Cooperative effort could boost king returns

In the Nov. 10 issue of the Clarion this story line appeared: Southeast Alaska Program to release 200K fish at City Creek. These 200K fish will be chinook salmon with a hopeful return of 2-3 percent. 4,000 to 6,000 adult king salmon at a cost of only 100K startup and 15K annual operational expense.

Seems this endeavor is a Southeast group, with emphasis on group, effort aimed at improving local catches. These groups have banded together to take a concrete action to do something about the poor king salmon returns in their area. An endeavor physically and actual that might truly affect the fishing proposition.

This I find amazing, something not mentioned, discussed or considered in any of the endless number of meetings and countless unproductive conferences throughout this part of the state. For too many years king salmon management has been restrictive management. Fewer catch allowances, slotted size restrictions, restricted fishing times, emergency closures, more areas closed to fishing. Now thoughts of lottery restrictions for fishing on the Kenai.

The groups of fishermen in Southeast have succeeded in breaking this paralysis of group interest perpetuation by cooperating on the simple effort of centering on the one solution that enhances all group interests, more mature king returns to the fishing grounds. They have come together to do something positive, something tangible to effect this situation. They probably had their meetings, conferences and council meetings, the article doesn’t say. But is was time to do something to break the status-quo and they made the decision to do it.

Gentlemen, isn’t it time to do this on the Kenai, something that is not restrictive or prohibitive to the taking of kings, but something that will enhance and ring back the king salmon run on our river? Seems like their solution should be easy for all to accept and work for.


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