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  • Cohoangler
    replied
    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.

    Leave a comment:


  • Arcticwildman
    replied
    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.

    Leave a comment:


  • smithtb
    replied
    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.

    Leave a comment:


  • Arcticwildman
    replied
    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.

    Leave a comment:


  • Nerka
    replied
    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.

    Leave a comment:


  • Cohoangler
    replied
    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.

    Leave a comment:


  • smithtb
    replied
    Originally posted by Cohoangler View Post
    I agree with Nerka on the fish wheel idea.

    However, let's not forget what prompted this suggestion - the difficulties of managing a mixed stock fishery with limited gear types. This ain't a "fish" problem. It's a "gear" problem. If we fix the problems with the gear (non-target mortality, ability to deploy, etc), we can resolve many of the other issues too.

    Easier written than done.......
    Completely disagree. It is not a gear problem. Kings will make the goal. Again. The gear is easy to manage. Fish, somewhat harder. People are another matter entirely...

    The King issue is but a symptom - yes, not a lot of kings. But the real problem is that this whole discussion has been so perverted by years of fighting that the facts are more rare than the she-pigs of yesteryear. But, judging from the number of learjets parked in Kenai this week, I'd say that the good ole boy politics that made this fight what it is are alive and well. Penny loafers must be whoopin' it up this week... Hopefully just a coincidence that the Gov was in town as well...

    Leave a comment:


  • Cohoangler
    replied
    I agree with Nerka on the fish wheel idea.

    However, let's not forget what prompted this suggestion - the difficulties of managing a mixed stock fishery with limited gear types. This ain't a "fish" problem. It's a "gear" problem. If we fix the problems with the gear (non-target mortality, ability to deploy, etc), we can resolve many of the other issues too.

    Easier written than done.......

    Leave a comment:


  • Nerka
    replied
    Originally posted by Tee Jay View Post

    The longer this goes on the better the suggestion of fishwheels. Get in line and whatever comes our of the wheel in your brief time is yours.
    Just want to address the fishwheel option. I have used fishwheels in the Kenai River and they really are not going to work for what some are suggesting. All the social issues aside they are not practical. The fish tend to migrate mostly at night so the catch is low during the day and much higher at night. Thus fish and people schedules do not match. Also what does not match is catch rates and people schedules when they come down to the Kenai. Fish come in a short period and the fishwheels will be overload some days and under most days for demand. Thus an upset public. Excess fish would have to be sold and transporting them is a major issue.

    More than a decade ago Hidden Lake had a good run of sockeye and someone had the idea to dip them out for the public. It was a nightmare. Lines of cars for miles up the road, the need for emergency services on site, USFWS and State enforcement on site to keep people from fighting, and the list of issues goes on. Never again was the cry after that season and Hidden Lake stocking was reduced as the lake could not handle the excess fish.

    Finally fishwheels are selectivity for size and of course species as is all gear so that is another consideration.

    In summary the cost per fish would be very high while the present dip net fishery is about a dollar to harvest-- fishwheels would probably be 2-4 times that. Hidden Lake turned out to be 5x.

    Leave a comment:


  • Tee Jay
    replied
    As a practical matter, expect the petitions to be circulated far from the "urban" areas targeted. Getting enough signatures should be really easy. You go to the Mall, all the trendy stores. Since no one from Anchorage or the Mat SU has ever done anything less than praiseworthy anywhere in the State, the Mall will have to be in Moose Pass. Seward has the saltwater, Cooper Landing has the Russian, the dipnetters must be the hordes from Moose Pass, or they may also descend from Hope.

    The longer this goes on the better the suggestion of fishwheels. Get in line and whatever comes our of the wheel in your brief time is yours.

    Leave a comment:


  • kasilofchrisn
    replied
    IMHO the real trojan horse here is the "BALLOT BOX BIOLOGY".
    The voting public are not biologists. We vote more based on opinions and feelings not the hard facts on the candidates and issues.
    Not trying to turn this political but it is obvious many people voted for our president based on skin color alone.
    We should not let the public vote on issues that the board of fish or fish and games own biologists should handle.
    This issue is no different. The public should not be allowed to vote on it. Whether or not you agree with the ban for whatever reason these issues should be left to the board of fish and game and ADF&G wildlife and fisheries biologists.
    To me its like congress voting on their own pay raise. Should individual user groups be allowed to vote on their own limits? No and they shouldn't be allowed to vote on this issue either.
    I have seen this type of thing destroy more game in another state than it ever helped. But the public thought they were doing the right thing.
    The wildlife bioligists I worked with at the time felt entirely different. The public never saw the dead deer they helped to kill that lay in waste or were eaten by wolves.
    Why have a board of fish if we are just going to let the public vote on the issues?

    Leave a comment:


  • kasilofchrisn
    replied
    Originally posted by sayak View Post
    Exactly! You have made my argument! But let me state it again for clarification: The set netters and fish traps fished both sides of the inlet for nearly 80 years combined, and then another decade after that for just the set netters. Then the sport guys showed up enmass to claim their prize. Isn't it amazing that after all that intense fishing effort with unlimited fishing opportunity on the part of the commercial guys- WAY more intense than it is now- the kings survived and thrived? They thrived UNTIL the guides came along to put their clients on the big trophy kings, and often on their spawning beds. Only after that was the Kenai king's fate sealed. So very hypocritical to blame the set netters when the demise of the kings is clearly the result of trophy sport effort... oh, and decades of dip net bycatch (the real bycatch).
    "You must spread some Reputation around before giving it to sayak again"
    Even though he was a very nice guy when I met him and it was not his intent I truly believe if Les Anderson had not caught the record fish we would not be as bad off as we are today on the kings.
    Once word spread of his world record catch people flocked to the Kenai to get a big one. And that they did ripped them right off their spawning beds. Now there aren't many left and people wonder why? Seriously?
    I know a spot on the upper Kasilof where we I have caught a 65# king and couple years later a friend pulled a similiar sized fish (both released)from the exact same spot out of my boat while silver fishing in August.
    I can imagine a guide finding a few hot spots and pulling kings just like that from their spawning grounds year after year. Multiply that times a few hundred guides and you have your answer to where a lot of the king problem is.

    Leave a comment:


  • thewhop2000
    replied
    PROBABLY MY LAST THREAD... carry ON. It's been a nice ride... me and Mike has some words... tootles

    Leave a comment:


  • Tee Jay
    replied
    Originally posted by smithtb View Post
    ........ Careful and scientific management is part of the reason this fishery has been sustainable.........
    .
    Smithtb, You may want to reconsider a bit. The BOF is a pure political process. ADF&G may mention some science, but the management process is all political.

    Carry on
    Terry

    Leave a comment:


  • AaronP
    replied
    Originally posted by smithtb View Post
    We are currently not allowing the source of mortality to continue. Like in past poor runs, the setnets have been shut down this year due to lack of kings in order to ensure that escapement will be made. Careful and scientific management is part of the reason this fishery has been sustainable.

    Saying that it is what it is ignores the fact that history has a habit of repeating itself.
    Agreed. The problem is with all of the fighting amongst the user groups. Until all of the groups can come together and make a plan things will continue to get worse. It just really bothers me to see the kings go away because of the dollar.

    Leave a comment:

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