Commercial fishery EO's... where's the beef?

33outdoorsman

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An intended commercial fishery opener protest with the title "king preservation rally". Let's call it what it is, a "preservation rally" set for Monday at 7 AM. Yeah we all know what usually happens at that time. They could have picked any other time on Monday or even waited until Tuesday and I might have bought the "preservation rally". This was simply intended to be a commercial fishery protest, that wasn't a protest at all because commercial fishing was closed, probably correctly called. Red returns are very slow right now, almost historically slow like the kings.

Where was this "preservation rally" around June 10 during the early run, or 5 years ago when early run returns started taking a turn for the worse?

My personal feeling is the goal from this was that if river trips are a tough sell because the king fishing stinks, no big kings left, and guides aren't making money like they used too, might as well make sure the river gets closed so setnetters can't fish even if 4 million Kenai reds return. The guy from Texas should have stated that whatever is preventing the kings from returning to the spawning beds isn't setnetters either like he excluded sportfish from the blame, because no commercial gillnetting occurs on early run kenai kings and they're in what I would consider to be worse shape than the late run.
 

Marcus

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Contention, whining, divisiveness . . ad nauseam . . .

Contention, whining, divisiveness . . ad nauseam . . .

My personal feeling is the goal from this was that if river trips are a tough sell because the king fishing stinks, no big kings left, and guides aren't making money like they used too, might as well make sure the river gets closed so setnetters can't fish even if 4 million Kenai reds return. The guy from Texas should have stated that whatever is preventing the kings from returning to the spawning beds isn't setnetters either like he excluded sportfish from the blame, because no commercial gillnetting occurs on early run kenai kings and they're in what I would consider to be worse shape than the late run.

Ya think? . . . :ditto:

Again . . notice from whence comes all the contention, the whining, the belligerence, and the divisiveness . . .

Who needs this . . . ?
 

4merguide

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Of course you're right, 4merguide, human nature is the problem, the fish are just the catalyst. If the fish weren't here, the problem would go away. The Kenai hosts, besides kings, good runs of sockeye, pinks, and silvers, but only the kings gnerate problems, and the problem is always the same summer after summer . . more kings for the in-river, private and commercial king sport-fishery. Do you wonder that we who live here get tired of the endless b*tching and contention? Especially when such divisiveness is generated by nonresidents and politicized, commercial interests? Do you know how many area residents no longer fish the Kenai for the zoo it has become?

Read the lead article in today's Clarion. The guide industry can't even talk to or about other user groups without becoming belligerent. Yeah, everybody may need to feel discomfort for awhile, but we who live here feel the pain every summer . . this summer is just worse. The kings, for what they and the accompanying in-river, private and commercial sport interests have brought on this community and our quality of life, just ain't worth it. They're chinook salmon, nothing more, notable only for their size and ease of access. If their genetics are all that special, stock them somewhere else for preservation, anywhere but here.

Personally I just don't let it bother me. Because if it's not the kings it will be something else. Humans will ALWAYS find something to bit*h and whine about. In fact, what I invariably do let bother me is the tourist traffic during the late run sockeye season. But even then, I live outta town and can leave it all behind, so it's not really that bad. I can remember heading out of town during king season and looking over at "Ken's" to see if there was a big king hanging there. And if there was I would be happy. But not so much that a person caught a fish, but that there still was a fish like that in the river to be caught in the first place. Yes I don't like the "almighty dollar" that is associated with them now, but I don't focus on that, as to not let it take away from the joy I feel knowing the kings are still there. For as long as I can I will continue to see the kings JUST for what they are.......a beautiful thing...!!!

Like many other things, the Kenai king is a part of what makes AK. the incredible place it is. To loose even one part of her is to loose a part of AK.'s soul. I look at AK. as being one of mother nature's last strongholds in the world. Even though I haven't caught a Kenai King in so many years that I can't remember, I have always still been happy just knowing those great fish are in the river. Last year, with the amazing sockeye run, after all the doom and gloom about no fish, it gave me great comfort just knowing nature is still pretty strong and has been able to yet again bring that amazing run to AK. See it's not about "US" so much, more importantly, it's about mother nature. It's about keeping a part of her intact. And as far as I'm concerned it's worth EVERYTHING we can do to save her.....even if it is only one small part of her.

In a time where the world seems to be getting crazier and crazier by the day, outrageous gas prices, political unrest, wars all over the place, I pray that mother nature will continue doing her thing, and that man will still be trying to help her along....HOPEFULLY no matter the cost. For every time we loose a part of her, we loose a part of ourselves....
 

fishNphysician

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Let's see how ADFG responds... their next Kenai update is due for release today.

Kenai kings went C&R today, and they're rapidly heading down the tube toward closure by Sunday. Thanks for the heads up, ADFG. Read 'em and weep....

Late Run Summary for Tue. Jul 10


King salmon run update:

To date all indices used to assess the late-run are very low, well below average, and are currently projected to be well under the in-season management objectives at the end of the run in early August. The daily DIDSON sonar passage estimate of king salmon for July 8 was 131 fish. The cumulative DIDSON sonar passage estimate through July 8 is 911 king salmon. The department is still in the process of transitioning to DIDSON equipment, therefore current sonar passage data is an index compared to the last two years of DIDSON data, when runs were low, not a measure of abundance relative to the existing escapement goal.


The department is continuing to examine further inseason restrictive actions in a step-down manner to administer during the remainder of July to ensure adequate escapement of Kenai River king salmon.
The next step is to close the Kenai River to king salmon fishing and could be announced as soon as Friday, July 13.
 

Big Papi

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I just do not see the logic of allowing the ESSN fishery to continue in light of the fact that all indicators at the current time point to an unsustainable number of Kings. Their by-catch of kings is a factor this year.

Gotfish, the current ESSN harvest of king salmon for 2012 is only 90 fish in two openers. How is that a factor leading to this years unsustainable number of kings?? The fish just aren't there, regardless of who is catching them....
 

fishNphysician

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As far as escapement to the gravel, their bycatch of kings is ALWAYS a factor.... just as the purposeful harvest of kings in the rec fishery is ALWAYS a factor.

Interesting how year in and year out the two fisheries exploit at roughly the same rate. At least on paper, the harvest is generally split 50:50. Even in the worst of years, the relationship holds true.... est 90 kings taken off the beach vs 103 taken by the in-river fishery.... statistically, Even-Steven.

Since we have tangible physical evidence of dead fish in the form of creel data and comm fish tickets, historically we have a pretty good count of how many kings are actually killed. What is NOT clear is the TOTAL exploitation rate on chinook.

What we don't have is a reliable total run-size that can be referenced to tangible evidence of live, free-swimming fish. That number is derived from the sonar, an indirect means of enumeration which clearly has been overcounting kings for decades. Using the historic sonar data, the exploitation rate averages about 50 percent.... split 50:50 comes out to 25 percent comm and 25 percent rec.

But knowing what we now know about sonar hyperinflation, it really brings home the fact that we have been harvesting Kenai chinook at rates significantly GREATER than 50 percent exploitation. Is it 60, 70, 80 percent? Who knows. Regardless of the actual number, I for one believe it to be unsustainable.

The poor runs we are experiencing recently may well be a case of reaping exactly what we sow. Decades of over-exploitation finally coming back to haunt us as "ocean conditions" simultaneously take a turn for the worse. Yes, the storm of perfect storms.... we're living it right now.
 

Marcus

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Simple as that?

Simple as that?

As far as escapement to the gravel, [ESSN] bycatch of kings is ALWAYS a factor....

. . we don't have is a reliable total run-size . .

. . we now know about sonar hyperinflation, . . we have been harvesting Kenai chinook at rates significantly GREATER than 50 percent exploitation. . .


Doc, Cook Inlet supports runs of all five Pacific salmon—pinks, coho, chinook, chum, & sockeye. Cook Inlet is what "we" call a "mixed-stock fishery." When the Inlet's gill-net industry harvests the fishery, regardless of specifically targeted species, other species will be taken as well. That is what we call harvesting a mixed-stock fishery.

Such mixed-stock harvest is not by-catch. Such mixed-stock harvest is the perfectly predictable results of harvesting a mixed-stock fishery. The gill-net industry does not throw any dead fish away . . the entire catch, regardless of specie, is part of marketable catch.

You might call one of the biologists here in the Soldotna ADF&G office for a more thorough explanation of managing and harvesting a mixed-stock fishery. To label mixed-stock harvest as "by-catch" is, well, uninformed at best and could even be understood as, well, deliberately misleading.

Second, so you're saying that the current slump in Kenai king numbers is simply the result of over-counting of the Kenai's chinook runs by ADF&G and subsequent over-harvest? Simple as that?

What then is accounting for the state-wide decline in King runs? Is ADF&G over-counting those as well and thus allowing over-harvest from Kodiak to the Yukon? Simple as that?

You might call, again, ADF&G here in Soldotna and run your opinion by them. If you do, let us know what they think. "We" would like to know.
 

Bfish

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But knowing what we now know about sonar hyperinflation, it really brings home the fact that we have been harvesting Kenai chinook at rates significantly GREATER than 50 percent exploitation. Is it 60, 70, 80 percent? Who knows. Regardless of the actual number, I for one believe it to be unsustainable.

Sonar hyperinflation?
 

Cohoangler

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Marcus - I'm not so sure that FishDoc has it wrong. The term “bycatch is usually used for fish caught unintentionally in a fishery while intending to catch other fish. It may also indicate untargeted catch. Bycatch can also be of a different species, undersized individuals of the target species, or juveniles of the target species.

I'm not real familiar with the ESSN, but my sense is they are not trying to catch Chinook. They're trying to catch sockeye. If they catch Chinook, they are allowed to retain possession. But that doesn't make it a mixed stock fishery. It's just bycatch.

An example of a mixed stock fishery would be a fishery where both hatchery and wild fish of the same species are being harvested at about the same time and place. The acceptable exploitation rate on these fish is very different, even though they may be virtually identical. As you know, hatchery fish can sustain a much higher exploitation rate than wild fish. So, the conundrum of a truly mixed-stock fishery, is that you either underharvest one stock (hatchery fish) or overharvest the other stock (wild fish).

More often it's the latter, not the former........
 

Marcus

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Deliberately provocative?

Deliberately provocative?

Marcus - I'm not so sure that FishDoc has it wrong. The term “bycatch is usually used for fish caught unintentionally in a fishery while intending to catch other fish. It may also indicate untargeted catch. Bycatch can also be of a different species, undersized individuals of the target species, or juveniles of the target species.

I'm not real familiar with the ESSN, but my sense is they are not trying to catch Chinook. They're trying to catch sockeye. If they catch Chinook, they are allowed to retain possession. But that doesn't make it a mixed stock fishery. It's just bycatch.

Gotta disagree, Cohoangler, though I do understand where you're coming from.

First, the chinook caught by the ESSN are not caught "unintentionally," the set-netters and managers know fully well beforehand that such mixed harvest is going to occur, and the fishery—gear, timing, etc.—is managed in terms of that reality . . that is a mixed-stock (read "species") fishery as the term is used and understood here in Cook Inlet.

My objection to calling the chinook (chums, pinks, coho, etc.) caught by the gill-net industry, whether drift-nets or set-nets, "by-catch" is that it is needlessly and provocatively pejorative.

Those obsessed with the commercial and private chinook fishery have long hated the ESSN fishery because the nets take a percentage of second-run kings. Anything that can be said or claimed to make the ESSN look bad can and will be said. Believe me!
 

Cohoangler

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From Wikipedia:

"A mixed stock fishery is a fishery whose stock consists of fish that are of a variety of ages, sizes, species, geographic or genetic origins or any combination of these variables. Mixed stock fisheries offer a challenge to fisheries managers due to the difficulty in targeting fish of a specific type using many commercial fishing methods.[SUP][1][/SUP][SUP]"

[/SUP]So we're both right.

I just didn't equate the word "bycatch" with being provocative. I know it's a hot-button word when used to describe high seas fisheries. But to a fisheries biologist (such as I), it's an entirely acceptable description of the risks associated with fishing. Other words and phrases include non-target mortality, pre-spawn mortality, and, as you've pointed out, mixed stock fishery.
 

Marcus

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Smear job?

Smear job?

From Wikipedia:

"A mixed stock fishery is a fishery whose stock consists of fish that are of a variety of ages, sizes, species, geographic or genetic origins or any combination of these variables. Mixed stock fisheries offer a challenge to fisheries managers due to the difficulty in targeting fish of a specific type using many commercial fishing methods.[SUP][1][/SUP][SUP]"

[/SUP]So we're both right.

I just didn't equate the word "bycatch" with being provocative. I know it's a hot-button word when used to describe high seas fisheries. But to a fisheries biologist (such as I), it's an entirely acceptable description of the risks associated with fishing. Other words and phrases include non-target mortality, pre-spawn mortality, and, as you've pointed out, mixed stock fishery.

Very nicely put . . works for me . . :topjob:

As for "by-catch," it's normally just a word, neither good nor bad. However, in the current emotional meltdown over Alaska's declining king runs, "by-catch" is evil, it is despicable, it is wasteful, it is bad management, yadda, yadda, yadda. "By-catch" is what the pollack fishery does as it dumps thousands of dead chinook overboard.

So, yes, I object greatly to labeling the harvest of Cook Inlet's mixed-stock fishery as somehow involved in "by-catch." It is not. Moreover, whether intentionally used or ignorantly used, to label the ESSN's harvest of late-run chinook as "by-catch" is to smear the ESSNs with the same brush used to smear the pollack fishery.

Bad form, very bad form.
 

Cohoangler

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Thanks. I didn't make the connection, but I see how it could be used in this manner.

I would add that conflicts between gill netters and recreational anglers is an annual event here on the Columbia River too. The spring Chinook fishery is the prime example. In fact, a recreational angling group has put a petition on the Oregon ballot to eliminate gill nets from the Oregon side of the Columbia River (except for the Tribes). If it passes, the gill netters will be out of business, or they will have to use different gear.

Hate to say it, but with the state-wide decline of the Chinook salmon fishery plus the conflicts between fishing groups, the Great Land is starting to look alot like the Lesser 48...... Heaven forbid!
 

Marcus

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Thanks. I didn't make the connection, but I see how it could be used in this manner.

I would add that conflicts between gill netters and recreational anglers is an annual event here on the Columbia River too. The spring Chinook fishery is the prime example. In fact, a recreational angling group has put a petition on the Oregon ballot to eliminate gill nets from the Oregon side of the Columbia River (except for the Tribes). If it passes, the gill netters will be out of business, or they will have to use different gear.

Hate to say it, but with the state-wide decline of the Chinook salmon fishery plus the conflicts between fishing groups, the Great Land is starting to look alot like the Lesser 48...... Heaven forbid!

Sorry to hear that, Cohoangler, and, yes, Alaska gets more like the lower-48 every year. I came in '61, and it ain't the same by a long shot.

For the record, I have nothing against "recreational" fishing as I understand "recreational" that is. Putting food on the table, whether pulling carrots, digging potatoes, foraging for mushrooms, shooting grouse, or landing a sockeye is recreation (read "re-creation") in a very pure form.

I do, however, object to potatoes used for target practice or fish used for thrills and a sense of conquest. Used and abused for nothing more than "fun," or, as they say in Texas, "Ridden hard and put away wet." Whom do you reckon kills the most Kenai kings—the guy who catches two for the table and goes home or the guy who catches score upon score, killing one out of every 12 caught and released?

Life goes on . . however badly at times . . .
 

fishNphysician

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Got beef?

Got beef?

The axe falls on yet another setnet opener tomorrow...

http://www.adfg.alaska.gov/static/home/news/pdfs/newsreleases/cf/170350554.pdf

UPPER COOK INLET COMMERCIAL FISHING ANNOUNCEMENT No. 10
EMERGENCY ORDER NUMBER 2S-10-12


Upper Cook Inlet Commercial Fishing Announcement No. 10 closes set gillnetting in the Kenai, Kasilof, and East Forelands Sections of the Upper Subdistrict on Thursday, July 12, 2012 from 7:00 a.m. until 7:00 p.m.

Drifters are reminded that their fishing period on Thursday, July 12 is restricted to Drift Gillnet Area 1 and the Kenai and Kasilof Sections (Figures 1 and 2; this is the regular corridor, not the expanded corridor). This restriction is in compliance with 5AAC 21.353 Central District Drift Gillnet Fishery Management Plan.

As of July 11, all indices used to assess inriver abundance of Kenai River king salmon indicate a run that is well below average. Inseason projections show all indices will not achieve their respective minimum inseason management objective. Closing the regularly scheduled fishing period for set gillnets in the Upper Subdistrict on Thursday, July 12 is intended to pass king salmon into the Kenai River.

The current cumulative passage estimate of sockeye salmon in the Kenai River through July 10 is 56,000 fish. The average cumulative passage through July 10 in the Kenai River in the previous 10 years is 93,000 fish.

In the Kasilof River, the cumulative passage through July 10, 2012 is 56,000 fish. The average cumulative passage in the Kasilof River from the previous 10 years is 125,000 fish.
 

fish4brains

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Whom do you reckon kills the most Kenai kings—the guy who catches two for the table and goes home or the guy who catches score upon score, killing one out of every 12 caught and released?

Life goes on . . however badly at times . . .

Yes it does, what do you think about those who "play with their food" by high grading halibut and throwing back pink after pink in search of a silver, all the while contributing to the mortality rate, or "more dead fish attributed to sportfishing". A dead fish is a dead fish, right?
 

fishNphysician

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Get real....

Get real....

Score upon score? You really mean like multiples of 20? Really?

Out of touch, out of time is all I can say.

I know a lot of good C&R king fishermen, and even in their wildest wet dream, ain't a one of them consistently catching score after score of Kenai kings. I have the luxury of basically fishing prime time whenever I venture home to the Kenai. My personal logs show that day in and day out, my boat averages 6 takedowns a day and 3 fish brought to hand.... that's fishing on average 3-4 rods for 12-14 hours a day. An entire week of fishing four guys might score the boat ONE score of kings.

Statistically speaking, a guy's gotta catch and release 26 kings to mortally wound 2 of them. After 4 decades of tryin' I have yet to touch anywhere near that many fish in a season.

Wonder if any guides (who could potentially fish every legal day of the season) would speak to this issue based on the fish reported in their ADFG log books. Any of you scoring "score upon score"?
 

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