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Initiative reflects incorrect diagnosis

Posted: November 14, 2013 - 4:20pm  |  Updated: November 15, 2013 - 10:03am

Bob Penney and the KRSA crowd are going on the attack against Cook Inlet setnetters. The initiative they announced recently, if passed by Alaskan voters, would make it illegal for this traditional, incremental part of our economy to continue.

Any unbiased, seasoned observer knows that the Kenai River King is in trouble. But, the fundamental reason for this is not attributable to setnetters. The real reason for the failure of the king run is a combination of in-river degredations: severe overfishing on spawning beds by as many as 600 high powered vessels per day, 30 years of continuous erosion of riverbank habitat by the in-river sport fleet, turbidity (dirty water caused by erosion and outboards), many years of oil pollution as a result of 2 stroke outboards, hygrading of the big kings, and poor management practices whereby the Board of Fisheries has allowed overfishing. It is quite probable that the mortality caused by catch and release fishing is greater than the 13 percent of the run that is harvested by setnetters! And, setnetters do not harvest early run kings at all, yet the early run is in big trouble. This should be enough scientific proof to allow reasonable thinkers to conclude that this is an in-river problem, not a problem with set netting.

The anti set net initiative is like the doctor who has the patient on the operating table and removes the kidney instead of the gall bladder. Yes, something dramatic needs to happen to preserve the Kenai king, but eliminating set netters is reflective of an incorrect diagnoses.

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kenaiduo
22
Points
kenaiduo 11/16/13 - 11:19 am
0
1
get the facts right!

#1 - KRSA has nothing to do with the set net initiative! It would lend credibility to your position if at least the first sentence were correct.

#2 - While many people fish for kings, commercial set netters take more king salmon than ALL other user groups combined - including commercial drifters, guides, personal anglers, and personal use fishermen. Set netters are NOT blameless.

#3 - You attribute turbidity to two stroke engines and yet one of the biggest contributors to turbidity is glacial silt. The second biggest contributor is outfall (ground up fish waste) from the commercial fish processing plants at the mouth of the river.

This is an important issue - please try to get at least some of the facts correct.

Paul Dale
69
Points
Paul Dale 11/16/13 - 05:15 pm
1
0
Initiative reflects incorrect diagnosis

As to facts: The KRSA and initiative group connection is an interesting point. They share some board members, and the KRSA website says they are planning to collect money for the initiative group under their 501c3 status. Kenaiduo is simply misinformed as to the set net King harvests, they average 13% of the run, and half of those aren't even large enough to be counted as in river sport harvest. More importantly, setnets are very discriminate, they usually harvest 99% sockeye. Good letter Mr. Mullen, something needs to be done, and the initiative is not even close to a reasonable action.

kenaiduo
22
Points
kenaiduo 11/16/13 - 06:32 pm
0
0
I looked at the web site and

I looked at the web site and didn't see anything about the initiative. Where should I look?

Paul Dale
69
Points
Paul Dale 11/17/13 - 12:19 am
1
0
kenaiduo

KRSA.com, first item under the events tab. But let me ask you something which seems unbelievable to me, and that would be your assertion regarding ground fish waste contributing to turbidity in the Kenai river. Given that all the ouflow lines are well below the Warren Ames Bridge, and that the majority flow is all dowwhill, It seems, well, nearly impossible. We are talking turbidity as a spawning area concern, right? Any citations for this?

kenai123
1310
Points
kenai123 11/17/13 - 03:27 am
1
1
This article fails to raise even a single scientific fact.

Dear Frank, your claim #1 says that an urban set net ban would make a specific part of our economy illegal. 90% of our statewide set net economy is not urban therefore not impacted, claim #1 fails.

Claim #2 says that kings may be in trouble but set netters are not to blame, this claim offers zero facts or proof to support it and it also therefore fails.

Claim #3 says that our statewide king problem begins and ends on the Kenai River only, you offer zero supporting facts or proofs, only meaningless Mullen personal opinions which blame sport fishing, boats, erosion, turbidity, oil, keeping big fish and poor management. All of these local issues have been scientifically proven to have nothing to do with our statewide king problems, claim #3 fails.

Claim #4 says that you have done your own sport fish "king hook and release study" and discovered that king mortality must be higher than what set netters kill, again meaningless non-scientific personal opinion therefore claim #4 fails.

Claim #5 says that since the Kenai River's first run of kings is also in trouble and set netters don't fish it, therefore that means it must be an in-river problem. Please call your local ADF&G office Frank and ask them how many rivers in Alaska are having king problems, they will tell you that they are all experiencing the same king problem. CALL OUR ADF&G, THEY WILL TELL YOU THAT IT IS A STATEWIDE KING PROBLEM. A STATEWIDE KING PROBLEM MEANS THAT THE PROBLEM IS IN THE OCEAN. Claim #5 fails.

Claim #6 says that Bob Penney has incorrectly diagnosed our king problem by generating a set net ban initiative. Frank, come on now, you made 6 claims of which none can be backed up with any real science and then you ignore the actual science which is out there telling you that we have a statewide king problem. Come on Frank, instead of believing the science you conclude that a single river within a thousand rivers is responsible for our statewide king problem? You're not making any sense Frank... Claim #6 fails.

Your article fails to raise even a single scientific fact but you then attempt to make a diagnoses anyway from that lack of facts? You are a victim of your own conclusion Frank because you have attempted to solve a problem with only personal opinions and that has resulted in your improper conclusion that set netters could not be responsible for our king losses.

The truth is that you do not know what you are speaking about. The truth is that science is telling us that we have a statewide king salmon problem and that points to only saltwater factors. The truth is that your incorrect sport fish target basically does not operate within the saltwater but set nets do, therefore logic requires that set nets are much more likely to be responsible for this problem than sport fishing.

kenaiduo
22
Points
kenaiduo 11/17/13 - 09:47 am
1
0
Paul Dale - Looked at web

Paul Dale - Looked at web site but didn't see any mention of initiative. It seemed pretty focused on Kenai King.

A couple of clarifications: You say the set netters catch is 99% sockeye. That means 1% is everything else. Let's see - 1% of 14 million pounds is 140,000 pounds of other? Hmmm…..

As for turbidity - there is no "downhill" in a tidal area. It is down hill only less than 1/2 the time. The impossibility is dumping something in the river during an incoming tide and expecting it to flow "downhill."

The DEC is questioning the turbidity report - not just because it ignores the effect of the commercial processing outfall, but because of the downstream measurements, which are to close to "mud island." Mud island is always submerged during high tides in July which causes high turbidity. This was missed in the turbidity study conclusion.

Seafarer
1147
Points
Seafarer 11/21/13 - 03:41 pm
2
0
Cloistered Population

You Riverheads just don't get it. You live in a tiny world that is the Kenai River system. You have blinders on and can't see the big picture. Alaska is huge, unless you believe the maps that make us tiny next to Hawaii. King runs are huge in some areas and in trouble in others. Your plight is not for you and you alone. It is the nature of the beast. It's like prey and predator cycles. Try and hunt a bunch of bunnies right now...Lynx, Coyote, and Wolves have been eatin' pretty good. You know how these cycles work. Your monetary dependency on the Kenai Kings is what's pitting you all into a frenzy. It has always been your mistake. Diversify the Peninsula and quit depending one ONE THING!

The King runs have been bust and boom all over the state...AS USUAL! You Kenai Riverheads should wake up out of your tunnel vision.

And please, don't make the likes of Penney, Johnson, and Gease be your "guides". They are in it for one thing only, and it's not for making YOU rich...

kenai123
1310
Points
kenai123 11/22/13 - 12:40 am
1
1
Incorrect diagnoses?

Frank, we both understand that the anti-set nets initiative is not reflective of a cure-all for our statewide king problems. We both agree that something dramatic needs to happen to preserve the Kenai kings. If set nets are not the origin of our king problem why then do I support the initiative?

These set nets are a big part of our general statewide problem but there are at least a half a dozen other parts to the problem. Excessive commercial Pollock king intercept fisheries, excessive commercial hatchery salmon ocean dumping, excessive commercial herring & crab harvest, excessive commercial salmon gill net harvest and improper fisheries management. You combine all these negative factors to the recent 98% reduction in juvenal ocean king prey and you have a recipe for fisheries disaster. So who do you blame? Everybody? Nobody?

Is there a price to be paid for being asleep at the switch, any switch? Who is responsible for the thousands of Transportation Security Administration workers now scrambling all over our airports? The answer could be everybody or maybe nobody because we were all "asleep at the switch" regarding worldwide terror threats. The same can be said for being asleep at the switch with regard to our current king salmon problems.

For 30 years I told Cook Inlet commercial set gill netters that they will only be able to abuse our king salmon with their nets for so long and then there would be a day or reckoning. They laughed and laughed and did not believe what I was telling them. They said that they could take an 80 - 90% swipe across Cook Inlet every year and there would be no long-term problems. The bottom line is that they and you were wrong, there has resulted many many problems from this reckless use of set gill nets. Those problems will not just go away because commercial fishermen do not wish to acknowledge them. The proposed set net ban is just one of these possible resulting problems.

There is a price to be paid for being asleep at the switch. Cook Inlet set netters have been asleep at the switch for 30 years and like our TSA workers (which we really did not need) now we really do need them along with a set net ban. All this was absolutely not necessary but it was brought on by the other guy being asleep at the switch.

Incorrect diagnoses? Could both our TSA workers or this set net ban be incorrect diagnoses? Yes both are really unnecessary but now that we have let the situations get away from us "what are we going to do?" Correct or incorrect diagnoses are not really relevant at this stage because there is a heavy price attached to being asleep at the switch.

Seafarer
1147
Points
Seafarer 11/22/13 - 07:20 pm
2
0
Immerse Yourselves

Put on a snorkel outfit during the Combat Fishing zones and see what a King sees. What a freakin' gauntlet to swim thru with only one thought. To spawn and die. How can any fish make it thru all those hooks. Side by side, elbow to elbow they stand like they are the Best of The Best. It makes me sick to see that. I do not understand why that is allowed. Maybe you Riverheads ought to think about that instead of beating up an historical, and way before your combat fishing, traditional harvest. Setnetters were here long before tourists and their "guides". A really long time before.

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