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Fish and Game needs to maintain natural salmon ratios

Posted: August 2, 2013 - 8:56am

Hatching up millions of sockeye salmon and dumping them into the ocean may seem like a good idea but has anyone really sat down and figured out what all those extra mouths are suppose to eat? Our ADF&G projected 6 -7 million sockeye returning to Cook Inlet this year with a commercial gill net harvest of 4.9 million. Has anyone even asked how many sockeye nature would normally have run in Upper Cook Inlet this year without the help of the ADF&G? A whole lot of these sockeye are returning because our ADF&G hatched those sockeye eggs out and dumped them into the ocean. Has anyone calculated just what all those extra mouths are supposed to eat? Some may say that it does not matter but I have news for you, those sockeyes eat the same things our jack kings are trying to eat. Both sockeyes and jack kings feed largely on crab larvae, only the sockeyes eat them when they are a quarter inch long and jack kings eat them after they are about a half inch long. All these extra sockeye are consuming most of our crab larvae before it can reach the half inch stage where a jack king can locate it. Our scientists are now telling us that 98 percent of our half inch or larger crab larvae have gone missing in the ocean. This should alarm even the non-fishing public to no end but do you hear anything about it?

If a king does manage to survive the above (state ADF&G starvation package), they can then attempt to dodge the federal trawlers by-catch package as the trawlers will kill and dump 4 kings for each ton of pollock. All the extra ADF&G sockeyes will then cause lots of extra commercial gill netting time, so if a jack king does somehow not starve to death, it will either be trawler by-catch or be caught in a gill net eventually. Gee I wonder why we aren’t seeing very many kings?

This is a triple barrel wipeout effect; if a king isn’t killed by (ADF&G sockeye over stocking), it gets killed by the trawlers, if it somehow manages to dodge both of those killers the extra sockeyes force extra heavy gill netting, which basically kills off any escaping kings thus leaving nothing to enter the rivers to spawn. The ADF&G needs to be forced to stop selective stock enhancements. If they want to enhance Cook Inlet they should be forced to enhance at the natural stock ratios. It is absolute insanity to be stocking our waters at artificial stock ratios. This is upsetting our natural stock ratio balance and therefore harming our king salmon. The ADF&G needs to stop selective enhancements and stock only to natural stock ratios.

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cormit
217
Points
cormit 08/04/13 - 08:14 am
2
1
kings

Certainly plenty of obstacles for a king salmon trying to return to spawn. But for the fortunate king salmon that survives the open ocean food shortages and the gill nets blocking the way home ....... with the spawning grounds practically in sight .... Mr. Johnson and his paying clients will be waiting ..... to hook and release this fish as many times as possible. That couldn't possibly harm a king salmon that has come so far just to spawn ....... or could it? I wonder if harvesting mainly the biggest ones for 25 or 30 years would have any effect in disrupting the genetics involved in producing the "biggest kings"? That's what you do for a living Mr. Johnson, isn't it?

kingsize
32
Points
kingsize 08/04/13 - 06:01 pm
1
0
Research!

Finally someone with a comment that stands on true research. Mr. Johnson is absolutely correct in his comments concerning crab larvae. Young Sockeyes do eat crab larvae that is about 1/16in diameter and 1/4in long, Young King Salmon eat the same crab larvae but they cannot find crab larvae that small. They eat crab larvae that is 1/4 in diameter and from 1/2in to 3/4in in length. And so does Herring. Do the research if you don't believe it. The size of crab larvae that Kings and Herring rely on to grow to the stage that they can then eat larger prey is quickly diappearing in our oceans. It is being eaten by Sockeye Salmon when it is so small that Kings and Herring can't find it.

Well one would say, "but there is so much crab larvae out there that the Sockeye Salmon can't possibly eat it all". There was a time when that was true, however, times change. Look at the amount of King Crab we now have. Last years Red King Crab harvest was just barely over 900,000lbs. In the 1980's it was over 100millionlbs consistently. There were even years when 130 million pounds was harvested. So last years harvest was at a minimum 1/100 of what it once was and even less than that for many many years. Tanner crab peaked in 1978 at 67million pounds and by 1984 it was 1.2million pounds. Same thing with Snow crab. That means less crab larvae in our oceans, less feed for our Kings and Herring, period.

Now let's take a look at the Sockeye Salmon stocking program of ADF&G in the last few decades. Remember back in early May when the Gulkana River was flooding out? Well ADF&G has a big, big hatchery located on that river and the day before the Gulkana washed out some of that hatchery they took 10 million Sockeye smolt and air dropped them into Crosswind Lake. Which btw is the head waters to the famed Copper River Red Salmon, (ever wonder why they are the first to come back year in and year out,,,cause they are always stocked first). That is not the only Sockeye Salmon stocking program in Alaska. Almost every drainage that has Reds in it is stocked. And the Commercials and ADF&G don't want that little secret getting out! Don't believe it? Go up to Hidden Lake tomorrow and see what is going on there. For the next week or so ADF&G will be gill netting/seining Reds out of the lake and taking the females eggs and milting them with males and then taking them over to Trail Lakes Hatchery for the winter, (ever wonder why the Kenai Red comes back every year almost always on the same date like clock work? That is how a stocked fish works, not like a wild fish). Kind of shoots big holes in the over escapement thingy don't it? and it is happening all over the state of Alaska. Bristol bay has a few hatcherys, Southeast has them too. Heck, even Crooked Creek hatchery was doing it for a few years but then they got sued and stopped, (anyway that is what they tell you,,,who is watching em though)? They been stocking Sockeye Salmon in the lower 48 for over 40yrs, they just call them Kokanee Salmon down there. But when you filet one,,the meat is bright Red. Sure they don't get as big in those fresh water lakes because they don't go out into the ocean and eat all the crab larvae. So why does ADF&G stock reds, MONEY. It's all about the MONEY. The State gets their cut, ADF&G gets theirs too, it's a MONEY MACHINE/ENGINE. Maybe this is why commercial fishermen think or always say these are our fish,,,they pay ADF&G for them.

So ADF&G has been putting millions of Reds into our oceans for decades and they are eating all the, (critcally reduced), crab larvae before it can big enough for Kings and Herring to eat. Take a look at our Herring, we used to have 7 major Herring beds in Southeast Alaska, we now only have 2 major Herring beds left, (Stika Sound), all the smaller ones are gone. The commercial take peaked in 1929 at 80,000 tons, 2009's total take was half at 40,000. The beginning of the end of our herring happened in 1976 as Alaska's commercial sac roe herring fishery began hammering away at our seeming endless supply of herring. Buyers from Japan were willing to purchase herring sac roe for over $2,200 per ton as we began to watch our herring masses decrease. Commercial fishermen watched on as our herring bio-mass began to wither, while our ADF&G biologists blank faced denied that our herring were decreasing. The ADF&G continued claiming that the reason fishermen could not find the herring was because they had moved. Herring do not usually move, they like to spawn in the same place year after year. If in fact they had moved, why have we failed to locate their mysterious hiding place? This coupled with less food to eat is making a major impact on our Herring population. It isn't rebounding, just like the King Salmon.

So what do we do? It is absolute insanity to be stocking our waters to artificial salmon ratios. These ADF&G sockeye enhancement projects and programs are upsetting our natural salmon ratio balances and therefore in general harming our king salmon runs. I request that the Alaska ADF&G fund a study (with some of that legislature 30 million dollars, given by the governor to study our king salmon) to examine the dramatic effects of state sponsored over-enhancement of sockeye salmon. If funded, I suspect that this study would confirm dramatic new information on how this sockeye inflation can negatively effect our king salmon as they attempt to compete for prey while at sea.

This information may appear over-whelming thus leaving the reader to ask what can be done to remedy such a large scale problem? There appears to be two possible natural solutions. One being for us to greatly reduce our commercial fisheries, greatly increase salmon escapements in all rivers and stream and then wait twenty to thirty years for our fisheries to naturally rebound. The other is to close all of our commercial fisheries, allow massive escapements of salmon and the resulting massive nitrogen injection into our ocean and then waiting five to ten years for our fisheries to rebound. Most who are reading this information will laugh at the thought of closing down our commercial fisheries. The 1959 commercial fish-trap era had a great many commercial fishermen who also laughed at just the thought of the state shutting down their fish-traps. Those commercial fishermen also predicted that the state could not survive without them or their fish-traps. But shut them down they did and the State of Alaska did survive.

Do some of your own research, try these links;

See KING SALMON OCEAN FEEDING http://www.voy.com/177140/154.html )

New fisheries study launched in Gulf of Alaska
http://www.newsminer.com/news/alaska_news/new-fisheries-study-launched-i...

kenai123
1268
Points
kenai123 08/05/13 - 12:16 am
1
0
cormit

cormit you are just admitting that you are part of the money machine which is attempting to inflate our sockeye runs and reduce our king runs. Try reading our Cook Inlet Salmon Management Plans sometime. If you do you will discover that our king salmon have been allocated to sport fish anglers like our sockeyes have been allocated to commercial gill netters. So why are you claiming that there is a problem allowing angler to actually access their own allocation of kings? That would be like an angler getting offended because a gill netter actually netted a sockeye. You are deliberately confusing the word "allocated" with "incidental" harvest. You are making zero sense claiming some kind of harm when an angler harvests an "allocated" king salmon.

The actual harm which you are "attempting to avoid" is that commercial fisheries, which are NOT allocated our kings, are causing harm as they incidentally intercept sport fish allocated king salmon. Your backwards illustrations are like dialing 911 when you see a normal transaction at a bank teller window and doing nothing when someone robs the bank.

For your information commercial fisheries conduct "an injustice" against sport fisheries when they incidentally catch king salmon outside of our Board of Fish allocations. If an angler catches a sockeye in a river "it is not an injustice" because those sockeyes escaped the commercial fishery and those escaping fish are therefore allocated to that river. Your arguments make zero sense because the fish you are referring to which enter the river have been allocated to that river. If in river fisheries some how effect those stocks that may be a future management concern but it is sport fish "playing by our current fisheries rules". Our commercial fisheries are "not playing by our allocation rules" when they incidentally by-catch in-river allocated kings. The Board of Fish has directed our ADF&G to do "whatever it takes" to reduce that incidental king catch.

Both our ADF&G and commercial fishery are NOT doing much of anything to reduce this incidental king catch and that cormit is NOT playing by our Board of Fish rules. So if you want to raise issues regarding who is right or wrong I think everyone can see that the real wrong here is that our Board of Fish has directed the ADF&G and commercial fishing to reduce the incidental take of kings and they have done NOTHING to accomplish that directive. Instead of figuring out ways to reduce the incidental king catch, commercial fishermen would rather spend their time typing away here telling us all how "IT'S NOT MY FAULT!!!!" IT'S NOT MY FAULT!!!!"IT'S NOT MY FAULT!!!!"

Well it is your fault cormit, commercial fisheries has been directed to avoid kings but they would rather tell us how IT'S NOT THEIR FAULT!

WHY NOT JUST TRY TELLING US HOW YOU ARE GOING TO AVOID GILL NETTING OUR KING SALMON?

cormit
217
Points
cormit 08/05/13 - 11:15 am
2
1
kenai 123

Hate to be the one to break the news to you 123, ..... but guess what? ...... Kenai kings have not been allocated to in-river sport fishermen .... guided or un-guided, and sockeye have not been allocated to Cook Inlet set netters and drifters.

While there used to be language that said .... after a target date ... Sockeye would be managed "primarily for commercial fishing" ...... that language was removed years ago.

East side set netters have been harvesting Kenai River bound king salmon since before you or Mr. Johnson were born. And when they catch kings ..... they are not by-catch, as you like to call it. Set netters are just as entitled to harvest kings as you are. Pretending that they somehow have been given to in-river users is something you keep trying to convince yourself of.

kenai123
1268
Points
kenai123 08/06/13 - 04:26 am
1
0
cormit

cormit, the escapement numbers may have changed slightly but the wording within (5 AAC 21.359. Kenai River Late-Run King Salmon Management Plan), still states that "The department shall manage the late-run Kenai River king salmon stocks "primarily for sport and guided sport uses" in order to provide the sport and guided sport fishermen with a reasonable opportunity to harvest these salmon resources over the entire run, as measured by the frequency or in-river restrictions." http://www.touchngo.com/lglcntr/akstats/aac/title05/chapter021/section35...

Within our king and coho management plans "Managed Primarily For" means that the resource has been effectively allocated to sport fish users. The "managed primarily for" language has NOT been removed. This is why we frequently see court rulings which use language like "this is a fully allocated resource". This simply means that the resource has been completely divided up amongst local users
http://www.scribd.com/doc/59997098/Ruling-on-Cook-Inlet-temporary-restra...

Regarding "who has been catching what before anyone was born:" Alaskan Commercial Fish Traps were harvesting many types of salmon way BEFORE any of us were BORN and you do not see them around anymore today, do you? This is my point; fish traps abused our fisheries and were banned, set nets are abusing our fisheries now and will be banned also in our future. It will not matter how long anyone has been harvesting anything.

Cook Inlet commercial users are NOT equally entitled to catch kings as sport fish users. Sport users are NOT equally entitled to catch sockeyes as commercial users.

The ADF&G has been tasked in regulation to manage these kings for the express purpose of providing in-river users "a reasonable opportunity to harvest". The ADF&G has been tasked to manage these sockeyes "primarily for commercial uses based on abundance" The ADF&G has been tasked to manage the Kenai River coho salmon stocks primarily for sport fish uses.

Pretending that 5 AAC 21.359 , 5 AAC 21.360 and 5 AAC 56.080 do not exist does not make them or reality disappear cormit.

---------------

Title 5 . Fish and Game
Chapter 21 . Transportation, Possession and Release of Live Fish; Aquatic Farming
Section 359. Kenai River Late-Run King Salmon Management Plan

5 AAC 21.359. Kenai River Late-Run King Salmon Management Plan

(a) The purposes of this management plan are to ensure an adequate escapement of late-run king salmon into the Kenai River system and to provide management guidelines to the department. The department shall manage the late-run Kenai River king salmon stocks "primarily for sport and guided sport uses in order to provide the sport and guided sport fishermen with a reasonable opportunity to harvest" these salmon resources over the entire run, as measured by the frequency or in-river restrictions.

http://www.touchngo.com/lglcntr/akstats/aac/title05/chapter021/section35...

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Title 5 . Fish and Game
Chapter 21 . Transportation, Possession and Release of Live Fish; Aquatic Farming
Section 360. Kenai River Late-Run Sockeye Salmon Management Plan

5 AAC 21.360. Kenai River Late-Run Sockeye Salmon Management Plan

(a) The department shall manage the Kenai River late-run sockeye salmon stocks "primarily for commercial uses based on abundance". The department shall also manage the commercial fisheries to minimize the harvest of Northern District coho, late-run Kenai River king, and Kenai River coho salmon stocks to provide personal use, sport, and guided sport fishermen with a reasonable opportunity to harvest salmon resources.

http://www.touchngo.com/lglcntr/akstats/AAC/Title05/Chapter021/Section36...
------------------------------------

5 AAC 56.080. Kenai River Coho Salmon Management Plan

(a) The purpose of this management plan is to ensure an adequate escapement of coho salmon into the Kenai River drainage and to provide management guidelines to the department. The department shall manage the Kenai River coho salmon stocks "primarily to provide sport and guided sport fishermen with a reasonable opportunity to harvest" these salmon resources over the entire run

http://www.touchngo.com/lglcntr/akstats/aac/title05/chapter056/section08...

Paul Dale
70
Points
Paul Dale 08/08/13 - 07:45 pm
1
1
Kenai 123

Do you not understand the numerical difference between the words "primarily" and "exclusively" ? Well, ADF&G and the Board of Fish certainly do. So do most of your neighbors.

kenai123
1268
Points
kenai123 10/12/13 - 03:39 am
1
0
The definition of "primarily" and "exclusively"?

Paul Dale - The definition of "primarily" can be located by viewing what the KRSA published under "Primarily and Minimize – Their meaning and implementation in Upper Cook Inlet salmon management. Part Two."February 12th, 2013.

http://www.krsa.com/blog/krsa-fish-blog/primarily-and-minimize-their-mea...

"It is pretty clear that when the Alaska BOF included this language in the plan the board’s intent was to ensure that there was enough harvest-able late-run king salmon in the river to support a fairly normal sport fishery, which in July means the use of bait and retention. In 2012 the ADF&G significantly prevented sport fish users from killing king salmon while Cook Inlet ESSN's were killing king salmon during the late king salmon run. That outcome is completely and absolutely inconsistent with the purpose of the Kenai king salmon management plan 'primarily' wording. If there is a limited number of surplus late-run king salmon the sport and guided sport fishery must be assured the opportunity to harvest at least half of that surplus and they were not. Restricting the sport and guided sport fishery to catch and release only while allowing the ESSN fishery to harvest hundreds or thousands of late-run king salmon is unacceptable."
--------------------
"Primarily" is situation-ally defined by a long history of about 60% of the total king harvest going to the sport fishery and that is not happening now. Kenai kings are not being managed primarily or exclusively for sport fish users, therefore it does not matter if anyone understands "the numerical difference between primarily or exclusively" because sport fish users are not being allocated either term.

If you would like to read the full explanation go to http://www.krsa.com/blog/krsa-fish-blog/primarily-and-minimize-their-mea...

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