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Task force meets, talks kings

Posted: November 17, 2012 - 8:43pm  |  Updated: November 27, 2012 - 7:42pm

The first meeting of the Upper Cook Inlet Task Force generated questions about allocation issues, marine mortality, historical catch rates and the overall health of salmon in the inlet.

Board of Fisheries members Tom Kluberton, of Talkeetna, and Vince Webster, of King Salmon, co-chaired the meeting that focused on defining the scope of the Upper Cook Inlet king salmon problem and looked for suggestions both from task force members and a room full of affected users.

Webster said he joined the task force because he has been “tight” on approving petitions and agenda change requests to the Board of Fisheries.

“What I think they do, they take the public out of the process,” Webster said. “It became apparent that the board wanted to do something to help the setnetters this coming year and a task force was a way to allow more input from the public.”

Kluberton told task force members they would meet once a month and, hopefully, have their ideas together for the statewide finfish meeting for the Board of Fisheries in March.

“Whatever written products this group comes up with, it would be ideal to have those cast in stone and ready to submit to the department on March 5,” Kluberton said.

After the introductions, task force members spent more than a half an hour discussing a new escapement goal for king salmon the Kenai River.

The current escapement goal range of 17,800 to 35,700 is an estimate based on a target strength sonar, a piece a technology the Alaska Department of Fish and Game has discredited as an accurate assessment of run strength.

A new DIDSON- based escapement goal is expected to be available for public-review in mid-January for public review.

Kevin Delaney, a retired Fish and Game biologist who holds one of the sportfishing seats on the task force, said he did not want to wait until January for the new escapement goal and would rather tackle uncertainty about the process head-on.

“I, for one, would really invite the department to bring us into this discussion right away in December. Let’s talk about where you are and what the issues are with developing an escapement goal,” Delaney said. “Let’s talk about where you are and what the issues are with developing an escapement goal.”

Kluberton said he did not think it was necessary to have the escapement numbers immediately when the task force was trying to determine how to react when it looked as though those numbers would not be met.

“I’m a little uncomfortable dominating the discussion with that because, my idea, is that at some point we’re going to hit a problem regardless of what the number is,” Kluberton said. “When we get to that point, what do we do? I think if we come into it from that point as we move forward and start looking at the ideas of how we’re going to react ... I think we can have our discussion and move forward.”

The task force heard an explanation of the Late-Run King Salmon Management Plan and how the 2012 fishing season worked from staff at Fish and Game and then heard from audience members.

After hearing from sportfishermen who said the setnetters should not be in the water, and setnetters who disputed that statement, Webster began asking audience members if they had specific recommendations for what the task force should be studying.

“Let’s get right down to the nuts and bolts here,” Webster said. “What we want is, if the same thing happens as last year and the department chooses to close you down, what would you like to see happen?”

Kluberton said the recommendations from the audience and other board members, as well as requests for information from Fish and Game would be compiled in a task force website through the current Board of Fisheries website.

All requests for information from Fish and Game, regarding the task force, would be run through the board chairs and then, if available, posted on the site.

“We’re going to look for what information we need that we’re going to splash out on the website so everyone is looking at the same thing,” he said.

While he didn’t have an exact date available, Kluberton said the website should be available before the next meeting on Dec. 14.

As he spoke, Kluberton held a thick stack of information requests and notes he’d taken during the meeting.

The purpose of the first meeting, Kluberton said, was to define the scope of the problem and Fish and Game staff did not yet know what information to prepare.

“We’ll give them some marching orders and based on the conversations ... I’m sure they’ll be better prepared next time,” he said. “You begin to get the sense of the massive organization that goes into a full board meeting ... we’re all sitting there with thousands of pages of documentation that those guys work all year to prepare.”

Audience member and guided sportfisherman Tom Corr stood up and listed of several things that the task force should look at including inriver restrictions on boats and fishing periods.

After the meeting, he said he’d been guiding since 1983 and has heard many of the same allocation arguments.

Despite questions about the marine life of the fish and how much of a factor local fishermen could have on a statewide downturn of king salmon, Corr said fishermen should still address local problems that contribute to declines.

“If we’re not the problem, let’s say it is the North Pacific pollock fishery that’s killing most of the kings and there’s not enough coming back, that may be, but we may be the ones that tip it over,” Corr said. “They may be the bigger problem, but we may put the last bullet in it.”

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Watchman on the Wall
2893
Points
Watchman on the Wall 11/17/12 - 09:37 pm
1
1
NO FISHING IN JULY EXCEPT FOR DRIFTING

Stop all the motor guides and allow only drift fishing in July when the Big breader kings come in and just maybe we can save the Kenai Kings, just maybe. We have got to do something or else we will loose the fish and commerce all together and then which fish or income will be next on the Kenai?

KenaiKardinal88
517
Points
KenaiKardinal88 11/18/12 - 04:37 am
2
1
Limit Set Netters and In-River Guides

New priority - Alaska Resident Sport Fishers. This group will not destroy the resource, but the commercial interests already have.

shruggered
11
Points
shruggered 11/18/12 - 06:37 am
2
1
July Drift only

Just imagine how nice it would be on the river if it were drift only. I suspect it will eventually come, it is just how long we will have to wait.

kenai123
1319
Points
kenai123 11/21/12 - 05:22 pm
1
0
Governor's Upper Cook Inlet King Salmon Task Force Meeting

I just came back from attending the Governor's Upper Cook Inlet King Salmon Task Force Meeting at the Kenai Peninsula College on Nov. 16th, 2012, here in Soldotna. The main thing which I come away with from this meeting is the hollow feeling that most of these Task Force Members do not possess the general knowledge background as to what is truly driving our statewide king salmon return problems. The reason I make this claim is because of a single question raised by this Task Force. That question was given as follows. "Doe's anyone on this Task Force know why our second run of kings on the Kenai River had a delayed entry pattern this year?" The entire room went dead silent and not a single person even offered a response to this giant question; the group then moved onto other issues.

I first notice a delayed entry pattern for our July kings on the Kenai River back in 1990. This delayed entry back then was a delay from a normal and dramatic arrival of second run kings around July 1 each and every year. By 1991 that arrival timing delayed until around July 3th in 1992, July 8th in 1995, July 12th in 1997, July 16th in 1995, July 18th in 2000, July 20th in 2003, July 25th in 2006, July 27th in 2009, July 29th in 2011 and Aug. 5th in 2012. No member of the Governor's Task Force either knew this information or could recall it, so the room was filled with only silence.

Since 1990 I have observed a general delay in many of our July, second king runs in Cook Inlet's rivers and streams. I have observed a general and progressively increasing delay in these runs. I have raised this delayed entry pattern issue many times with the Alaska Board of Fisheries from 1990 to present day. Each time my question and suggested remedies where listened to but no action was take as the Board went about its main and plain duty of dividing up "alleged surplus fisheries resource" among the many competing user groups. At each meeting I suggested that non-accuracy data received from malfunctioning Kenai River sonar sites from 1990 - 2011 resulted in the general mis-management or "over fishing" of Cook Inlet's commercial gill net fisheries. By mis-management I mean "excessive commercial gillnet sockeye harvest" in Cook Inlet for decades; that excessive fishing has resulted in excessive king salmon by-catch. Most of this excess commercial fishing was 24 hours per day, seven days per week, gill netting in Cook Inlet. This over fishing basically broke the back of our July, Cook Inlet king runs. Northern fisheries users became so upset at this excess commercial fishing that they asked for and received a concept known as "Window's" which was implemented to allow brief openings for fish to swim up to the northern districts of Cook Inlet. This change helped but could not even hope to repair the long-term damage to our king runs. Plus we had ocean commercial users to the south of Cook Inlet which would soon ramp up their fishing efforts to make "Window's" meaningless.

From 2000 to 2003 most people only viewed our king salmon loss within the missing kings within the Kenai River's first run of kings. This run of kings had also become depleted but not because of July commercial fishing in Cook Inlet. This run of kings was being impacted by other commercial fisheries to the south near and around Kodiak Island which normally begin fishing in the first week of June. Most Kenai River fisheries users at that time did not even know commercial fisheries were fishing and impacting king salmon in June at the entrance to Cook Inlet. Substantial Cook Inlet freshwater king salmon fishing restrictions were created to try to remedy the effects of increasing commercial interception at the entrance to Cook Inlet. These freshwater restriction basically had no effect and then these same sportfish users began hearing about other saltwater users in the Gulf of Alaska and the Bering Sea which were also having an increasing and dramatic impact on the ability of king salmon to migrate back to their nursery rivers and streams in Cook Inlet. We now understand that this commercial trawler fishery is harvesting about 1,000,000 metric tons of Pollock each year and that 3.4 king salmon are accidental by-catch for each metric ton of this Pollock harvest. These kings are being killed and dump back into the ocean. This is all about the potential destruction and waste of 3,400,000 king salmon each and every year. Our North Pacific Fisheries Management Council has place max. caps on commercial king by-catch of 25,000 kings in the Gulf of Alaska and 60,000 in the Bering Sea. A potential 3,400,000 king salmon by-catch may be calculated high but the max. cap. set by the NPFMC was calculated extremely low at 85,000 kings for each year. The actual king salmon by-catch figure is no doubt somewhere in-between these two figures. The difference between the figures is 3,315,000 kings and that is very substantial. Which numbers do you believe? Either way the rights of the corporations to harvest & waste is impinging directly upon the rights of the public to harvest and not waste.

We have a three fold negative king salmon effect happening here.
1.] One within our own local commercial gillnet sockeye fisheries in Cook Inlet as it is over-fishing thus negatively impacting and by-catching our kings.
2.] One within our Kodiak Island commercial fisheries as they over-fish and negatively impact and by-catch our kings.
3.] One within our commercial Pollock trawler fisheries as they over-fish and negatively impact and by-catch our kings.

This three fold "negative king by-catch effect" is resulting in a single negative force to suppress king salmon production both locally and statewide. This has all happen right under our noses and when a member of our King Salmon Task Forces asks why we currently have a delayed king entry pattern in July and nobody even has a guess as to the cause of that change, what chance do we really have of these Task Force members understanding the rest of this very complex issue? I see few of these Task Force Members possessing the necessary knowledge background to resolve this very complex king salmon loss issue.
I can only hope that some how these Task Force members will be educated by our ADF&G regarding this very important king salmon loss issue.

Suss
4124
Points
Suss 11/18/12 - 04:22 pm
1
0
Kenai123 Drift Only Now

You might be correct about someone's mental status but you are wrong on the in river health report. Drift only will change the dynamics of how this sport fishery is prosecuted. Drastic concerns are cause for drastic measures and this drift only change will affect all the in river concerns that have been repeatedly ignored. A few years of drift only would make for a stellar example of care and concern being shown by those that want to save the resource.

Roger104
137
Points
Roger104 11/18/12 - 05:04 pm
0
1
Outlaw Fishing!

Wow, I had no idea that commercial fisheries were responsible for every problem we have ever had with our fish! It totally makes sense now though - I can't believe that our local bioligists haven't shared these very important scientific findings with us.

It totally makes sense that a gillnet in Cook Inlet could be responsible for the late return of King Salmon into Cook Inlet. Wait... No, that makes total sense!

Probably good that you didn't mention that during the parent years of 2012's below average Kenai River King salmon run, King fishing activity on the Kenai river was at an all-time high. How ignorant of me to think that this unprecedented fishing pressure right on top of King spawning grounds, with hydrocarbon-spewing 2 stroke engines and turbidity-generating Deep V hulls had a negative effect. Or that environmental factors (ocean currents/temperatures, availability of feed, etc) could have had anything to do with low king salmon abundance.

It makes much more sense that the dirty, greedy setnetters that live down the street from me caused this problem. After all, they've been fishing 24/7 365 for the last hundred years, and selling all those 100+ pound Kings they catch on the "black market". I heard a Board of Fish member talk about this "black market", so it must exist.

Kenai 123, your comments remind me of one person's testimony at the Task Force meeting that my friend told me about. I was told he said that we've proven we don't need setnetters anymore, and that commercial fishing in general was responsible for all of the King Salmon abundance issues we face. Probably the most substantive testimony of the day! It got me thinking - that guy was right! We don't need any fisheries - sport or commercial - anymore. The fish will still return. Perhaps we should close the river, inlet, and ocean to all fishing of any kind. That would be the best solution to our problem. After all, what would it hurt? Our fish would survive. Our economy.... It would totally be fine.

Then we wouldn't have to ask the question of "what would it hurt if the Kenai River was Drift only during King season? Would it negatively affect the ability of our fish to spawn and rear? Would it make fishing the Kenai less enjoyable? Would our valuable guiding industry have to charge less for charters?" Better to not have to ask these questions. We should probably just outlaw fishing altogether.

beaverlooper
3174
Points
beaverlooper 11/18/12 - 05:05 pm
0
0
King 123 is obviously a guide

King 123 is obviously a guide .

Kapco
148
Points
Kapco 11/19/12 - 04:53 pm
0
0
Caps on kings

A solution to this problem with the late kings in the Kenai has to include all harvesters of these fish to face hard caps on what they can take. Forget about bumper crop years and allowing more fish just because more came back than average. Over escapement should not be a reason for any group to take more fish over the cap. Just taking the numbers that are provided on the ADFG website for harvested fish, a hard cap number could and should be put in place that can sustain both the commercial and sport harvests and the revenues they need to survive as well as sustaining the fish run itself (late Kenai kings). I would say that a cap of about a 1,200 in the marine fishery, a cap of about 4,500 on the Kenai sport fishery and a cap of 5,000 on the set net fishery would be the kind of numbers that would ensure every group, particularly the fish, a fair shake. These caps would have to be hard caps with valid and up the minute counting processes so the numbers would stay at or below the set cap. That is a big task but it is the only one that can stop the over harvest if effectively carried out. A hard cap means that when the number is reached, the fishery is shut down. Caps like this have worked out well down on the Columbia river and in Canada so there is a proven positive track record. When you crunch the numbers, 12,000 fish is about 25% of what the average yearly run has been on these fish over the last 11 years(by ADFG figures, the average has been closer to 45% in that same 11 years). This is a very sustainable percentage. And, if a set netter wants to reduce his/her king take, they are all pretty dang good fishermen. Just as with sport fishing, gear changes/restrictions could easily help slow down the king take in the nets, thus, letting the set netter take the sockeye they need to keep their business going by prolonging net in the water time.

robert white
378
Points
robert white 11/20/12 - 08:54 am
1
0
kings

shut king fishing down on the kenai for a couple of years....

Roger104
137
Points
Roger104 11/20/12 - 10:36 am
0
0
Real Numbers

Overescapement should be a concern, just the same as underescapement. Overescapement harms future return the same as underescapement. ADFG has the data to prove it.

I have developed a stragegy that will cut ESSN Kenai River Chinook harvest by over 30%. It won't cost a dime, won't affect sockeye harvest at all, and will even work retroactively. All we have to do is USE REAL NUMBERS!!!

Kapco, in a previous post you referenced a chart on ADFG website that compared Kenai River sport King harvest to ESSN King harvest. It counts 100% of the ESSN Chinook harvest as Kenai River Kings. That data is false, and ADFG has studies to prove it. Over 30% of the Kings caught in ESSN nets are bound for rivers other than the Kenai, and nearly 40% are Jacks which, while they are still important because they do spawn, are not desireable to the inriver fishery.

The fact that this false data is on the ADFG website, and that it wasn't even addressed at this all day task force meeting proves how successful KRSA's money and influence has been at spreading their misinformation. Interesting that the only non-resident on the task force is a paid spokesperson for KRSA. Interesting that he was allowed the latitude to pursue their agenda, which is the eventual elimination of all commercial fisheries in Cook Inlet, at a meeting that was supposedly formed to "help" setnetters. It seems that this group represents the Penny-Loafer crowd who likes to fly up and fish "their" river for the weekend. They have no concern for the long-term health of the local economy or our resources.

It's time for those of us vested in this community and this resource to have a real discussion using real numbers. This will lead to a solution that benefits all user groups, our local economy, and most of all, our valuable resource.

Kapco
148
Points
Kapco 11/20/12 - 03:15 pm
0
0
Great, lets talk real numbers...

Roger 104, finally, someone who is at least willing to discuss any reduction to the ESSN harvest. And, boy would I love to see the "real" numbers you are talking about. The marine sport fishery is in the same boat as the ESSN in that a good percentage of the fish taken in that fishery are not bound for the Kenai and jacks are also an issue. Any numbers coming out of ADFG are always met with skepticism on all sides, it seems. I am all ears and eyes on getting valid/real numbers and also intrigued by a solution that can be retroactive. Agree that a solution that benefits all user groups, our local economy and the resource itself is what this task force is all about. I have to disagree with the validity of over escapement when it comes to the late run kings, however. But we need to manage the runs effectively so that the only argument is about what to do with supposed over escaped fish.

The bottom line is that a solution can be a reality if everyone is ready to be up front and honest and willing to work side by side to get it done no matter what your stance on this issue is.

Roger104
137
Points
Roger104 11/20/12 - 05:08 pm
0
0
Roger104

Actually, I am not willing to discuss any reduction to the ESSN harvest any more than I'm willing to discuss giving my paycheck to someone else. I'm merely suggesting that we be truthful about what that harvest is. I am confident that a look at the REAL numbers will show that the ESSN harvest in no way threatens the sustainability of the Chinook runs or the viability of a reasonable inriver fishery. A 19% exploitation rate just doesn't lead to devastation.

Furthermore, I think an honest look at the data will show that ESSN's could have fished the peak of the Sockeye run in 2012, preventing HARMFUL sockeye overescapement, while keeping Chinook escapement within goals. Remember, the escapement goal for kings was a Sustainable Escapement Goal, not a Sustainable Escapement Threshold. Going under an SEG does not mean disaster. It simply means less than optimal returns, much like OVERESCAPEMENT.

I would be less skeptical of the numbers coming out of ADFG if there were actually numbers coming out of ADFG. So far, only the commercial division has released any real data (as they do every year). Sport fish has not even released an annual management report for the last several years.

One only needs to look at history to determine how to best control a 100+ year old fishery. Fishing time. If Chinook are in low abundance, don't fish ESSN when there are more Chinook and less Sockeye present, and fish them more when the inverse is true. It's worked for a very long time and has a proven track record of sustainability.

spybot
98
Points
spybot 11/21/12 - 11:15 am
0
0
OVERESCAPEMENT this year for sockeyes?

Roger104;

There was not really an overescapement of sockeyes to the Kenai River this year, contrary to continuing claims by commercial fishermen.

The final enumeration was 1.58 million at the mile 19 sonar. The final escapement number for 2012 will be known when the in-river harvest of sockeyes above the mile 19 sonar counter is subtracted from 1.58 million. In 2011, that number was 320,000. Subtract that give you 1.26 million spawners, which is just above the upper end of the SEG goal of 1.2 million and within the OEG of 700,000 to 1.4 million.

The commercial fisheries end of season report notes this. Surprised that you have not read it properly yet.

Roger104
137
Points
Roger104 11/21/12 - 04:43 pm
0
0
Correct

So the Kenai River was probably not overescaped with Sockeye since the OEG is set unbelievably high, but we don't know because we don't have sport fish harvest data yet. Perhaps I overstated. It could have very, very easily ended differently.

The fact remains that we exceeded our SEG for Sockeye in both the Kenai and Kasilof rivers. We exceeded the number of spawners proven to produce maximum return by quite a bit.

The only reason the Kenai OEG for Sockeye (Which is a social, not biological goal that is set by BOF) is 1.4 million fish is because KRSA has pushed this and the 35,000 people in the PU fishery haven't figured out what a Markov table is. 1.4 Million spawners does not result in maximum Sockeye yields. Surprising that the PU representative did not bring this issue up at the Task Force meetings.

Sport King fishing and ESSN Gillnetting was closed for most of the season to achieve the lower end of the SEG for Kenai Kings, which we achieved with LOTS of room to spare. If exceeding the SEG for Sockeye in both of our rivers is not really that big of a deal, why would going slightly under the SEG for Kenai Kings cause the world to quit turning?

kenai123
1319
Points
kenai123 11/21/12 - 05:51 pm
1
0
Suss, we have a statewide king salmon loss problem.

Suss, the only way drift only could effect the loss of our king salmon is for you to take the engines off the trawlers and commercial gill netters boats. If you could remove those commercial engines you would remove those user groups and our kings would rebound 5 - 10 years later.
Taking engines off public user boats would effect only about 5% of the user problem. So unless you are willing to talk about removing most of our commercial users by removing their engines, your drift only solution cannot hope to address our statewide king salmon loss problem.

kenai123
1319
Points
kenai123 11/21/12 - 05:57 pm
1
1
beaverlooper

beaverlooper is obviously anti-guide and has nothing better to do other than attempt to figure out who is who. It would be really nice to see that kind of effort applied to researching our king salmon problems.

kenai123
1319
Points
kenai123 11/21/12 - 06:06 pm
1
0
Outlaw Fishing!

Outlaw Fishing!, what were you trying to say? I could not figure out what you are claiming? It sounded like you
were for commercial fisheries, oh no maybe you were against them... It kind of sounded like you think our king problems start with our gillnets in Cook Inlet, on no maybe not, I think you might be against them to. I don't know,
it sounded like you were against the king fishing on the Kenai River but maybe you were in favor of it. I don't know for sure.

The only thing I know for sure is that you must be a commercial gill net user because they a experts at smoke & mirror and never saying what they really mean.

kenai123
1319
Points
kenai123 11/21/12 - 11:35 pm
2
0
Roger104, it seems that you have a problem believing

Roger104, it seems that you have a problem believing that commercial industrialization has a nasty habit of destroying natural resources. I suggest that you get the dollar bills out of your eyes and research how commercial fishing around the world have destroyed 99% of our natural fisheries resources. Look at the east coast fisheries wipe-out, the west coast wipe-out and now look at the 1% which remains is here in Alaska. Commercial fisheries destroyed our Alaska salmon by 1949 and we had to shut them down just to save our salmon. Are you hearing this? We had to physically force them to stop because they could not stop themselves. Are you hearing this? You would have thought that the commercial fishermen involved could have seen past the dollar bills back then but they could not. It seems to be a natural commercial fisheries disease, where you put the petal to the metal till the fish are TOTALLY gone, then you move on to where the fish are not wiped-out. Well guess what Roger104, there isn't any more places for you to move on to this time, so your going to have to do something else this time around. You are just behaving the same as those commercial wipe-out nuts back in 1949. Nothing wrong with commercial fishing, let's all just stick our heads in the sand and the king problem will go away by itself... It's not happening Roger104, you have the commercial fishing industry targeted for constitutional banning just like fish traps had to be banned. You can deny it just like they did back in 1949 but fish traps were still banned and still are to this day. Is this what you want?
Commercial fisheries history may not be totally repeating itself here but it sure does seem to be rhyming.

kenai123
1319
Points
kenai123 11/21/12 - 06:44 pm
1
0
robert white

robert white, unfortunately shutting down the Kenai River would not resolve a statewide king salmon escapement problem. If you are not aware that we have a statewide king problem, then you have an even larger problem.

kenai123
1319
Points
kenai123 11/21/12 - 06:58 pm
1
0
shruggered

shruggered, yes drift only for all commercial gill netters and trawlers. I think you may have something there being that those commercial users take 95% of all harvestable fish...
You may think drifting is nice on a river and it is but it has no place within a real solution for our current king salmon loss problem. For you to raise this issue within a statewide fisheries loss problem shows that you are not connected to the problem or any kind of solution. So why did you raise a drift boat solution to a king salmon problem?
Personally I am looking forward to no crime, no drugs, no death, no more commercial wipe-outs of our fisheries and no more people suggesting squirt guns to fight a war.

kenai123
1319
Points
kenai123 11/21/12 - 07:11 pm
1
0
KenaiKardinal88

KenaiKardinal88, please let us know which planet you are contacting us from? Believe it or not the removal of our set netters and river guides will not resolve our current king salmon problems. We have many rivers in Alaska currently missing their kings. This is not an issue which begins or ends on rivers with nets or guides on them. I am trying to tell you that if you remove the gill nets and guides, there would still be a king problem. We have rivers with zero guides and even a few without gill nets and both are seeing their kings go out to sea and not return. We have Gulf of Alaska pollock trawlers catching a million tons of pollock each year and accidently killing and dumping 3.4 kings with each ton of pollock. That's a possible 3.4 million king by-catch each year. That is a lot of dead kings each year. Do you think it just might be need to be addressed?

beaverlooper
3174
Points
beaverlooper 11/21/12 - 09:06 pm
0
0
Kenai 123

It's not rocket science. According to you,the in river commercial fishery is the only one that does no harm. Have to be a guide to be that blind.
By the way, I agree that trawlers should be outlawed.

Roger104
137
Points
Roger104 11/21/12 - 10:20 pm
0
0
1.....2.....3.....

123, I'm glad to see that you finally picked up on my sarcasm. I think it goes without saying that I could not disagree with you more.

While the commercial industry (and yes, guided fishing is very much commercial industry) has their fair share of guilt, population growth and the resulting developement/degredation of habitat has played a larger part in the decline of salmon than any other factor. I'm not sure what it is you think these fish do in the river, but this is where they reproduce. It is also where their young develope and grow. If you have ever been lucky enough to reproduce, you would know that it is a task best accomplished in private. You would also know that young ones need special protection as they are very susceptable to the elements. Fish are no different.

So, to correct; Regardless of why Kings are less abundant right now, THIS IS AN ISSUE THAT BEGINS AND ENDS IN OUR RIVERS.

kenai123
1319
Points
kenai123 11/21/12 - 11:54 pm
0
0
beaverlooper

beaverlooper you have it wrong, it's not about our local users. This king problem is about either the saltwater or the freshwater. We could argue forever attempting to figure out if little 5 - 10% fisheries users are causing the problem.
IT IS ABOUT THE OTHER 90% and that 90% is within the million tons of pollock and 3.4 kings per ton wipe-out by the trawlers each and every year. That's 3.4 million kings killed and dumped each year. How many years do you think you can slaughter 3.4 million kings and dump them before you start to see a problem? The river you are so concerned with may account for what maybe .001% of these missing kings and the trawler guys slaughtering millions of kings get a pass? Trawlers are getting a pass on this issue, it doesn't matter if you say they should be outlawed, there is NOTHING be done to stop them. We have a possible 3.4 million king killing and dumping and all our local fisheries users can talk about is the river this or the eastside gill-netters that, while the trawler are eating both of our lunches.

kenai123
1319
Points
kenai123 11/22/12 - 12:17 am
0
0
123 you do not know what you are talking about.

123 I am sorry but you do not know what you are talking about. Saying that this king loss issue begins and ends in our rivers is about like you getting murdered and the investigating officers only looking at your birth records to investigate the homicide. They wouldn't even stand a chance of discovering who murdered you. This issue may begin in the rivers but since our kings are not returning according to our ADF&G, how does it end in the rivers? These kings are dead and are busy floating around in the saltwater. We have a king problem because the issue is ending in the saltwater and not the rivers. We have a king problem statewide because our kings are starting in the river like you claim but they are not returning and it does not matter if the river has lots of people fishing it or zero people fishing it. All our rivers are experiencing the same problem and it does not matter if the river is fished or not, these facts specifically point to a saltwater problem. You need to get over your deluded way of thinking, which is no doubt set in concrete because you make $$ trying to kill as many salmon as possible. You cannot correctly investigate anything just looking at where it started, you need to get over it and get real, THE PROBLEM IS IN THE OCEAN.

kenai123
1319
Points
kenai123 11/22/12 - 12:39 am
0
0
NO FISHING IN JULY EXCEPT FOR DRIFTING

If you really want to save the Kenai River and the Big breaded kings just figure out a way to remove the engines off the trawlers and commercial gill netters boats. If you could remove those commercial engines you would remove those user groups and our Big breaded kings would rebound 5 - 10 years later. Taking engines off public user boats would effect less that 5% of the user problem. So unless you are willing to talk about removing most of our commercial users by removing their engines, your drift only solution cannot hope to address our statewide king salmon loss problem. You are wasting your time creating a solution which if used could not hope to address the 95% of our kings being caught, killed and dumped in the saltwater. If you still desire to address the 5% and forget the 95% we then know that you have a commercial fisheries agenda. Commercial fishing will fight to kill that last fish regardless as to how dumb it sounds. It has been done over and over, fishery after fishery, all wipe-out by commercial fishermen who claim to only want to do what's best for the resource. Tell that to the east coast wipe-out, the west coast wipe-out and the guys back in 1949 who used fish traps until all our salmon were dead. So the state banned their traps but the state cannot ban greed can it?

Roger104
137
Points
Roger104 11/22/12 - 08:44 am
1
0
Everyone Agrees

123,

Your passion for this subject is admirable. I wish I could say the same for your common sense.

Everyone agrees that minimizing trawl bycatch is a good thing. If they are the sole reason for low King abundance, why did we have very strong king runs just a few short years ago? Why is the Northwestern US seeing record King returns right now?

Why does the fact that someone fishes commercially mean that they are blinded by greed? How is their greed any different than that of many participants of the "Sport Guided" community, or for that matter the general public who fish and take as much as possible?

The fact that I fish commercially makes me more concerned than ever about the long-term health of our resource. I only get to fish when the runs are healthy and abundant. We're all to blame for being greedy. Let's stop singling out one user group or the other and trying to pin it on them.

Seafarer
1147
Points
Seafarer 11/22/12 - 12:17 pm
1
0
Why Must User Groups Fight?

Blame, blame, blame is all you riverheads do. I have one word for what is happening to the Kings ALL OVER THE STATE, NOT JUST THE KENAI:

S-C-I-E-N-C-E!

You folks would all do well by listening to the science. Take your anger and put it on the KSRA. They don't own the river...so why are the likes of them calling the shots?

radiokenai
562
Points
radiokenai 11/24/12 - 08:27 am
0
0
You have it all wrong folks!
Unpublished

I say OPEN the RIVER to MORE GUIDES and COMMERCIAL FISHERMAN! Lets ADVERTISE MORE SPORTFISHING on the Kenai River and bury the fish in hooks, nets and motorboats! We have almost completely wiped out those infested KING SALMON so lets not stop until we are done! Maybe then Northern Pike can set root and we can have a river gone half mad?!?!

There is only ONE way to wake people (and the Government) up and that is to drive the river to the brink of extinction. After-all, look at our last 4 years of Presidency and sit back and scratch your head in amazement that he was re-elected?!

Once the Kenai River has been killed off of those pesky salmon, then...and only then...will lawmakers, guides, commercial fisherman and sportfisherman learn more of the word "compromise" and less of the word "profit".

Watchman on the Wall
2893
Points
Watchman on the Wall 11/24/12 - 01:47 pm
0
1
Just exactly what is S-C-I-E-N-C-E?

I know, I know, it's G-O-D right?
Yepper, G-O-D is the creator of S-C-I-E-N-C-E and everything else we see and don't understand.
3 Cheers Seafarer you got it figured out.
We ain't seen nothing yet as for nature being supposedly confused and failing to provide the things people need to survive here on earth, natures not confused, mankind is and G-O-D is trying to wake us all up at the close of this E-R-A of time which will usher in the new age.
Could that possible start on 12-21-12? Just maybe, G-O-D knows for sure and we only wish we knew and understood the things to come world wide with troubles at every turn and getting worse, not better as some proclaim.
Salmon, wheat, corn and everything else vanishing before our very eyes and we still claim to be in control of our world, yet actually have no control at all in any area in spite of how much we wish we did have.

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