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Cook Inlet fishermen to receive $4.6 million in direct aid payments

Posted: August 20, 2014 - 12:04am

Cook Inlet, Yukon and Kuskokwim commercial fishermen will receive payments this fall as part of the 2012 fishery disaster relief funding.

The National Marine Fisheries Service announced Monday that $7.8 million of the $20.8 million appropriated for the 2012 disaster declarations for Cook Inlet, Yukon and Kuskokwim rivers salmon returns would be used for direct aid payments.

Pacific States Marine Fisheries Commission, a Portland, Ore.-based organization, will administer the grant and make the payments to eligible fishermen with $3.2 million intended for Yukon-Kuskokwim region fishermen, and $4.6 million for Cook Inlet fishermen.

Eligible Cook Inlet fishermen will receive a $2,000 fixed payment, plus a percentage based on their landings history from 2007 to 2011, according to National Marine Fisheries Service, or NMFS, spokeswoman Julie Speegle.

According to information provided by the National Marine Fisheries Service, an estimated 443 permit holders from Cook Inlet’s eastside setnet fishery will be eligible to apply for payments, as will an additional 96 Northern District fishermen.

Yukon River fishermen will receive an estimated $4,952, with 631 permit holders eligible to apply, Speegle wrote in an email.

An estimated 489 Kuskokwim River fishermen will be eligible for $165 payments, Speegle wrote.

That money is intended to compensate fishermen — at least partially — for losses from past salmon fisheries that received a federal disaster declaration.

“I think it will be helpful to everyone at the end of the day,” said Ken Coleman, vice president of the Kenai Peninsula Fishermen’s Association.

Upper Cook Inlet settnetters were almost entirely shutdown during the 2012 fishery due to concerns about the number of king salmon returning to the Kenai River.

The Yukon River designation was made for 2010, 2011 and 2012; the Kuskokwim River commercial failure was declared for 2011 and 2012; and the 2012 declaration was made for Cook Inlet, according to a letter from Rebecca Blank, acting secretary of commerce, to Gov. Sean Parnell. Runs on each of those rivers were well below average.

When the disaster declaration was being made, Alaska Department of Commerce, Community, and Economic Development Commissioner Susan Bell gave a letter to the federal government with a breakdown of the impacts on affected fisheries.

According to that information, commercial fishery permit holders lost about $16.8 million in direct ex-vessel revenue in the years included in the disaster designation.

“From the moment we learned that Alaska would receive fishery disaster relief funds, our first priority has been to get those dollars directly into the hands of fishermen who were impacted by the fisheries failure,” said Alaska Regional Administrator Jim Balsiger in a formal statement. “Approval of the grant application for direct assistance means that will happen very soon.”

According to the announcement, impacted fishermen will receive their applications for disaster relief funds in the mail.

Pacific States Executive Director Randy Fisher said applications would likely be sent out this Friday, and due back to the organization by Sept. 12.

Payments will be made shortly after the due date, he said.

Pacific States was also responsible for distributing the $5 million appropriation for the 2009 Yukon disaster.

Congress appropriated $20.8 million in aid for the 2012 disaster. According to the announcement from NMFS, Pacific States is developing a second grant proposal based on the spending plans developed by the several organizations, and NMFS expects to award that grant in the coming months.

Molly Dischner can be reached at molly.dischner@alaskajournal.com.

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KenaiKardinal88
551
Points
KenaiKardinal88 08/20/14 - 04:48 pm
2
3
Greed Wins Again

The greediest won again. Paid to not work, commie fishers took salmon from the average Alaskan and twisted the political system to get paid.

Taxpayers lost - commie fishers won.

kenai123
1473
Points
kenai123 03/15/15 - 05:15 pm
2
3
How very lovely. Our federal

How very lovely. Our federal government has spent millions of dollars regulating and allowing commercial pollock fisheries into catching and turning a million tons of pollock into fish sticks annually, while by-catch killing and dumping 4 adult king salmon per ton of pollock annually. That's a million tons of dead pollock in exchange for 4 million dead adult king annually. Our Alaska State government has spent millions of dollars regulating and allowing commercial gill net salmon fisheries to kill about 80% of the returning sockeye and therefore also about 80% of the returning king salmon annually. Our Alaska State and Federal governments histrionically allowed our commercial crab fisheries to destroy our crab resources, therefore dramatically reducing the primary crab larvae feed that juvenal king salmon require to become adult kings. Our governments are directly attacking our king salmon with expanded and excessive commercial fisheries.

Our governments have created commercial fisheries that have by-catch killed off the bulk of our adult king salmon, therefore causing many fisheries to be closed down in 2012. Now our federal government has appropriated $20.8 million in aid to attempt to make up for destroying the king salmon resource that resulted in the closing down these fisheries. Our government allows the destruction of our king salmon and then writes checks to the businesses destroyed by their actions. It may be more beneficial to just not fund the destruction of our king salmon in the first place, rather than trying to write checks in an attempt to make up for those illogical government actions.

borninak
916
Points
borninak 08/20/14 - 08:08 pm
3
2
How very lovely indeed

Once again our 2 fishing guide geniuses have spewed their vitriol and hatred against their neighbors because they can't kill all the salmon in their guided fishing endeavors. It has to really suck being so clueless and hateful all the time, you know because it is so hard for the common folk to catch a fish around here and nobody can get any salmon for their freezer.

slamn salmn
4
Points
slamn salmn 08/20/14 - 09:51 pm
2
1
Get it right!

Just for the record, this years harvest of sockeye to the central Inlet was less than half of what was taken by other users and left for escapement and that does not include the west side and northern district stocks of reds. Doesnt include the potential waste of millions of pinks. King salmon exploitation by the commercial fleet still remains at less than two tenths of one percent in comparison to sockeye harvests. Blue water fishers are another issue but are intercepting higher numbers of Chinook bound for southern latitudes. The Columbia River is approaching returns not seen since the 1930's. ADFG tells us that the trawl fleet has less than a 5 % bycatch rate on Kings bound for CI waters. Where do you folks get your information? Or is it just a way to make you feel good by distorting the facts (truth). Targeted King salmon fishing happens in the Rivers in southcentral and it has been conducted by the in river recreational fishermen for decades. No where else in the State do we have such intense fisheries with high mortalities on in river returning salmon. No where else do we allow users to disturb salmon preparing and in the process of spawning. That is the truth, that is a fact. Nevertheless, the numbers of returning Chinook are down and nobody knows really why. What happens next requires thinking out of the box and yes, to survive, we may all have to look for some kind of assistance and direction from our leadership. Many of us have paid taxes as small business men and woman for years. Disaster relief in this basic amount really is just sharing some of our previous contributions. It will not last long and it is up to us all to reconsider our options and look for community driven solutions.

kenai123
1473
Points
kenai123 08/26/14 - 07:04 pm
3
2
slamn salmon is wrong...

slamn salmn your numbers are completely incorrect and you offer zero reference information while demanding 100% references from the other side. Where are your references for your claims regarding the central Inlet taking half of what other users take? Where is your link to the claim that millions of pinks were wasted? Where are your references for the claim that the commercial fleet catches less than two tenths of 1% of the kings? Where are your references for the claim that the trawler fleet catches less than a 5% bycatch on kings in Cook Inlet? Where are you're references for the claim that kings are only targeted in rivers of south central Alaska? Where are your references for the claim that nobody knows why our kings are missing, because I know why they are missing and I am somebody. Where are your references for your claim that our leadership will somehow figure out this king problem, since those are the same guys who created the fish problem in the first place? Where are your references for the claim that disaster relief will not last long and will in anyway really help anyone? You claim we need to reconsidering options but you have been making the same commercial fishing claims and accusations for the past 30 years and basically reconsidered NOTHING.

Our statewide king problem began back in the late 1990's as the size of our kings began to reduce. This reduction wasn't much so nobody noticed it. By 2000 some began to notice the problem but most still could not believe it was being actually caused by SOMETHING. By 2002 the Alaska Board of Fish and the public became aware of the growing problem but like you they assumed that it was a local single river or stream problem that could be corrected with new public freshwater fishing restrictions. Few knew at that time that our Alaska Commercial Crabber Fleet had basically wiped out our crab and was now refitting their boats to wipe out our pollock and therefore our kings also. The Commercial Pollock Fleet then began catching 1 - 2 million tons of pollock per year. Along with the pollock these trawlers by-catch killed and dumped about 4 adult kings per ton annually from about 1990 to 2007. For about 20 years these commercial fisheries operated with the ability to killed and dumped MILLIONS of adult kings, (20 years of destruction takes about 20 years to recover) This kind of industrial king destruction could not go on for long without someone finally noticing. By 2007 many did notice and some restrictions were finally placed on the commercial pollock fleet and many down-line users began to be closed down as our kings began visibly disappearing statewide in mass.
http://www.afsc.noaa.gov/refm/cbs/Docs/CBS%20Pollock%20Catch%20History.pdf
http://www.newsminer.com/news/alaska_news/pollock-boats-record-biggest-s...

Pollock boats record biggest salmon bycatch in history
http://www.newsminer.com/news/alaska_news/pollock-boats-record-biggest-s...

The bottom line is that we have people with their noses buried so deep into a Kenai River tree that they cannot see the forest or ocean beyond. It is time to stand back and acknowledge the big picture regarding the problem with our king runs. It is not the time to babble on about how local restrictions are going to somehow save a single river. It is not river degradations, not excess fishing on spawning beds, not excessive public fishing access or boats, not erosion, not turbidity, not oil pollution, not hook and release fishing and not the killing only the big ones. Increasing angler freshwater restrictions might help the situation a little but they would be like placing a Band-Aid on cancer.

The commercial by-catch of king salmon is the cancer and our king salmon are only the latest fish to fall victims to the wastefulness of commercial fishing. Local freshwater cosmetic changes may have worked in the past but they are not going to save our kings statewide in the future. We need a statewide ocean specific prospective to even address our king salmon problem. So put away all your old local sure-fired solutions because this problem is beyond the Kenai river.
http://www.adfg.alaska.gov/FedAidPDFs/SP13-01.pdf

kenai123
1473
Points
kenai123 03/15/15 - 05:07 pm
3
2
slamn salmn wrong again!

"Nevertheless, the numbers of returning Chinook are down and nobody knows really why"

Unfortunately Alaska does not have the best managed fisheries in the world. The by-catch issue only exposes the tip of a massive ice berg when it comes to how many salmon and halibut are being wasted within Commercial Pollock fishing while trawling off the coast of Alaska. Basically Alaska and other nations are pumping around
5 billion extra hatchery salmon into the North Pacific (annually) while at the same time slaughtering hundreds of thousands of adult king salmon within the by-catch issue. The extra 5 billion salmon consume the bulk of the (zooplankton feed) necessary to feed our one year old king salmon and then commercial trawlers by-catch kill our adult kings. With hatcheries killing our young kings and trawlers killing our adult kings we now see huge losses in our king salmon returns and nobody can understand why? Our fisheries management is not the best in the world, we have manipulated our fish stocks to enhance sockeye stocks to the destruction of our king stocks. This is not a natural situation and eventually will result in the total destruction of our sockeye salmon also.

So everyone can stop saying that NOBODY knows why our kings have gone missing. Those who cannot see what is going on are blind, deaf and dumb when it comes to what we have been doing to our kings.

We need to adopt what the Canadians are doing: just put cameras on every commercial boat and connect them into a central boat hard drive. Then the ADF&G comes on board after each fishing period and pulls the hard drives and compares the pictures to the boats official log books. Most of our by-catch problems would be resolved with this method of fisheries record keeping. We don't need a zillion observers we need boat cameras. So why can the Canadians do this but the US cannot?

If we just stopped dumping billions of extra drone salmon into the North Pacific and started putting cameras on all of our commercial boats, we might have a chance to actually have the best managed salmon fisheries in the world.

skeeter66
2
Points
skeeter66 03/15/15 - 02:40 pm
0
2
Disappearing Kings

Kena123, Sir,you and number of other guides have never taken responsibility for your role in the shortage of Kings and Silvers in our Peninsula fisheries.
The Guided fishery for many years has fished with very little reguard for environmental damage (I. E. Size of boat, number of boats and guides, number of trips ). And in my opinion the worst of all, targeting the largest fish on their reeds during King season and a unofficial catch and release season afterwards.

When the Kenai River finally succumbed, the pressure was transferred to the Kasilof,smaller streams, and the ocean fisheries with the same results.
All the time you were blaming the other user groups for the disappearing Kings, Silvers and other fishing opportunities.
The setnetters who had not fished the early run for over fifty years were the first scapegoat targets. When that idea was debunked, the blamed was put on the second run setnetting fishery and on the at sea fisheries.
Nothing has ever been mentioned about the guided fishery's responsibility at anytime, in your assessments, of who could possibly be the blame.
Stopping the blame game and starting to work on all aspects of solving the problems of our Kenai Peninsula fisheries would be a welcome start to recovery.

kenai123
1473
Points
kenai123 03/15/15 - 06:13 pm
2
1
Skeeter66 you say to stop

Skeeter66 you say to stop "the blame game" and then you go ahead and blame all of our statewide kings problems on events on only the Kenai River! You Sir have no idea what you are speaking about. We have river after river in Alaska with the same king losses as the Kenai River AND THEY HAVE ZERO PUBLIC ACCESS. Are you able to comprehend the meaning of this fact of life? River after river with most of their kings missing and NOBODY fishing in those rivers. Only a complete idiot would attempt to claim that Kenai River events effect every river in Alaska. The only sane answer is that the problem is in the ocean. Guess what? That is precisely where our ADF&G says the king problem is located, IN THE OCEAN! So stop wasting your time skeeter66 taking pot-shots at the Kenai River. THE KING PROBLEM IS IN THE OCEAN. Now that you have finally learned something skeeter66, you can now research what is going on in the ocean that could be killing our kings!

You will SUDDENLY discover that our statewide king problem began back in the late 1990's as the size of our kings began to reduce but few people even noticed it. By 2000 some began to notice the problem but most still could not believe it was being actually caused by SOMETHING. By 2002 the Alaska Board of Fish and the public became aware of the growing problem but LIKE YOU they also assumed that it was a local single river or stream problem that could be corrected with new public freshwater fishing restrictions. Few knew at that time that our Alaska Commercial Crabber Fleet had basically wiped out our crab resources and was now refitting their boats to wipe out our pollock and therefore our kings also within by-catch. The Commercial Pollock Fleet then began catching 1 - 2 million tons of pollock per year. Along with the pollock these trawlers by-catch killed and dumped about 4 adult kings per ton annually from about 1990 to 2007. For about 20 years these commercial fisheries operated while killing and dumped MILLIONS of adult kings, (20 years of destruction takes about 20 years to recover) . That means king recovery will be around 2027, (2007 - 2027) This kind of industrial king destruction could not go on for long without someone finally noticing. By 2007 many did notice and some restrictions were finally placed on the commercial pollock fleet and the many down-line users began to be closed down as our kings began visibly disappearing statewide in mass. (A 20 year commercial king by-catch will result in at least a 20 year king recovery in 2027) You could stop all king by-catch today and this king recovery can still only happen by 2027.
http://www.afsc.noaa.gov/refm/cbs/Docs/CBS%20Pollock%20Catch%20History.pdf
http://www.newsminer.com/news/alaska_news/pollock-boats-record-biggest-s...
Pollock boats record biggest salmon by-catch in history
http://www.newsminer.com/news/alaska_news/pollock-boats-record-biggest-s...

People like skeeter66 have their noses buried so deep into a Kenai River that they cannot see what is going on in our ocean. It is time to stand back and acknowledge the big picture regarding the problem with our king runs. It is not the time to babble on about how some local restriction is going to somehow save an ocean. It is not river degradations, not excess fishing on spawning beds, not about excessive public fishing access or boats, not erosion, not turbidity, not oil pollution, not hook and release fishing and not the killing only the big ones. Addressing one or two rivers would be like placing a Band-Aid on cancer.

The commercial by-catch of king salmon which happened between 1990 - 2007 is the bulk of the reason our kings are missing. You throw on top of that the fact that we are pumping 5 billion drone or hatchery salmon into the North Pacific every year. Also that our governments allowed the commercial destruction of our crab resources, which destroyed the crab larvae that juvenal kings needed to survive, and you have a double barrel shotgun blasting away at our kings every year. Local freshwater cosmetic changes may have worked in the past but they are not going to save our kings statewide in the future. We need a statewide ocean specific prospective to even address our king salmon problem. So put away all your old local sure-fired solutions because this problem is in the ocean and NOT on the Kenai river.
Chinook Salmon Stock Assessment and Research Plan , 2013
http://www.adfg.alaska.gov/FedAidPDFs/SP13-01.pdf

borninak
916
Points
borninak 03/16/15 - 09:00 am
2
1
Are Cook Inlet Setnetter in "The Ocean"?

123 says all of our King Salmon problems are "in the ocean". He says "Only a complete idiot would attempt to claim that Kenai River events effect every river in Alaska." Using that logic, we can ascertain that only an idiot would attribute the statewide problems of low king salmon abundance to Cook Inlet set nets. Come out and say that 123. We all know you won't because you are a hypocrite that likes to rant on and on about how its everybody's fault, except for your commercial fishing guide, habitat destroying buddies. That's why you have ZERO credibility. Oh, and quit using ADF&G to bolster your ridiculous diatribes. We've all seen you blast ADF&G regularly on this site and then turn around and use them when you feel the need. Once again the hypocrisy, It's growing tiresome.

kenai123
1473
Points
kenai123 03/16/15 - 08:15 pm
2
2
It's really simple borninak,

It's really simple borninak, you can either believe me or the ADF&G take your pick. We are both saying the same thing in this case, either way you lose. The king problem is not in any fresh water location like you have been claiming. Go call the ADF&G they are finally starting to see that the king problem is within our one year old kings and in the salt. It can't be that hard to pick up a phone and call the ADF&G...

borninak
916
Points
borninak 03/16/15 - 09:59 pm
2
1
123

I can talk to ADF&G, it's something I do in person regularly, unlike yourself who can't because your reputation precedes you and you have zero credibility at ADF&G. Quit trying to use ADF&G to back your silly diatribes, we all have read you slamming the department over and over. Your views are garbage, hypocritical, and mostly complete nonsense.

kenai123
1473
Points
kenai123 03/18/15 - 07:59 pm
1
1
borninak

borninak, the same amount of time you just spent posting the above nothing, you could have actually called the ADF&G, got a real response and posted it. Instead your laziness forces you to post nothing, while you just expect readers to accept opinion for facts and data. Laziness is your own fault.

kenai123
1473
Points
kenai123 03/18/15 - 08:35 pm
1
1
set nets and sport angler impacts?

Regarding Cook Inlet set nets and sport angler impacts on what is left of our king salmon after ocean impacts? Both user groups kill kings statewide but the comparison is a cloaked attempt to minimize set net industrial impacts. This kind of comparison would be like proclaiming that a mosquito and a 375 are equal because they both can draw blood from an elephant. If you do not understand or agree with this illustration, you have bigger problems than this forum can address.

.

borninak
916
Points
borninak 03/18/15 - 09:19 pm
0
1
Bigger Problems

123, you have bigger problems for sure. Your illustration is a thinly disguised attempt to cover up the fact that your commercial fishing guide industry played a huge part in decimating the Kenai and Kasilof River king salmon run and if you can not understand that than you need to immediately seek help for your hypocrisy and narcissism, but alas its about 20 years too late for you.
Luckily, smart people at the ADF&G, who you repeatedly bash in this forum, know that set nets have been fishing Cook Inlet for a century and there were plenty of kings when you started your commercial fishing guide business. Your not fooling anyone here and don't claim anyone at ADF&G agrees with anything you have to say, they don't.

kenai123
1473
Points
kenai123 03/18/15 - 09:47 pm
1
2
back to reality

Anyway, back to reality. Both our state and federal governments have spent millions of dollars constructing commercial fisheries on top of most of our available fish stocks. The result has been excess commercial harvest and collapse of our crab, collapse of our herring and the collapse of our king salmon. This was accomplished after decades of actually believing that we can kill just about everything and if there's a problem, we just dump a bunch of hatchery stocks in there to make up for all the greed. Well a bunch of commercial fishermen may have believed that in the past but take a look at what that did for our east coast commercial fisheries, GONE. Take a look at what was done to our west coast commercial fisheries, GONE. Take a look at what the North Pacific had and what it currently has?

Kill them all and make up for the mistakes with hatcheries is a DEAD way of thinking. If you want your kids to be able to catch a future fish in Alaska, you need to reverse what was done on the east and west coasts, NOT REPEAT IT.

Set nets may be okay for commercial fishing if there were only a couple dozen of them but you throw thousands of them all over an inlet, a bay or off a river and you have got a really big problem. It is the same problem we had with fish traps and we all know where they went. A couple fish traps didn't hurt anything but commercial fishing just could not stop with a couple. It locates a really good way to kill fish and then duplicates it over and over until resource collapse. That may be blunt but it is the truth.

Then as commercial fishermen lay there in the ashes of their endeavors they begin glancing around looking for a check from the government, to make up for all the resource destruction. And if a million dollar grant or check does not show up, they just seek out a new resource to target with the same self-destructive fisheries management?

This all sound real negative right? Well it is our commercial fisheries history and if you think it is not, please post all the links displaying all of our current really great east and west coast commercial fisheries?

Let's see all the current billions of tons to black cod, halibut and salmon that use to thrive back fifty to a hundred years ago. Where did it all go? Was it all killed off by some angler standing in the Kenai River, swinging a fly rod back and forth? Really? Is that all you've got?

kenai123
1473
Points
kenai123 03/21/15 - 09:13 pm
1
0
ADF&G agrees our king problems are in the ocean!

"On 12/13/14 The Director of Alaska Sport Fish Division, Charlie Swanton made the following statement.

"The Alaska Department of Fish and Game has determined that our king salmon problems are being caused within the saltwater and are further defined within our ocean juvenal king salmon."

Ten years ago the ADF&G did NOT believe our king problems were in the ocean but today they do believe our king problems are in our ocean. Unfortunately Swanton still blames
"Pacific Decadal Oscillation Theory, PDO." for causing these king problems but he clearly lays the blame on our ocean and NOT any freshwater source. It took our ADF&G ten long years to finally make this startling discovery. It will probably take borninak another ten years to finally call Swanton or anyone and finally confirm this.

Alaska Sport Fish Division, Charlie Swanton
http://dfg.alaska.gov/index.cfm?adfg=about.depcomm2

PDO - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pacific_decadal_oscillation

borninak
916
Points
borninak 03/22/15 - 07:47 am
1
0
ADF&G agrees our king problems are not commercial fishing

Thanks for the references 123.
Alaska Sport Fish Division, Charlie Swanton
http://dfg.alaska.gov/index.cfm?adfg=about.depcomm2

PDO - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pacific_decadal_oscillation

Unfortunately one man does not speak for ADF&G and most biologists know that the in river habitat destruction is a grave concern.

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