Announcement

Collapse
No announcement yet.

Pitfalls and perils of mixed-stock salmon fisheries

Collapse
X
 
  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • #16
    Originally posted by Cohoangler View Post
    Thanks for the discussion. You get the last word on this.....
    OK, but you know what that means, last word wins. Nice talking to you too.

    Comment


    • #17
      Originally posted by mark knapp View Post

      For clarity, lets call the two things on the axle that rotates the "baskets" and the thing that holds the fish after they are caught the "box"

      The boxes on fish wheels are dry, generally, every fish that goes in the box dies. Fish wheels are visited only as often as it takes to keep the box from over-flowing. I've never seen a "wet" fish wheel box. There may be exceptions.

      Nets can be made more selective. F&G regulates the mesh size you use during a particular season to try to mitigate by-catch but reds still get caught in king nets and kings still get caught in sockeye nets.
      Mark ADFG on the Kenai uses wet boxes every year since statehood. We caught hundreds of fish for sampling and did no want to kill them. So it is just a matter of effort to keep the boxes empty. There were times work schedules kept us from working the boxes and we killed a hundred fish or so. However, that was rare.

      One has to ask for what purpose the fishwheel is fishing. If for harvest a dry box is appropriate. For releasing fish a wet box works but is labor intensive. However, the idea one can harvest 3-6 million Kenai River sockeye with fishwheels is somewhat silly. With private property along the river and the number of wheels required makes that highly unlikely. Next the quality of the fish is degraded significantly over fish caught in the inlet. Also processors want to deal with a large volume of fish at one time so their costs of labor is low. So there are lots of factors to be considered.

      In Cook Inlet it is nuts the way the Board of Fish and ADFG is managing the fishery. The set net large chinook harvest is minimal and if ADFG had any sense they would recognize that and plan a defendable approach. However, after the sport fishery overharvested the early run (no commercial fishery) and allowed a full on in-river fishery instead of a pass through fishery the late run was in trouble long before this turn down. The miscounting of the run for 30 years did not help as it was an overcount. Sport Fish Division has never taken responsibility for their role in this mess. Lots of excuses. They allowed a mixed stock fishery on chinook in the Kenai - especially the early run.

      I guess without good leadership the fisheries and community are doomed.

      Comment


      • #18
        Originally posted by Nerka View Post

        Mark ADFG on the Kenai uses wet boxes every year since statehood. We caught hundreds of fish for sampling and did no want to kill them. So it is just a matter of effort to keep the boxes empty. There were times work schedules kept us from working the boxes and we killed a hundred fish or so. However, that was rare.

        One has to ask for what purpose the fishwheel is fishing. If for harvest a dry box is appropriate. For releasing fish a wet box works but is labor intensive. However, the idea one can harvest 3-6 million Kenai River sockeye with fishwheels is somewhat silly. With private property along the river and the number of wheels required makes that highly unlikely. Next the quality of the fish is degraded significantly over fish caught in the inlet. Also processors want to deal with a large volume of fish at one time so their costs of labor is low. So there are lots of factors to be considered.

        In Cook Inlet it is nuts the way the Board of Fish and ADFG is managing the fishery. The set net large chinook harvest is minimal and if ADFG had any sense they would recognize that and plan a defendable approach. However, after the sport fishery overharvested the early run (no commercial fishery) and allowed a full on in-river fishery instead of a pass through fishery the late run was in trouble long before this turn down. The miscounting of the run for 30 years did not help as it was an overcount. Sport Fish Division has never taken responsibility for their role in this mess. Lots of excuses. They allowed a mixed stock fishery on chinook in the Kenai - especially the early run.

        I guess without good leadership the fisheries and community are doomed.
        I think for purposes of discussion here, we are all talking about harvest wheels.

        I had heard of wet boxes for sampling before but I haven't heard of anyone using wet boxes for harvest. I suppose there must be people using wet boxes for harvest but I haven't been around them. I'm used to wheels in the bush, that are all wooden, and all of them had dry boxes.

        I've seen the wheels at Chitina, some of them are metal but I can't remember if any of them had wet boxes. The video posted by cohoangler showed two different wheels, apparently at Chitina that had wet boxes and it was assumed they were common. I did a quick google search of "fish wheels" and counted wet verses dry boxes. The huge majority were dry.

        I think his argument was that, since the boxes were wet, they could be used to select one species for harvest and let the others go. That's not what happens in the bush. In the bush, all boxes are dry and everything dies, in my experience.

        The premise of the article, as I understand it, is that the methods used historically by people at terminal fisheries enabled them to manage fisheries in a selective manor. From all the evidence we have, it just didn't happen. Wildlife conservation is a concept that emerged sometime long after Europeans arrived. Conservation is a luxury for people that are not struggling to survive.

        A well known native author named Sidney Huntington from the interior used to write and talk about survival in Alaska before westerners arrived. People that sometimes had to eat ptarmigan droppings to survive did not have the luxury to let a king salmon go, even if he somehow knew that the species needed to be preserved. There was no way to know, and there was no such luxury. Somebody once told me that there was no word for "Conservation" in any of the native languages. There was no room for conservation in native culture, when survival was a full time job. In times of abundance they harvested, and sometimes over-harvested because lean times were all too common.

        Even today, when someone is hungry, conservation goes out the window. It is legal to take wild fish and game out of season in Alaska to get you through a temporary survival situation.

        These comments are not to you personally Nerka.

        Anybody that espouses the viewpoints in that article are either being disingenuous, naive or are pushing a self-serving agenda. As I said before, it's more about allocation than management, IMHO.

        I can't speak to what you say about ADF&G management of Cook Inlet. I commercial fished it for a few years in the nineties (set netting) but I don't have much knowledge of the management plan. I try not to talk about things I have limited knowledge in.

        What I do know about it is, we were only allowed to fish up to two days a week when we were allowed to fish. We were not allowed to fish until escapement goals were reached (Whether those goals were right or wrong I don't know) We were shut down for one species when a run of another species started, until that species reached it's escapement goals. So in my case, modern management was selective in a mixed species fishery. Whether it worked or not is another argument. I can tell you that seasons and bag limits were strictly adhered to by commercial fishermen in Cook Inlet.
        Last edited by mark knapp; 4 weeks ago.

        Comment


        • #19
          Actually, this thread is about the perils and pitfalls of a mixed stock fishery.

          I mentioned the hazards of a mixed stock fish in post #7, but I also pointed out that these hazards can be mitigated by the use of selective fishing gear (post #9). The example I used was fish wheels, from which the conversation went in an entirely different direction. For better or for worse.

          But the main point of this thread is clear: Mixed stock fisheries can be difficult to manage. My view is that selective fishing gear can help reduce the uncertainty.

          Comment


          • #20
            Originally posted by Cohoangler View Post
            Actually, this thread is about the perils and pitfalls of a mixed stock fishery.

            I mentioned the hazards of a mixed stock fish in post #7, but I also pointed out that these hazards can be mitigated by the use of selective fishing gear (post #9). The example I used was fish wheels, from which the conversation went in an entirely different direction. For better or for worse.

            But the main point of this thread is clear: Mixed stock fisheries can be difficult to manage. My view is that selective fishing gear can help reduce the uncertainty.
            You are right, selective gear can help mitigate problems with mixed stock fisheries, but only as far the the people fishing are willing to do so. The gear by itself can't do it. From my experience and perspective, nearly all fisheries are mixed stock fisheries (more-so in the terminal fisheries because that's where different species of salmon can be most mixed. In the high seas, the different species are more segregated) and regulations that separate species in mixed stock fisheries reach only as far as the road system.

            To me, the article is trying to argue that terminal fisheries are less mixed than other fisheries because of geography and methods used. In my view, this is not the case.

            Comment


            • #21
              I have been concerned for years that some of these discussions are specific to a topic like mixed stock fisheries and focus on gear selectivity more than other equal considerations. For example, in the Kenai River the chinook fishery is highly selective for chinook salmon. However, for years the application of that selective gear has caused in my opinion the overharvest of chinook salmon in the early run and the elimination of large chinook salmon in the late run (assuming two runs). I believe history will show ADFG totally missed the ball in how the fishery was prosecuted. So even with a highly selective gear poor practices led to poor outcomes for the selected stock. ADFG must discuss the management plans in a comprehensive way and not let opportunity and allocation fights divert from good practices. It is very difficult to get ADFG to even discuss alternative fishing practices, even with highly selective gear. In contrast the commercial gill net fishery is selective for a size of fish and timing of the harvest. I am not sure the Department is adapting to the changes in run timing of sockeye and other stocks. Again existing management plans and allocation issues reduces ADFG to followers instead of leaders. The present Commissioner is more interested in providing fish to the personal use fishery than the health of the stocks.

              Comment


              • #22
                Originally posted by Nerka View Post
                I have been concerned for years that some of these discussions are specific to a topic like mixed stock fisheries and focus on gear selectivity more than other equal considerations. For example, in the Kenai River the chinook fishery is highly selective for chinook salmon. However, for years the application of that selective gear has caused in my opinion the overharvest of chinook salmon in the early run and the elimination of large chinook salmon in the late run (assuming two runs). I believe history will show ADFG totally missed the ball in how the fishery was prosecuted. So even with a highly selective gear poor practices led to poor outcomes for the selected stock. ADFG must discuss the management plans in a comprehensive way and not let opportunity and allocation fights divert from good practices. It is very difficult to get ADFG to even discuss alternative fishing practices, even with highly selective gear. In contrast the commercial gill net fishery is selective for a size of fish and timing of the harvest. I am not sure the Department is adapting to the changes in run timing of sockeye and other stocks. Again existing management plans and allocation issues reduces ADFG to followers instead of leaders. The present Commissioner is more interested in providing fish to the personal use fishery than the health of the stocks.
                I couldn't agree with you more on most of your points.

                This is my only exception to what you are saying. When I was commercial fishing in Cook Inlet (set net sights at Polly Creek) we caught all manor of fish in all of our nets.

                Nets, fish wheels and weirs are only going to be as selective as the guys running them. It's true that you can make a net more selective by timing it's use to the run and establishing legal mesh sizes but we sometimes caught all five species in the same net (in a terminal fishery). In our case it was legal and the canneries bought them all. We have caught 90 pound halibut in 9 feet of water, in a net intended for sockeye. We often caught kings in the same net and sockeyes in king nets. We even caught a pike in a set net site in the ocean, he was alive and feisty.

                We caught up to fifty sharks in a net at a time, lots of flounders, hundreds of dungeness crabs, and more. They will mostly all be dead.

                The idea that terminal fisheries by "selective methods" as the article would have you believe, Is grossly inaccurate. (I no that's not your point)

                I have been in the interior helping a "subsistence" user (I was a guest at his house so I helped with his daily chores) check a net intended for chum salmon to feed sled dogs. The net caught kings, chums, silvers, pike, trophy sheefish and three varieties of whitefish. They were all dead and they were all fed to the dogs and this is more the norm than the exception. I'm not saying it's right or wrong, I'm just saying it's what happens and to pretend that it isn't is disingenuous. Again, I know that wasn't your point but to solve a problem we need to fully understand it.

                I can't speak to chinook management in the Kenai as I have no knowledge of that. I take your point though. Is high-seas "by-catch" by China, Japan and Russia as big problem as we have understood it was? If it is, do we have any chance at all of managing it properly?

                Comment

                Footer Adsense

                Collapse
                Working...
                X