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King salmon show low return rates across the state

Posted: July 4, 2012 - 9:15am

King salmon across the state of Alaska is in depletion as a whole. Southcentral Alaska is not the only region experiencing low king salmon return rates, it's happening all over.

It's easy to blame a single fishery, such as the central district commercial fisherman for the depletion of kings in the Kenai River. However, the escapement levels in most rivers across the state from the Yukon River to the Seatuck have still met their annual escapement goals, and the returns still remain drastically low.

The problem we're facing is much more complex then what the vast majority of people see. There is an environmental issue affecting the return rates of all king salmon across the state. Biologists from the Yukon and the Kuskokwim regions are facing the same adversities with very low return rates.

There are multiple different theories for the low numbers of king salmon, but there's not one fishery to blame for the misfortune at hand. Since the early 70s the commercial fishery has been on limited entry, and there has never been a growth in the fishery since those days. On the other side, their has been an explosion of guided sport anglers in Alaska's Southcentral rivers and saltwater fisheries.

The Board of Fish has yet to set a limit of guides on the rivers, and the activity on the spawning beds is abundant. With escalated traffic on the rivers it must be required for more areas to be set aside for spawning.

King salmon play a large role in the economy surrounding the commercial, subsistence and sport fisherman. To see future runs of king salmon the fishery needs to be managed biologically and the political aspects need to be set aside. Management needs to look outside the box to the environmental factors that are playing a strong roll in the decline of king salmon returning to their spawning grounds. 

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profishguide 07/04/12 - 10:52 am
Blame the Guides?

The sportsfishermen are last people to fish those Kings and the easiest to control the numbers of fish caught. The biggest problem is the lack of control fish and game has over Bi-catch (175,000 Kings) in commercial fishery's that will never return to spawn. The local set netters are part of the problem too, just watch the totes of Kings come into the processors, thats Bi-catch from right here on the peninsula.

kenai123 07/09/12 - 02:26 am
Can it be that hard to manage our king salmon?

Managing king salmon stocks on the Kenai River is not a job for the faint hearted. From 1980 to 1990 our Kenai River king runs were much more predictable than today. The main reason these runs were more predicable then is because there were less humans attempting to intercept them back then. King salmon commercial by-catch issues back then were at a minimum as Bering Sea, Gulf of Alaska, Kodiak and Cook Inlet commercial fisheries intercept factors were very low. By 1990 those commercial intercept factors began taking huge bites out of Alaska's extremely strong king runs. Commercial fisheries which had only been by-catching a few thousand kings annually suddenly exploded and began intercepting hundreds of thousands of these kings between 1980 and 2000. Kodiak Island and Cook Inlet commercial fisheries basically sell their king by-catch and Bering Sea and Gulf of Alaska commercial fisheries kill their kings and throw them away dead back into the ocean. These Bering Sea and Gulf kings must be dumped dead because it is illegal to sell them. All of this basically comes down to hundreds of thousands of kings being annually removed from Alaska's saltwater before they have a chance to return and spawn within their home rivers and streams. Year after year of this ocean shredding of our king resource has had a tremendous cumulative effect thus resulting in the general suppression of all Cook Inlet king stocks. It was in 2002 that these commercial by-catch factors first began having an effect on the Kenai River sportfish environment That effect showed up as both first and second king runs began showing up late along with a size reduction. At first we notice these runs only showing up a few days later than normal. Eventually the few days turned into weeks as our "second run king arrival" moved from the first week of July to the second and then even sometimes on into the third week. Occasionally our second run of kings would show up in the first or second week of July but in general the run had been destabilized and was very unpredictable by 2002.

Currently we are forced to expect our late run of kings to show up at just about anytime between July 1st - 25th. This run instability did not need to happen; it is the direct result of run-away commercial saltwater by-catch factors These by-catch factors were also first notice by fisheries managers in 2002 but few of them could convince themselves that our saltwater commercial fisheries were capable of such dramatic and far reaching run changes. Today we have modern fisheries managers who are "still unaware" of the history behind this delayed July king entry pattern on the Kenai River. These managers basically take a short-term view of this situation and interpret this wildly fluctuating entry pattern as some kind of recent event. Because these managers assume a freshwater king problem, they attempt to resolve the problem with only freshwater solutions. These chosen freshwater solutions are usually only freshwater sportfish restrictions. These fisheries managers are incorrectly applying freshwater fisheries solutions to a saltwater problem. This improper assessment / solution format then basically results in a delayed reaction to
actually resolving the source saltwater problem. This incorrect problem solving can be compared to placing a bandage on cancer and somehow expecting the problem to go away. Using freshwater solutions to remedy saltwater problems creates even more problems as fisheries managers are lulled into a false sense of security, while they stop looking for real solutions. The end result of following this kind of a false logic and problem solving, is that everyone stands around for years waiting for saltwater slaughtered kings to return to the freshwater. If a person desires evidence of what is happening here they need only view the results of decades worth's of king salmon freshwater restrictions on anglers
in the Cook Inlet area. All of these extensive freshwater restrictions have resulted in fewer and fewer kings returning to Cook Inlet.

At this time Kenai River king salmon stocks require a fisheries manager with an extremely cool hand. The realization that our Cook Inlet king troubles ARE NOT
freshwater based must dominate the solution debate and resulting regulatory changes. Most of our proposed king salmon, freshwater regulatory changes should be
viewed for what they actually are, superficial camouflage for a much deeper rooted problem within the saltwater. It is not rational to continue assuming that short-term freshwater regulatory solutions will in anyway address this long-term saltwater king salmon problem.

Would you like ocean by-catch of king salmon to END? Sign the Petition.

smithtb 07/09/12 - 09:02 am
By Catch

Commercial King By Catch in the ocean is a huge issue, but please don't associate it with the legal, responsible, and closely managed harvest of King Salmon by Cook Inlet Gillnet Fisheries. This fishery has a long track record of responsible harvest. It is a very sensible way to harvest an abundance of Salmon with a minimal impact on the environment when compared to both the deep-water trawlers and the inriver fishery. King Salmon escapements and abundance numbers are taken into account every time there is a management decision made about this fishery.

How can you say that Cook Inlet King issues are in no way an in river issue? Are the Kings you catch as big as they used to be? Doesn't it make sense that if you selectively harvest the large fish before they have a chance to breed, this will result in smaller fish? What is the one fishery that selectively harvests the large fish? Don't act as if there aren't some issues in river that need to be addressed.

Has it crossed anyone's mind that this may be in part a natural occurance? There is a lot we don't understand when it comes to salmon stocks. Sometimes, for reasons unexplained and through no fault of our own, they do not return. Ocean temperature and currents and abundance of feed are all issues that could have contributed to this problem.

It's worth remembering that Alaska is currently doing something that is very rare in the world today - sustainably harvesting our renewable resource of Salmon while striving to preserve it for future generations. Lets all continue to work towards that goal, and remember that every user group is equally important. Let's try to stick to the facts too, for the benefit of everyone.

kenai123 07/10/12 - 09:15 pm
Kenai River size variation caused by Kodiak Island Gill Nets

Okay ByCatch, we can now address size dynamic's on early run Kenai River kings if you like. Why does the ADF&G show a declining size within the Kenai Rivers first run of kings?
I can only see two possible causes, one would be Kenai River anglers selecting for size thus killing off just the big ones and leaving the small ones to spawn. The other reason would be found within the Kodiak Island saltwater commercial gill net fishery. It is a fact that gill nets also select for size when it come to large king salmon. The next time you catch a very large king take a close look at the dog-fangs teeth which hang off the inside and outside of its mouth, especially males. Some of these fangs can reach a half inch in length and are in fact the number one reason a large king stands much less of a chance of escaping a gill net than a smaller king. What this comes down to is, as the size of a king increases, so does his chances of death within a gill net. If you throw millions of liner feet of gill nets in front of these Kenai River kings each year, those nets are going to select for size the same as an angler might. The key to this subject is not the fact that a fishing method can select for size, the key is the actual potential a gear type has to damage a run by selecting for size.

If we had ten times the number of guides and anglers on the Kenai River, we would still have great king returns because most kings do not decide to bite baits offered to them by anglers. Those non-biters make up a very large percentage of what comes into the river, therefore anglers only pick around the edges of a run. Gill nets cannot be compared to rod & reel fishing because they cannot pick around the edges or select a part of a run. Gill nets kill what is there, leaving only the luckily or small sized salmon to reach the river.

We have game permit harvest for the same reason we allow anglers to harvest when gill nets are prevented from harvesting. Game permit harvest can be surgically tuned to prevent over harvest the same as rod & reel harvest can be surgically tuned to prevent over harvest.Gill nets are massive and overwhelming by nature, you can turn them on today and they may take such large sweeping bite out of fish stocks that you could easily over harvest. Permit game harvest is specific by nature, rod & reel harvest is specific by nature, gill net harvest is non-specific by nature and is not comparable. So the real potential for size damage rests within the gill net method and means and not rod & reel gear type. Since we lack hard evidence pointing directly to either anglers or gill nets, a person has to make a common sense estimate as to the most likely gear type responsible for potential resource size damage. There is really no question about it, gill nets have much more potential for causing fisheries resource damage, therefore I place my bet on the most likely gear rather than the least likely gear. So to answer your question, I have logically concluded that the most likely gear type inflicting a size reduction on the Kenai River is the commercial gill nets from the Kodiak Island area. I claim that by its nature, the sportfish industry lacks the potential for causing this kind of dramatic size variation. I also do not believe the Gulf of Alaska or Bering Sea trawler fisheries use a gear type capable of this kind of size variation. I lay the early Kenai River king salmon size variation issue squarely on the doorstep of our Kodiak Island Commercial Gill Net Industry, which starts fishing around June 5th each season. This Kodiak gill net fishery was intercepting about 1000 - 2000 kings annually back around 1980. This same gill net fishery increased its king interception to 30,000 kings by by 1990 and that is when we first began seeing a size reduction on the Kenai River. This huge king interception rate has increased since 1990 right along with our size reduction problem on the Kenai River.

So you can point to a (king salmon rod & reel caused size problem) on the Kenai River but it is not logical because the damage potential does not rest within the rod & reel gear type, it only rests with the gill net gear type.

smithtb 07/09/12 - 10:55 pm
Testing, Testing, earth to 123!!!

Seriously?!? Thats how you arrived at a logical conclusion? Wow.

First, you are absolutely dead wrong about gillnets. Large kings often break right through. Smaller ones are more likely to get caught. Its a strength thing - big fish are more likely to break line, you know? It is true that the large ones usually get caught by their teeth, but that may be the only true thing you said.

If the rod and reel fishery is so surgical, then how come we still don't know how many fish are really harvested in river? Reporting is still not mandatory for reds or kings in the in river sport fishery. When you compare that to the 57 years of pretty accurate catch data we have for the UCI gillnet fisheries, it doesn't look too surgical. I personally have 47 years of to-the-fish catch data for my site. As a fishery we've used catch data to learn from our many mistakes. Too bad you keep trying to manipulate that data to use against us.

It's worth pointing out that while most commercial fisherman care very much about the sustainability of their resource,the Commercial Fisheries Limited Entry Comission wasn't formed for the fish, but primairly for the fishery. It brought stability to our fishery, making it sustainable and manageble, and gave all of us an equitable share of the fishery. It also provided barriers to entry into our market, one of the most important factors for developing a sustainable business. The fact that this has not happened in the in river commercial guide fishery speaks to their shortsightedness and inability to address in river issues. Obviously you and others on the river don't understand that you can't invite the whole world to play in our backyard. Unlimited access to a lmited resource will always end in devistation of that resource. The guides on the river would weather the storm that we're all enduring much easier if they had less competition amongst themselves. Now we're all paying for the consequences.

Commercial fisheries may be partly to blame for our king situation, but not UCI gillnetters. They are managed in accordance with king escapement. You can eliminate the UCI fisheries to save the kings, and you will be in the same boat in five years because the problem IS NOT US!!!

123, you can cut and paste your comments again and again, they will still be irresponsible, dishonest, and wrong.

radiokenai 07/11/12 - 07:11 am
Dollars and Sense...?!

It is not that difficult people....

Commercial fisherman have been fishing these waters for many many years, and the returns have been stable (in fact above average).

Then came the first it was the old timers (Spence Devito etc.). This was not a problem, word of mouth reached tourists, family and friends to come up and fish...still, no problem.

Enter Greed: Following the success of the first guides, in came the Guides...with no limit. How did they survive? By exploiting and advertising the Kenai (and like rivers) as King Country! All you can eat! Fish everywhere! You see the advertisement in lower 48 magazines, you see it on TV, you see it in Sports Shops, hear it on the Radio!

Now you have 450+ Guides, not to mention the thousands of tourists who flock up here in June and July.

The local businesses have long been shut down due to commercializing (no more Fred Braun's Sport Shop).

Fast Forward: Now that exploitation of the river to critical mass has occurred, the F&G is bewildered. The Seasonal Business (Guides, B&B etc.) are in a panic!

What happened? It must be Turbidity, it must be Fuel in the Water, it must be algae, it must be invasive plant species, it must be commercial fisherman or the new flavor of the month "shoreline damage".

Could it be that the greedy guides and profiteers have advertised the river into cavitation?

Personally, I am SUPER GLAD that the river is down! Scream it from the top of your lungs "THERE IS NO MORE FISH HERE...THEY HAVE BEEN WIPED OUT!" To all the Guides who have destroyed the Rivers...GO HOME, you are no longer welcome here!

Let us have our river back! Personal Use fishery be damned! To the Kenaitze set netters....pull your nets and use a pole! To the Commercial Fisherman: Find another line of work until the stocks return. To the seasonal exploiters who come here to rack up a profit...find another river to destroy.

Most importantly, to the advertisers: STOP ADVERTISING THE KENAI! If you don't, the tourist will find out on their own "The fish are gone!"

Finally to ADF&G: Dudes, you need to wake up! If you don't start taking more drastic measures, there won't be enough fish in the Rivers justify your job!

Last but not least, to our wonderful Legislature: Your Fired!

s2wheel 07/10/12 - 12:43 pm
messed up

this is really messed up, I have been reading all the news about the fishing and who can and cannot fish, I hear setnetters are at the fish and game complaining about not being able to fish, the drifters are not catching any fish, all in all the commercial fleet are hurting and I do feel bad for them, on the other hand I am enclosing a news release from 2004 about the speacial harvest area in kasilof, this harvest area was fished more than 1 time that year and in the years to come, since then the numbers of kings and reds have been dropping, if you are familier with thie kasilof river then you do know where the personal use dipnetters fish this was where the drift boats were,and you do know that they were getting more than red salmon they were also catching kings,now everybody is wondering what happened to the fish, and shame on the commercial fleet you complain about not being able to fish but where were you when this was happening you knew that it would hurt the salmon runs.
Kevin Duffy, Commissioner
Doug Mecum, Director

Upper Cook Inlet Area Office
43961 Kalifornsky Beach Rd, Ste B
Soldotna, AK 99669
Date Issued: July 14, 2004
Time: 2:00 pm
Jeff Fox, Area Management Biologist
Pat Shields, Asst. Area Management Biologist
Phone: (907) 262-9368
Fax: (907) 262-4709

2004 Upper Cook Inlet Salmon Fishery News Release #16
Kasilof Terminal Area Opening
Districts Affected: Kasilof Section Drift, Kasilof Section Set

Emergency Order Number 2S-16-04 opens set and drift gillnetting in the Kasilof River Special Harvest Area from 3:00 p.m. until 6:00 p.m. on Wednesday July 14. The terminal area boundaries are 600 feet south of the normal commercial regulatory marker located one mile north of the Kasilof River to 600 feet north of the normal commercial regulatory marker located one mile south of the Kasilof River. The first 600 feet from the mean high tide mark is open to set gillnets only and the area outside of 600 feet is open to drift gillnets only. The offshore limit of this area is 1.5 miles from the navigational light located on the south bank of the Kasilof River but not closer than 600 feet of the set gillnet buoys in the normally open set gillnet area. This is approximately the area fished during the Kasilof Personal Use Gillnet fishery that operates from June 15 to June 25. Specifics of this plan are on page 102 of the current regulation book.

kenai123 07/11/12 - 10:21 am
Gill nets and by-catch and a way to change.

Well smithtb you have gone and done it again, taken a simple common sense idea and tried to make it into rocket science conducted by kids. I say that you are double dead wrong about the gillnet! Can you come back and say that I'm triple dead wrong about the gill nets?
I never said anything about kings breaking through gill nets because most folks know that some whale, seals and even kings do break through gill nets. My statement regards the specific probability of a large, dog fanged male king breaking through a gill net, not that it is physically impossible for a large, dog fanged king to bust through a gill net. I was referring to the potential odds of a large king getting through a gill net.
I will make it much simpler for you. Imagine a human diver dressed in only a swim suit, swimming into an underwater gill net. The odds are pretty good that the swimmer may bust right through that net but if you were to hang some air tanks on him most folks would assume that he is probably not going to bust through. This is common sense, slick non-fanged kings will have a better chance of slicing through a gill net than large dog fanged kings. The end results is that gill nets pre-select for size thus this comes down to, "as the size of a king increases, so does his chances of death within a gill net". This happens because as king size increases, so does the dog fang issue. If you throw millions of liner feet of gill nets in front of these Kenai River kings each year, those nets are going to pre-select and kill for king size the same as an angler might. The key to this subject is not the fact that a fishing method CAN select for size (because both gill nets and anglers can do that) the key is the actual potential resource devastation a gear type CAN have. Millions of feet of gill net have much more potential of causing resource devastation than do rods & reels, therefore I claim that the logical choice for the cause of smaller kings in the Kenai River are the gill nets within the Kodiak Island gill net fisheries, which by chance just happens to begin in early June. The fact that these Kodiak gill net fisheries have dramatically increased their by-catch of kings since 1980 is just additional evidence that this dog fanged king issue is a valid and logical theory. The main reason it is only a theory is because all of our gill netters in Alaska completely refuse to allow any kind of gill net testing to determine if there are fishing methods out there which could reduce king interception. Not a single commercial fishermen will vote in favor of even a simple research program to discover if there are better ways to catch reds while avoiding kings. The reason they do this is because limited entry allows them to. There are no compelling competition reasons for them to try to do a better by-catch job. The truth is that there are better methods but commercial gill netters completely refuse to even speak those words because that could mean CHANGE and CHANGE is the most sacrilegious word you can find within the commercial gill net industry.

Regarding your accusation that (the rod and reel fishery is not surgical because we don't know how many fish are really harvested in river)
Your claim is incorrect, the in-river harvest is precisely calculated each year with a great many costly ADF&G programs. Again you are attempting to deflect the saltwater king by-catch issue into another issue. Well it's not working is it?

Regarding (the Commercial Fisheries Limited Entry Commission wasn't formed for the fish, but primairly for the fishery). You got that right! The LE Comission is so concerned with commercial fishing economic stability that all our fisheries could blow away and they would still be out there telling us how many commercial permits should be fishing.

Regarding your claim that (we can't invite the whole world to play in our backyard). It is not that we CAN'T invite the whole world to PLAY in our backyard, it is that the commercial fishing industry HAS already invited the whole world to our "backyard" by attempting to wholesale our "backyard" to the WHOLE world. This is the entire trawler issue, commercial fishing is attempting to sell our "backyard / fishsticks" to the whole planet while trying to inform sportfish that they cannot try to do the same. double talk again. We as the sportfishing industry wish to RETAIL these same fish you want to WHOLESALE. We could get 40 - 50 more cash out of these fish selling them to tourist, than you could get whole selling them around the planet. This is typical comm-fish double talk, you claim that sportfish CANNOT invite the whole world to a retail tourist party with our fish but commercial fishing believe's it perfectly acceptable for them to invite the whole world to their wholesale fishstick party. THIS IS PURE COMM-FISH DOUBLE TALK! All you are claiming is that you want the public to shut up and let you sell their fish.

Regarding (the guides on the river would weather the storm much easier if they had less competition amongst themselves. Now we're all paying for the consequences).
Competition is not the enemy here, competition is our best friend. I know the limited entry system has totally corrupted comm-fishes way of thinking but limited entry is bad
because it works to prevent competition and free markets from figuring out problem issues like by-catch. If limited entry were voted on today by the Alaska public, it would go down in flames. We may not have had the technology to control our commercial fishing industry back in 1974 but we sure do today. Limited entry was constructed as a fill-gap until
we had a better system to control our commercial fishermen and commercial fisheries economy. We currently have the technological means to control both without limited entry.
Commercial fishermen and their gear can be precisely turned on and off today with incredible technology. It would cost more to enforce regulations on commercial fishermen today but how do we control thousands fo guides? Those guides are accessing the same fish as commercial fishermen but they are doing it within a free and open market.
Guides don't go broke because there are to many guides, they go broke because someone is doing a better job and the market flows to those individuals instead.
Commercial fishermen did not go broke before limited entry because there were to many commercial fishermen, they went broke because someone had to go broke as the
free market flowed towards those doing a better job. So people don't like this purification process, we see it everyday within guided sportfishing and we survive it every day.
We learn, adapt and move on within a free market system. We don't run for the exits and mash the limited entry alarm as we run out the door.

Limited entry was constructed because a lot of commercial fishermen tried to access a giant fish pie, thus giving each a pretty small share thus economic hardship. Our commercial fish system could be reworked with new technology thus restricting commercial access with a variety of systems which are used everyday within sportfish. An example would be to force comm-fish to use less effective methods thereby reducing the impact on a fishery resources. Comm-fish numbers could be limited with a rotating odd/even permit numbers system, to allow limited numbers of commercial fishermen to fish. Such systems might force some commercial users to prosper and some to fail but that is the free enterprise system we American's and our forefathers signed up for. It will take much more than a pile of fish to undo the fundamental principles behind the U.S.Constitution and Bill of Rights. The above are only ideas generated within ten minutes of thought, this is only an attempt to show that much better ways could be generated. The bottom line is that there are better ways to run our commercial fisheries and that Limited Entry is not some kind of holy grail. We could limit entry to commercial fisheries with other considerations, like only allowing persons to fish commercially who do not by-catch king salmon. What an idea right? There is no problem figuring out free market WAYS to remove commercial fishermen like limited entry currently uses. The real problem is that we have commercial individuals who feel that they have some kind of title and deed to our publicly owned fisheries, therefore each time the public wants to catch a fish these individuals feel the public should beg them for that fish. I say that the commercial fishing industry should be begging the public for the right to access the public fishery. You do not setup a subservient commercial fishing industry by granting them exclusive right to step in front of the public like they currently are doing. Limited entry is not some kind of all knowing religion, there are better ways to conduct our fisheries and most of the reason we do not know those better ways is because commercial fishermen REFUSE to even try to think of a better way to run our fisheries. They refuse to think because Limited Entry ALLOWS them to refuse to think. The average commercial fisherman will come completely unglued before even trying to think of a new way to operate commercial fishing. Limited Entry ALLOWS him to come unglued because in a free market he would be history.

Regarding you admitting that (Commercial fisheries may be partly to blame for our king situation, but not UCI gillnetters).
Please get real, UCI drops millions of liner feet of gill nets into Cook Inlet each year therefore it may be by-catching tens of thousands of king salmon which have been allocated by the state to the public for consumption within our rivers and streams. Every freshwater source within Cook Inlet is experiencing a problem getting their kings to return and UCI is out there by-catching kings by the thousands, but they are not to blame for the resulting king situation? I have bad new for UCI, if you are by-catching kings, you may be a big part of the problem unless you were allocated those kings by the Alaska Board of Fish, then the Board is the problem. So which is it? Were you allocated those kings by the Board UCI?

smithtb 07/11/12 - 02:57 pm
Linear Feet

I keep hearing about the millions of linear feet of gillnet the UCI fishery drops in the water every year. This is a testament to the size of the body of water we fish. The inlet is huge and very dynamic. Our Salmon stocks spend relatively little time there. We harvest a large, closely monitored number of surplus fish in a short time. This minimizes impact on the environment. Compare this to the thousands of boats, motors, and boots that pummel the Kenai River each day, (where our salmon spend years of their life) and gillnetting is pretty darn environmentally friendly.

Why are commercial saltwater fisherman any different than inriver guides, oilfield workers, loggers, miners, farmers, hunting guides, or the large number of other professions that try to responsibly make their living off mother nature? Are they all greedy? Do they all want to kill everything and destroy the environment? We're hard working people who love this resource, and want to preserve it. That's why we have a long record of sustainable harvest from these waters.

Many of the in river COMMERCIAL guides' customers probably had their first Alaskan Salmon experience at the dinner table thanks to a commercial fisherman! Maybe you should be thanking us, without us feeding the whole world as you say, how would anyone know how tasty our fish are! 123, that was a joke, you don't have to try and disprove that.

No fishery is without its share of problems and blame. As I said, the biggest problem is people like you who try to make this a single issue that has nothing to do with your user group, and place all the blame on someone else.

smithtb 07/14/12 - 09:45 pm
King Size

The average weight of all King Salmon harvested in UCI gillnets in 2011 was 20.2 pounds. In fact, this average weight for the last 10 years is 25% lower than the 20 year average between 1970-1989, before there was much selective King harvest in river. If gillnets were harvesting all of the large Kings disproportionately, wouldn't the average weight be higher?Interesting.

This info came straight from ADF&G's 2011 Commercial Management Report. It has a lot of FACTS compiled by BIOLOGISTS. 123, you should read it.

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