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  • Chinook Study on 12 systens

    http://www.adn.com/article/20140825/...hinook-decline from the ADN.

    Its not the freshwater production of the juvenile chinook that is the reason this decline is occurring; its being driven by poor marine survival, said Ed Jones, the lead for the initiative and sport fish coordinator for the Alaska Department of Fish and Game.

    We dont know why but once these juvenile chinook salmon are entering the ocean they are not surviving at the rates they once did, Jones added.And at the same, we also are seeing younger and smaller chinook returning to spawn, and this obviously results in smaller fish being caught.

    May be worth watching this one. It brings to mind the Fraser River Sockeye study on overescapement, which counseled that results may vary depending on which ocean cycle was present.

    Terry

  • #2
    Ed Jones obviously has no idea about the Kenai River early run chinook salmon. More crap from ADF&G - ignore the harvest issues in the Kenai River as that brings eyes on a major part of the problem - denial by ADF&G of in-river issues. I really have no respect for this type of comment. Ocean survival is an issue but not the only issue. That is not science but pure emotion.

    Comment


    • #3
      Originally posted by Nerka View Post
      Ed Jones obviously has no idea about the Kenai River early run chinook salmon. More crap from ADF&G - ignore the harvest issues in the Kenai River as that brings eyes on a major part of the problem - denial by ADF&G of in-river issues. I really have no respect for this type of comment. Ocean survival is an issue but not the only issue. That is not science but pure emotion.
      Uhhh....don't you think he was being general for the entire state? Just curious why YOU don't mention the Yukon and Kuskokwim rivers as well? Both of those rivers have had decades of selective harvesting of large king salmon by inriver subsistence users using very large mesh gillnets (8" mesh) that primarily select for large females. Are you afraid to blame subsistence users for any wrong doing? Because they use gill nets? Why do you continue to rail on the Kenai River when other rivers have had the same problem? Also....and this is a repeating pattern with you, why do you just single out the early-run Kenai kings only and not the late-run? Are you protecting your argument, and do you fail to see that late-run Kenai kings are declining in older fish. And what I mean by protecting your argument is you pick on the run that is primarily exploited by sport anglers, but in no way discuss the run that is exploited by both sport anglers and commercial fishers. That run is experiencing the same problem, albeit not as drastically as the early-run. So is the late-run Kenai kings fine and dandy? If not, is it just the inriver anglers that are causing the decline of older kings? You seem VERY selective in your arguments. Cheers.

      Comment


      • #4
        Gotta agree with BP on this one. The rep from ADF&G was not referring to Chinook stocks in one particular part of the State (KP) or on one specific stock (ER Chinook). He indicated that ocean conditions seem to have changed, which would not be unusual, although the quote doesn't provide any substance to the argument. However, it's likely that marine survival is as variable as freshwater survival; and that smolt-to-adult return rates are lowered than expected.

        BP's point regarding Nerka's penchant for supporting the commercial fishing folks is certainly not new to anyone on this BB. Nothing new there......

        Comment


        • #5
          Can't speak for Nerka, but could it be possible that he supports commercial harvest of salmon because he believes it is a very efficient tool when trying to manage salmon runs on a sustained yield basis?

          Comment


          • #6
            Sure, of course. But he doesn't have to justify his views to anyone, least of all, me. In other words, Nerka can support the commercial folks all he wants; and he doesn't need a reason to do so.

            I was just pointing out that BP's observations were not new to anyone who frequents this BB. Indeed, anyone on this BB is welcome to their own views, regardless of how informed or uninformed those opinions may be. I can also say the same about TVFin, Fun, TB, Whoop, or Marcus (wherever he is.......).

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by Big Papi View Post
              Uhhh....don't you think he was being general for the entire state? Just curious why YOU don't mention the Yukon and Kuskokwim rivers as well? Both of those rivers have had decades of selective harvesting of large king salmon by inriver subsistence users using very large mesh gillnets (8" mesh) that primarily select for large females. Are you afraid to blame subsistence users for any wrong doing? Because they use gill nets? Why do you continue to rail on the Kenai River when other rivers have had the same problem? Also....and this is a repeating pattern with you, why do you just single out the early-run Kenai kings only and not the late-run? Are you protecting your argument, and do you fail to see that late-run Kenai kings are declining in older fish. And what I mean by protecting your argument is you pick on the run that is primarily exploited by sport anglers, but in no way discuss the run that is exploited by both sport anglers and commercial fishers. That run is experiencing the same problem, albeit not as drastically as the early-run. So is the late-run Kenai kings fine and dandy? If not, is it just the inriver anglers that are causing the decline of older kings? You seem VERY selective in your arguments. Cheers.
              Yes, Mr. Jones was being general for the entire state. From what I've observed, ADFG leaders would frown very much if Mr. Jones or anyone in their employ offered their opinion of what specific problems the Kenai has - too easy to step on the shiny toes of the penny-loafing, Gulfstream-toting elites who have made the Kenai their playground, and who control the political process. That would be bad for business and anyone's individual political aspirations - kinda like turning down an invitation to the classic I would love to hear Mr. Jones' opinion on specifically Kenai issues, but won't hold my breath. It is a common tactic for ADFG reps to speak in general terms to avoid getting into sticky situations when it comes to UCI.

              As for the ER and why Nerka has focused on it - I can't speak for him, but for myself it is exactly as you state - ER Kings are exploited by only 1 local user group (they got that allocation years ago), yet are significantly worse off than the LR, which faces exploitation by a diversity of user groups - I support diversity in our fisheries so I will continue to point this out. Also, the ER (according to ADFG reports) is facing production problems similar to the LR, however it is also recovering from OVERHARVEST - something unique to the ER. Considering current events, initiatives, and lawsuits, I don't feel too bad picking on the inriver fishery a little over these valid and irrefutable points.

              As for size selectivity in gillnets - you are exactly correct. Large gillnets used in the AYK region were proven to be size selective for larger fish. I'm assuming that the theory is that killing more of these large fish in times of low abundance would lead to less of them in future generations as size/age of return is at least partly heritable, and the large fish carry greater reproductive potential - probably why King conservation gear of < 6" mesh has now (appropriately) been implemented in times of conservation for that region.

              Moving to the Kenai...

              King conservation for UCI commercial gillnet gear (<6" mesh) has been in place - 100% of the time - for decades - since the 70's I believe. We know that the sport/commercial powerboat fishery on the Kenai is very efficient and size selective. We know we have a production and a size/age issue on the Kenai, yet we still allow trophy fishing - even in times of conservation. Not only that, but no one will stand up and call B.S. when the biolistutes for the above mentioned group of elites tell us we are making irresponsible assumptions when we conclude that culling the large/old fish from the run will likely result in a less productive run of smaller fish. Again, a perfect example of what is wrong on the Kenai, and why focusing on the ER helps illustrate this.

              The reason that the AYK issue is different than the Kenai is that is was studied, identified, and addressed. In the Kenai, we have thus far merely chalked these issues up to setnet mortality and a "statewide issue" of declining size/age/productivity, despite the fact that our inriver exploitation and selective harvest is second to none.

              Comment


              • #8
                Hold on Big Pappi and Cohoangler. If you had read the Chinook Salmon Stock Assessment and Research Plan that this article refers to, then you would know Ed Jones from ADFG is spewing crap.... +1 to Nerka for calling it out.

                First: This project is just getting started, and it will be years before any legitimate scientist can begin to draw conclusions. It is completely irresponsible for the lead of this project, Ed Jones (ADFG Sport Fishing Coordinator), to make "early findings" that the decline of Kings is not a freshwater production problem, but instead poor marine survival. After that reckless statement, I suspect the whole project will be bias, and in-river production problems will be ignored.

                You completely miss that the point behind this Research Plan is to fill those missing freshwater knowledge gaps - smolt abundance, fry stages, mark/recapture, accurate harvest counts, and physical data for each freshwater stream. Jones doesn't have that yet.

                Second: Jones wasn't being "general" for the entire state. Read the Plan he's tasked with. It includes 12 very specific rivers, with their own specific stocks as indicators. Each system is studied separately, will vary region to region, will exhibit different knowledge gaps, and will have a different assessment plan addressing the gaps respectively.

                Third: Why mention the Kenai River?...are you kidding? Not only is the Kenai one of the 12 specific rivers dedicated to the project (for obvious reasons), but it's one-of-a-kind commercialized sport fishery flies in the face of Jone's comment about freshwater productivity not being the cause. Neither the Yukon nor Kuskokwim have this freshwater trait - which must be a consideration in the study before Jones starts speculating his "early findings". Not to mention almost half of the Yukon's freshwater productivity originates in Canada, it has 6 different escapement goals for 6 of it's contributing King rivers, and it is already designated a King stock of yield concern. Without much of a sport fishery, both the Yukon and the Kuskokwim do not address much in regards to the affects of sport fishing on freshwater productivity. I think we all recognize the subsistence netting - old news. But remember, Jones is the Sport Fishing Coordinator, not the subsistence guy.

                Forth: Why single out the early run Kings on the Kenai? Why not? It's a stellar example. Contrary to Jones, the early run scenario exemplifies that we do in fact have freshwater productivity problems. After all, during the early run the commercial fishery has been closed for decades, while the in-river sport fishery was allowed to fish them to the last drop. So "railing" on the Kenai makes sense if one wants to look at the cause of the decline honestly and comprehensively. Not to mention its the State's most popular King fishery - home of the biggest sport caught King in the world - an early run King it was. The late run, which is commercially fished, is not in near the dire situation as the early run.

                Furthermore, none of that really matters. If you read the Research Plan for this project, the Kenai King is broken down into two distinct runs - early and late. That makes a difference because of the enumeration problems due to so many other species running at the same time as the late run King. So it is very legitimate to discuss the early run individually, just like its relative assessment plan.

                Fifth: The only "selective" statement is coming from Jones, who irresponsibly said the decline is not a freshwater problem.

                Sixth: Nerka did not say it was just in-river anglers causing the decline of older Kings, that is your own concoction. In fact he acknowledged that "ocean survival is an issue." He did not mention commercial fishing either. You did. His point was that to exclude freshwater causes is irresponsible, and Jones does not deserve any respect by doing that. Not sure why you would condone Jone's pathetic statement. Not sure why you would not support the commercial fishing folks either. Or why you guys are trying to make this personal with Nerka. Obviously it is you who is being penchant and selective. More like sour grapes.

                From the Chinook Salmon Stock Assessment and Research Plan referenced in the article:

                "Unfortunately we do not have marine survival information for many of these stocks to determine if these declines in productivity were due to decreased survival in fresh or marine waters or both. We also lack information on Chinook salmon productivity in Alaska prior to the 1970's that would allow us to understand the current downturn in relation to long-term patterns of productivity."

                "What is not clear from available data is where, when, and how changes in productivity of Chinook salmon occurred."

                "Several questions come to mind in attempting to understand the current statewide downturn in abundance of Chinook salmon in Alaska...For example, did the change in productivity occur due to changes in survival rates in freshwater, marine waters, or both and did the influence of freshwater versus marine survival vary among areas of the state?"

                Big Pappi and Cohoangler, if you disagree, then post the data supporting Jones statement that, "it's not the freshwater production of the juvenile Chinook that is the reason this decline is occurring; its been driven by poor marine survival."

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by Cohoangler View Post
                  I was just pointing out that BP's observations were not new to anyone who frequents this BB.
                  BP's post was nothing more than a bunch of leading questions filled with implications and accusations. Quite pathetic.


                  Originally posted by Cohoangler
                  BP's point regarding Nerka's penchant for supporting the commercial fishing folks is certainly not new to anyone on this BB. Nothing new there......Sure, of course. But he doesn't have to justify his views to anyone, least of all, me. In other words, Nerka can support the commercial folks all he wants; and he doesn't need a reason to do so.
                  That divisive, childish crap gets so old.

                  Newsflash Cohoangler....

                  1. There's nothing wrong with supporting commercial fishing folks. Not sure why you imply it's a bad thing.

                  2. Supporting commercial fishing does not have to mean not supporting sport fishing. And supporting sport fishing does not have to mean not supporting commercial fishing.

                  3. Defending commercial fishing from misinformation, and erroneous and malicious attacks is an exercise in truth and fairness, not necessarily an exercise in supporting commercial fishing.

                  4. You don't have to be a commercial fisherman to support commercial fishing.

                  5. Not all sport fishermen dislike commercial fishing, and not all commercial fishermen dislike sport fishing. You just provoke that divisive mentality.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Thanks Funstastic for the comments. Just for the record this is not about allocation which is what Cohoangler and Big Pappi are trying to make it. It is about the cause of a decline in size and abundance of chinook salmon in 12 systems. I used the Kenai because it was a good example of why Mr. Jones was wrong. I could have pointed out that in the Yukon there are known disease issues and harvest issues keeping the stock from meeting escapement goals in Canada. When I mention harvest it is all users not a specific user. Relative to the Susitna river chinook there are in-river issues with invasive species.

                    The late run Kenai River chinook decline is not as easy to define as the early run. However, if ADF&G is not even looking at in-river issues then that is a poor scientific approach to the question. So why would ADF&G prejudge the outcome and define studies in only that area?

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Nerka - I accept your counter arguments. Fair enough.

                      Fun - At what point did I say that there was something wrong with supporting commercial fishing? Please point it out before you start throwing accusations around. I did point out that some folks on this BB strongly support commercial fishing, and that should not be a surprise to anyone who reads this BB regularly. Not once did I imply there was something wrong with supporting the commercial fishing folks. Not once. But you did.

                      If you read what I wrote you will see just the opposite. I stated that nobody needs a reason to support whatever views they have. Nobody needs to justify their opinions to anyone, including me.
                      Last edited by Brian M; 08-27-2014, 20:24.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Chinook Study on 12 systens

                        There is no reason one cannot strongly support commercial fishing while strongly supporting sport, subsistence, and personal use fishing. If we support yield based goals there should be enought to share so long as all fisheries have reasonable limits.

                        The notion that one must support either/or when it comes to user groups is silly.
                        Last edited by smithtb; 08-27-2014, 10:13. Reason: typo

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by smithtb View Post
                          There is no reason one cannot strongly support commercial fishing while strongly supporting sport, subsistence, and personal use fishing. If we support yield based goals there should be enought to share so long as all fisheries have reasonable limits.

                          The notion that one must support either/or when it comes to user groups is silly.
                          Bingo! :topjob:

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            When the statement is made that the freshwater stage is not as likely the issue, it is in consideration of the juvenile life stages. The arguement of whent hat starts is defined by the question. There is no reason to think that an emerging salmon in 99.9% of alaska waters faces a greater challenge of survival than they did when things were high in king numbers......the smolt outputs reported by SE studies show this. Our habitat is almost entirely intact, weather hasn't been extreme to the point that it would wack juvies or in gravel salmon like is seen in the pacific northwest. In fact, with smaller escapements the odds of a density dependent issue is reduced, therefore the freshwater survival of juveniles is likely the same or higher than when we had high production.

                            So, since on most systems, harvest is more managed and understood than its ever been, the finger is now pointed to early juvenile stages......likely nearshore conditions when fish first hit the salt. The ridiciculous production of southern stocks.....which has nearly always been the reverse of ours over time.....further shows that it is likely ocean conditions. Later stages of the Chinook lifestyle of northern and southern stocks share and overlap in areas of the gulf of alaska and bering, areas that often have similar production levels, however, their first few months/year are spent in areas that often have opposite production levels. This is the base level for why the southern stocks with crappy habitat, ****s, urbanization, channelization, stocking of subpar inbred fish etc. can have high survival while our pristine stocks do not. When we were high, they were low.....panic button low. But before they go slapping themselves on the back, they had better just wait to see what comes in the next 5-10 years as things will likely flip over again as they have in the past.

                            Now, if production is low, every fish taken out certainly doesn't help the amount of fish put on the gravel, but, escapement goal analyses have done a decent job of showing at what escapement you should get a sustainable return (assuming some average survival). I don't think it means we need to stop fishing everything, but conservative management is implied.

                            Lastly, the initiative isn't about the Kenai (nor was the article).....it's about kings as a whole in Alaska, and each river has it's own wrinkle in what issues the stock faces and the Kenai certainly has it's own unique challenges and each river's issues will need to be addressed in turn. But, each of these stocks is having this issue of marine survival in common, and looking at all the stocks as a whole will help to at least understand what's going on, even if we can't change it.

                            There is a certain anthropogenic bent to everytime we see a swing in wildlife and fish populations despite the fact that mother nature is often the most controlling force in their story. Statistically, results are very fuzzy if there is a significant "selection differential" when it comes to gillnets and salmon. Anecdotally it's a slam dunk but considering that how something starts its life so often dictates how big they eventually get, it's not impossible that poor production is shrinking fish, or making them return earlier either. This obviously isn't known in any detail at the moment, but it's on the docket of what researchers want and need and plan to know.

                            What's going on is a great start, keeping the politics out of it will be very difficult but it's necessary until the knowledge is gained that can address and refine each river's needs.

                            Now back to the Kenai

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Cohoangler View Post
                              Fun - At what point did I say that there was something wrong with supporting commercial fishing? Please point it out before you start throwing accusations around. I did point out that some folks on this BB strongly support commercial fishing, and that should not be a surprise to anyone who reads this BB regularly. Not once did I imply there was something wrong with supporting the commercial fishing folks. Not once. But you did.

                              If you read what I wrote you will see just the opposite. I stated that nobody needs a reason to support whatever views they have. Nobody needs to justify their opinions to anyone, including me.

                              In the interest of playing nice, I won't make any comments on the level of reading comprehension......
                              You're only kidding yourself....

                              You stated you agreed with BP's post, which clearly implied Nerka was railing against the Kenai early run because it is exploited by sport fishermen and not commercial fishermen. It also implied Nerka was afraid to blame subsistence users because they use gillnets, and that he was being selective toward commercial fishermen.

                              You did not correct, defend, or even questions that pathetic post, not even for the sake of fairness and honesty. Instead you agreed with it. You condoned it, took the bait, perhaps even piled on, stating "Nerka's penchant for supporting the commercial fishing folks is certainly not new" - a divisive comment that did not belong or serve a purpose.

                              For the record, you brought up commercial fishing and who supports it long before either me or Nerka.
                              Last edited by Brian M; 08-27-2014, 12:28. Reason: forum rules

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