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  • #16
    Originally posted by willphish4food View Post
    Quit twisting numbers and trying to make the chinook returns look ok. Runs are depressed, harvests are depressed; not "just below average." The vast majority of monitored runs in the Susitna are not meeting escapement thresholds, much less an escapement in the middle of the goal. This with greatly reduced harvest both in the commercial and sport fisheries. So instead of contributing something constructive, Nerka, you just tear down my observations? Very classy. What is most telling of this and other of your posts, is this is exactly th e same pushback from many in management, at all levels. Instead of recognizing the problem as such, they do everything to minimalize the problem, (failed escapement goals) and refuse to even study anything outside the local management areas. They do everything in their power, including marginalizing the messenger, in order to keep from doing what it will take to end the decline and begin a recovery of the chinook stocks.
    746-6300 is the Palmer Office of F&G. Ask for Sam Ivey or Samantha Osland. I believe they can bring you up to speed rather quickly. You could also email or call AKTally for your questions.
    I did not attack you but asked for the smolt data you claim that makes your point. I noticed you did not provide it. Also you said all of UCI and the data does not support that. During the years of poor returns to some ND streams there have been good returns to other systems. I think I said individual systems should be looked not not generalized statements. Let me give you an example. Early run Kenai chinook. We know that freshwater issues are an important part of the reason for poor returns. So any solution must deal with those issues and recent regulations are trying to deal with them.

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    • #17
      Originally posted by Nerka View Post
      I did not attack you but asked for the smolt data you claim that makes your point. I noticed you did not provide it. Also you said all of UCI and the data does not support that. During the years of poor returns to some ND streams there have been good returns to other systems. I think I said individual systems should be looked not not generalized statements. Let me give you an example. Early run Kenai chinook. We know that freshwater issues are an important part of the reason for poor returns. So any solution must deal with those issues and recent regulations are trying to deal with them.
      The thought that a fishing regulation for people in a boat on a river can deal with the problems of the environment that may be causing low runs on fish that are not really fished any longer to me is a large part of why getting back to larger numbers or what this thread calls above average runs is not going to happen anytime soon. Much like our senators who are pushing national legislation about labeling food marketed wild salmon they say to protect wild salmon. Whoopy how about legislation to change land use and protect habitat, clean water stable oceans stuff like that?

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      • #18
        Originally posted by Nerka View Post
        Will what systems have smolt counts on them for chinook? Kenai and Kasilof do not. The total Susitna drainage does not have smolt numbers. So where did you get the idea smolt numbers are good and how do you measure good? Also you made my point. I said to look at individual rivers not harvest data for all of UCI. You pointed out streams that need examination. However, in recent years estimates of total chinook to the Susitna have been good for some years and for the Deska. Another problem is using averages. By definition that means 50% of the time the runs will be below average. So when people say the runs have been below average that is expected. Even a run of low years does not mean a long term issue if habitat is still good and harvest is controlled. Not saying not to look at harvest just there are other factors involved and you focus a lot on harvest and make claims about smolt numbers for all of UCI which is not true.
        Unfortunately, Nerka, inseason numbers for Kings in the Northern District come from 2 weirs, the Deshka weir and Little Susitna weir. Both have their limitations. There are also inseason angler surveys, observation by F&G personnel, and later in the season, air surveys. Easily available numbers are the weir numbers. I can't just log onto the website and pull up all escapement numbers and present them here. A retired person, like yourself, who still has many friends in the office and is more intimately connected to the data stream can usually find the information you demand I provide quite readily. I find it maddening, though, that you, a former manager, and many of the current crop of managers, fail to treat the chinook crisis as what it is, a crisis. Instead of questioning what the big picture looks like, and demanding answers of the top human harvester of the resource, the pollock fleet, and requesting urgent funding for full life cycle studies of Cook Inlet and all Alaska chinook, you are quite happy to direct all focus back to "inriver issues." Well, there are certainly inriver issues. We can identify many that may or may not have big impacts, and address them. But your approach and that of the department has been to stop there. Direct the lazer focus on rivers, and ignore the bigger picture. Or deflect attention away from it. Why all the deflection? Could it be as simple as money from sport fisheries doesn't line many big players' pockets?

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        • #19
          2018 8,544
          2017 11,356
          2016 22,774
          2015 24,316
          2014 16,335
          2013 18,531
          2012 14,096

          Deshka numbers for the same time period. Escapement range is 13,000 to 28,000. While most of these numbers fall within that range, most of these years required sportfish restrictions, and some also had commercial restrictions, to achieve the numbers. To just look at those numbers, one might say, we made escapement, whats the big deal? Well, look at the numbers from 99 to 06:
          2006 31,150
          2005 37,725
          2004 57,934
          2003 40,069
          2002 29,427
          2001 29,004
          2000 35,242
          1999 29,649

          The late 90's and early 2000's were producing huge numbers of chinook. The top SEG was exceeded in all of these years. Yet the high escapements continued to produce high escapements, and also very high harvests.

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          • #20
            During the late 90's and early 2000's the drift fleet fished area wide on openers, and the ESS nets fish hard, so what changed other then more in river pressure by lodges and guides?

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            • #21
              Everything is changing - ranging all the way from watershed degradation, ocean/fisheries issues to global climate change and everything in-between.
              All potential causes need recognized and addressed, if even possible.
              "Punish the monkey - let the organ grinder go" - Mark Knopfler

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              • #22
                Originally posted by MGH55 View Post
                During the late 90's and early 2000's the drift fleet fished area wide on openers, and the ESS nets fish hard, so what changed other then more in river pressure by lodges and guides?
                You have evidence that there was more in river pressure on ND streams, or you projecting the Kenai's problems on the Susitna? In actuality, there have been static and in season stepdown restrictions to inriver users every year since at least 2006, to the point we're at now, zero sport fishing in river, not even hook and release, in nearly all wild rivers of the Susitna and Knik drainages. Two full life cycles of stepdown restrictions inriver and also to the near river setnetters, and numbers still are not coming back. Its about time the state gets serious about finding out why, and quit taking Nerka's approach of constantly redirecting attention back to inriver problems only while ignoring most if not all potential salt water issues.

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                • #23
                  'Willfish',
                  With all due respect , I'm really trying to understand your stance and criticisms.

                  I see Nerka saying (Post 7) "I agree one should look at all harvesters and take action if escapement goals are not met. But also one should look at the in-river systems to see if in-river issues have impacted production."

                  And as far Mat-Su watersheds, there is plenty of ample evidence of degradation - they do need attention. (USFWS studies on the Knik are but one example.) I just don't see anyone at all claiming that as the sole cause, and (perhaps too obliquely) have referenced a broader viewpoint in Post 21.

                  Just not understanding why the constant friction exists, rather than giving consideration to all potentially additive causes to low returns. I would think it may be beneficial to work together on any cause diminishing runs at this juncture.
                  Have I missed where someone has stated that salt water issues have nothing to do with current status?
                  Thanks.
                  "Punish the monkey - let the organ grinder go" - Mark Knopfler

                  Comment


                  • #24
                    Originally posted by willphish4food View Post
                    You have evidence that there was more in river pressure on ND streams, or you projecting the Kenai's problems on the Susitna? In actuality, there have been static and in season stepdown restrictions to inriver users every year since at least 2006, to the point we're at now, zero sport fishing in river, not even hook and release, in nearly all wild rivers of the Susitna and Knik drainages. Two full life cycles of stepdown restrictions inriver and also to the near river setnetters, and numbers still are not coming back. Its about time the state gets serious about finding out why, and quit taking Nerka's approach of constantly redirecting attention back to inriver problems only while ignoring most if not all potential salt water issues.
                    You know I tried to be nice but you are constantly lying about my position. I said to include in-river issues not exclude marine issues. Reread my posts. You have such a bias against commercial harvest that you refuse to even admit that pike and other in-river issues are at play. The ND drainages have had floods, invasive species, and other factors that could reduce chinook production.

                    Comment


                    • #25
                      I think Will's hostility is a result of the constant portrayal of the Valley fisheries as being pike infested, pollution contaminated, culvert crisscrossed, beaver dammed redneck lands.

                      The area biologists in the Mat-Su have been saying for years that there is something going on out in the ocean causing low survival but nobody seems to want to listen to them.

                      I don't think it is as simple as one specific thing causing issues with ND King returns but more of a perfect storm of several things all combined that are causing these issues. One thing that seems to be a growing concern among biologists that needs a lot more study is the influence of hatchery pink salmon on king salmon. I just find it hard to believe that we can keep dumping hundreds of millions of extra smolt into the ocean without it having some sort of impact on the food chain and survival of competing species. Unfortunately, I have very little faith that we will see any real effort to address this issue. There is too much money at stake and the path of least resistance is too easy to follow.

                      Also, I just saw today where Kodiak is restricting King fishing due to anticipated low returns, so this isn't just a UCI/ND issue.

                      Comment


                      • #26
                        Area and federal biologists have also acknowledged and documented in-river issues, which have variances in individual watersheds - the "path of least resistance" having basically overcome there, too.

                        Perhaps improved/applied technology and science could be of more help at some point ....... preferably soon, and if afforded and accepted.
                        Example:

                        https://www.washingtonpost.com/us-po...=.ab830793c28b
                        "Punish the monkey - let the organ grinder go" - Mark Knopfler

                        Comment


                        • #27
                          Originally posted by Arcticwildman View Post

                          The area biologists in the Mat-Su have been saying for years that there is something going on out in the ocean causing low survival but nobody seems to want to listen to them.
                          Personally, and we all know I'm no biologist for sure, but that's where I believe the problem lies. I mean all a guy has to do is look at the illegal fishing that we know is going on with only a handful of boats getting caught in the act....it's pretty da*n big ocean out there! As well as the massive amounts of "legal" bycatch that continually goes on, again, that we even know about. Then there's the ocean itself that they say is getting weaker and weaker due to a variety of reasons. Makes a guy wonder how long any of our fisheries can stay healthy at all with all the crap that's going on out there...???!!!
                          Sheep hunting...... the pain goes away, but the stupidity remains...!!!

                          Comment


                          • #28
                            The propensity to blame it on narrow spectrums is something I firmly believe in avoiding.
                            While some interferences will obviously carry more far more weight in the end, that does not mean it won't ultimately take action on uncounted others to be successful for sustainability. Ocean conditions, agreed, a huge concern.

                            For heavens sake, I have witnessed returning fish floating dead by the hundreds in a creek because of exceedingly high water temperatures.
                            Events like that tend to steer towards a broad view.
                            "Punish the monkey - let the organ grinder go" - Mark Knopfler

                            Comment


                            • #29
                              Originally posted by Arcticwildman View Post
                              I think Will's hostility is a result of the constant portrayal of the Valley fisheries as being pike infested, pollution contaminated, culvert crisscrossed, beaver dammed redneck lands.

                              The area biologists in the Mat-Su have been saying for years that there is something going on out in the ocean causing low survival but nobody seems to want to listen to them.

                              I don't think it is as simple as one specific thing causing issues with ND King returns but more of a perfect storm of several things all combined that are causing these issues. One thing that seems to be a growing concern among biologists that needs a lot more study is the influence of hatchery pink salmon on king salmon. I just find it hard to believe that we can keep dumping hundreds of millions of extra smolt into the ocean without it having some sort of impact on the food chain and survival of competing species. Unfortunately, I have very little faith that we will see any real effort to address this issue. There is too much money at stake and the path of least resistance is too easy to follow.

                              Also, I just saw today where Kodiak is restricting King fishing due to anticipated low returns, so this isn't just a UCI/ND issue.
                              This is exactly what spawned this thread. thank you. And instead of any input from Nerka regarding what can be done about salt water issues, all he can do is a) question whether there really is a problem, and b) insist that more work needs to be done inriver. While offering nothing for identifying and rectifying possible saltwater issues.

                              Comment


                              • #30
                                Originally posted by Nerka View Post
                                You know I tried to be nice but you are constantly lying about my position. I said to include in-river issues not exclude marine issues. Reread my posts. You have such a bias against commercial harvest that you refuse to even admit that pike and other in-river issues are at play. The ND drainages have had floods, invasive species, and other factors that could reduce chinook production.
                                Nerka, we know about inriver issues. And the position of Fish and Game on those issues. This thread is not about those issues. This thread is about looking at the bigger picture. Because what we are doing so far has been very ineffective.

                                Comment

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