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Personal use hours, sport fishing bag limits increased

Posted: July 20, 2012 - 3:06pm  |  Updated: July 20, 2012 - 5:07pm

The Kenai River personal use dip net fishery will be open 24 hours per day, beginning at 11:00 p.m. Friday, July 20, through 11:59 p.m. Tuesday, July 31. (pdf)

The sport fishing bag and possession limit for salmon 16 inches or longer, except for king and coho salmon, in the Kenai River downstream of Skilak Lake, will be increased to six per day, 12 in possession, beginning Saturday, July 21. (pdf)

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1coldalaskan
35
Points
1coldalaskan 07/20/12 - 03:45 pm
5
1
MISMANAGEMENT!

Local business owners: east side set net fishermen dump $78 million into the local economy. 85% of them live here year round. The majority of the dip betters are from Anchorage. This is a government created economic disaster for 400 local families. This is unfair mis-allocation that local vendors will feel through the entire winter. It's time ADFG opened up the set net fleet on the east side.

hoost
52
Points
hoost 07/20/12 - 07:49 pm
6
1
Amen! Open the set netters!

We are the only user group who is totally shut down right now and bearing the vast majority of the econonomic brunt of the "King Crisis". And now the balance is tiping even farther out of whack, as the dipnetters have their hours on the Kenai expanded and the bag limit is increased for the sports fishermen. This is wrong, corrupt and is a true reflection of the incompetence of the Board of Fisheries! The drift boats are having a great season and loading their holds. The guides, although legitemately negatively impacted by the low King numbers are at least still in the river running sockeye trips and even whoring out their boats to the dipnetters (As can be seen in the Craigslist ads). The out-of-town dipnetters are swarming to the banks and trashing the shoreline like a bunch of meth heads at a Pantera concert. How can a user group that has sustainably harvested both the sockeye and king runs since the 50's be the scape goat for all the problems in the river system? The answer is that we spend less money lobbying than any of the other three user groups listed above, plain and simple. That is the reason the other groups are fishing and we are not. But the allocation of fisheries should not be simply a political issue. All you folks at ADF&G and those of you who sit on the Board of Fisheries need to really look yourselves in the mirror and ask yourselves how you allowed such mismanagement of our beloved inlet, river systems and resources.

northernlights
218
Points
northernlights 07/21/12 - 06:51 am
5
0
the above comments

Well said. I am afraid your comments will fall on deaf ears.

bigtalkahh
184
Points
bigtalkahh 07/21/12 - 08:03 am
2
4
Set Netters

Set Netters kill too many Kings. Plain and simple.

kenai_kid
222
Points
kenai_kid 07/21/12 - 08:28 am
2
0
Amendment 5 to the Alaska State Constitution

The Amendment reads in part:
“No exclusive right or special privilege of fishery shall be created or
authorized in the natural waters of the State. This section does not restrict
the power of the State to limit entry into any fishery for purposes of
resource conservation, to prevent economic distress among fishermen and
those dependent upon them for a livelihood and to promote the efficient
development of aquaculture in the State.”

It sounds to me like there is "economic distress among fishermen and those dependent upon them for a livelihood."

Take a good look at the mouth of the Kenai River this weekend. Thirty years from now our kids will be saying "remember when there were salmon in the Kenai?"

akkindgirl
41
Points
akkindgirl 07/21/12 - 03:07 pm
3
0
What a mess~ We mourn common sense

What have we elected officials that have appointed a bunch of donkeys to make important decisions? Hello how many fish do dip netters need? What a waste of a fishery. My family of 7 only eats about 15-20 fish total a winter and we always have left over to send to family and friends. The dip net fishery is the most wasteful fishery we have not to mention the mess that they leave behind in trash and destruction to the banks of the KENAI. TOO many people just take TOO many fish just because they can and not because they are going to eat them. These fish end up being thrown away or feeding people in other states that don't provide any economic benefit for our community on a daily basis. To allow wasteful dip netters to fish and close the set netters down that actually sell their fish to people who more than likely are not going to waste them is a disgrace. What a mismanagement of a god given natural resource. Our state obviously is for waste over consumption and driven by money over common sense. To think you can throw extra fish in dip netters net to address the huge numbers of reds coming in without fishing all user groups is a disaster. For fifty plus years our rivers have been fished and managed each year with strong returns of all species. It appears that about five years ago is when we started having problems with management. We have given fish and game five years and too much money to figure this out and the situation keeps getting worse each year. This year the king fishery is at such a mismanagement position that they are impacting one of our fisheries and countless good families who live here. I say bring back those that use to manage this resource just fine. Too many reds in the river is not going to help the king issue and will only hurt this resource that much more.

smithtb
240
Points
smithtb 07/21/12 - 12:16 pm
2
0
GO NUTS!!!

Dipnet as many as you can, regardless or how many you need. I know many people do that anyway, but this year it is of particular importance. Due to political rather than biological management, the East Side Setnetters are closed down. There is no way that sport, PU, and the drift fleet can possibly harvest the predicted near-record return of sockeye to the Kenai (6.2 million). That means for the second year in a row the river will be overescaped, and it is a BIOLOGICAL FACT that this will diminish future returns. So go nuts, cause the fishing won't get any better than it is right now. Too bad too, cause there's enough for everybody. Lets see how many people we can can fit in the mouth of the river. After all, it won't hurt King escapement. There's like two feet of water under those 400 boats that the Kings can muddle through at low tide! The river can handle it. Yeah, it'll be fine. After all this is the best way to utilize our resource for the maximum benefit of the people. A family of 4 can get 55 fish dipnetting (legally), and then get 24 more PER DAY upriver with a rod and reel. People gotta eat, right?

hoost
52
Points
hoost 07/21/12 - 01:45 pm
4
0
RE: Go Nuts!!!

Yeah...and while we're at it, they might as well open dipnetting for out of state tourists too. And let the dipshi*ters build fishing platforms right in the middle of the river. This whole situation is so out of control and the oldest user group, and the one that has sustainably harvested the reds and kings for the past 50+ years, the set netters, are being blamed and impacted the most. People need to wake up and see what is happening here. Hard working fishermen, who respect and value the resource most are being trashed and tossed aside. And neither the river system or the community will be the better for it.

BrianW
92
Points
BrianW 07/22/12 - 09:30 am
4
0
Just Gotta Say

Well I'm not a setnetter, I'm a dipnetter and I for one think this is a complete infringement on the setnetter's rights to provide for their families. Let the setnetter's go before it's too late and they cannot sustain through the winter. Who's going to supplement their income? Is the State going to pony up for their lost revenue? Overregulation eats away at our AMERICAN way of life and this is complete BS. Just sayin'

kenai_kid
222
Points
kenai_kid 07/22/12 - 10:25 am
4
0
I remember when ...

I was on the bluff with my 18 year old daughter looking down on the circus that's the Kenai River dip net fishery yesterday and told her "one day, you'll stand here with your kids and say 'I remember when there were salmon in this river.'" If that seems far fetched, look at the Columbia River.

julie
135
Points
julie 07/22/12 - 07:01 pm
1
0
End Salmon Bycatch

If you think you've been treated unfairly think of the Pollock Trawling bycatch that throws away DEAD thousands yes thousands of chinook. Sign this petition and pass it on through your facebook and email contacts. http://signon.org/sign/end-salmon-halibut-bycatch

julie
135
Points
julie 07/22/12 - 08:20 pm
1
0
End Salmon Bycatch petition

I thank God each year that I have the opportunity to subsistence fish on the Kenai river. It fills the freezer, feeds the family and supplements my income. I wouldn't have been able to feed my children quality healthy protein if not for subsistence, hard word fishing. I've invested lots in fishing equipment both for subsistence & sport as regulations label me such even though its all about putting food on the table. I hate to see each fishing group blaming the other. Setnetters, I feel for you, knowing the pain of no income, but we are not your problem. We didn't cause your shut down. Think about it. Who is still fishing out there, the pollock trawlers. They kill and throw dead chinook salmon over by the thousands. if you think about how low the numbers are for all the rivers it comes out to about the same amount of bycatch that is recorded. And why would they make their native fishermen sign a statement declaring that bycatch is not a problem just to have access to a net to get some kings! Otherwise they would and did go to jail. Closing the setnetters isn't the solution. You must stand with us to stop bycatch.

smithtb
240
Points
smithtb 07/22/12 - 09:07 pm
1
0
Natural Occurance

Bycatch is and always will be an issue. We can't just shut every fishery down because of bycatch, we have to learn to minimize it, and deal with acceptable numbers of it. That's what the setnetters are up against. The number of kings they catch is misrepresented by skewed numbers, and they have been scapegoated by another user group. Yes, they harvest kings. A sustainable number of kings. With proper management by BIOLOGISTS and not politicians, we can hold a proper balance between Sockeye and King escapements.

Many scientists will tell you that low king returns are no doubt a result of a multitude of factors, but plain old ocean survival is a huge factor here. Let's be measured and responsible in where we place blame. I don't pretend to know much about the trawler issue, however it definately needs to be looked at. Lets just be level headed in our reactions. That is also an important industry. The problems we can fix the easiest are the ones right here in our back yard.

snkalaska
164
Points
snkalaska 07/23/12 - 07:13 am
6
0
bad strategy

Going after dipnetters because you're angry at the undprecedented closures is a bad strategy. Most dippers are everyday Alaskans like myself. I've done personal use fishing for 36 yrs and have great respect for commercial fisherman. This is a tragedy for the setnetters. I don't have a solution but making other Alaskans your enemy is not one of them.

julie
135
Points
julie 07/23/12 - 07:34 am
3
0
End Salmon Bycatch Petition

Dear snkalaska: I too feel attacking each other is bad for us all. I've dipnetted and subsistence fished here for over 30 years also. I don't see abuse on the beach, but happy, grateful hard, HARD working people that have gotten some food. And anyone that thinks its free & a giveaway is completely wrong. We have to purchase expensive wader gear, huge combersome nets, LOTS of canning jars, pressure cookers, plastic bags & vacuum sealers, freezers, $45 in gas for each trip to the beach + &15 parking fee and more. Now we're hitting this fishery (dipnetting) harder because we can't get any kings. Will there be any silvers?
We've spent 10 days, 4 dipnetting 1 a complete bust, 2 days processing inbetween loads of fish. These days are a minimum of 10 hours of work.
Please don't forget however that trawling is KILLING thousands upon thousands of king salmon each year. They hate king salmon as they claim they eat their precious pollock fry.

Watchman on the Wall
2893
Points
Watchman on the Wall 07/23/12 - 09:28 am
4
0
I have a GR8 IDEA. Open the

I have a GR8 IDEA. Open the Set netters up & shut down the out of state trucks and motorhomes & cars with out of state license plates that have dip nets hanging all over them screaming for some one to stop & do a legal permit search for resident status.
I saw many out of state vehicles this last week with just this blatant issue screaming of illegal taking of fish from ALASKANS by NONRESIDENTS.
OPEN UP THE SET NETTERS NOW, AND STOP THE ILLEGAL THEIVES NOW!!
What we need is a voluntary local citizens group appointed and aurthurized to stop & search out illegals since the State & local law can't seem to recognize possible violaters.

ziggyak
82
Points
ziggyak 07/23/12 - 11:38 am
3
0
Take my fish

It's ok not worth the hassle any more I gave up fishing the second year of dip netting. There is no sport in it and the crowds are reminiscent of the old Russian river days. It seams its all about how many you can get, not at all about how many you need. How many fish do you throw away each spring as freezer burned or just to make room for this years catch? Are you feeding a dog sled team?

I’m a territorial Alaskan born and raised, I never really commercial fished but I grew up with fisherman from all classes, drifters, set netters and just sports fisherman, the guides are a new group started as locals now more out of state’rs than not.

I’ve seen the river in its glory days and have watched it being managed into the ground, cleaned up and made nice with limited this and that and nice shiny boardwalks handicap access and all the boat launches stolen by government BS. No as I say take my fish and keep that river it’s no fun anymore. I can’t even go to the beach in the summer any more without paying to park where I grew up for free. No it’s OK keep it just watch where you walk for it’s not the same ol beach any more it now is being managed for me.

To my friends and old teachers that fish I am sorry for your loss. To those that still try to make a living by fish, I’m sorry to say it’s a job that’s on its last leg as the Government boys have managed it away.

hoost
52
Points
hoost 07/23/12 - 01:54 pm
3
0
In order to save the kings and the setnetters

I have a proposal. Setnetters are allowed to fish out to 1 1/2 miles from the Kenai Peninsula shoreline. Most setnetter operations have nets right at that line. Drifters are out there almost every day now and they are allowed to fish 1 1/2 miles and out. Why not let the us setnetters fish our 1 1/2 mile nets. That would surely minimize the number of kings being harvested by us and the bycatch would be no worse than what the drifters are catching. AND...we would actually be able to salvage some sort of a living.

kenai-king
255
Points
kenai-king 07/24/12 - 08:23 am
1
0
Dip netting the Kenai

I see in some of these comments that they have dip netted for 30 years. Well they haven't been dip netting on the Kenai for 30 years and I think this fishery needs to go away I think it is gluteny and a waste.

kenai_kid
222
Points
kenai_kid 07/24/12 - 09:42 am
1
0
kenai_king you mis-read

You misread one comment. snkalaska said: "I've done personal use fishing for 36 yrs ..." Personal use fishing and dip netting while the same ...are different! Personal use could be harvesting hooligan or setting a personal use net for salmon. Personal use set netting has gone on for quite sometime as has many other personal use fisheries.
I do agree however, that dipping in the Kenai needs to be revisited. I can see it ruining the river and threatening a resource. However, this year, in this mismanaged fishery, the dippers are a saving grace as the setnetters are out of the harvest equation and the dippers are helping reduce escapement. Screwed up? Yes!

freedomlibertytruth
1398
Points
freedomlibertytruth 07/25/12 - 07:14 pm
2
0
Exactly WHO is at the root of

Exactly WHO is at the root of these tremendous changes in the fishing rules this summer? What are their names.

WHERE are these powerful disruptive people located?

WHY are things being changed?

WHAT exactly is the reason, and what is the basis of these stated reasons. What are they supposidly trying to accomplish?

WHICH government group is behind all of this "mismanagement" that is being referred to?

Something changed the balance of fishing rights / access to fish. How can it get back to the balanced use by all? What is needed to return the fishing to previously fair usage?

wleman
11
Points
wleman 07/31/12 - 09:03 am
1
0
catch and release

We setnetters could have been allowed to catch and release kings all season, if the Board allowed that management tool to be used by ADF&G. That way the Kenai River gets the kings and we setnetters get a share of the sockeye. Escapement of sockeye into the Kenai River is not easily managed without setnetters.

We setnetters already catch and release flounders, sand sharks, soles, and other fish we can't sell. Almost every one of the few kings I have caught in recent years has been alive, fighting hard to get away from the net. If I roll them out and get to fish sockeye, in return, I'm happy with that trade.

It's win-win for everyone.

Of course, it won't solve the problem of low returns of kings, but at least we setnetters can't be blamed anymore for the problem and shut down to try to fix it.

The Board of Fisheries could even mandate setnetter catch and release. It could ban sales of kings.

I wonder how many other setnetters would be willing to give up all their kings in order to fish for reds?

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