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Voices of the Peninsula: King salmon fishery should open with conservation measures

Posted: July 17, 2014 - 4:09pm

In the last few days, I’ve heard a lot of noise about commercial fisherman getting all the dipnetters fish. And of course, as usual, the sport anglers are pointing the finger too! Really?

Who gets the fish ... age old question. I guess some things never change!

It’s sad, because all this rant sounds a lot like “Me, me, me!” to me!

It’s all allocative, which I understand, but what gets lost in all this, with sport vs. personal-use vs. setnets vs. driftnets vs. private angler vs. guide vs. resident angler vs. non-resident angler, etc., is the mighty Kenai king, a critter that currently is a lot like a unicorn.

They just are not there, not in any sustainable numbers anyway. Quite frankly, they are on the verge of being gone forever. Seriously folks, what about conservation, as in sustainable fisheries? But, “they” are killing them at such a high rate — but it’s not just “them” in this case, it’s us.

Standard openings, as if nothing is wrong, then emergency openings, and then cries for extra time, and then, “What about the personal-use fishermen?” followed by gluttonous river guides and private anglers, and meanwhile, in-river sport anglers are allowed to catch and keep any Kenai king they happen to get, should a minor miracle occur and they actually get one.

I’ve guided full-time here for 25 years and know a thing or two about king fishing, yet this year my guests and I have caught and released only 6 Kenai kings, from 3-25 pounds, no less. Yes, I said three pounds! And yes, 25 pounds is our largest so far this year. Where are the world famous giant kings of the Kenai? Virtually gone! So sad that it makes me physically ill.

Question: Why isn’t this late run Kenai king fishery total “catch-and-release” from the get-go? Why don’t our managers start sport fishing for kings with next to zero mortality on the front side of the run, until we know we will make our escapement goal, at which time they can implement a ‘step up plan’ and liberalize restrictions to where they can then allow some harvest of what would be an actual harvestable surplus? By the third or fourth week of July, when we see that the late run of Kenai kings is ultra-weak, it is impossible to go back and “un-harvest” fish that we’ve already killed.

This common sense, non-allocative, conservation-based idea was proposed in writing to the Board of Fish this past winter, by Yours Truly. But of course, given your Board’s makeup and the fact that the process is totally broken, it was defeated. Sad.

And so, ADF&G is setting us up for the same scenario as in other years: allow sport king anglers to harvest early as if we have a healthy, sustainable fishery, as if there isn’t a problem, so that commercial fisherman can fish, then suddenly declare that we might not make king escapement, and the department goes from full harvest to total closure, rather than a more conservative and reasonable approach to allow some opportunity but minimize harvest by going to catch-and-release.

Before anyone says that in the last week in July, the run shaped up so dire that killing even one king through catch-and-release mortality would be wrong, need I remind you, sport anglers already had harvested kings for over three weeks prior? And netters did their share of damage too. And before someone spews misinformation about the evils of catch-and-release, don’t forget, ADF&G’s very own catch-and-release study cites Kenai king mortality at 5-8 percent, and this was done with multiple hooks and bait. With today’s single hook, no bait, illegal-to-remove-from-the-water restrictions, it is clearly much lower than that.

I can honestly say, that not one Kenai king that my guided anglers have caught since 2012, when I voluntarily opted to go to total catch-and-release for all Kenai kings, has died. Proper catch-and-release, done by knowledgeable and caring conservationists, is that effective.

But catch-and-release isn’t the end-all/fix-all; rather, it’s just another tool, one to at least be considered as a way to minimize mortality but still allow opportunity. It’s a viable option. Sadly, sometimes a fishery just needs to be closed. But only if it is for everyone.

Before anyone attacks me as being self-serving, me, my family, and my small business are fully prepared and willing to support a full closure, if and when it actually achieves something. It’s got to save some fish to be worth the hardship, otherwise it is simple “feel-good” politics that achieve nothing.

In order for me and other knowledgeable sport anglers to buy into a full closure, it has to be coupled with paired restrictions for all users. You can’t close a sport fishery totally and then continue commercial fishing. Nor can you close the early run of Kenai kings to sport fishing and then do little or nothing about the harvest of the same salmon in the open ocean.

It is apparent that ADF&G is again throwing conservation of one species aside, in favor of harvest of another which simply translates to the Department, and our politicians, putting allocation, money and votes as priority one. So very sad.

So please, if you simply must point your finger at someone, point it at ADF&G. And when crying for more fish for “me,” don’t forget to put conservation of the resource first, before your own personal needs. Our kids deserve it!

Greg Brush is a concerned local angler and small business owner.

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Carver
1118
Points
Carver 07/18/14 - 09:41 am
6
0
Econ 101

Mr. Brush's rant reads like classic Dog-In-The-Manger economics: "If I can't have it, neither can you."

First, Brush has no idea of the mortality of catch-and-release. C&R more often than not takes hours or days to kill a fish. Nor does Brush have any notion of how C&R negatively affects a fish's ability to spawn.

Second, Brush's self-serving "conservation" fails to take into account the broad-base of our area's economics of which guided, King salmon fishing is only a very small part.

Finally, King numbers are low state-wide and likely the result of oceanographic factors. Kenai Kings have declined in size likely as the result of intense, selective over-harvest by the guided and non-guided sport fishery.

Suss
3634
Points
Suss 07/18/14 - 12:09 pm
5
0
King Killer

The only way to know you did not kill a King Salmon is by not fishing for them.

Mortality and non-spawners from catch and release is much, much higher than 5-8%.

Keep playing around with the Kings and their will be no Kings.

WRO
116
Points
WRO 07/18/14 - 01:08 pm
0
4
Does it feel good to be wrong?

Carver and Suss there are multiple studies on salmon catch and release mortality that back Gregs claims, Studies that actually track all the way to the spawning grounds.

I challenge both of you to prove him wrong with actual studies instead of barstool "logic".

Secondly Carver, you are completely narrow minded when it comes to conservation, the runs need to be closed. As much as the targeting of large fish has taken its toll on populations. Ocean mortality plays a huge factor as well. As a fish spends more time in the ocean, it is exposed to bycatch and take at a much higher level than a 2-3 year old fish.

As far as economics go, the ESSN's play a very minor role in the local economy in both fish brought to market and overall economic value. They should bear the same closures that all of the other anglers face.

Carver
1118
Points
Carver 07/18/14 - 02:46 pm
4
0
Hmmmmm . . .

WRO: Studies are just that—studies, and studies can be wrong or misleading depending on any number of factors. Moreover, not you, not Brush, and not anyone else has the foggiest notion of the detrimental affects of catch-and-release on spawning vitality. Here you go:

"Abstract
Coho salmon (Oncorhynchus kisutch) were caught with sport gear in the estuary of the Little Susitna River, southcentral Alaska. Fish were double marked and released. All coho salmon observed migrating through a weir above the estuary and a portion caught in a sport fishery below the weir were examined for marks. A second group of coho salmon were caught using similar sport gear above the estuary. These fish were handled and marked identically as the fish captured in the estuary, except that they were held in a holding pen at the weir with an equal number of coho salmon dip netted at the weir. Coho salmon which were caught and released in the estuary suffered a significantly higher rate of mortality (69%) than did either the coho salmon caught and held above the estuary (12%) or those which were dip netted and held at the weir (1%). Factors that could influence rates of hook-induced mortality were measured at the time of hooking. Hook location, hook removal, and bleeding significantly affected the measured mortality rate.

Correspondence to: D. Vincent-Lang, Alaska Department of Fish and Game, Sport Fish Division, 333 Raspberry Road, Anchorage, AL 99518, USA."

Second, close the in-river, King fishery? You bet. By all means. But to close and compromise Cook Inlet's gill-net industry to save a few Kings is throwing the baby out with the bath-water or cutting off your nose to spite your face.

Finally, the ESSNs play a far more significant part in our area's overall economy than does a few-week, balls-to-the-wall King sport fishery. Moreover, the in-river, Sockeye sport fishery completely dwarfs the in-river King fishery. Check Freddie's parking lot or try to drive anywhere in town these days. Close down the in-river, King fishery. We agree on that. Very few would miss it.

Suss
3634
Points
Suss 07/18/14 - 05:22 pm
4
0
C & R Studies

Was the study done by using your average fisherman?

Did they horse around the King for 20 - 30 minutes or longer?

Was the King netted, released without further stressing out the King?

Was bait used in the study? Double hooks?

How many Kings were played until the line broke and the King kept the lure?

Kings that flush out of the river after being caught, only to be so weak that they cannot find their way around setnet.

There is the "Study" and then there is the reality.

40% mortality and non-spawning after being played with.

Caught and released the second time....100% mortality.

You bring you numbers and I'll bring mine.

jford
2618
Points
jford 07/18/14 - 08:21 pm
3
0
Greg Brush goes catch and release for one year,

and he expects everyone to just forget the 24 years he spent killing as many kings as he could set up clients to do so.

He monetized the resource, looked at the fish as money for his private gain, but now that the fish are gone he's 'Mr Conservation'.

But you heard him, don't you dare call him self-serving, …..yeah, right.

The people who have proven themselves wrong about the issues year after year after year, are the last people anyone should listen to now.

spybot
98
Points
spybot 07/19/14 - 12:19 pm
0
1
Abstract thoughts

Carver - there have been catch and release mortality studies on both Coho / Silver salmon and Chinook / King salmon, in Alaska and elsewhere.

Suss - if you read the actual Kenai River C and R study it will answer your list of questions.

The king salmon C and R study on the Kenai River showed a 5 - 8 percent mortality on varying age classes (older fish less mortality, younger fish higher mortality), was done with multiple hooks and bait, was done over multiple years with a variety of angler methods, tracked fish over time, very well done. The results match up with similar king salmon C and R studies done elsewhere, such as the Columbia River.

What that means in real fish is that for every 1,000 fish that enter the river, about 200 may be hooked up with in a single hook no bait fishery (20 percent efficiency). When it is catch and release only, of those 200 fish hooked up, there will be a 5 to 8 percent mortality. That means about 15 fish will die per 1,000 that enter the river in a catch and release king salmon fishery.

Per every 12 hour opener in the commercial set net fishery between 100 to 600 Kenai River king salmon will be harvested. Once the in-river sport fishery goes to catch and release, there is 12 hours of available time for the commercial set net fishery per week. That is the paired restriction for the commercial set net fishery and the in-river sport fishery.

In 2012, when the commercial set nets where severely restricted, about 3 million sockeye were harvested, primarily by the drift fleet. With 500 drifters available to fish every day, they have the power to harvest a lot of reds. Same thing is happening this year, with the drifters already harvesting over a million reds and the big push is still to come.

Carver's citation above is for silver salmon - much higher rates of mortality as they enter the freshwater, then much lower once they firm up to the freshwater conditions.

That is why on the Kenai River and elsewhere in Cook Inlet there is no catch and release of silvers in the lower portion of the rivers, only catch and keep. On the Kenai, you can only release a hooked silver above the Soldotna Bridge, where data shows the mortality rates are much lower as the fish are firmed up for freshwater conditions.

The sport fish regulations on the Kenai River and Cook Inlet already reflect these differences between lower and mid river conditions for silvers.

On another point, asking which fishery should be closed when the minimum escapement goal of 15,000 for Kenai River late-run king salmon is a no brainer - both the commercial set nets and the in-river sport fishery should be closed when the projected escapement is below the 15,000 minimum. That is the statewide policy for salmon - don't fish when the minimum escapement is not going to be achieved.

On the Kenai River, when the minimum escapement for reds is not going to be met, the fisheries are closed. No different for kings, and the same as everywhere else in the state.

Think there are not hardships on the Yukon or Kuskokwim rivers in their commercial and subsistence king fisheries this year and past years due to low numbers of kings - their fisheries are severely restricted and closed also.

And finally, for the record, the commercial set net fishery has been the largest harvester of Kenai River king salmon over the past four years, and in the last decade has harvested about one third more kings than the in-river sport fishery. To say that the commercial set net fishery should be immune from having to share the burden of conservation of king salmon when numbers are very low is absurd and contrary to how fisheries are managed everywhere else in the state.

The low numbers are putting everyone in a difficult situation.

Carver
1118
Points
Carver 07/19/14 - 05:04 pm
3
1
Not even wrong . . .

". . which fishery should be closed when the minimum escapement goal of 15,000 for Kenai River late-run king salmon is a no brainer - both the commercial set nets and the in-river sport fishery should be closed when the projected escapement is below the 15,000 minimum. '
*****************

Not even wrong, spybot.

To forego the economic benefits of one abundant species of fish to save a few of another, less abundant fish is, well . . misguided at best, stupid at worst.

As I noted earlier, anything less is classic Dog-In-The-Manger economics: "If I can't have 'em, neither can you."

spybot
98
Points
spybot 07/19/14 - 05:34 pm
0
2
Sustainable fisheries depend on minimum escapements

Carver - sorry you really do not have clue as to salmon management and sustainable fisheries in Alaska, or any other place in the world.

Meeting minimum escapements as a fundamental management policy in Alaska allows all commercial salmon fisheries in the state to be certified as sustainable.

Remember when earlier this year Walmart was going to stop using Alaska salmon because of sustainability issues. Well the sustainable salmon policy and following it all the time is the reason they backed down and that market did not close to us.

If there was no such thing as the sustainable salmon policy and if fish and game did not close fisheries when the minimum escapements where not being met, then there goes sustainable marketing for salmon fisheries in Alaska.

It is a basic concept - do not fish below a minimum escapement threshold. If you don't understand how the commercial salmon fisheries depend upon that simple concept, then I am glad you do not manage the fisheries.

I cannot think of another commercial salmon fishery in the state that does not support this concept. Southeast Alaska seiners stepped down a few years back when there were not enough salmon to harvest. Commercial fisheries on the Yukon have been closed for years because of low king counts. Only here do people feel somehow entitled to ignore this concept. It does not fly.

Glenn Capn Gilz
2
Points
Glenn Capn Gilz 07/19/14 - 09:21 pm
0
0
Conservation of Kings

I think you all are right in some senses and wrong in others. Lets have our kings and eat them too....
Enhancement, through new technologies, that maintain the genetic strain are available and not extremely expensive. Yes, it will take 5 years and yes we can all sacrifice for that time but lets not wait any longer. Brood stock, caught in the Kenai and reared in the Kenai or tributaries can increase our King runs dramatically. This river should have a 100,00-150,000 fish run minimally. Will the fish be smaller in size than historical record breakers? Probably yes because of potentially smaller gene pool of large brood stock, but will they still be trophies? Yes, still probably larger than California Kings, Northwest Kings and even BC kings.
I have written the Governor, Senators, Congressmen, ADF&G and Board of Fisheries. Little or no legitimate response. I did understand from the Board meetings that ADF&G has the authority to authorize a program of enhancement independently. Why arent we doing it? Budget reasons? Alaska is wealthy...look at the fund!
And while we are at it, lets enhance the Kasilof again. Why did we stop?
Lots of questions, no answers from anyone who matters.
With enhancement, everyone wins...set netters and drift netters can net sockeye; sport fisherman and guides can catch kings on both rivers. Seems simple...what am I missing?

Carver
1118
Points
Carver 07/20/14 - 06:21 am
1
1
Not even wrong . . again . .

"Carver - sorry you really do not have clue as to salmon management and sustainable fisheries in Alaska, or any other place in the world."
*****************

Well, actually I do, spybot . . your ad hominem abuse notwithstanding.

Sustainable salmon policy is not the issue here. The issue is Dog-In-The-Manger economics. The ESSNs traditionally take about 15% of late run Kings—hardly enough to threaten the sustainability of the species.

In the meantime, to forego the harvest and economic benefits of an abundant species in order to save an insignificant number of a less abundant species is, well . . really dumb.

Kenai Kings as a species are in no danger of becoming extinct, but guided sport-fishing for giant Kenai Kings is already extinct. It wasn't the ESSNs that killed the goose that, for a few years, laid the golden eggs.

spybot
98
Points
spybot 07/20/14 - 07:55 am
1
1
Got Math?

Carver:

What is 15 percent of 14,000, or 13,000, or 12,000?

Guess what: it is under 15,000.

That is the situation if a final escapement projection is under 15,000.

Fisheries close.

Carver
1118
Points
Carver 07/20/14 - 08:40 am
3
1
Nice try . .

Fifteen percent of 12,000 is 1,800.

To sacrifice the full, economic benefits of a super-abundant species in order to save a mere 15% of a far, far less abundant species is nothing more than Dog-In-The-Manger management/economics/envy—"If I can't have 'em, neither can you."

The loss of 1,800 Kings out of, say, 12,000 is not going to drive the species into extinction. Period.

Give it a rest . . whining about the ESSNs taking a few Kings is, well . . just plain envy, nothing more.

Kings are numerically down state-wide but nowhere in danger of extinction. Kenai Kings are down in size, and that's the bottom line here . . due to an addiction to "size-matters," the in-river sport fishery has destroyed itself, and all the envy in the world won't bring it back.

The material below was published in an article titled "Giant Kenai River Kings" by a Kenai River sport-fisherman in "Salmon-Trout-Steelheader" magazine in its April/May issue, 2002:
“Angling for large trophy gamefish has become the obsession of many sportfishermen. The thrill of hooking and landing that fish of a lifetime . . is a rush . . One is rewarded with a sense of conquest . . The sheer elation must be experienced . ."

That's where the big Kenai Kings have gone . . destroyed by a few years of selective harvest and the abuse and mortality of catch-and-release. The ESSNs have been around for decades and could not and did not accomplish the decimation of big Kenai Kings that the in-river sport fishery accomplished in a few, short years.

To now insist that the harvestable surplus of sockeye should be compromised for the sake of a problem set-nets did not and could not cause is Dog-In-The-Manger economic envy.

WRO
116
Points
WRO 07/20/14 - 09:10 am
1
2
Kill em all

Carver as usual, you are part of the problem.

First off to tout the 15% number is pointless as anyone who has spent anytime in the fishery, knows more kings make personal freezers than fish tickets. Secondly it does not take into account fall out which is cited in the kenai mortality study. (dirty little secret no one wants to talk about)

Secondly Kenai kings are a truly special fish with a uniquie life cycle found almost no where else in there range. (size of fish)

So to say sockeyes, which are caught all over the state and basically flooding the market, are worth more than a truly great strain of rare fish is so closed minded and bass ackwards it makes me sad to see the mentality you bring.

Carver
1118
Points
Carver 07/20/14 - 09:39 am
2
1
Not even wrong . . again . . and again . .

". . to say sockeyes, which are caught all over the state and basically flooding the market, are worth more than a truly great strain of rare fish is so closed minded and bass ackwards it makes me sad to see the mentality you bring."
**********

Ad hominem insults and unsubstantiated accusations won't cut it.

The sockeye fishery—commercial, sport, & personal use—totally dwarfs any Kenai King fishery by a magnitude of tens of thousands. Nor is there anything "rare" or "special" about Kenai Kings other than their size, which is important only to anglers addicted to "size matters," "a rush," and a "sense of conquest." As you say, ". . sad to see the mentality . . "

Finally, nor am I part of the problem . . I don't fish for Kenai Kings and never have.

Raoulduke
3055
Points
Raoulduke 07/20/14 - 05:14 pm
0
2
Pointing again

Once again the rational mind of the fisher is acting irrational.Finger pointing to every other fisher group than their own.Wake up ,Smell the coffee.ALL fisher groups are RESPONSIBLE for the Kings decline.Not just in number,but the size.QUIT pointing fingers.CLOSE the fishery period.

borninak
657
Points
borninak 07/20/14 - 05:30 pm
2
1
WRO

"First off to tout the 15% number is pointless as anyone who has spent anytime in the fishery, knows more kings make personal freezers than fish tickets. Secondly it does not take into account fall out which is cited in the kenai mortality study. (dirty little secret no one wants to talk about)"

WRO this comment alone shows you are completely clueless and simply spreading unsubstantiated blather for your obvious propaganda mission. Fortunately, only dim wits like you would believe such non-sense about more kings making it to the freezer than fish tickets. Lets see, commercial fisherman make a living selling fish, most years the price is double the price of sockeye putting it into the $3-4 dollar price. Many fisherman (prior to the king crash) would have had a substantial percentage of their season in Kings, up to 10 - 15% of their livelihood. And you choose to believe commercial fisherman would give all that up for fish in the freezer. You know, freezers that hold thousands of pounds of king salmon. This makes for great propaganda spreading on the river among a bunch of riverheads that spread this non-sense, but like most things you guys come up with, utter non-sense and outside of your mindless peer group, nobody but you is buying it.

WRO
116
Points
WRO 07/21/14 - 07:19 am
2
0
Borninak

I worked on the beaches for a few years and have seen it first hand (beach sales and it went on well after I left).

As for fall out, its cited in the Kenai C&R study as well as several others.

http://fishbull.noaa.gov/71-3/french.pdf

Carver,

Where did I say to end to end the sockeye fishery? As for the rest of your thought, name two other rivers that put out kings that have a 7 year life cycle or consistently put out salmon over 80lbs? Its like saying lets run domestic sheep in the Missouri breaks or lets mine McKinley and take the top 5 k off the mountain because there are other mountains.

smithtb
240
Points
smithtb 07/23/14 - 12:33 pm
3
1
Mr. Brush

Mr. Brush, you were fishing early with single hook no bait on a weak, late run in a blown out muddy river, and probably not hitting it all that hard since sockeye were running as well. No surprise you haven't caught much. While kings aren't abundant, they are present, and the run has never appeared unsustainable. Clearly the targetted trophy fishery you have been a part of for the last 25 years is unsustainable.

You think things should start slow in the river - fine - whatever. But then, you have to drag the commercial fishery into your equation, demanding that they do the same. It will not work for them. They alreasy start slowly. While you may or may not think commercial fishing has a place in the inlet, most people pushing this strategy are doing so knowing it will kill commercial fishing. Thats what they want.

And while there is plenty of blame to go around, no one should shoulder more of it than your associates in the KRSA neck of the woods, and all of your fellow guides who may try and distance themselves from KRSA at face value, but ultimately want them see them succeed since it means more opportunity in the short term for the guided industry.

So if you're frustrated because you think management actions inriver are being made with too much consideration for the setnetters, drop the paired restrictions of two completely different fisheries crap and tell the Ricky-Bobby crew to go fly a kite. Let managers fish the commercial fleet when they think it's appropriate, the inriver fishery when appropriate, and let's see how things shake out.

Oh, yeah, and I know you're a helluva fisherman - if anyone can catch kings you can, but NO ONE can guarantee that all the fish they release survive, let alone spawn successfully. That's just foolish.

kenai123
1312
Points
kenai123 07/31/14 - 12:12 am
3
0
What a sad article

What a sad and lazy article. 906 words about finger pointing and oh woe is me what will we all do about our kings.... What a waste of time batting the hook and release issue back and forth. The only relevant information is about our king problem being caused by our fisheries managers, this is correct. Brush is wrong in assuming that hook and release is a conservation tool which can restore our king runs. You could ban H & R everywhere for decades and thirty years from now our kings will still be missing, so H & R is not a valid plan to fix our statewide king problem. The source of this problem is in our ocean but Brush fails to even raise the subject, how very sad. Batting the H & R issue back and forth is just “feel-good” politics for people like Brush who appear to lazy to address the complex ocean and fish manager problems involved within this statewide king problem. Please spare us of anymore more of these meaningless H & R articles and try studying our oceans and fisheries manager mistakes.

kenai123
1312
Points
kenai123 07/31/14 - 12:41 pm
2
1
Hello, it's not about hook and release...

I have been involved within our Alaska fisheries for about 30 years now and you can argue, fight, point fingers or whatever with regard to our fisheries but it all comes down to our fish managers not learning from our past fisheries mistakes. Our fish managers tried to push the envelop when they allow fish traps before 1960, the results was total fisheries collapse. Sound familiar at all? It took the fish twenty years to build back and did these managers learn anything? These managers quickly launched into other precarious fisheries practices which included trawls, crabbers, gill netters and long liners which quickly produced the same type of result as we got with the fish traps. The current loss of our kings is not about hook and release or any single river in Alaska, it is about fish managers that behaves much like a bunch of irresponsible kids playing with matches in a field. After a rain these kids playing with matches is meaningless but if that field dries out their actions can mean life and death to many people. Our fish managers have played with their matches or "magnificent management tools". They played so much that they thought they could carelessly do just about anything. They allowed industrial commercial fisheries methods to harvest massive stocks while over harvesting minor stocks. This is the same type of logic that was used to justify the use of fish traps but this time they only over-harvesting the minor stocks. The results turns out to be the same either way thus showing that our fish managers learned nothing from the use of industrial commercial fishing practices. You will not stop this lack of fish manager common sense by pointing fingers at each other. The only way to stop it is to make fish managers responsible for their actions.

Right now when state and federal fish managers make mistakes and wipe out our fish, they are transferred to some other part of the government or retired with benefits. Fish managers should fired when a single fish stock suffers like our kings have from industrial commercial fisheries practices. Retirement benefits should be dramatically reduced when fish stocks go down the drain because of the precarious fisheries practices retirees used while working for the government. Maybe with this kind of negative actions hanging over their heads fish managers might wake up and STOP playing around with industrial commercial fish harvest methods. Commercial fisheries harvest methods should be tuned to prevent over-harvest of the weakest stock NOT the most abundant stock like they currently are. Trawler, crabbers, gill netters and long liners have replaced fish traps and are now the current strip-miners of our oceans. If you're going to point fingers point them at the fish managers who helped cause the destruction of our kings.

Raoulduke
3055
Points
Raoulduke 07/31/14 - 05:51 pm
1
0
The Kings

The King Fishery should have been closed to ALL period.

kenai123
1312
Points
kenai123 07/31/14 - 10:03 pm
1
1
Raoulduke you are not getting

Raoulduke you are not getting it anymore than Brush. You could close all the rivers in Alaska for a decade and it would not help our statewide king problem. You fail to understand this fact of life because you cannot conceive the ocean factors working everyday to consume our kings. I understand that a simple solution sounds attractive but it doesn't work in this case. The king problem is complex and in the saltwater. You and Brush are wasting your time trying to pull the plug on freshwater fisheries when the bulk of the king problem rests within saltwater.

If you doubt this fact of life try making the call to the ADF&G that Brush has failed to make. Ask them where our kings are dying. They will tell you that we have basically been making king minimum escapements statewide and that out going king smolt production appears close to normal but these kings are not coming back from the ocean. This is not that difficult to understand. Forget he finger pointing and arguing, just call the ADF&G and ask them if it's more likely that our kings have been lost within the fresh or saltwater? The ADF&G may not know the precise location or reason in the salt but they will tell you that because it is a statewide loss, it is more likely that our kings are being lost within the saltwater. So why are you and Brush wasting all of your time trying to shutdown the freshwater when the best science available is telling you that the problem is in the saltwater?

Raoulduke
3055
Points
Raoulduke 08/01/14 - 07:28 am
1
0
I get it

Kenai123 I know about the ocean's affect.I also believe. That closing of the king fishery on the Kenai doesn't hurt either.When the return numbers are so low in the freshwater.Let as many as possible SPAWN without interference i.e. Catch,& Release.

kenai123
1312
Points
kenai123 08/01/14 - 05:08 pm
1
1
Jumping jacks and push-ups to save our king salmon?

Raoulduke I know about crime and believe that it works to destroy communities. People shop-lift on the peninsula, therefore we should close Fred Meyer's and Safeway because closing them won't hurt either of them and stop as many shop-lifters as possible. Is this how we can stop shop-lifting?

Raoulduke your logic is illogical. We don't close things down just because you happen to BELIEVE that won't harm them. We don't add and remove public fisheries or businesses based on your personal belief's, we try to use science and logic...

Science and logic says that you are incorrect. Closing any public fishery on an accessible resource does harm a community depending on revenues flowing from that access. Now that we know that your H & R closing assumptions are wrong; we can also see that you can in fact harm an economy and the people attempting to subsist on a public natural resource. Closing grocery stores won't stop shop-lifting and "H & R or river closing" will also not stop our kings from dying at sea.

Raoulduke and Brush are typical examples people able to see the king problem but are unable to BELIEVE that anything other than jumping jacks and push-ups are able to save our king salmon.

kenai123
1312
Points
kenai123 08/01/14 - 05:21 pm
1
1
beach sales of kings

Borninak, you are correct beach sales of kings has been going on since Alaska tried to shut-down the gill nets when they by-catch killed a set number of kings. You can find a smoke house or cold storage site about every third set net site. The kings are either sold for cash or stored until winter and then sold on east and west coast fish markets.

I used to be very concerned about these sales until they converted our commercial crabber fleet into pollock trawlers and began killing and dumping 4 kings for every ton of pollock. Cook Inlet beach sales are now meaningless as 1 million annual tons of pollock produces about 4 million annual dead and dumped kings.

beaverlooper
2939
Points
beaverlooper 08/01/14 - 07:33 pm
0
1
boats

Sure a lot of boats for sale this year,huh 123? What a shame. You guys need to learn how to guide for reds and leave the kings alone.

kenai123
1312
Points
kenai123 08/01/14 - 09:12 pm
1
1
beaverlooper boats for sale

Yes that 1991 BEAVER VALLEY 36 x 11-5 aluminum. Volvo TAMD 71B 400 hp., is a really great deal at $120,000! They must really need the cash to sell it for that. There's a bunch of real deals there at Alaska Boats & Permits. Guess the price of fish must of went down the drain this year! http://www.alaskaboat.com/boatthumbs.php?bt=gn2

As far as who is bothering our kings? You may want to check out the commercial ad to sell tons of them at http://www.a1seafood.com/html/wholesale_king_salmon.html

"We have 2,500 pounds of H&G King Salmon in stock today 02-27-2012 with sizes ranging in the 10-12 pound area. This is winter run King Salmon and some of the best fish we have ever seen. Price is $8.00 per pound while it lasts"
http://www.a1seafood.com/html/wholesale_king_salmon.html

beaverlooper
2939
Points
beaverlooper 08/01/14 - 09:52 pm
1
0
Big Kings

The ocean is responsible in a large part for the drop in kings but it is you guys that are almost totally responsible for the loss of BIG Kings in the Kenai. What is the biggest king caught in the river in the last three years?
At least one person in the boat Used to get a 50 to 70 pounder almost every time we went out........and once upon a time it was actually fun to fish kings on the Kenai river.
Thanks guys.

kenai123
1312
Points
kenai123 08/11/14 - 04:15 pm
1
1
Carver

Okay Carver, you stated that "Brush's rant reads like classic Dog-In-The-Manger fish-omics: 'If I can't have it, neither can you!'" The conclusion that you are drawing out of context for your own purposes is from the Bible in Matthew 23:13 where Jesus criticizes the Pharisees and says "Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You shut the kingdom of heaven in men's faces; you do not enter yourselves, nor will you let others enter." Jesus was criticizing these people because they were basically nasty and selfish individuals that don't care about their fellow man unless it somehow benefits themselves. You grab onto this illustration and "use abuse it" for your own "selfish purposes" when you claim that Brush's only purpose here is to stop others from killing kings just because he does not want to kill kings. Your assumption is incorrect and pathetic. There is such a thing as Brush being so confused about a subject that he does not know what he is talking about. That is what I claim here; this is not your alleged classic "dog-in-the-manger" situation. Brush is not desiring to stop others from killing Kenai River kings just because he doesn't want to kill them, he wants to stop them from killing them because in-river shut-down is just the only fix he can come up with. That may sound shocking when there are so many other larger killers of kings especially out in the saltwater. If you want to criticize Brush on anything it should be for his inability to see the forest for the sweeper jammed in eye. The Kenai River king problem is just one small part of a monster statewide king problem, Brush and Carver both fail miserably to even attempt to address the statewide and international aspects of this king problem. So the facts really show that neither Carver or Brush have any idea as to what is going on with our kings.

Carver also claims that Brush has no idea of the mortality of catch and release and therefore all of these fish are dying later. Carver is total out to lunch on this one as there have been many catch and release studies done both locally and non-locally on salmon and many of them were radio tagging studies. The fish were followed after the catch and release event until they died and the information was recorded. All of these studies agree with each other that mortality is no more than 5 - 10 percent maximum and less if barb-less hooks are involved. So Carver is totally incorrect on the catch and release death issue.

Carver claims that "the ESSNs traditionally kill about 15% of late run of kings" This is the most outrageous comment Carver makes. The ESSN's involved are strung out to a mile and a half from shore and our ADF&G catch records plainly record that most of the kings killed in Cook Inlet are in fact killed within set gill nets. Now Carver can rant all he wants but the science shows that most of any king run in Cook Inlet is killed within set nets. So how do we end up with only 15 percent of our Kenai kings killed within the ESSN's? The figures don't lie but the liars do keep tying to figure out how they don't do what the science says they really do. The ESSN's kill the majority of all kings attempting to enter the Kenai River.

Carver also claims that our king salmon fishing is only a very small part of our area's economics'. I have been watching our Kenai Peninsula Economy for 30 years and can tell you that our king salmon fish-omics have been substantial. Back in the 1980's our local Soldotna economy was flat on its back and the guided king angler became the nitrogen that built the garden. That economic garden has bloomed substantially since that time. Since our kings have declined our blossomed economy has now adapted and transferred some of the king fishing into sockeye fishing. The mere transfer from kings to sockeyes does not prove that recreational king fishing is a small part of our economy like Carver claims. Carver is playing games with words in an attempt to get readers to believe commercial fishing is the only economy we need. The truth is that recreational king fishing fertilized our local economic garden and now folks are doing other things in an attempt to get along for now. So Trustworthy sells a dip net rather than a fishing rod, so Fred Meyer sells a hat with a sockeye on it instead of king, so what? That does not mean sockeyes are better than kings like Carver is attempting to sell. Carver is attempting to brainwash people with half-truths to make them believe the complete ms-information package he is selling. Make no mistake about it, Carver is only selling commercial gill netting and those nets kill most of kings that somehow survive the ocean.

Carver claims "I don't fish for Kenai Kings and never have". Notice the selected wording "I don't fish for". This means Carver kills lots of kings but he doesn't fish for them. This is the way a commercial fisherman sells half-truth. Do you really have to fish for kings to kill them Carver? Can't you kill a king salmon by just telling people incorrect information thus making them believe things about king salmon that are not true? I believe that you can kill kings with false information and even if you "don't fish for them" . Carver publishes lots of false information about kings therefore I claim those false postings also do in-fact kill a great many king salmon.

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