Alaska commercial fishing news and notes
This is very serious. If the users who are impacted by this potential action would get together with one another and come up with solutions that were agreeable and make a concerted effort to compromise at the UCI BOF meeting in late January the wind could be taken out of the initiative. The BOF is in the best position to create a workable solution, but will need full cooperation of the in river and ESSN users. Otherwise there will be millions of $ spent on this initiative and it is very likely that there will be enough signatures to put it on the 2016 ballot. Just do the math and consider the voter. In Anchorage, alone, consider how many sports fishers and P.U. fishers there are who will be voting. These are people that because of perceived problems ( right or wrong( with the commercial fisheries taking the King salmon before they get into the river have been unable to catch a King salmon by authorized means and methods. Think they will hesitate to vote for a ban of the fishery they think is causing the problem. The time for accusations, name calling and hostilities such as seen on the Outdoor forum blogs is over. You ALL had better get with the program or prepare for the consequences.
This has NOTHING to do with conservation. In the past 27 years Kenai Late Run King Salmon have never NOT met their escapement goal. For many many years Bob Penney has fought hard to eliminate set netting in a way to reallocate king salmon. Its disgusting now he has chosen the path of pitting rural and urban Alaskans against each other. Give it up BOB!!
lol. The press release calls for banning in "urban" areas of Alaska, like set netting occurs in downtown Anchorage. Thus, it begins here in Alaska--the move to ban gill nets--like elsewhere in the country. Only the naive would think that it stops just with Cook Inlet.Hopefully the people of Alaska will do the right thing and vote an initiative down.
Yes, let us stop all that commercial set gillnet fishing in Juneau, Fairbanks...wait, only Anchorage? Why not call it what it is?
To the kenai river sportfishing advocate and Alaskafisherier conservation alliance.The Anchorage daily news paper said that the set netters catch 13 percent of the kings.Set netters are fishing close to the river mouth.What happiens when the kings goto sea.Why don't you take a look at the dragers.They are the probles.Close the bering sea and the waters from southeast to Kodiak and the south peninsula to dragging.Dragers are killing the water off the coast of Alaska.Rappeing the OCEANS
There aren't any set nets in Wshington or Oregon except for tribal set nets, and they are controlled by the tribes, not the states. They are trying to curtail gillnetting, basically to transition kings to the sport fishery, even though there is no conservation benefit in doing so. But I see that the usual mis-information is already getting peddled. CCA in Alaska? If you're not sure, just follow the money.
There is no question but that this initiative is directed at the ESSN fishers on the Kenai. But there are far more sports and P.U. fishers in the State than there are commercial fishers. How do you think that will impact a vote? Knowing the money and people behind this effort, you can be assured that all Ts were crossed and I's were dotted. There will be a lot of money spent and if there is no earlier resolution, the ESSN fisher's days are numbered. And don't count on the UCIDA crowd to come to their rescue. Won't happen because they will be the biggest winner if the initiative passes. Oh yes, they will seem to oppose the effort and offer sympathy to the set net fishers. But, no; they will be secretly hoping the initiative passes. The days of under reporting harvest of kings, failing to acknowledge drop-outs and refusing to adopt means and methods that avoid kings have caught up with the ESSN people. The argument that this fishery has been ongoing for a hundred years fails to recognize the changes that have taken place. Now there are hundreds of thousands of people who want to sport fish or dip net often for a king salmon. There has been a failure to adjust with the times. And to those that say that the min escapement goals have always been achieved, you forget that it has been at great expense to those in-river fishers who are fellow alaskans who have an equal right to the resource. The good news is that it is not too late to adjust. make piece with your neighboring users. Figure out a way to NOT target the kings. Adapt, be creative, and stop with the insults and attacks. Do you really think that is productive or that the people behind the initiative will be deterred by such an approach.
The Kodiak drag fleet and western gulf drag fleet should be looked at real hard in what role they play in this mess. All should be aware that under the newly restructured observer program in federal ground fish fisheries in the GOA, the drag fleet now has about 13%total coverage compared to 1/3 coverage under old program.When fixed gear pleaded with nmfs and NPFMC to address the known gaming of the old observer program by mobile gear, they gave it back to us in spades. Thanks to Julie Bonney, Jim Balsinger, NMFS, AK Whitefish Trawlers, and any others I left out for shanghaiing the council process and crafting a worse observer program than the one prior. You folks harvest 85% of all the poundage in the state yet 13% is adequate coverage. Not a set netter here but you fools who blame commercial salmon users for your diminished sport opportunities should look at this out of control bycatch. Good luck as nmfs values your halibut and king salmon more as a bycatch to trawl fleet for the sake of optimum yield of fish stick quality stocks.
The first poster here suggests that perhaps this is just a gambit to try to get more out of the BOF. Make no mistake, whatever they get out of the BOF -- and it is stacked pretty well in their favor-- will never be enough.
You are mistaken UCIDA will oppose this effort! Who says there is a shortage of Kings?? The late-run of Kings has always met the minimum ascapement numbers and often go over the upper end of escp goal.The so-called Early-run of Kings are the ones that need attention and are in trouble! US FWLS weirs indicate that 80% of this early return are males. This highly skewed sex ratiois a huge problem. There are less than 600 females remaining in this early return. The average Spawing date for these king is JULY 19th. Yes the KRSA folks know this and have for years held their Classic ( July 3-6)right on top of these early run-kings. Now these Early- run Kings are almost gone and KRSA/BOB P want to point to ESSNs as the problem when the ESSN have not fished on these Early-run Kings for 20+ years. Come-on Bob P get your facts right, Oh, thats right you never let the facts get in the way.
Kings are being used as the reason for this iniative but the sportfish and PU crowd want the reds just as much; if not more. The dippers especially blame the setnetters for their lack of easy limits. Last year the red run showed up in a condensed wad and dippers and sports killed them for a few days. The rest of Anchorage and the MatSu was infuriated when they showed up late and didn't catch em two at a time.I don't commercial fish CI even though I live here. Regardless, I am going to find a way to contribute to the fight against this initiative. Maybe even join UFA if they show some balls on this. Copper River drift gillnet will be next if this iniative goes into law.
Looking at their website, the AFCA wraps itself in the flag of conservation, yet the potential initiative is nothing but attempt to re-allocate by brute force (the ballot). I'm sure Penney envisions whatever kings the ESSN fishery catches will be transferred to the in-river sport fishery, once he gets rid of the commercial guys.Also consider the timing of this announcement: it is likely timed to "poison the well" for the upcoming UCI Board of Fish meeting. Perhaps the Board will feel additional pressure regarding the ESSN fishery because of this proposed initiative?
Setnetting was never intended to be a commercial fishery. It was allowed by the territory of Alaska as a subsistence way to feed orphans and widows. The net was to be set and anchored at low tide by hand, fish through the flood and ebb, and then pick the fish at low tide.Kings are highly vulnerable when the leadline is on the bottom creating slack web. This allows tangling rather than breaking the web and powering through.Setnetting has incrementaly expanded into something industrial that it was not meant to be. Not too many people around here are old enough to remember that fact. Fewer yet that are willing to admit it. Haven't you wondered why so many setnet permits were issued to so and so's grandma.
The total Chinook bycatch in the Gulf of Alaska by the trawl fisheries has been around 22,000/yr. over the past three years. Yes, I know the observer program needs to be better. Yes, skippers probably change their behavior when an observer is on board, etc. But, I think the number is probably at least in the ballpark. I don't think its off by an order of magnitude or more, which is what you would need for trawl bycatch to be causing escapement issues in Gulf of Alaska river systems.GSI (genetic stock identification) work that I've seen shows about 15% of this harvest is "NW Gulf of Alaska" (ie from Chignik to Copper River). So, about 3300 fish/year. Most of the bycatch is bound for BC, OR/Wa, or SE AK (about 75%). That was for 2011, I haven't seen 2012 or '13 yet.Obviously, we need more robust sampling of bycatch in the Gulf, but at first blush the numbers don't support the thesis that draggers are wiping out the king runs in Cook Inlet or anywhere else in Alaska. I'd be cautious about jumping on that bandwagon at this point.
to 5:20, who said "Setnetting has incrementaly expanded into something industrial that it was not meant to be". Have you seen the guided king salmon sport fish industry at work in the Kenai River? Talk about something other than what you'd think it should be...
Enjoy! There are so many factual errors, combined with a good measure of hyperbole, that its hard to know where to start!Dear Alaska Legislator;As you may have heard, in the near future we will be pursuing an initiative to be placed on the 2016 ballot to ban the use of set nets in the non-subsistence areas of Alaska. This initiative will do the same thing in portions of Alaska that has been done in the states of Florida, Alabama, Louisiana, Texas, New York, California, and most recently in the Columbia River in Washington and Oregon. In each of those instances, the public voted to restrict the use of set nets and since that first vote over 25 years ago, no set nets What would our initiative do? It would only ban set nets in the five, present-day non-subsistence designated areas of Fairbanks, Anchorage, Valdez, Juneau, and Ketchikan. That is less than 10% of the state, but encompasses over 70% of the state's population. Set nets in the rural or other 90% of our state would still be allowed as a means of fishing. This vote will not affect the rural areas.Why is the initiative needed? In short, this initiative is all about conservation. Set nets are the most indiscriminate means of fishing allowed in State waters, with the largest amount of by-catch of any fishery. Because of how they are fixed in place, they usually catch and kill every species of fish that is swimming by, including our prized king salmon.What will happen to existing set net permit holders in those areas? If the initiative passes, they will receive fair compensation for the value of their permits.Many things have changed in Alaska since the early days of statehood and limited-entry commercial fishing. Today, we better understand the negative effects of utilizing set nets to indiscriminately kill fish stocks. We can and must do a better job of managing our precious fishery resources for the benefit of all Alaskans. The time has come for Alaskans to stand up and prioritize conservation. We hope you will take a stand in support of our efforts.Alaska Fisheries Conservation Alliance Inc. Bob Penney,Board Member
a recent report of radiation from FUKUSHIMA has pretty much spelled out the end of west coast seafood as being safe to eat. if it is true, all this fighting is for nothing. three reactors completely melted down, more news released every day.
First they came for the setnetters and I didn't speak up because I wasn't a setnetter.Then they came for the drifter and I didn't speak up because I wasn't a drifter..........Get the picture. They eventually want everything.
it was a way for so and so's wife to fish also, while so and so's grandpa was in his boat
You might remember when and why set net fishing started in the teritory of Alaska if you are 125 yrs old. setnet fishing began in 1885 in Alaska. I agree there is alot of water under the bridge since then. You must be a creationist, no belief in evolution. The fishery has evolved and the present is what counts.
First they came for the setnetters...Bad analogical tripe.I see it more as removing a malignant tumor in order to save the healthy organism.Drifters were created in God's image, setnetters are still evolving from the primordial soup that they love to muck in.Is this going to heat up or what?Remember how fishtraps USED TO BE legal?And yes, king killing guides are no different than setnetters. They are commercial fishing for kings, just using different gear.
I continue to hear only about in river escampment numbers. I would be more interested in hearing about outgoing fry migration. Is this data available? I believe the in river use is having a detrimental effect on the fry. Boat wakes, walking the river, huge development along the river, and etc. If Bob Penny is a true conservationist he would be looking at solutions to the problem not re-allocation issues. Bob Penny is not a conservationist, I think we all know that. In addition, I think we know what his motives are. How embarrassing.
....Then they came for me, and there was no one left to speak for me.....This is nothing but a gear war between wrapped in the veil of conservation. These guys used bold-faced lies half-truths when they made a mockery of the legislative process last year (when the booted a sitting BOF member). Now they're ready to double down with the public. Urban setnetting in Juneau, Fairbanks an Ketchikan??? Give me a break.
Has anyone actually read the initiative? i have and it is clear that a lot of legal effort went into it before getting approval by the Lt. Gov's office. I, for one , am worried. Most all of the blogs and comments are against it and are skewering Penny. It is almost erie how little is being said in support. But look where the comments are coming from. The same very few that have blogged and commented regularly in the past. One person = one vote. I do not want anyone to lose an income stream and am hoping that something can be done to stop this approach. Because as i see it, no matter how many of those who frequent these sites, there is a large population base of voters that will side with the sporties and dip netters. Fairbanks dip netters can't keep a king in the copper river and are now coming to the kenai. they think that the PU fishery should be on a par with subsistence rights. There is the constant rumbling that all alaskans should have priority over commercial interests. Just how do you expect these people will vote if given a chance. There is going to be a fortune spent by both sides if this continues. And knowing the resources that Penny and his rich cronies have, they will spend what ever it takes. So what should we do? fight a losing battle? Is there anything that we can do to nip this through legislation or BOF regulation? I am willing to start a dialog with the opposition and try to reach some sort of compromise that takes this initiative off the table. I do not want anyone to lose their sites or have to accept a buy back. And i fear that could really happen. Shouldn't we try to broker a settlement? Let's get the in-river bunch to eliminate the catch & release fishery, reduce the number of power boat days and create a lottery to eliminate some of the guides. Heck, because of the past restrictions the number have already gone down. Let's strike while we can and get fewer allowed to fish. For our part shouldn't we consider some ways to get us off the kings? I know, some will claim that we only harvest 13% and have little impact. But, let's be honest. We do not keep tack of drop outs and while we bristle when someone says something about under reporting, we ALL know it happens. So the 13% is misleading. We should consider creating a group of both in-river and set net users and get a mediator and try to come up with our own solution. The BOF would surely go along with a settlement. The triggers and consequences of the matrix used by the Dept. last season had some merit. Let us add to the solution and ask the sporties to do the same.
To: Blogger November 9, 2013 at 8:33 AMWhat you say makes a lot of sense. What are the rules anyways for the East Side Set Netters with relation to fishing time. Can they fish when escampment numbers are below projections for a given time. Probably a lot more complicated than you can explain here.
Drop outs my ass! You are raping the spawning beds and will never give up your obsession with catching tomatoes on their reds. Quit taking most of the hens to fuel your need for bait, quit motor boat traffic in spawning areas and quit catch and release toying with spawners and then you can come talk about drop outs and under reporting! You destroyed the early run with no help from setnetters. Bob Penny is the problem not the solution to any kenai king issues. Show Alaska that you really care about this resource and lobby for spawning sanctuary areas on the kenai with no excess turbidity, boat wake and boat traffic. Quit being hypocrites and save spawners if you really care about kings. There is no where in the kenai for kings to find quiet water. Wake up! It's not about the value of your property Mr Penney.
12:31. My but you are emotional. It is that very attitude that is causing most of the problem. Instead of acknowledging that both sides are part of the problem you foster discontent and hurl insults. Do you really think your rant is productive? Surely not. The only way there will be a solution is if you and some others do not participate in any discussions towards a compromise. It is precisely those like yourself that has prompted the initiative. The ESSN consist of decent people as does the in river guides. Everyone should set aside their ugliness and try to find an answer that serves us all.
Simplest solution to the Kenai king problem is to outlaw sportfishing,motorized traffic, and development on the river. It's all about habitat when these fish are most vulnerable.
Mr. Smith said,To November 9, 2013 at 8:33 AM:It's awesome how you act like you have been previously uninvolved, and don't really care, but own a setnet site, but don't think setnetters have a chance at winning. So even though the initiative isn't legal, setnetters should hope for a legislative solution. (like what happened in Hummus-eating, bunny hugging, waffle-stomping Oregon when a similar initiative went to public vote and was defeated by a large margin - 66% to 34%, but the elites behind it had enough money and political influence to bribe the gov into providing a "solution" that eliminated setnets anyway) It's pretty obvious that you are typing your email from the Kenai River Sportfishing Association, I mean the Kenai King Conservation Alliance, I mean the Alaska Fisheries Conservation Alliance Office. Wow, so many associations and alliances. Why do you need more than one? It reminds me of what drug dealers to to hide their money in "legitimate businesses". I guess it would be hard for a nonprofit "educational" organization like KRSA to put their name on this initiative and still keep their nonprofit status - which has given them millions in public funding. Plus, when the time comes here in a month in a half to start lobbying in Juneau, it's easier for your board to lobby for something that isn't "official" KRSA business. Dirty dogs.
6:01: add to you recommendation the elimination of the ESSN fishery and we have a deal. Willing to do that or are you one of those who blame everyone else for the problem and accept no responsibility, none. How about those drop outs and under reporting. No one seems to want to admit these mortalities. Some in the Dept suggest upwards of another 25 percent. Don't you think that there should be some accountability? What ever the numbers are. Too bad that a heathy and honest discussion can not occur. Too bad for the ESSN crowd because their days are numbered.
5:50: setnetters have been working CI for almost 100 years and there was never this problem with king abundance. 6:01 is making the point that recent low king returns coincide with a huge increase in sport fishing, motorized traffic, commercial guiding, and development along the river.I find it telling that the early run is in trouble and there is not setnetting on that run. This is a grab for more than kings folks; they want the red run also. "Predictable Opportunity" so that when people book their Alaska vacation they can be sure the river is brimming with fish. Easy limits for all.
You could limit setnets to a maximum of 10 meshes deep to let more kings get through.
Alaska Journal of Commerce 11/7/2013:"Bristol Bay’s Nushagak River, another indicator stock, is a bright spot among the king returns. The bay is a major salmon fishing region, with the largest natural sockeye run and a significant commercial king fishery.During the summer of 2013, ADFG data said 113,743 kings were counted on the river, up slightly from 110,117 fish in 2012 and ahead of the 75,000 fish in-river goal, which meant liberalized fishing opportunity for all users."How is the Nush king run doing well when there are set nets nearby? More evidence that the poor Kenai king run is not caused by set nets.
To the poster above, boy did you cherry pick a few facts out of one article to support your theory. The article was titled, WIDESPREAD DECLINE OF KING POINTS TO NATURAL FORCES.Why didn't you point out the Nelson River has no sport fishing for kings and it's been closed.How about the Karluk, Ayakulik, Yukon, Kusko, etc?My favorite example of where the problem is has to be Ship Creek. Folks, this is a total hatchery run of kings and they haven't been coming back. Can't blame turbidity, sportfisherman, guides, habitat, etc. on that one.So, yes, the Nush run did well this year (it was restricted not long ago) but as an earlier article in the Peninsula Clarion said, the strong return has put a fly in the ointment of ADF&G analysis.There are problems in freshwater, but the bigger problem lies in the salt and that's where the focus needs to be intstead of fighting over the crumbs when they return to their natal streams
The Nush has a directed commercial king fishery too. King runs on the Nush rebounded. The Deshka did OK too. Makes you wonder why king smolts on Kenai River aren't surviving as well or have low smolt numbers going out to sea?
Post a Comment