Upper Cook Inlet Commercial Fishing Announcement No. 1 closes commercial salmon fishing in the Northern District of Upper Cook Inlet on Monday, May 26, 2014.
Well, the Dept has already issued EO's closing nearly all Susitna drainage streams to retention of King salmon by sportfishermen
due to numerous years of not meeting sustainable goals. The forecasts coming in each year are new and significant, I would think. Sure makes sense to close a fishery that catches indiscriminately fish bound to all drainages.
Seems like a very interesting take you have, Nerka. You and many others on this forum and in the meetings resist regulatory restrictions in the ND setnet fishery, claiming that if a Chinook shortage is forecast or becomes apparent inseason, managers just have to issue an EO to close the fishery. Now you claim that to do so is illegal. Nice.
Nerka - I won't disagree with you, but perhaps you can explain this statement in the EO:
"King salmon originating from the Chuitna River drainage remain a stock of management concern. As a result of this finding, the king salmon sport fishery in this drainage has been closed since the
2011 season. The Northern District King Salmon Management Plan (5 AAC 21.366) specifies that
if the Chuitna River is closed to sport fishing, the commissioner shall close the commercial king
salmon fishery, by emergency order, from the wood chip dock to the Susitna River. This
emergency order implements that mandatory closure."
Seems to me that if BoF approved the ND King Salmon Mgt Plan (I'm assuming they did), then the Commissioner is just implementing what it says. And, based on the EO, it does say "mandatory closure" and "by emergency order". Not sure the Commis has alot of flexibility here. But there is probably more to the story than I'm seeing.....
Thanks Nerka, but the EO says nothing about a pre-season forecast. It says that Chuitna Rv Chinook are an on-going management concern, and have been since 2011. As such, they are mandated by the mgt plan to close the commercial harvest, since they have already decided to close the recreational harvest. Perhaps I missed something in the EO, but I didn't see any reference to a pre-season forecast, particularly as it relates to the purpose of the EO.
I understand the tension between the Commission and the Commissioner. That tension is very common in almost any State that has such a regulatory structure. Alaska is no different. And it's not unusual for a State court to decide where the authorities of each begin and end, under the prevailing State law. I realize there is a legal history here, but I see nothing in the EO that suggests anyone is breaking the law.
But then I live in Vancouver, WA, not the Great Land........
But didn't the PMA case involve a complete pre-season departure from a management plan (didn't that stem from the time that Hickel told the Department to lower the fixed chum cap in the Area M June fishery)--instead of working within the frameworked authorities of the management plan, which seems to me more of the case with the current EO?Perhaps I'm off base; I'm blissfully less-than-familiar with the fine details UCI's current management plans ;-)
So the Board could close the sport fishery in the Chuitna River at a regular scheduled meeting and close the commercial fishery at the same time. However, they did not do this. They said if the Chuitna River is closed. That means if ADF&G closes it by e.o then the commercial limitations are implemented. However, e.o must require in-season information not forecast. The reason is that ADF&G could use a forecast to change an allocation plan and then have the forecast be wrong thus violating an allocation plan of the Board. As I said what constitutes new and significant information in-season has not been determined by the courts. But if the Board knew the forecast and did close the fishery at a regulatory meeting then a forecast is not new and significant information.
The idea that an agency knows the status of the return before it shows up and makes decisions in the absence of any information on actual run strength is just wrong. .
Nerka: "Willphish4food, if managers only managed to the lower end of an escapement goal there would be no sport fisheries in the major drainages as some subsystem would always drive the management action. That is why systems are managed to meet goals but in some years a goal or more will not be met."
Correction to Nerka: the Parks Hwy streams with missed escapements are not "some subsystem." We're not talking Slikok Creek. They are the Willow, Little Willow, Montana, and Sheep Creek, responsible for 10's of thousands of angler hours during king season at their peak. Lake Creek, Talachulitna, Clear Creek in the Yentna and Talkeetna. These ARE the major drainages of the Big Su and Yentna. As to some streams missing escapement: in 2012 over 80% of index streams did not meet their minimum escapement goal. This was the 4th year of 5 for many of the streams, 6th year out of 8 for some; a complete life cycle for Chinook. These numbers prompted emergency action, and one year of better returns (2013) isn't enough to justify unrestricted fishing in 2014.