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2019 Cook Inlet Salmon Management

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  • #31
    Originally posted by Nerka View Post
    … I want to stress that historically staff has fished to meet Kenai sockeye goals...
    Fixed it for you

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    • #32
      If one compares the public reaction to the red fishery between last year and this, the reaction and comments this year were quite modest compared to last year. Managing a resource for public satisfaction may not be part of the official plan, but it is a reasonable political goal. And one does need to recognize that government is political.

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      • #33
        There's been a lot of discussion at the Board in the past about competing escapement goals and the consensus (at least among board members when I was one) has pretty much been: trying to achieve the lower end of one goal is more important than trying to prevent going over the top of another goal.
        "Fishing relaxes me. It's like yoga, except I still get to kill something." --Ron Swanson

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        • #34
          And it seems to me, that is pretty much what happened this year. IMNSHO, I agree 100% with that philosophy. Always manage with the priority going to the weak link in the chain. And the minimum escapement goal for kings won't be met this year, so that's exactly what the Commish did. I support the Commish 100% in achieving that priority, even though it's gonna piss off some user groups.

          Originally posted by MRFISH View Post
          There's been a lot of discussion at the Board in the past about competing escapement goals and the consensus (at least among board members when I was one) has pretty much been: trying to achieve the lower end of one goal is more important than trying to prevent going over the top of another goal.

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          • #35
            The question is, did the commisioner make his decisions because he was concerned that the chinook escapement goal would not be reached, or were his decisions made because he was appointed by a governor that received something like $375,000. from someone who has stated his goal in life is to eliminate the cook inlet commercial fishery. And if his concerns about chinook escapements were so great, why were there no restriction on king retention in the directed sport fishery?

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            • #36
              Originally posted by NorcalBob View Post
              And it seems to me, that is pretty much what happened this year. IMNSHO, I agree 100% with that philosophy. Always manage with the priority going to the weak link in the chain. And the minimum escapement goal for kings won't be met this year, so that's exactly what the Commish did. I support the Commish 100% in achieving that priority, even though it's gonna piss off some user groups.
              The commissioner got lucky and the later part of the king run fell off giving him an after the fact excuse for not giving the commercial fleet more fishing time. Dunleavy said put more fish in the river (“more fish on Alaskans plates”) and Rick Green did his work. He was bragging before the king projection was updated that he “fixed” Cook Inlet.

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              • #37
                Originally posted by MRFISH View Post
                There's been a lot of discussion at the Board in the past about competing escapement goals and the consensus (at least among board members when I was one) has pretty much been: trying to achieve the lower end of one goal is more important than trying to prevent going over the top of another goal.
                Thank you!
                "Let every angler who loves to fish think what it would mean to him to find the fish were gone." Zane Grey
                sigpic
                The KeenEye MD

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                • #38
                  <<<And if his concerns about chinook escapements were so great, why were there no restriction on king retention in the directed sport fishery?>>>
                  I think you all know about paired restrictions. By not restricting sports more, he kept your user group fishing. Now, I certainly agree with the notion that sport should have been restricted more since the king run was in the toilet, but that also would have meant more restrictions for your user group. Be careful what you wish for.
                  <<<The commissioner got lucky and the later part of the king run fell off giving him an after the fact excuse for not giving the commercial fleet more fishing time>>>
                  Or maybe he (and ADFG) saw the king run heading into the toilet and decided to go the conservation route and refused your user groups pressure for more time outside the established management plans. I'm glad they "got lucky" because the king run did indeed go into the toilet. Your user group made the same noise last year, when ADFG shut down the sox fishery due to poor returns, and your user group was claiming loudly "it's just late, keep us fishing". HMMMM, heard the same thing this year. I'm glad ADFG "got lucky" last year also and shut everyone down to meet the minimum sox goal. And that was with a Commish who was commfish friendly. It sucks that your user group didn't get your desired MSY goal for sox this year and you lost some revenue. But MSY for sox ain't the only management goal that matters. The king goal is pretty important also.

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                  • #39
                    I don't understand why tools that have been used in past years to harvest sockeye, but not king salmon, were not utilized this year. I assume its because too many kings were still harvested? It seems to me the solution is a way to fish for sockeye that truly does not harvest kings in times of low abundance. If so, would this be a good idea? Proposal for 600' set net opener which requires a boat actively manning every net fishing. This would be possible because the current in that close would allow for constantly picking down the net and if a king salmon was caught it must be released immediately. Easy to enforce because law enforcement can patrol the beach with a 4 wheeler or airplane as they currently do and see every net fishing. If a net is fishing without a boat physically on the net, its illegal. So we basically have a mandatory catch and release set net fishery, just like in the kenai river. What do you think?

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                    • #40
                      Originally posted by Bfish View Post
                      Fixed it for you
                      Bfish - cheap shot. The staff here is the full staff including all Divisions. They manage to meet all goals the best they can including Crescent River sockeye, Susitna River coho and sockeye and chinook, Fish Creek sockeye and coho, Little Susitna river coho and chinook, and Packer Creek sockeye and of course Kenai and Kasilof River stocks. Your lack of management understanding baffles me given your long history in UCI. Why would you promote the myth that Kenai sockeye runs everything except to cause misdirection and misinformation. The staff has gone over the Kenai goal for the majority of years to meet other goals. Susitna River drove decisions in most years I was involved.

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                      • #41
                        Originally posted by MRFISH View Post
                        There's been a lot of discussion at the Board in the past about competing escapement goals and the consensus (at least among board members when I was one) has pretty much been: trying to achieve the lower end of one goal is more important than trying to prevent going over the top of another goal.
                        Mr. Fish - this statement is one when I hear it makes me mad that the Department let you and other Board members leave it at this point. It is a meaningless statement. All goals in UCI are SEG or BEG goals which means they are high sustained yield or maximum sustained yield goals. That translates to how much yield does one want to have with competing goals? Yet the Board members consistently made this discussion as if it was a conservation issue about the health of the stock. They should have been corrected.

                        In addition, the staff should have made the Board discuss the real trade-offs. The Board never has done that in a meaningful way. For example this year the Kenai River and Kasilof sockeye return had around 3 million sockeye for harvest. So lets assume that the Kenai River chinook projection was accurate and the final number would be 13,000 - 500 fish short of the goal and lets say that projection was made on July 15th. At that point there was probably 2.5 million fish left to harvest. Would you have closed the commercial fishery and let the escapement into the Kenai and Kasilof River go to 2.5 million in the Kenai and over 400,000 in the Kasilof? What if the projection was 200 fish short like in 2012. Remember in making your answer the total ESSN harvest of large chinook with the fishing this year was only 900. Or would you say I will give up 300 chinook to harvest 1.5-2.0 million sockeye using the terminal area, the 600 foot fishery, and the whole ESSN when Kenai came to the beach this year? What about 100 chinook. I know this is hypothetical but in decision analysis this type of trade off questions are asked and can be mathematically reported. I was involved with this type of trade-off discussion with where a pipeline should be built in Kodiak in 1978. The process is well established in the literature. If the Department had the experience to have Board members do this type of exercise it would have helped over the decades of decisiion making in UCI.

                        Now while the Board did not do this they did something else which provided some guidance. They used the tier approach in the escapement goals to recognize on poor returns every sockeye harvested in important to the commercial fishery. However, they made paired restrictions that reduced hours, put in windows, and reaffirmed the Commissioner E.O authority to go outside the plans to manage for escapement goals. This year the Commission went outside the plans to manage for user satisfaction in the PU fishery. On two Saturdays when the windows were over, the chinook projection was well above the goal he refused staff desire to fish sockeye to meet the sockeye goals. Instead he gave up escapement goal management for allocation. That is not in his authority. The Legislature has allocation criteria that must be followed. The Board of Fish does follow these in making allocation decisions. The Commissioner ignored this law and history. No one can deny this happened. Local staff made detailed notes of exactly what he said and the rationale for his decisions.

                        Finally, one cannot look at the final results and judge management decisions. At the time of the major sockeye decisions the chinook projections were above the goal. Post season review of management decisions must always be based on what data was available at the time of the decision.

                        Comment


                        • #42
                          Originally posted by Nerka View Post
                          This year the Commission went outside the plans to manage for user satisfaction in the PU fishery.
                          This is not accurate. The Kenai River Late-Run King Salmon Management Plan states that if the use of bait is prohibited, commercial set net periods are open for no more than 48 hours per week. It does not say that set net periods must be open for 48 hours per week.

                          The only out of plan actions of which I am aware were in August when the drift net fishery was opened district wide after three consecutive days of sockeye catch of less than 1% the season's total. The management plan directs that this fishery close in most of the central district after 2 days of less than 1%. This action benefited the commercial fishery. I do not know whether the recommendation for this action originated in area comfish management staff or higher up.

                          Comment


                          • #43
                            Originally posted by Bfish View Post
                            This is not accurate. The Kenai River Late-Run King Salmon Management Plan states that if the use of bait is prohibited, commercial set net periods are open for no more than 48 hours per week. It does not say that set net periods must be open for 48 hours per week.

                            The only out of plan actions of which I am aware were in August when the drift net fishery was opened district wide after three consecutive days of sockeye catch of less than 1% the season's total. The management plan directs that this fishery close in most of the central district after 2 days of less than 1%. This action benefited the commercial fishery.
                            Wrong. The absence of action is an action. On two Saturdays staff recommended fishing to meet goals. The Commissioner said no so PU fishery would benefit. Therefore not only was the intent of the King salmon management plan violated but the overall UCI plan was violated as the Commissioner was not managing to goals. Guys just admit the Commissioner managed for what he said he was doing - favoring the PU fishery. His own words.

                            Comment


                            • #44
                              Originally posted by Nerka View Post
                              Wrong. The absence of action is an action. On two Saturdays staff recommended fishing to meet goals. The Commissioner said no so PU fishery would benefit. Therefore not only was the intent of the King salmon management plan violated but the overall UCI plan was violated as the Commissioner was not managing to goals. Guys just admit the Commissioner managed for what he said he was doing - favoring the PU fishery. His own words.
                              If I am following you correctly, you are accusing the commissioner of acting improperly outside of his authority. This is a very serious allegation. Can you point me to a specific provision in the administrative code or management plans that the commissioner violated with regard to no action on the Saturday's you reference? I'm sure that I don't know or understand the management plans as well as you do so I could use a little help here.

                              And if the sole basis for your conclusion is your unique insight and understanding of this fishery and the implications of acting or not acting, I'm having a hard time understanding how these subjective inferences rise to the level of improper conduct.

                              Comment


                              • #45
                                There were lots of options for sockeye management that were NOT used this year. As mentioned by Nerka, the Kasilof terminal, while nothing short of a goat rodeo, would have helped with the Kasilof over escapement while not hurting Kenai kings. Another option (but not in the rule book) would have been to have fished a Kenai 600' fishery including the north beach and East Forelands.

                                Talking to my north beach friends, those on the beach caught very few kings in the Salamatof South section so since the beach nets didn't catch the kings, then a Kenai 600' fishery would have been an appropriate call.

                                I know that I saw more jumpers on the beach after we were shut down than I did during the time we were fishing. That equates to millions of dollars in lost revenue as we set netters weren't fishing. Its time for the Peninsula govt to lobby for better management within the East side fishery as the economic loss is huge when we put 600,000 - 800,000 more fish up the river than we desire. Sure Bob P and company won't like it but his hundreds of thousands of $$$ towards Dunleavy's election does nothing for supporting the borough economically when we let a resource swim by with no value added options taken.

                                Nerka, how about Area M intercept on the CI bound kings? Any data you can pass along or ideas for managing them for optimum CI returns? I hear that they won't release catch data because its an alarming number of CI kings (and reds) that get caught.

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