Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Explosive catches of pink salmon reported

Deckboss just got off the line with Dan Gray of the state Department of Fish and Game down in Sitka.

Purse seiners are making what are believed to be record catches in Southeast Alaska.

"It's just more and more and more fish piling in here," Gray says.

State fishery managers and overwhelmed processors have been talking about how to "keep things orderly and under control," he says.

The state's preseason forecast was for a Southeast seine harvest of 54 million pinks, but now managers believe it'll be 60 to 70 million or even more.

To cope, processors have placed vessels on delivery limits.

Such limits also are reported in Prince William Sound, which likewise is seeing huge catches. Through Monday, seiners had taken an estimated 49.4 million pinks in the common property fishery.

Hatchery pinks dominate the runs in Prince William Sound, while Southeast pinks are predominantly wild fish.

37 comments:

Anonymous said...

Dan Gray's in SE now? He's a good guy who deserves to move up the ladder.

Anonymous said...

Hatchery pinks and chum are dominating the food web of the Bering Sea... The 5-8 Billion salmon released each year into the North Pacific by Japan, Russia, US and Canada are having an impact on the carrying campacity of the ocean. . We are all to blame for letting this happen. The problems with the Chinook runs are directly related to this these record harvests of hatchery fish. You can blame bycatch by seattle trawlers, but i'd say these record harvests are the smoking gun...

Anonymous said...

Dan Gray doesn't need a ladder!!

Anonymous said...

are you outta your mind, thank god he moved to southeast!

Lacey Velsko said...

Right on! Keep em coming!

Anonymous said...

Hatchery fish crash the market. Here we are with a decent pink price and a good catch and we're piling a maybe 50 million hatcher pinks (PWS, Kitoi, etc.) on top so there's no retro and screwed up market next year. Dumb. Real fishermen would be better off with NO hatcheries. The ocean probably too.

Anonymous said...

610 pm sounds like a Seattle trawler looking for someone else to blame for the Chinook Problem

Anonymous said...

Agree with anonymous 2. It's an unsustainable cycle: to release 1 billion pink frye into the Sound every year, where they compete with our wild stock for ocean resources (including the kings). It is likely that many will go unharvested this year, thus increasing the already high stay rates of hatchery fish in PWS. This process is obviously unsustainable, putting Alaska at odds with MSC. While MSC isn't perfect, Alaska having the self-certification process is a bit like the fox watching the hen house. Would Alaska really not certify its own fish? A third party is needed, but PWS fishery would never pass as sustainable.

Anonymous said...

Can you say "Humpy Dump"?

Anonymous said...

There is some fishing mastery...fishing for man made fish whose "home" its marked by a barrier seine. 11:08pm has it right about the market. The parties in favor of hatchery fish are processors and seiners...unless you're the last stinger to the tender when the limit is hit.

Anonymous said...

This may an uneducated question but, could the large number of pinks in the ocean be a food source for species? Creating an imbalance in nature does have many consequences. Perhaps the ocean can handle this large number of pinks?

Anonymous said...

There is a huge wild pink run in PWS and the wild and pink runs are all being processed. Pinks have always strayed and the original broodstock for the PWS hatcheries were taken from all the streams in PWS in the early 70's. I would think that king salmon would flourish with all these hatchery fry to eat as they are carnivores.

Anonymous said...

to 11 08 pm. Hatchery fish are good for the market as they keep a steady supply of fish to the markets unlike wild fish that have boom and bust cycles.

Anonymous said...

Quit your crying and bellyaching! Who cares what you think! PWS is alive and healthy. The huge of run of pinks is sustainable and of great importance to the communities & municipalities of Cordova, Valdez, Whittier, Seward, Chenega & Tatitlek. All you doubters are nattering nabobs of negativity. Good Luck to Dan Gray in SE!

Anonymous said...

I agree with the last 4 comments, PWS sound is alive, the kings would have plenty of feed and apparently no harm to the wild stocks as they are also coming back in huge numbers. It is a system started by fisherman in PWS and it works very well. MY guess is the nay sayers are wish they had what will be a 60 million harvest in PWS in their own area.

Anonymous said...

Maybe that 2.8 lb per fish average in PWS might tell you there's more fish than the ocean can handle. Or is it even smaller? I know gillnetters fishing 4 5/8" mesh and 4 3/4" are saying the fish are going right through their nets.

Look for the runs to take a dump in the next year or two.

Anonymous said...

yeah 1:52 I remember so well all those years when the big problem was not enough pinks on the market

Anonymous said...

Yea 7:34 I'm sure the small fish are a sign of something horrible. Gillnetters can't catch them? Oh how terrible. There aren't any humpys going to waste unlike the gillnetters the seiners are quite effecient.

Can people not accept any good news? Record salmon runs and you're complaining. Give it a rest. if I hear one more ignorant ass pretend he is a scientist and blame small king runs on whatever I am going to poop my pants.

Anonymous said...

1.8 pound pinks in 99

No problem

This pink and hatchery bashing is uneducated bs

Bobbyt

Anonymous said...

So, you can just ignore the fact that the current stray rate is far beyond the threshold set for your manmade fish? unsustainable fishery.

Anonymous said...

I agree with Bobby T. Exxon could not find another reason the shift the blame for herring Failure in PWS because it had nothing to due with dumping 11+ million gallons of crude in the spawning grounds, so they paid their scientist to say it was the hatchery.

Anonymous said...

Good News Pooper's comment belongs in the Deckboss Hall of Fame.

It's Classic, and oh so true.

Anonymous said...

The argument that hatchery fish help markets by providing a steady supply of fish is wrong. Hatchery runs are just as likely to fluctuate as wild runs. This isn't going to help the price. Look at the Bay, It comes in weak, and the red price goes up and guys on the bay end up doing ok.

We're coming into this pack with a strong pink market. I doubt we'll come out as well off.

As far as the biological consequences, we have to agree that there is probably is some effect to releasing those numbers. Lets do some science and stop calling people uneducated.

A bunch of limit seiners patting themselves on the back and ordering new boats and rounding up a bunch of tiny pinks with no place to go. Fishin. The same guys that fished for a nickel a pound.

Anonymous said...

Enough already, SE & PWS are having very healthy return of pink salmon this season. Let us all celebrate! All you naysayers, are always looking to complain about something. So quit whining, buy a pws seine permit, boat & gear and join the fun. If not, keep your trap shut!

Anonymous said...

Blaming it all on Hatcheries is utter stupidity. The King salmon fry (which rear in freshwater) are unaffected by the release of the small pinks into saltwater. When the King fry become smolt and out migrate into saltwater the pink fry actually become prey! for everything in the ocean.
To complain about the release number is just shenanigans. The return number is a mere small fraction. Hatchery releases actually create a forage base for all the creatures in the sea. Alaskan Aquaculture "ocean ranching" has created a win-win strategy.

Anonymous said...

What do you call hundreds and hundreds of thousands of staying pink salmon inundating wild stock streams well into September, and in doing so superimposing their redds over the wild fish's previous egg deposition? Ocean ranching of course.

Anonymous said...

I call that an ecotrust/greenpeace fantasy.

Anonymous said...

I call it the likely reality for many streams from Chenega to Esther this September, because I've seen it many times.

Anonymous said...

How would you know that is the reality , are you a biologist and you did scale samples, or are you just saying these streams were well escaped as they should be., In any case is it not true that these hatchery fish are just fish whose eggs were taken from the natural wild fish of the area?, so not like farmed atlantics escaping into the pacific. I think what we mostly have here are fisherman whining that did not have the foresight to enhance their wild pink stock through Hatcheries.

Anonymous said...

I can't get over the missed points. Yes it's good for the PWS folks. Fine, here and there, but it's too many fish.

If we enhanced to the maximum everywhere, we'd be right back to a nickel a pound.

Anonymous said...

Scale samples of pink salmon, hmmm. Methinks you are not a biologist if you ask that question. And yes, otoliths have confirmed massive hatchery straying. Wild salmon stocks that have evolved a specific run timing over eons, a timing that benefits both the adults and the juvenile emigration the following spring, are being lost to the hordes of hatchery strays. A stream that historically shows peak wild stock escapement in mid-August now peaks in mid-September. An egg's time in gravel no longer cooincides with what will be the optimal time in the spring to emerge. Streams full of stray fish that result in little productivity and a loss of whatever wild stock genetic diversity that may have existed. Yep, the hatcheries used local stocks. The 3 or 4 brood stocks now fill 100's of wild stock systems. What have we lost? God only knows at this pont, but our integrity as stewards was the first thing tossed out when the "more is better" crowd grabbed the reins.

Anonymous said...

pws pink harvest is at 66 million fish and the seiners got 63 million of those, I thinks that is a record for the seiners but not yet overall, 47 million in southeast

Anonymous said...

"otoliths have confirmed massive hatchery straying" show me that study or don't post your opinion as facts just because you're anonymous. More is better crowd vs the live in fear crowd. We sure are screwing up biggest pink salmon run ever. Though you won't admit it the real otolith samples show a significant amount of wild fish returning as well.

Anonymous said...

Biggest pink run ever, over 71,million caught in PWS so far and it is not over! and a damn fine wild run, yea show us the otolith study you talk about

Anonymous said...

@ 7:33 AM on 8/14 and for others who might be interested. scientific studies and news on hatchery/wild interactions here:

http://www.springer.com/life+sciences/animal+sciences/book/978-94-007-5692-2

http://green.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/05/16/hatched-and-wild-salmon-a-bad-mix/?_r=0

Anonymous said...

Or, if you'd rather read something relevant to Alaska instead of the NY Times "Green Blogs", try here:

http://www.adfg.alaska.gov/index.cfm?adfg=fishingHatcheriesResearch.main

Anonymous said...

Just under 76 million pinks caught by pws fisherman so far, will it hit 100 million? SE has just under 63 million and over 211 million total harvest in the state!