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  • #31
    Thought provoking stuff, Funs, thanks....
    ....it's the offshoring of Alaska, combined with what in economic circles they call "the Resource Curse".....
    "Ė Gas boats are bad enough, autos are an invention of the devil, and airplanes are worse." ~Allen Hasselborg

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    • #32
      Just want to give an update on what the Commissioner of Fish and Game is doing in UCI commercial fisheries. It is not good and is setting an example of how not to manage a fishery and why the Area Management Concept is the best option. So for the commercial fishery the local staff must sent up to the Regional staff and the Commissioner what they want to do in terms of fishing. So all e.o announcements must be approved by him. In addition he has changed the recommended course of action and has provide poor reasoning for what he is doing. In one case it took over 8 hours to get him to review the action. This is not good fishery management in UCI. The Commissioner has no experience managing the commercial fishery and he has provided evidence of that to the staff and public. For example on one e.o opening while the set nets out to 1.5 miles fished he refused to let the drift fleet fish in the smaller corridor. The rational he gave was to protect king salmon. The drift does not take king salmon and was excluded by the board of fish on the paired restrictions. So one fishery is targeting sockeye salmon and the drift fishery which should be fishing is closed. That was really stupid. Another example is that he has not let the staff fish the set net fishery their full 48 hours to take Kasilof reds. As a result the Kasilof is going to go over the goal again because of not fishing early when kings are in less abundance. Thus Juneau is making the decisions for UCI which is just the opposite of what the founders of this State intended with the Area Management Concept.

      The next bad decision is that he has not allowed the commercial fishery staff to report the number of large chinook taken in the set net fishery. At first he stopped the reporting in total. Now the number you hear is not the correct number but takes the harvest and uses an average number of large kings over some period and reports that number according to local staff. This makes no sense. The staff was reporting the number of large chinook based on the sampling by sport fish personnel. The Regional staff of Sport Fish Division did not want that number released - I suspect because it is so low it makes the pair restrictions in the management plan look foolish. In any event Sport Fish at one time was refusing to give the Commercial staff the data. So somehow after being elevated to Juneau the number being put out is not the real number but some number created from averages. This is just plain wrong if true. I have tried to verify this on the web but so far cannot find any news release. I will remind everyone at the start of the season Comm Fish staff was reporting the number of large chinook taken. Then on the hot line for Comm fish the local manager stated he could no longer give that number to the public. Then the new number approach was implemented. This is terrible when the Department refuses to release actual harvest numbers when they have them.

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      • #33
        Couldn't agree more,Nerka. Another miscue by the commisioner was that local staff wanted to open the beaches and the drift fleet in the corridor on the 10th,in order to not exceed goals on the kasilof,but the commisioner declined as it was the opening day of dipnetting for the kenai.

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        • #34
          This is a hard time to see a bright side other than if he keeps it up we will get the Feds to take over management.

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          • #35
            I will be the first to retract a statement if I posted something misleading. I have received information that the large chinook harvest in the set net fishery is not final in season number because the sampling program is not designed to sample every beach every period and there are differences in the percent of small chinook for the different beaches. The large chinook in the harvest is not used for management so a post season estimate using all the data is preferred. I understand this approach but this whole issue points out the issues within ADF&G. All methods have error so is the error significant enough not to report in-season. Some in the Department feel it is and the time involved to make the estimates is potentially taking away from other tasks. So why did ADF&G report, then stop, and then report using an average method with error. I know the public desire to have data, especially the set net fishery given the total set net harvest is reported which is misleading to the public as they think they are all large chinook. I do not know the solution but can understand the rationale that sport fish division has produced. Maybe next year a better approach will be developed. In the mean time I will retract my comments.

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            • #36
              Nerka, some observations on this whole issue.
              It seems some key posts were filled rather late. It also seems the Governor has a "resistance" issue. There is obviously a trust issue (lacking in both directions) that is adversely affecting ADF&G in the Cook Inlet area. And Cook Inlet is the ultimate political fisheries soccerball. Fisheries should be managed to accepted standards, but dippers vote. Reality intrudes, sorry about that. It is going to take the balance of this season and more to sort this all out. Your retraction is appropriate and appreciated. Maybe for the moment the right approach will be "Give the other guy the opportunity to do the right thing, and enough time for it to fully develop." In the bigger picture, it is just one season. The local staff likely have enough debates among themselves on various management and reporting issue, they don't need the added pressure from this site.

              Given the current returns, look at this year as a free pass to learning and improving. Had a dipper and her youngish daughter stop by today, said she did really well, but processing the fish by herself was a strain. Sounded like she limited out.

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              • #37
                Nerka - Iím not sure I understand. Your basic, and most important point, was that fishery management decisions on the KP are being made in Juneau, rather than in Soldotna. The Area Management Concept has guided fishery management for decades, but your comments suggest that, for the KP, ADF&G is getting away from that concept. Are you retracting that point too?

                I can understand how you might not have all the details exactly correct, and that a retraction is warranted when this happens. But was your entire post incorrect? Didnít seem like itÖ..

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                • #38
                  Originally posted by Cohoangler View Post
                  Nerka - I’m not sure I understand. Your basic, and most important point, was that fishery management decisions on the KP are being made in Juneau, rather than in Soldotna. The Area Management Concept has guided fishery management for decades, but your comments suggest that, for the KP, ADF&G is getting away from that concept. Are you retracting that point too?

                  I can understand how you might not have all the details exactly correct, and that a retraction is warranted when this happens. But was your entire post incorrect? Didn’t seem like it…..
                  If you look to the future it is hard to see how this is even a matter of concern. commercial fishing and sport fishing guiding in Cook Inlet will be less and less in the decades ahead. Guides voted for the current administration to fix Cook Inlet so to help their businesses survive and grow because the governor told them he would do what Nerka says fish and Game is doing. No surprise I heard this all over town a year ago. there will be more and more people and less commercial and guiding fishing there are all sorts of jobs that have gone away as the world industrialized and the human race advanced the same is happening and will continue in the Cook Inlet area. The next governor candidate at the next election will be wanting fair fish management and to revitalize the commercial and guided fishing. the same will happen with fishing industry around here as happened to fishing industries around Anchorage. Smaller and smaller as population grows it has happened all over the country.

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                  • #39
                    Kid - It is entirely appropriate for an administration to change policies to fit their agenda. Thatís why the Gov can nominate folks for the BoF (and BoG). The Gov can also provide ďguidanceĒ to those prospective commissioners on the policy direction the administration would like to pursue. And presumably those commissioners can pursue that agenda accordingly.

                    Thatís nothing new. Itís been part of fishery management since Statehood. However, if the Gov is making on-the-ground decisions that circumvent ADF&G (and maybe BoF), that is new. I believe that is what Nerka was pointing out. In my view, circumventing local decision-making (if thatís happening) is considerably more important than the details of the large Chinook estimates in the setnet fishery. But Nerkaís subsequent retraction seems Ďall encompassingí, which I found a bit confusing. So I was just seeking clarification on the extent of his retraction.

                    It is entirely possible that the allocation on the KP will be shifting away from historic user groups (e.g., commercial) and towards others (e.g., PU and recreational), as you suggest. But reallocation is nothing new, and itís appropriate if the allocation is done by the BoF. Thatís why BoF exists.

                    Based on Nerkaís post, Iím not sure if reallocation is being done at all; and if so, whether it is being done by the BoF, or by someone in Juneau. Thus my request for clarification.

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                    • #40
                      Originally posted by Cohoangler View Post
                      Kid - It is entirely appropriate for an administration to change policies to fit their agenda. That¬ís why the Gov can nominate folks for the BoF (and BoG). The Gov can also provide ¬ďguidance¬Ē to those prospective commissioners on the policy direction the administration would like to pursue. And presumably those commissioners can pursue that agenda accordingly.

                      That¬ís nothing new. It¬ís been part of fishery management since Statehood. However, if the Gov is making on-the-ground decisions that circumvent ADF&G (and maybe BoF), that is new. I believe that is what Nerka was pointing out. In my view, circumventing local decision-making (if that¬ís happening) is considerably more important than the details of the large Chinook estimates in the setnet fishery. But Nerka¬ís subsequent retraction seems ¬Ďall encompassing¬í, which I found a bit confusing. So I was just seeking clarification on the extent of his retraction.

                      It is entirely possible that the allocation on the KP will be shifting away from historic user groups (e.g., commercial) and towards others (e.g., PU and recreational), as you suggest. But reallocation is nothing new, and it’s appropriate if the allocation is done by the BoF. That’s why BoF exists.

                      Based on Nerka’s post, I’m not sure if reallocation is being done at all; and if so, whether it is being done by the BoF, or by someone in Juneau. Thus my request for clarification.
                      What I am saying is exactly what you said and does not surprise me which is ¬ďthe commissioner can pursue that agenda accordingly¬Ē and the governor¬ís agenda was made clear to fix Cook Inlet. So if the commissioner is doing what Nerka says the commissioner is doing the commissioner is pursuing the agenda accordingly. I was also trying to say that with more and more people using Cook Inlet fish it will be difficult in the future to make commercial and sport guide fishing an economical venture, so they are not the jobs of the future in Cook Inlet. Making money off of them has become difficult because of instability and unpredictability Willie and drift gillnet boats and all the other gear that goes with them amount to become stranded assets because you are not able to make a living with them and you are unable to plan to make a living with them.

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                      • #41
                        Originally posted by Cohoangler View Post
                        Nerka - Iím not sure I understand. Your basic, and most important point, was that fishery management decisions on the KP are being made in Juneau, rather than in Soldotna. The Area Management Concept has guided fishery management for decades, but your comments suggest that, for the KP, ADF&G is getting away from that concept. Are you retracting that point too?

                        I can understand how you might not have all the details exactly correct, and that a retraction is warranted when this happens. But was your entire post incorrect? Didnít seem like itÖ..
                        I do not retract the comments on where decisions are made. Decisions are made in Juneau.

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                        • #42
                          Originally posted by Nerka View Post
                          I do not retract the comments on where decisions are made. Decisions are made in Juneau.
                          I too hate when ADF&G doesn't let local managers do their job of managing a fishery. Politics have no place in fisheries management and when Juneau is calling the shots we all know what is really going on.

                          That being said, I have to say it seems the management plans are being followed. Commercial fisherman keep getting to fish, albeit by emergency order only because of paired restrictions. The Kenai River sockeye escapement and Kasilof River sockeye escapement are tracking very closely to historical averages here in mid July. The question is what will happen the next two weeks if big pulses of salmon push for the rivers. Do they let the surplus get harvested or do they over escape the systems like they love to do?

                          I agree with Nerka about the king salmon harvest reporting. Before he even posted I too was wondering what the heck. They start out flat out giving us the numbers. Then they say they are "unavailable". Now they are giving us "estimates" and "ranges". Definatley appear to be playing games here. Hardly builds confidence in the department when they blatantly play games with numbers.

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                          • #43
                            The drift fleet only took 188 sockeye per boat yesterday and only 339 boats fished. That is not a good catch for this time of year. Also the total sockeye harvest is only 425,000. That means there are 3.5 million fish to harvest by all user groups if the forecast is correct. The pattern that is developing is that the fish are coming through the district and going quickly to the river. The low drift harvest would indicate this. The alternative is that Kenai is not as strong as forecast or very late. This is a tough spot for a manager.

                            One report on the fishing hot line for commercial fishing is that they use average escapement numbers and project final escapement numbers. This is a false narrative. The final escapement number is totally dependent on how one fishes the commercial fishery, sport and PU fishery. These fisheries usually take over 60% of the return. So if one uses average escapement they are assuming the average commercial and other user fishing time will be used and an average exploitation met. Not a good assumption. The last 4 years entry pattern into the inlet and the river has been atypical with a large portion of the return coming in August. The exploitation rate on the August component is near zero. So ADFG needs to figure out quickly whether this run is on forecast and with a large August component or is weak and on time. The fishing pattern for these two options are entirely different and therefore so is the final escapement forecast. Throw in chinook run strength and a whole new set of fishing pattern emerges. So one should just say we do not know what the Kenai run looks like and stop the average escapement discussion. Report the escapement numbers and remain silent until the return starts to develop better.

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                            • #44
                              Nerka, more and more D boats each year,which may explain in part the lower participation levels. Many drifters felt the low harvests were attributable to little wind and warm water temperatures which could possibly lead to the fish being deeper than our nets. The last two area 1 openers had plenty of wind, which should have stirred up the fish and yet harvest rates were still low for this time of year. However, the last period was a strong north wind, which sometimes is not considered to being good fishing. That being said, my sockeyes averaged 6.6 pounds monday, much better than the last two years. I think the forecasts are on target and we will have overescapements and lost harvest at least in part to juneau running the show. I am no scientist, just a cook inlet drifter for the last 38 years taking some guesses.

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                              • #45
                                Originally posted by alaskanharvest View Post
                                I too hate when ADF&G doesn't let local managers do their job of managing a fishery. Politics have no place in fisheries management and when Juneau is calling the shots we all know what is really going on.

                                That being said, I have to say it seems the management plans are being followed. Commercial fisherman keep getting to fish, albeit by emergency order only because of paired restrictions. The Kenai River sockeye escapement and Kasilof River sockeye escapement are tracking very closely to historical averages here in mid July. The question is what will happen the next two weeks if big pulses of salmon push for the rivers. Do they let the surplus get harvested or do they over escape the systems like they love to do?

                                I agree with Nerka about the king salmon harvest reporting. Before he even posted I too was wondering what the heck. They start out flat out giving us the numbers. Then they say they are "unavailable". Now they are giving us "estimates" and "ranges". Definatley appear to be playing games here. Hardly builds confidence in the department when they blatantly play games with numbers.
                                Blatantly playing games? So if you go talk to them the sonar counts are actually estimates and have ranges ever read one of their reports? they are full of estimates that have ranges because they do not count every single sockeye going up river or king for that matter. If you really want to experience blatant game playing with numbers hire a financial adviser.

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