock to the river unharmed.

    Further, it ain't a people problem (the popularity of the dip net fishery notwithstanding). Everyone is targeting the fish they value. One species is abundant while the other is not nearly as abundant as it once was. Any gear type that takes the weaker stock, either directly or incidentally, is going to be subject to criticism.

    This conundrum is not unique to Alaska or the KP. It happens frequently in many places, including the PNW and the Great Lakes.

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    • #62
      Originally posted by Cohoangler View Post
      If the commercial folks could set their gear to only catch the target species (e.g., sockeye), the folks who are concerned about the impacts on Chinook would have nothing to complain about. The commercial folks could harvest 100% of their allocation of sockeye without being concerned about effecting the weak stock (Chinook). The gear being used (e.g., set nets) are targeting the very abundant sockeye, but the recreational folks are concerned about the incidental catch of Chinook, which, even if they are abundant (which they aren't), are considered to be "their" target species (rightly or wrongly). In my view, that's a gear problem. The creative, but impractical, idea of a fish wheel is intended to develop a "clean" fishery that allows retention of only the target species, while returning the weaker stock to the river unharmed.

      Further, it ain't a people problem (the popularity of the dip net fishery notwithstanding). Everyone is targeting the fish they value. One species is abundant while the other is not nearly as abundant as it once was. Any gear type that takes the weaker stock, either directly or incidentally, is going to be subject to criticism.

      This conundrum is not unique to Alaska or the KP. It happens frequently in many places, including the PNW and the Great Lakes.
      Cohoangler, like most things it is complicated but it is both a gear and people problem. First the gear is catching chinook which is O.K if the people part of the equation was solved. So you could go both ways. The gear problem is the more difficult because if there was a magic bullet out there fisherman would have developed it.

      Th people problem is a rich white guy who thinks he owns the State of Alaska. He has put his personal wealth into running the commercial fishery out of UCI. Killing one fish is too many for him and he has stated this numerous times. Combine wealth and political power and you get dirty politics and people who want to be part of the game as it makes them feel important. The rich play on that and get others to do their dirty work so they can say they met Ted Stevens or the Governor. You cannot imagine how many times I have watched that play out over the years until they do something Mr Rich does not like. Then it is off to the woodshed and then good people figure it out and leave. I have a long list of these types. Then there are the greedy ones - some guides and residents who never was taught to share in kindergarten.

      So how does this play out. One way is for the vote to go forward and see how most Alaskans react - if the set net ban fails the political power goes away to some extent.

      The other is to kill it in the courts and hope Mr. Rich goes to hell shortly. Not sure if anyone with money will pick it up as a cause. Especially if they lose in court.

      The next way is to get an ADF&G Commissioner that says no to all of this and cleans ADF&G leadership and we start developing a new culture in ADF&G

      Or all three start to happen. I believe that most Alaskans will not support the ban as it is unfair and despite our differences good people make fairness an issue in this type of election.

      Comment


      • #63
        Originally posted by Nerka View Post

        ...... I believe that most Alaskans will not support the ban as it is unfair and despite our differences good people make fairness an issue in this type of election.
        If this was a "normal" year on the Kenai I would tend to agree but with the way the red run played out this year I'm not so sure. The fish didn't hit the river in big numbers like years past and a lot of folks struggled to catch fish. This has left a lot of folks with a bad taste in their mouths and has resulted in a lot of finger pointing and blame gaming. Unfortunately, the setnet guys may bare the brunt of the wrath even though they had no impact on the way the run played out.

        Comment


        • #64
          Originally posted by Cohoangler View Post
          If the commercial folks could set their gear to only catch the target species (e.g., sockeye), the folks who are concerned about the impacts on Chinook would have nothing to complain about. The commercial folks could harvest 100% of their allocation of sockeye without being concerned about effecting the weak stock (Chinook). The gear being used (e.g., set nets) are targeting the very abundant sockeye, but the recreational folks are concerned about the incidental catch of Chinook, which, even if they are abundant (which they aren't), are considered to be "their" target species (rightly or wrongly). In my view, that's a gear problem. The creative, but impractical, idea of a fish wheel is intended to develop a "clean" fishery that allows retention of only the target species, while returning the weaker stock to the river unharmed.

          Further, it ain't a people problem (the popularity of the dip net fishery notwithstanding). Everyone is targeting the fish they value. One species is abundant while the other is not nearly as abundant as it once was. Any gear type that takes the weaker stock, either directly or incidentally, is going to be subject to criticism.

          This conundrum is not unique to Alaska or the KP. It happens frequently in many places, including the PNW and the Great Lakes.
          Certain people had a very big problem with the ESSN's proportionally small harvest of kings even in years of RECORD abundance. Even back then there were initiatives, project "us" (community fish trap proposal by Mr. Rich), and numerous other attempts to put the ESSN's out of business. Recent low king abundance was the perfect "crisis" to take advantage of to try and accomplish a life goal before punching out. Pulling out all the stops so to speak.

          Problem is, with the way the dipnet fishery is set up, it will displace the other fisheries all on its own given enough time. Just wait till production in Skilak lake drops. Unfortunately even the abundant Sockeye are becoming less so with a bigger and bigger PU fishery and a spreading idea that there needs to be more more more fish in our rivers, freezers, and landfills. Case in point...

          Originally posted by Arcticwildman View Post
          If this was a "normal" year on the Kenai I would tend to agree but with the way the red run played out this year I'm not so sure. The fish didn't hit the river in big numbers like years past and a lot of folks struggled to catch fish. This has left a lot of folks with a bad taste in their mouths and has resulted in a lot of finger pointing and blame gaming. Unfortunately, the setnet guys may bare the brunt of the wrath even though they had no impact on the way the run played out.
          Arctic, not picking, but this was a "normal" year on the Kenai. It's fishing. Talk to the old timers and get their take - this happens. Big picture. This Kenai return will likely be less than expected, but still fairly strong when looking at the long term average if I'm not mistaken. Kasilof was off the hook for the second year in a row. The Kenai setnetters took a VERY low proportion of the Sockeye take - why would anyone blame a fishery that fished 3 times? Yes, ESSN King harvest was more than in river, but King goals will be made and then some. As for Sockeye, the run is already within the SEG range I believe with more fish to come. No doubt the drifters will take some heat for the lower Sockeye abundance, however I don't think their harvest has been crazy high despite lots of fishing time due to area restrictions dropping effectiveness. Probably an average year for an average-ish run for the drifters, however they got way more than the usual % of the commercial harvest since the ESSN's have been closed. (still are despite king projections over the goal). Probably still pretty high dipnet harvest - but we'll know for sure after the snow melts... yes, it takes that long to find out how many fish the newest fishery on the Kenai harvests. Goofy. I don't know any dippers who got skunked or even shorted. But then again most of my friends actually like to fish and would not complain if they had to take an extra day off work to spend filling their liberal quota.

          I think this year was a reality check for everyone - welcome to fishing. I think our community is realizing that the PU fishery is great, but it needs some changing. It was not created and has not been managed responsibly by our policy makers. The rules and regs do nothing to discourage man's inherent spirit of gluttony that can become prevalent with this type of sport. Our state has allowed it to expand with liberal limits to the point that it is displacing other fisheries and causing a host of issues at our river mouths and elswhere. The liberal limits combined with loads of misinformation by our sportfish reps have caused people to expect to have hundreds of thousands of reds in the mouth of the Kenai the second and third weekend in July. The current fishery, expectations, and general glut of people and fish that accompany it is not practical, and long-term is not in the best interest of the Alaskan people as our constitution dictates. It is certainly not in the best interest of the local fishing communities, something that while it may be implicitly referenced in state regulations, is explicitly stated in federal regulations.

          A diverse, balanced fishery with healthy guidelines and limits for all user groups is best. Coho, I like your idea of the bag limit. A reasonable per day sport and possession limit synonymous with the upriver sport fishery would mellow things out a bunch. If you need hundreds of fish, you can get them, but you will need to spend some time and money on the peninsula, and properly clean and process (or pay for processing) before you can get more. No more expectations of taking 1 day off work, trying to blast down and get 200 in one tide, then being mad at another user group when it does not work out.

          Comment


          • #65
            Originally posted by smithtb View Post

            Arctic, not picking, but this was a "normal" year on the Kenai. It's fishing. Talk to the old timers and get their take - this happens. Big picture. This Kenai return will likely be less than expected, but still fairly strong when looking at the long term average if I'm not mistaken. Kasilof was off the hook for the second year in a row. The Kenai setnetters took a VERY low proportion of the Sockeye take - why would anyone blame a fishery that fished 3 times? Yes, ESSN King harvest was more than in river, but King goals will be made and then some. As for Sockeye, the run is already within the SEG range I believe with more fish to come. No doubt the drifters will take some heat for the lower Sockeye abundance, however I don't think their harvest has been crazy high despite lots of fishing time due to area restrictions dropping effectiveness. Probably an average year for an average-ish run. Probably still pretty high dipnet harvest - but we'll know for sure after the snow melts... yes, it takes that long to find out how many fish the newest fishery on the Kenai harvests. Goofy. I don't know any dippers who got skunked or even shorted. But then again most of my friends actually like to fish and would not complain if they had to take an extra day off work to spend filling their liberal quota.

            I think this year was a reality check for everyone - welcome to fishing. I think our community is realizing that the PU fishery is great, but it needs some changing. It was not created and has not been managed responsibly by our policy makers. The rules and regs do nothing to discourage man's inherent spirit of gluttony that can become prevalent with this type of sport. Our state has allowed it to expand with liberal limits to the point that it is displacing other fisheries and causing a host of issues at our river mouths and elswhere. The liberal limits combined with loads of misinformation by our sportfish reps have caused people to expect to have hundreds of thousands of reds in the mouth of the Kenai the second and third weekend in July. The current fishery, expectations, and general glut of people and fish that accompany it is not practical, and long-term is not in the best interest of the Alaskan people as our constitution dictates. It is certainly not in the best interest of the local fishing communities, something that while it may be implicitly referenced in state regulations, is explicitly stated in federal regulations.

            A diverse, balanced fishery with healthy guidelines and limits for all user groups is best. Coho, I like your idea of the bag limit. A reasonable per day sport and possession limit synonymous with the upriver sport fishery would mellow things out a bunch. If you need hundreds of fish, you can get them, but you will need to spend some time and money on the peninsula, and properly clean and process (or pay for processing) before you can get more. No more expectations of taking 1 day off work, trying to blast down and get 200 in one tide, then being mad at another user group when it does not work out.
            I agree. People have been spoiled the past few years and now expect it to always be that way. It's human nature to blame others when things don't go the way you expect them to go. Is it fair to even try to blame the setnet folks? You and I both know the answer to that question. They had nothing to do with it but somebody will be the sacrificial lamb to appease the folks who are upset about not catching their limits in an hour or two like they did in the past.

            Comment


            • #66
              Originally posted by smithtb View Post
              A diverse, balanced fishery with healthy guidelines and limits for all user groups is best. Coho, I like your idea of the bag limit. A reasonable per day sport and possession limit synonymous with the upriver sport fishery would mellow things out a bunch. If you need hundreds of fish, you can get them, but you will need to spend some time and money on the peninsula, and properly clean and process (or pay for processing) before you can get more. No more expectations of taking 1 day off work, trying to blast down and get 200 in one tide, then being mad at another user group when it does not work out.
              TB - You said it better than I did. Nicely done. ADF&G can improve the dip net fishery with the tools they already have, and know how to use. It's long past the time to impose reasonable limits, and to regain control of the fishery.

              Comment

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