Kasilof King Debacle

penguin

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Did anybody read the Clarion article today about the Kenai king EO for July? Buried in the article was this gem.....

During the Kasilof River's early run of king salmon, managers aim to hit a target of between
650-1,700 naturally produced king salmon in the river. As of June 24, just 289 non hatchery
king salmon had been counted at the river's weir at Crooked Creek.

Can anyone tell me why 6 days out of the week naturally produced kings were allowed to be caught and released and 1 day of the week they could be killed? What are they thinking at ADFG? The Kasilof king's numbers are less than half of the target goal and opportunity has been allowed 7 days of the week. On the other hand, the Kenai will exceed the lower escapement goal and there's zero opportunity for sport anglers. How can anyone figure out these two completely different approaches to king salmon management to rivers 15 miles apart. Inconsistent and frustrating. They either both need to be shut down, or both should be open.
 

fishNphysician

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During the Kasilof River's early run of king salmon, managers aim to hit a target of between
650-1,700 naturally produced king salmon in the river. As of June 24, just 289 non hatchery
king salmon had been counted at the river's weir at Crooked Creek.

Not defending ADFG's actions, but there's a LOT of kings holding in the reach between the CC mouth and the hatchery weir.

No one's gonna plant hatchery kings without a rec fishery to cull them out as they return. Selective removal of the hatchery product is the end game for the rec fishery.
 

penguin

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Why is it acceptable to practice catch n release on one river with low king numbers and not on another?
 

fishNphysician

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Why?

The fishery is largely targeting harvestable hatchery fish produced expressly for HARVEST. For the most part (except one day a week) the wild fish are the by catch.

The goal is selective harvest of hatchery fish while releasing wild fish... with the understanding that there is an impact in terms of C&R mortality on the wild by catch. This is the model for MANY fisheries in my neck'o'the'woods.... including those fishing on ESA-listed stocks.

The managers decide ahead of time what portion of the wild run is expendable. In the case of CR spring chinook, it's on the order of 1-2% of the wild run allocated to the rec fishery. We go about catching and killing as many hatchery CR spring chinook as we can until 1-2% of the wild run is statistically dead.... GAME OVER.

With wild Kasilof (CC) chinook numbers so low, it's a wonder that ADFG is allowing ANY wild harvest at all. The hubris that they can reliably manage the rec fishery to such minuscule margins (650 kings? - YGTBFK, right) is difficult to understand.
 

smithtb

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Perhaps I'm reading something wrong, but from what I can see from the historical data on the fish count page, 289 fish by the 24th of June is not bad - it's nearly 3 times the escapement at the same time last year, when the goal was quite handily made. I know that the weir has gone in at different times over the years and I don't have nearly as much knowledge as I should about this, but it would appear that they are on track to make the goal if not exceed it. In fact, this looks to be one of the best escapements since the mid-2000's if it does not crater.

If I missed something please correct me.
 

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