Alaska commercial fishing news and notes
I could not agree more that we need to evaluate in river effects on the king fry. After all we can have huge escampent numbers but without good survival rates we have nothing. Get a grip on BP.
KPFA claims that they harvest only 13% of the Kings. Is that really accurate? From what i have learned, there is no accounting for drop outs. And anybody that has ever engaged in a set net operation knows there are drop outs. The King gets it teeth tangled in the web and when it is lifted up the side of the skiff its weight causes it to drop off, often never to recover or be counted. What is that number? Why does the ADF&G not require that accounting. Multiply the number of nets fished and pick a number per net and do the potential math. Now, how about under reporting? No one wants to talk about that. But let's be honest for once. It happens, has happened and will happen. You know it and everyone else knows it. . You know that every time a King is reported caught it amounts to another reason to claim that the ESSN group is catching too many kings. Is that incentive or what? Do the math on that. Multiply all the nets times the number of times those nets catch a King, but it is taken home or given away without reporting it. We all know that there is almost "0" enforcement on these sites. While at the same time there is much enforcement on the river. The Dept. even assess a mortality for catch and release Kings of around 8%. Thus the in river users are charged with harvest of those fish, while the set net fishermen/women are not charged with drop outs or under reporting all of which occurs. So is 13% accurate. Certainly not. The failure of the ESSN people to account accurately, to be willing to try new methods to avoid King harvest and work in a positive way with the in river users may have been part of the reasons that led to the initiative. Is it too late to fix the problem. Probably not. But time is running out.
The ESSN fishes with small mesh nets to target Sockeye but they do take about 13% of the total Kenai River King run on average. Because of the net size almost half of those are 1.1 or 1.2 jacks and about 7% are the larger 1.3, 1.4 and 1.5 breading component.Now, the in-river sport fishery takes about twice that 26% on average and because of selective harvest trageting the larger fish almost all of that 26% is the 1.3, 1.4 and 1.5 breading stock. Some of which are taken right off the spawning beds and the sportfish harvest shows a tendancy to take more females than males, probably to get roe for future fishing trips. Now, kick in hook & release mortality involved in sorting through fish to get a bigger one.Now, if an unbiased person would consider this information, which fishery would you restrict more if conservation of King salmon was truly your goal? If you had to choose one user group to eliminate for conservation considerations which one would it be?There is no doubt in my mind that this whole initiative's intent is allocative. Eliminate ESSN catch so there will be more Kings for Bob and the guide industry to catch. This is all about GREED anyway you slice it and it should'nt be tolerated. If and when there truly is a conservation issue all user groups whould shoulder the burden of conservation equally and work together to find the best solutions for the protection and future well-being of the resource. The resource should always come first...not GREED
anon above talks about the 13% attributed to essn. but this occurs only in the late run! 0% interception on the early run. And, the mortality for catch and release is not an exact number either. Many biologist concur that 8% mortality for catch and release is WAY low.Face it, folks. The problem with the Kenai king is IN THE RIVER, not offshore.
The 13% setnet exploitation rate is based from decades of catch data - and that number is surprisingly constant throughout the years. In contrast, the 8% mortality rate for C&R is based on decades OLD data - that study is over 20 years old. It did not account for multiple hookups (which have risen exponentially with the increased river use and use of cell phones by commercial guide operations), or even begin to examine loss of spawning fecundity due to stress.The big difference is any mortality associated with setnets is before those fish are counted as spawners. Nearly all of the mortality associated with the sport fishery happens to fish that have been counted as escapement.We have more data from the setnet fishery than any other. Look at 2013. The state doesn't even have funding to cover smolt-out studies on the Kenai-Kasilof that would help tell us how productive our rivers really are, or to conduct the habitat assesment studies that are REQUIRED by the management plans (but haven't been done in over a decade) but somehow was able to fund a $700,000 dollar study to tag a handful of kings so Rickie-Bobbie could tell everyone how many the setnets caught. Well?
In the River problems: Two ADFG Sport biologists state catch and release mortality is closer to 20-40 percent.ADFG can't count kings accurately inriver - in 2012 14,500 spawning escapemetn estimated inseason and later changed to 28,800 as real number in late-run. Who knows what 2013 post season revised sonar numbers will be but it is known that ADFG sonar counts were less than half of US Fish and Wildlife weir counts during the early run. Same sonar - same location used in late-run. Gee the sonar is set to count kings during low tide stages and only the low tide area during high tides in the middle channel area only. Gee, kings enter during high tides and ADFG has the worst sonar program in the state for counting kings. Try and find a DIDSON sonar report over the last three years - good luck with that one since Sport Fish Division claims its still a work in progress. Ever wonder why the Nushagak kings are doing fine - because they have a program that can counts kings, manages for kings, and run by Commercial Fisheries Division. Ever notice how quite Penney and Guide Joe are over the early run downslide? Gee, can't blame setnetters since they aren't open and don't catch any. Gee, two decades of selecting trophy sized fish and tossing runts back and fishing on spawining grounds really conserved that run. Joe C. put on pair of pants or go shad back to New York.
Medred's article in the current Ak Dispatch says it all. The set net fleet is on its way out unless it starts to get reasonable. Let's see: there apparently will be many articles from local media sources that point to the need for saving the Kings, articles from other media sources saying essentially the same, an initiative, an angry public and a BOF meeting early next year. If I were a set net permit holder I would be very very concerned and want to work with the in river people to come up with something that puts burden on everyone. I would reject the name calling and ugly comments that seem to be coming from the commercial crowd. I note however these types of comments are coming from a very limited number of the same who have traditionally been the small nasty group. I do not think they speak for the large majority of ESSN fishers who are very decent people.
Medred neatly skirts the issue of poor early-run king escapements, since it doesn't support his long-standing bias against commercial fishing in general. The CI set-net fishery is a directed salmon fishery that catches...salmon. Salmon are not "by-catch" to a directed salmon fishery, despite what Medred tries to imply. Salmon incidentally caught in the pollock trawl are by-catch. Medred's attempt to co-opt the emotionalism of the "by-catch" tag should embarrass him as a professional journalist.What the Kenai is suffering from is very low surplus yields--like many king systems around the State--so its an issue of not everyone getting enough fish to keep them happy. Allocation not conservation.The PU dipnet fishery was established to harvest strong surpluses sockeye entering the Kenai, not to give Joe Q. Public a shot at kings. The PU fishery is a meat fishery, nothing more. The kings entering the river should go to escapement, and any in-river surplus should go to the directed sport fishery. The attempt to bring the PU fishery into this is just an attempt to leverage the massive numbers of dip netters into the anti-set cause. The more angry voices, the better?I believe the strategy behind the initiative is to apply pressure to the Board of Fisheries process this winter, or, failing a "satisfactory" outcome there, the Legislature after that. If they were serious, then they would try to have it on the ballot by next August, 2014, not 2016. After all, what if the next three years bring better king returns? Better to capitalize on a crisis when you have it.
Very decent people that illegally stack permits to increase the profitability of a subsistence fishery that was never intended to be commercial.
Tick tock, tick tock. Time is running out for the ESSN people. There is a small window of opportunity and then it is all over. Better put down your arms and work with a peace pipe or it is 'turn out the lights the parties over'. Not kidding. The public is about to be heard, the legislature is about to heard, the media outlets are coming to their senses, the Governor will not be able to ignore the public and will weigh in against the out dated set net fishing in some manner, the courts will rule against you, and finally the BOF will give in to the political and public pressure and will all but emasculate the set net fishery. Count noses on the Board. See what I mean? . Start being nice and solve the problem.
who came up with this idea that the set nets were never intended to be commercial? or that they were only intended to persorm a subsistance function? what a crock ...they are a MANAGEMENT TOOL, as is the drift fleet, and if there is not enough fish they sitAlso calling Medred a professional journalist is an insult to the profession. He is an opinion writer.. yes, but a journalist never
Ha, funny about the diatribes against Medred. Catie Quinn's babe defense of set netters is more fun to watch than Jay Carney's lame defense of Obamacare.
Setnets were allowed for women and children to survive while their man was away. Know your history, put away your crock pot.
Penney's letter to legislators says it all. Telling legislators setnets have been banned in several Lower 48 states? Drift gillnets Bob, California sea Otters, Gulf of Mexico Sea Turtles, finning Sharks, Atlantic and warm water Endangered Species. Bob drift gillnets are banned in the high seas so Ban gillnetting in Bristol Bay because Laws of the Seas bans foreign ships from illegal fishing and harvesting Alaska salmon on the high seas to 200 nautical miles. I can't find Kenai River chinooks as listed under the Endangered Species Act. Share the Burden ballyhoo ban. Medford can write up world class fishery depends on the one ocean jacks for its survival. The initiative is written like a GreenPeace Ban script. It reminded me of PETA's save salmon as sea kittens campaign. What's next? A media campaign picture of Bob holding a Petersburg District sea otter?
I always wonder if KRSA has a designated person to monitor this blog, and to post to it? It seems to be the same person whenever CI/BOF issues get posted.
Allocating by ballot initiative has been tried before. It is against the state constitution and will be thrown out. http://www.law.alaska.gov/pdf/opinions/opinions_2007/07-001_663060050.pdf There was a salmon initiative back in the 80s that the courts threw out but I could not find it on the web today. I am sure it will found with a little more research.
In the columbia river recently in the fall king fishery there was a higher mortality with sport caught kings with catch and release than with gillnet caught fish. The sports caught 70% of the endangered fish and the commercial fishery 30%. Both groups caught around 70,000 kings.I might be wrong but the state constitution say that commercial fisherman have a priority over sport fishermen.
Comment: Medred neatly skirts the issue of poor early-run king escapements, since it doesn't support his long-standing bias against commercial fishing in general.Medred should know restrictions inriver occur over the early-run numbers in July on closed areas above Slikok or no bait above the bridge to furthr protect tributary kings from being harvested before they make it into the tributaries. The record king Les Anderson caught was an early run king. The now not so famous resident fishermen and woman harvest in the early-run is one-tenth that of non-resident guided component. Burden share on early-run conservation - guided 90%. Drift only non-residents by commercial guides. If moose harvest at 90% non-resident on the Kenai Peninsula Mefdred would be writing about it.
ESSN have given and given. Their season over the last 30 years has dwindled down to 6 days. What has the in river given? They harvest twice as many kings as ESSN. Keep looking to ESSN to solve the king problem is not the answer. Look at the early run. Sporties we're giving that run 100% over 30 years ago and have completely screwed it up. Same thing they are doing to the late run. Get a clue!!!
let's face it the world is just too small for these white greedy bluenose carpetbaggers,just not enough kings for all the greed!
Nobody from the EESN group wants to talk about drop outs and under reporting. Wonder why not. Don't you think that to be honest and accurate that there needs to be an accounting for those numbers? Or do you claim with a straight face that there is '0' mortality from drop outs and that there is no under reporting, ever.
@6:39ESSN'ers know what they catch,what drops out,what goes unreported. Same can be said for sport guys and their own demons. What ESSN sees this as is a direct frontal attack on them and their way of life by the folks they watched explode in numbers and cause the problem (in their eyes, but not enough data exists to put all the blame on one user group). And of course they're gonna defend themselves. The realistic ones will recognize blame doesn't solve the problem, and will step up to help the in-river guys solve it. Oldtimer once told me "EVERY fishery is an intercept fishery"
love the Clarion article the other day that has Penney saying the kings can't afford another year or two of low returns, but just a paragraph or two later has him saying their ballot initiative is intended for the 2016 election so they can raise money first. Huh?This is nothing more than an attempt to leverage more from the BOF this January.Their posts elsewhere and on this thread (such as "tick tock" at 7:27 11/11/13 indicate as much.
If stemming the interception of kenai kings is so important, why no mention of the marine sport fisheries of homer/deep creek/anchor point? hell, the trawl bycatch from kodiak probably has better accounting than that (and that's not saying much)
Straight Face numbers:Inriver.......Hook and release mortality - released first time 30 percent, caught twice releases 100 percent mortality. Damn-O guide sporties catch em twice and ruined the early-run.Another 8% of inriver run from catch and release drop out of the river too weak to hold and some of these get caught in setnets. Damn-O setnetters catch em once.Sport Fish Division tagged kings have a 60% mortality fate - they don't migrate upstream but head downstream and don't re-enter. Damn-O setnetters caught tagged kings.0 dropouts on jack kings - their gilled. Damn_0 setnetters catch 2and 4 and 6 pound males - half their harvest numbers. Damn-0 sporties don't have to report jacks on king harvest tickets. Damn-0 setnetters caught 0 kings in Kenai early-run and 0 drop outs (don't fish on em - ain't open).Damn-O set netters count their kings. Damn-O processors report kings fish ticket tallies within 24 hours after a opening. Damn-0 guides report once a week, Damn-0 creel numbers once a week. Damn-0 statewide harvest survey numbers 10 months later. Damn-0 escapement numbers corrected and "accounted" for a year later.Damn-0 setnets in Northern District catch one-tenth of their king cap. Damn-O pike killed off Alexander Creek king run. Damn-O sporty put pike in Alexander Creek and Susitna River. Damn-0 Fish and Game put Oregon and Washington stocked kings in Susitna River drainages. Damn-0 guides fished king spawning beds whenever and wherever they can.
create spawning bed sanctuaries by conducting all fisheries in salt water. It's been a long time since gill nets were allowed in the river, now it's time for landing nets to go
Sport Fish division panders opportunity to sell licenses. Catch and release panders conservation for non-resident sales on sport fish licensesIronic how Sport Fish Division manages the Anchor River kings to three-day weekends and possible Weds. opening if goal is projected to be met - The Early-run (Kenai) has the same escapement goal as Anchor River and opened 7 days a week? Kenai late-run king goal same goal as Deshka River. Deshka has 30 guides while Kenai has 425. Cap Non-resident (guides) days per week on Kenai based on projected run size. Cap non-resident harvest numbers to escapement. Resident and non-residents get similiar allocation. Protect spawning areas and spawners no matter how many return. Protect smolts - increase bag limits on rainbows and dolly varden. Two entities are responsible by statute (law) to reduce fishery conflicts - ADFG and Board of Fish. ADFG is constitutionally bound on fish and game resources. The Governor's oath to protect and defend Alaska's constitution, compacts, and Alaskan law. Well Governor - care to weigh in on the initiative?
The early run does not stand a chance unless in river adjustments are made. The early run must get tremendous pressure as soon as the in-river fishery starts in July, at least the ones that spawn in open fish areas. It seems like the early run would not yet have spawned by July, if they did those eggs are going to see a lot of anchors and boots…which makes this article interesting. http://m.peninsulaclarion.com/outdoors/2013-11-14/another-way-to-save-kings
I keep reading about how many guides are fishing the Kenai for late run Kings. last post said 425. that is no where near the amount. because of the decline of Kings in the river the number of boats operated by guides and non-guides have gone to about half of that number. When there are no kings, not only guides suffer, but all sports fishers suffer. and that means that the businesses that have been so dependent on Kings suffer as well. Sockeyes have become the fish of choice, simply because there are so few Kings. But businesses have closed as have guide operations. All because of low abundance of Kings. And it is about time for the ESSN fishers to acknowledge the non reporting and drop outs that occur. If that does not happen, the handwriting is on the wall. The set net fleet will be doomed if it comes to a vote on the initiative. Time to negotiate a good deal for all or the chicken goes down the drain with the bath water.Time really is running out. Start talking to solve the problem, not just complain about it.
To 4:39 Rubber-Ducky - The problem is you're either a Guide Geehad-ist or recovering tree hugger PETA activist. Your cock-a-doodle-do initiative is just that. The initiative doesn't say jack about kings. Writen like used car salesmen attempts to sell lemons as lemonaid.
@4:39 PM. Imho, your assumption that an initiative would pass at the ballot box is completely unfounded. It certainly not a given, by any stretch, and in fact I think its highly likely such an initiative would fail, much as a similar one did on the Columbia River recently.
Abc for Alaska pollock fishery projected to be 1.3 million metric tons. How many bycatch kings will the trawl industry take in harvesting these fish? Just a thought.
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