Kenai Dipnet Fishery Open 24hrs

smithtb

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So, given the current projected Sockeye escapement into the Kenai they've upped the sport limit. I try hard not to meddle in management decisions, but I encouraged them to liberalize earlier this year, knowing that that they were getting pushback from the guide industry. A large contingent of the Guides don't like increased bag limits because it costs them more time and money to have a successful day - which they seem to measure by achieving boat limits all around.

I AM GLAD ADFG LIBERALIZED the sport/PU fisheries. What I don't understand is the decision to allow dipping from boats 24/7 on the Kenai, for the following reasons:

I live in the Kenai PU fishery. I participate, I hang out down there with my many friends who utilize the fishery. Everyone is generally there for a good time. Lots of opportunity, lots of drinking, plenty of safety concerns - even in the daylight hours. I see accidents and near misses every year.

Enforcement is present, but not overwhelming. By and large, the lion's share of enforcement in the boat fishery is done by the Kenai PD, with their own equipment. This fishery takes place on about 2 miles of river in a residential area with no size, noise, or horsepower limits on the boats. Retention of King Salmon is prohibited.

Species ID is very tough in the dark. Successful navigation is also tough. Even the professional UCI drift fleet is closed after 11pm due to safety concerns - and they're not blowing by residential areas in Thunderjets doing 30mph on a small river.

I think the City of Kenai has pushed back in the past by closing the Dock/Launch after 11pm. I'd encourage them to do the same this year. 24/7 boat dipping is a bad idea. 6am-11pm is a lot of opportunity.
 

kwackkillncrew

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i dont see how it costs the guides more money going to 6 fish. If they are on a spot that people can limit out with 3 fish they just have to stay until they get 3 more. its not costing them any more money to sit on a sand bar longer. Maybe it costs them money if they are trying to do 2 trips a day (if thats even legal, i am not sure). And dipping from a boat at night seems kinda sketchy, but if you dont want to be in that situation just dont go at night. Its no skin off my sak if some people want to go play bumper boats in the dark. People take calculated risks all the time.
 

penguin

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i dont see how it costs the guides more money going to 6 fish. If they are on a spot that people can limit out with 3 fish they just have to stay until they get 3 more. its not costing them any more money to sit on a sand bar longer. Maybe it costs them money if they are trying to do 2 trips a day (if thats even legal, i am not sure). And dipping from a boat at night seems kinda sketchy, but if you dont want to be in that situation just dont go at night. Its no skin off my sak if some people want to go play bumper boats in the dark. People take calculated risks all the time.

There are some guides who have run 5 trips in a single day this past week. Going to a 6 fish limit will reduce the amount of trips they run unless they fish based on hours, and not limits. There are no restrictions on how many trips a Kenai guide can run.

SmithTB, I completely agree with you that 24/7 dipnetting is a bad idea. If it was only from the beach, that might make more sense. It just seems 24/7 with power boats is dangerous.
 

kwackkillncrew

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There are some guides who have run 5 trips in a single day this past week.

they must just have people on standby incase they are able to fit in another trip? I cant imagine they actually schedule more the 2 trips a day way ahead of time unless they are just doing 2 or 3 hour fishing charters. If i ever did go with a guide for reds it wouldnt be with someone who is only going to give me 3 hours of their time during the day.
 

NRick

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i dont see how it costs the guides more money going to 6 fish. If they are on a spot that people can limit out with 3 fish they just have to stay until they get 3 more. its not costing them any more money to sit on a sand bar longer. Maybe it costs them money if they are trying to do 2 trips a day (if thats even legal, i am not sure). And dipping from a boat at night seems kinda sketchy, but if you dont want to be in that situation just dont go at night. Its no skin off my sak if some people want to go play bumper boats in the dark. People take calculated risks all the time.

Disagree. People take risks all the time. Most are not calculated in any way.
 

kwackkillncrew

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ok.... people take risks all the time, if they dont know what they are getting into its on them. You think ADFG should make only safe things legal? Maybe they should make it illegal to shoot bears out of dens or bringing bears to you by baiting, duck hunting when there is ice on the lake or just getting outside and enjoying the state. If fish and game open up a season and you dont think its safe then dont do it. They opened shrimping up to 3 pots if you go far enough from whittier and valdez. Doesnt mean i am going to go out that far just to drop more pots. I know my limitations. if other people want to go out and do it good on them, doesnt upset me at all.
 

smithtb

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The difference here is that this fishery is not out in the middle of the woods. It's inside the City of Kenai, adjacent to a residential neighborhood. You can't shoot ducks or bears there. (Yes, you can shoot ducks on the flats across the way, but not after dark.) We have all kinds of hunting/fishing/boating regulations in place to help encourage safety.

ADFG and the BOF are charged with regulating safe and orderly fisheries.

It doesn't really matter how brave you are - if you get drunked up and wreck your boat at 3am in the dip fishery, Kenai EMS will be first on scene thanks to the taxes paid by residents. The City has repeatedly requested that the state not open this fishery 24hrs and those requests have been ignored - despite the fact that the state has left the City to fund and facilitate the lion's share of services and enforcement for this fishery.

Yes, I know the troopers are out also out there from time to time, but KPD is far and away the most visible enforcement presence in the fishery and they are first on scene when anything happens. And stuff happens all the time.
 

anchskier

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ok.... people take risks all the time, if they dont know what they are getting into its on them. You think ADFG should make only safe things legal? Maybe they should make it illegal to shoot bears out of dens or bringing bears to you by baiting, duck hunting when there is ice on the lake or just getting outside and enjoying the state. If fish and game open up a season and you dont think its safe then dont do it. They opened shrimping up to 3 pots if you go far enough from whittier and valdez. Doesnt mean i am going to go out that far just to drop more pots. I know my limitations. if other people want to go out and do it good on them, doesnt upset me at all.

It's one thing if they were just endangering themselves, but in this kind of situation, they are also endangering the people who have to come into dangerous conditions in the dark to save their stupid asses. Those people don't get to choose when or where they go. Generally, I am all for letting people do stupid things, but that opinion changes when their actions endanger others needlessly.
 

cdubbin

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Sounds good...while we're at it, let's require all commercial fishing vessels to be tied up to the dock by sundown, that way the Coasties won't have to come rescue anyone after dark...:handthumbup:
 

smithtb

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Sounds good...while we're at it, let's require all commercial fishing vessels to be tied up to the dock by sundown, that way the Coasties won't have to come rescue anyone after dark...:handthumbup:

Commfish hasn't fished past dark in years, possibly decades. I'm near certain that safety/enforcement were listed reasons for closing the drift fleet at night. Say what you want about those boys but they are pros with regulated navigational aides and survival gear, not weekend warriors.

also close roads down after 9 pm so there isnt any drunk people on the roads.

You can't drink in a car, and we have speed and size restrictions on the road. We also have rules about hunting on or near the highway, from the highway, down the highway, across the highway, parking on the highway to go fishing, etc.

This discussion is about regulating fishing (trawling in a river, essentially) at night in a high population area. No one suggested shutting marine or river navigation down. I think it's a little shrill, but if you want to get technical it's pretty fair to argue that this fishery running 24hrs impedes safe transport on a navigable waterway.

Funny enough, the flipping upriver was better than the dipping most of the weekend. I think the fish have been pushing on the overnight floods hahaha.
 

Brian M

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Commfish hasn't fished past dark in years, possibly decades. I'm near certain that safety/enforcement were listed reasons for closing the drift fleet at night. Say what you want about those boys but they are pros with regulated navigational aides and survival gear, not weekend warriors.

In fairness, other drift fleets fish around the clock. In PWS it's not uncommon for the drift fleet to fish overnight. And yes, it can definitely create a navigational hazard, which is why I give them a very wide berth when running overnight. I can longline at night as well, though since the advent of quotas rather than clocks, we rarely do so.

Still, I think your point is a fair one. On the Kenai River dipnet fishery, there are definitely safety issues to be considered.
 

cdubbin

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I've personally seen video of commies chucking beer cans overboard and shooting them up with ARs in between sets...please, please spare us the B.S. garbage that these guys are paragons of safety...:grintears:
 

kwackkillncrew

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You can't drink in a car, and we have speed and size restrictions on the road. We also have rules about hunting on or near the highway, from the highway, down the highway, across the highway, parking on the highway to go fishing, etc

i get that but your not supposed to be drinking and boating either.

Seems like you would just rather not have dipping in that area. just curious how many boats are out dipping from 11 pm to 6 am? are there more accidents during night dipping then during the day?

I think that "residential area" is pretty fortunate to be able to just dip net off their docks personally.

also side note....its pretty tidally influenced in that area, are those houses even able to tie up boats some how?

just trying to see how dipnetting in a boat at night would affect the houses in that area other then maybe noise?
 

smithtb

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i get that but your not supposed to be drinking and boating either.

Seems like you would just rather not have dipping in that area. just curious how many boats are out dipping from 11 pm to 6 am? are there more accidents during night dipping then during the day?

I think that "residential area" is pretty fortunate to be able to just dip net off their docks personally.

also side note....its pretty tidally influenced in that area, are those houses even able to tie up boats some how?

just trying to see how dipnetting in a boat at night would affect the houses in that area other then maybe noise?

Not true. You aren't supposed to be drunk while boating, but you can absolutely drink while boating, and many people do.

There was a 28' offshore twin out there last night. Beautiful boat. She scoots. Dipping right next to a couple G3's and a rubber raft or two.

Yes, you can tie up boats in that area but it is risky to do so in July due to heavy traffic on weekends. They get ran into and cut free regularly. Yes, many folks who live there (and their friends and neighbors) are thankful for access to the fishery, but many also felt fortunate to live there long before the PU fishery. No, I don't want to see the boat dip fishery shut down. I've been doing it since we used King landing nets out on the bar. Good times. The fishing area was later moved upriver due to safety issues at the mouth. There have been multiple pushes to move the fishery farther up river.

Bank erosion due to boat wake on the large tides is a major issue for property owners in this area. The City of Kenai implemented (and flutily tries to enforce) a no wake zone in that area at high tide. The State and Feds don't seem quite as interested, although they were plenty interested in questioning the City of Kenai's authority to establish the no wake zone.

My frustration with this comes more from the fact that I've seen my municipality struggle to manage/maintain this fishery and make repeated, common sense requests to the State governing bodies only to by ignored. Somehow decision makers have been persuaded by the influencers making your arguments - or at least by their money and power. IDK it's just frustrating to the folks who are left with the garbage.
 

kwackkillncrew

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Not true. You aren't supposed to be drunk while boating, but you can absolutely drink while boating, and many people do.

There was a 28' offshore twin out there last night. Beautiful boat. She scoots. Dipping right next to a couple G3's and a rubber raft or two.

Yes, you can tie up boats in that area but it is risky to do so in July due to heavy traffic on weekends. They get ran into and cut free regularly. Yes, many folks who live there (and their friends and neighbors) are thankful for access to the fishery, but many also felt fortunate to live there long before the PU fishery. No, I don't want to see the boat dip fishery shut down. I've been doing it since we used King landing nets out on the bar. Good times. The fishing area was later moved upriver due to safety issues at the mouth. There have been multiple pushes to move the fishery farther up river.

Bank erosion due to boat wake on the large tides is a major issue for property owners in this area. The City of Kenai implemented (and flutily tries to enforce) a no wake zone in that area at high tide. The State and Feds don't seem quite as interested, although they were plenty interested in questioning the City of Kenai's authority to establish the no wake zone.

My frustration with this comes more from the fact that I've seen my municipality struggle to manage/maintain this fishery and make repeated, common sense requests to the State governing bodies only to by ignored. Somehow decision makers have been persuaded by the influencers making your arguments - or at least by their money and power. IDK it's just frustrating to the folks who are left with the garbage.

makes sense. I was unaware that you could be actively drinking and driving a boat legally at the same time. As i said before i dont use our 22' raider dipping because i dont want to be put in a bad situation and to be honest rivers scare the crap out of me. I will just floss them or snag them in homer. Just getting an understanding of the issues thats created down there. It blows my mind anyone would take out 28' offshore boat out dipping.
 

penguin

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makes sense. I was unaware that you could be actively drinking and driving a boat legally at the same time. As i said before i dont use our 22' raider dipping because i dont want to be put in a bad situation and to be honest rivers scare the crap out of me. I will just floss them or snag them in homer. Just getting an understanding of the issues thats created down there. It blows my mind anyone would take out 28' offshore boat out dipping.

A 28’ off shore boat is a heckuva lot better tool in this fishery than the jet skis, Coleman canoes, kayaks, and tiny Zodiacs loaded with 4 people in them that I see.
 

kwackkillncrew

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Sounds like I need to get a six pack and a lawn chair one of these days and observe.

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extrema

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TB Smith,
Can you give us links to the public safety reports detailing the violations, accidents and other problems actually recorded this past weekend for the expanded boat dip net hours; 11:00 pm- 6:00 am?
Thanks!
 

smithtb

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TB Smith,
Can you give us links to the public safety reports detailing the violations, accidents and other problems actually recorded this past weekend for the expanded boat dip net hours; 11:00 pm- 6:00 am?
Thanks!

Haha. No. Why would I do that?

Second time inside a week someone has asked me to look through police reports. Last time was to prove that there is enforcement in the setnet fishery and we aren't all a bunch of lawless eh-holes. Weird, and not something I should have to prove. Likewise, I don't need police reports to make a reasonable argument about having sideboards on this fishery.

I don't read police reports because I don't really care.
 
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