6.0 million reds forecast to return to Upper Cook Inlet, 3.8 million to Kenai

Nerka

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What.....they all get lost last year?

If you look at the fry estimates in the lakes the fish were never there. Some in Department tried to blame marine but I was a freshwater issue.
 

Daveinthebush

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Before planning a party and celebrating, I think I will wait and see what actually arrives. Disappointments out weight the number of celebrations with fishing.
 

4merguide

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Before planning a party and celebrating, I think I will wait and see what actually arrives. Disappointments out weight the number of celebrations with fishing.

Indeed.....I won't hold my breath. I remember hearing on the radio that they were saying should be an average, or slightly above average year. Not a day or two later...."We're gonna close it"...!!!
 

kidfromgarcia

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If you look at the fry estimates in the lakes the fish were never there. Some in Department tried to blame marine but I was a freshwater issue.

I need to find out more about this. So asking now last year the run was suppose to b on he small side. After the late timing shown with the sonar and all those fish coming in August I was hearing from fish and game that the run was on forecast last year small but as forecasted. So am I not understanding and the run was smaller than the forecast?
 

Daveinthebush

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Much depends on one's expectations and definition of success.
This is true. I sent more shrimp and halibut to the family this year than ever before. I'll use up my 2017 smoked red supply soon but there is always hope for the Copper. My expectation is to have enough in the freezer for the years food supply and above that it's bonus time.
 

Nerka

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I need to find out more about this. So asking now last year the run was suppose to b on he small side. After the late timing shown with the sonar and all those fish coming in August I was hearing from fish and game that the run was on forecast last year small but as forecasted. So am I not understanding and the run was smaller than the forecast?

So if you look at the sockeye forecast by river system the only system that was significantly below forecast was Kenai. So if it was a marine issue then why did Kasilof 12 miles to the south come in on forecast or just slightly below? The reason is in the fry data for Kenai. The fry estimate would have had Kenai forecast at about 1 million fish less if one looked at total fry numbers. However, in the forecast the Department used the 2 freshwater fry numbers and estimated a 50% survival rate. That put the forecast 800,000 fish higher than using a more reasonable survival rate. So far the Department has not explained why the 50% figure was used. If the sibling model had been used the forecast would have been 800,000 less and again that would have had the run be close to the forecast. So last year for Kenai was the result of low numbers of fry in the lakes and couple that with a bad forecast method created this illusion. The Department in not looking at the data closely came out with the marine comments and now after being shown the data has realized that the lack of fry rearing in the Kenai lakes was the issue.
 

Nerka

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What caused the low number of fry?

Starvation due to interaction of two brood years in lake. Fry size was 0.5 grams which is about half of what it should. When brood years interact and lake conditions do not allow for food production juvenile salmon starve. Turbid water can reduce production. It is complicated and hard to explain on a forum
 

gunner

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Nerka - would smaller escapements, say something in the 500,000 to 800,000 levels, eliminate the starvation due to brood year interaction and as a side benefit, allow more harvest for all user groups?
 

Nerka

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Nerka - would smaller escapements, say something in the 500,000 to 800,000 levels, eliminate the starvation due to brood year interaction and as a side benefit, allow more harvest for all user groups?

I wish it was that simple. We manage to escapement goals and adult fish obviously. But fry numbers in the lake can vary widely -500,000 spawners can produce lots of fry as well as 1.5 million spawners. However on average larger escapements produce more fry. The lake responds to what the fry levels are not the number of spawners. So the ideal management plan would be to vary the escapement levels based on the number of fry in the lake and the holdover from previous brood years. That is not acceptable to user groups and technically has some challenges. So the best approach is to use a spawner level that on average does not stress the system but can take advantage of good lake conditions. The present goals try to do that. Putting large escapements in year after year is not a good approach in my opinion. The models we have predicted something like last year so I was not surprised by the return.

One note - I am cautious about the correction factor used for the transition from the Bendix counter. If it is too high we are putting more fish in than needed.

I know this is a sensitive subject but it is about risk vs return. I believe having this high escapements is too great of risk and is not supported by the data we have.
 

kidfromgarcia

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So if you look at the sockeye forecast by river system the only system that was significantly below forecast was Kenai. So if it was a marine issue then why did Kasilof 12 miles to the south come in on forecast or just slightly below? The reason is in the fry data for Kenai. The fry estimate would have had Kenai forecast at about 1 million fish less if one looked at total fry numbers. However, in the forecast the Department used the 2 freshwater fry numbers and estimated a 50% survival rate. That put the forecast 800,000 fish higher than using a more reasonable survival rate. So far the Department has not explained why the 50% figure was used. If the sibling model had been used the forecast would have been 800,000 less and again that would have had the run be close to the forecast. So last year for Kenai was the result of low numbers of fry in the lakes and couple that with a bad forecast method created this illusion. The Department in not looking at the data closely came out with the marine comments and now after being shown the data has realized that the lack of fry rearing in the Kenai lakes was the issue.

Thanks interesting do they use fry information to forecast Kasilof ? I think the Kasilof run was forecasted to be down lower than usual as well last year so that one was predicted better I guess. Hopefully at least the new forecast is right saying the run is better than last year I pay little to no attention when the discussion is a few hundred thousand in a forecast because I really do not think I would know it fishing from shore all year if it was a 2.9 million fish run or a 3.3 million fish run. I think the way the fish come in is important to early or late or all drawn out over half the summer or tight a few big shots.
 

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