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Sport fishery needs to take responsibility for king returns

Posted: February 6, 2014 - 8:40am

This letter in response to Mr. Bill Tappan’s letter (Clarion, Jan. 31). Here are a few facts: The sports fishermen own the problem with the early run Kenai Kings. The commercial setnet fishermen have been excluded from fishing early run kings for over 50 years. So could you please explain how setnetting could in any way be responsible for their demise?

Fact: The sport fishery has had exploitation as high as 80 percent of the early run Kenai kings.

Fact: Early run Kenai kings are very active in their spawning mode from early May through August. Many of these fish are taken during the late run in-river sport fishery.

Fact: Late run Kenai kings met their minimum or exceeded their maximum end of the escapement goal for the last 30 years.

Fact: This is not true of the early run of Kenai kings. Reminder, no setnetting for over 50 years.

By the way, east side setnetters were kept from fishing in 2012 by ADF&G only to find out 8 months after the season over 10,000 surplus kings were available to be harvested by all users all because ADF&G’s inability to count kings. The setnet fleet was the only fishing group unconstitutionally excluded from the 2012 fishing season. This cost the setnetters over $30 million. This might not seem like much, but it meant over 500 setnet fishing businesses had no fishing income to help support families. Sometimes the solution comes from looking in a mirror, especially when you are the sole and exclusive user of the resource, for example, early Kenai kings. This fishery cannot ask subsistence, personal use or commercial setnetters to share in this burden as they have already been unconstitutionally excluded from this fishery. So the sport fishery seems to be the user who is to blame.

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kingsize 02/06/14 - 11:36 am
Exclusive User? Guess Again!!

For a guy spouting off facts you need to go check out your sources because they and you are wrong. I've been here 40yrs and my wife has got 55yrs on the books living here. We can both remember when set net fishermen fished in June for many years.

We also know that ADF&G allowed set net fishermen to fish in June for Sockeyes as little as 3yrs ago. That's the middle of June when those Reds come back. Remember that big screaming event when the Residents of Alaska cried fowl because they were targeting early run Sockeyes headed to the Russian River, a designated sport only fishery, to supplement their funds to continue studies on Kenai River Salmon Management. Shouldn't the State of Alaska supplied those funds to ADF&G, not set net commercial fishermen? Don't tell me they didn't catch any King Salmon!

And this last year, 2013, they actually got to fish set nets twice when the Kenai River was closed down in late June.

And Please don't forget how this stupid "Catch and Release" in river fishery ALLOWS the set nets to keep catching and killing King Salmon while the in river users don't.

Late run Kenai kings met their minimum or exceeded their maximum end of the escapement goal for the last 30 years? If that were so why are we having all the problems and restrictions? Strange.

And you continually state; "no setnetting for over 50 years". Do you think you are the only commercial fishermen in Alaskan waters? Get a grip, here is a little convient fact you left out;

Earlier in January, Alaska’s Board of Fisheries approved a new regulation for seiners in Kodiak’s Alitak District that requires them to toss kings larger than 28 inches back when they are caught incidentally before July 6. That came after the seiners in the area caught 29,921 kings in 2013 while mostly targeting sockeyes and pinks, yep just like the ESSN's they are Killing Kings too. Tell me Mark, where do you think those Kings were headed? Russia? What about the commercial fishermen and fleets in SouthEast Alaska, or how about Prince William Sound? Right, none of those kings are headed here right? In 2012 they restricted the South East to only 225,000 King Salmon for all Gear Types. Guess no Kenai River Kings were in that lot!!

You show your ignorance by stating that the ESSN fleet was the only ones that were excluded from the fishery in 2012. Hey how about the entire river was either closed or in reality closed even earlier by "catch and release" during the same time in 2012.

And kindly don't forget the ESSN fished in early July 2013 when the in river fishery was once again closed with "catch and release" Same thing happened the last 4 days in 1990. ADF&G closed the in river King Salmon fishery only to let the ESSN's fish every one of those days.

Finally, you close with the statement that the "sport fishery seems to be the user who is to blame". You know I try and I try to see how 500 people using a single unbaited hook are responsible solely for the demise of the Kenai River King Salmon when 750 ESSN permit holders using miles of nets have no blame at all. YOU need to look in that mirror.

I say shut the in river King Salmon fishery and the set net fishery down for 3 to 5yrs and let the drifters take care of the Reds. They already proved they could do a great job of it in 2012. No more "catch and release", ever please!

kenai123 02/06/14 - 01:00 pm
Commercial fishery needs to take responsibility for king problem

I agree with kingsize, it is completely irresponsible to attempt claiming "no set netting fishing the first Kenai king run for over 50 years". It is obvious that Mr. Ducker believes that he and his set net buddies are "the only commercial fishermen in Alaskan waters", and yes Mr. Ducker does need to get a grip on reality. An absolutely mindless story Mr. Ducker.

Fact: Kodiak commercial salmon fisheries begin the first week of June each year.
Fact: Commercial users near Kodiak Inland harvested a couple thousand kings annually back around 1980.
Fact: These Kodiak commercial user ramped up their king harvest to 10,000 kings annually in 1990 and 30,000 annually by 1995. By 2000 they were killing 35,000 annually, by 2005 they were killing 50,000 annually. By 2010 they were killing 75,000 kings annually and then in 2013 they told the Kodiak Seiners that they had to start releasing their kings. So much for the facts Mr. Ducker; if you do not believe these facts try getting on the internet and looking them up. I did.

This stories assumes that we should ignore ALL commercial gill netting statewide because Cook Inlet set gill netters don't fish the end of the Kenai kings migration path in June... Ducker wants us all to just forget that about 100,000 Cook Inlet kings are being slaughter by Kodiak commercial gill nets IN JUNE EACH YEAR and that it was NOT happening years ago. This king slaughter is happening in the middle of our king migratory path. The FACTS reveal a progressive commercial fisheries effort to catch and sell EVERYTHING attempting to enter Cook Inlet in June each and every year and the commercial effort has been accelerating as our king numbers statewide have been declining.

"unconstitutionally excluded from this fishery?" another pathetic claim. Mr. Ducker needs to start reading some actual case law, there are many cases on the books with commercial fisheries attempting to claim that the ADF&G lacks the authority to turn on one commercial gear type, and turn off another in the same area. They have all lost their cases because the board and its staff can discriminate between methods and means in the same location. All they need is a logical reason to turn on or off a gear type. (Check out Cook Inlet Spotter Pilots vs. the State of Alaska). These guys also thought that they had a case and that the state could not ban Spotter Aircraft Gear while allowing drift or set net gear.

FACT: They were wrong. The state can do WHATEVER it likes. Your "unconstitutional" accusation is meaningless unless you just like to dream. Try doing some reading rather than posting.

borninak 02/06/14 - 01:46 pm
Back It Up

Kingsize and Kenai123 are Kenai River Commercial Fishing Guides who have destroyed the Kenai River King Salmon Run and now want everyone to pay while they try to represent themselves as "the public". I got news for you boys, "the public" hates what you have done to the river and as you blow by them on the river with your 4 clients and your commercial Fish Guide sticker they know you are as commercial as any gillnetter, just more of a snake in the grass. Oh and kingsize please point us to the resource you have that says that 75% of setnetters are from out of state. You spewed that unsubstantiated lie in another post which makes me wonder about anything you post. As for 123, I'll treat you as the board does, out to lunch.

Raoulduke 02/06/14 - 06:57 pm
Conservation of a resource

No one group talking about CONSERVING the resource.So! How are you groups going to conserve the resource by harvesting?Close down the fishery if you want to see Kings at all.Conserving will take sacrifice from ALL fishing groups.

potomac 02/07/14 - 08:49 am
fishing on the spawning beds

all you have to do after the king season is closed in the past was go bottom bouncing with eggs for silvers and man did you catch some giant kings in the open sanctuaries which were open after the king season. Does that make sense to you? Yes they would be all red about ready to spawn and easy to get to the boat as they were about spent, some bigger than the record, and I am sure they just drifted down stream to be eaten by whatever came by, seals, etc if they weren't already dead. I don't think anyone really looks at or thinks about "by catch " during the silver run, sure they are let die most likely. They defend their redds till they die if left undisturbed, so tired of fish fights with no conservation rules applying to the river all fishing season. All money, fish fights will end when the last dead fish is ate by someone, or something.

kingsize 02/07/14 - 04:02 pm
borninak=boring in ak!!

Ok, Boringinak, I know for sure that a lot of the help hired by ESSN permit holders come up from down below. Ask Shadura were he gets his help and there are many more just like him. Shadura has hired college kids from down below, fact. He even said publicly in 2012, (resource; Peninsula Clarion), he barely made enough to fly his help back home to the lower 48. I know that he has hired local people in the past, in fact I know of at least 3 people that after working for him turned into guides, he had hired in the past. I am not going to name any others as I only named him because he publicly pointed to himself. A lot of the permit holders do live down below in the winter. They only come here to fish in the summer. Then take the money they made back home with them paying pittance to anyone that they hire to work from here. There are also a lot that do live here and still use outside help. I guess that BACKS THAT UP!

Borninak, you are the most divisive, argumentative, pro-commercial fishing person that is always sounding off in this forum. Most of your ranting's are welcome by me as it turns off the majority of the people that read these posts. And that is the real truth of the matter.

As far as your comments above are concerned to my previous post, forget the rest of all I posted above and only go with my last paragraph; "I say shut the in river King Salmon fishery and the set net fishery down for 3 to 5yrs and let the drifters take care of the Reds. They already proved they could do a great job of it in 2012. No more "catch and release", ever please!" Now look at that post, does that really in your mind sound like an in river sport fishing user, commercial or not, that does not care about the King Salmon resource? Go ahead and show your "mind numbing thought process" with a response that will expose how self serving you really are.

AS for the public hating what we have done statement, let's put the set net ban before that Public and see who they really hate!!

And I will stand by my hook vs. net statement. Don't think the every day person that reads this doesn't have the common sense to understand that. The sooner we attach set netters with the phrase; Trappers of the Sea, the sooner they will become history. BTW, it was that same moniker that they used in the lower 48 to ban set netters by a vote of the PUBLIC. Even the Canucks were smart enough to buy out their set netters and now British Columbia has the biggest, healthiest returns of King Salmon on the west coast of North America. The last set netter disappeared 5yrs ago there.

I guess the only way you can deal with someone as hateful as this borniak guy is to click on the ignore user button,,,,CLICK. There that's done,,,feel better already.

FrozenNorth 02/07/14 - 02:10 pm

You think the Kodiak salmon fishery is killing 100,000 kings in June each year? Seriously?

You put up a lot of posts on the Clarion website. If you want people to take what you say seriously, you might make an attempt at being factually accurate. Otherwise, you just come like a [filtered word].

You need to look up you numbers for the harvest of Kings in the Kodiak salmon fishery again. You are not even close to accurate. Jesus.

kenai123 02/07/14 - 02:36 pm
Dear borninak; I have news

Dear borninak; I have news for you.

Regarding your claim as to who is "commercial"? Borninak does not know what he is talking about. It is painfully obvious that borninak does not know what he is talking about regarding this issue. With regard to fisheries issues in Alaska, only people who "directly catch and sell a fish" are commercial fishermen. This is the current law in Alaska. If borninak would like to try to change the law he is welcome to try but please do not attempt to convince us of an out right lie.

Regarding borninak board of fish references? It will not be very long before "your little board of fish" is as extinct as the dinosaurs. Your board of fish is not even able to resolve basic issues like our statewide king salmon problem. Therefore it appears to me that the first step to resolving the king problem is "for people in general" to acknowledge that our current board system has failed us and is not able to resolve our statewide king problem. Once people admit this, then we can begin coming up with a better way to manage our fish. The same can be said for just about all the other fisheries here in Alaska. Our current board of fish has a GIANT conflict of interest problem here in Alaska. Down in the lower 48 states they won't allow people with "a financial interest axe to grind" to sit on public boards. Here many believe it to be normal! I have more news for you, IT IS NOT NORMAL and it is costing Alaska A LOT. This board conflict of interest is the root of just about all of our fisheries management problems. So stop posting all the lies and bad information borninak and start reading instead, then you can actually deal with reality!

Reality is that your "commercial" fisheries set net job is going "bye-bye", so you had better "buy-buy" a drift boat permit for the future.

kenai123 02/07/14 - 02:45 pm
Dear FrozenNorth, I have been

Dear FrozenNorth, I have been posting information and the related links regarding the Kodiak slaughter for years on "the clarion website". It really doesn't matter what they are killing down around Kodiak, one king or a million kings. It doesn't matter if I post one link or a million links to prove the information. The reason I know this is because I have posted
the information and the links, then people like you say where is the proof of the numbers involved? If you really cared about this issue you would look up the numbers yourselve and not beg me to post, repost, post, repost them over and over. I will NOT be reposting them again for you. DO YOUR OWN HOMEWORK.

kenai123 02/07/14 - 09:21 pm
Kodiak Area Intercept Commercial Fisheries

FrozenNorth, you want everyone else to do your homework? Here ya go, the below information has been posted and reposted but you somehow missed it... It shows where at least 30,000 - 40,000 of our Cook Inlet kings went each and every year up to about 2001. Anything else we can do for you Tom Sawyer? This will be the 173rd posting of this information and next week some "FrozenSouth" poster will then spout "WHERE'S ALL THE PROOF! Then I will post it the 174th time. Then it will be the FrozenEast and the the FrozenWest and all the rest.

Date Posted: 10:14:25 08/08/10

How can the State of Alaska explain wasting 4 billion dollars each year by allowing Kodiak Area Commercial Fisheries to intercept sport allocated king salmon stocks? Alaska's Kodiak Area Commercial Fisheries literary guard the front-door to our Cook Inlet Fisheries. Listed below are many of the reasons for the ever REDUCING number of salmon reaching the waters of the Kenai River. Our Kenai River's early & late runs of kings are in officially jeopardy of being wiped off the map because of these constantly increasing saltwater commercial fisheries. Our 2010 early run of kings hardly got started on the Kenai River when the ADF&G closed it down for a lack of 1,500 projected king salmon. Then we looked forward to the 2010 late run of kings, hoping that they were not also commercially intercepted. Unfortunately our hopes were not achieved as we watched the late run also get intercepted. Anchorage has been screaming for years that their July salmon are being intercepted by commercial gill netters and now so are the Kenai Rivers early and late runs of kings. Anglers have just about tied both arms behind their backs to help these runs, mean while Kodiak commercial gill netters have constantly increased their king salmon by-catch every summer. Kodiak area commercial fisheries went from intercepting only a few thousand kings each year, to now intercepting 40,000 - 50,000 every year. Few anglers will pay much attention as long as they can catch a couple fish now and then, but now they won't even get that, they will get little to nothing. They will continue to catch nothing as long as they refuse to see our ever expanding Kodiak area commercial gill-net fisheries.


At the February, 2002 Alaska Board of Fisheries meeting, the Alaska Department of Fish & Game [ ADF&G ] announced that it believed that the historic, larger king salmon within the Kenai rivers first run, were on the decline. The ADF&G announced its concerns with little if any warning and most fisheries use groups were totally blind-sided by it. When the early run data was presented, most of the use groups just accepted it at face value. When informed that other saltwater factor's could be involved, most of the user groups ignored the thought and did not even investigate the possibility, let alone bring it before the Board. Most of the user groups final word on saltwater factors was that " there are no saltwater fisheries involved within the early run problem". This short-sighted belief is no doubt the largest error made at this meeting. Because most user groups were basically caught off-guard, none of them were able to fully use their normal resources to review all the possible factors involved within this complex problem.

Now that we will have another shot at this issue we owe it to ourselves to do the best job that we can do. That job takes into consideration that this time we should carefully consider
ALL FACTORS which may impact the king salmon which are attempting to return to both the Kenai and Kasilof rivers. The NUMBER ONE consideration which was never
investigated at the above February meeting, was Kodiak area commercial saltwater interception factors. These intercept fisheries are imbedded within what will be termed " Kodiak Interception Fisheries ".


Some 1,340 commercial fishermen are allocated about 85-90 percent of the Cook Inlet salmon harvest, while 216,000 sport anglers and an unknown number of personal users receive only 10 -15 percent of that same harvest. The 2004 Kenai Peninsula Borough Comprehensive Plan shows the economic impact of sportfishing on the Kenai Peninsula was worth $664 million in 2003, while commercial fishing was valued at $54 million in 2002. Set-net fishermen receive about 80 cents per pound for a 40-pound king salmon; the sport angler spends about $1,200 to catch a 40-pound king! That comes down to $40 per pound sport and 80 cents per pound commercial. This results in a resource want and waste factor to the state of $39.20 per pound when a king salmon is allocated to commercial users.

In 2004, the Upper Cook Inlet commercial east-side setnet fishery harvested more second-run Kenai River kings as by-catch than the entire sportfishery caught. The ADF&G recorded that commercial east-side setnets "accidentally" caught 22,000 kings, while sport anglers caught 18,000 kings. Does it mean anything to you that from 1998-2002, our ADF&G "recorded" an averaged 6,700 incidental king harvest by these same set-nets? Before 2002 an average of 6,700 annually and in 2004, 22,000 kings? That's a three fold increase in the second-run king by-catch by ADF&G's own records.

Kodiak Area Commercial Interception Fisheries and 4 Billion Dollars

In 2009 the total number of total Kodiak commercial harvest was 110,773,000 pounds of salmon and they received about a maximum of a dollar per pound; that gives a
commercial catch value of $35,640,000 USD. Using the above sport/commercial fisheries dollar value ratio, sport fisheries are willing to pay about $39.20 more per pound
than commercial fish processors.

2009's catch of 110,773,000 pounds of Kodiak salmon multiplied by $39.20 comes to,
[110,773,000 pounds X $39.20 per pound ] = $4,312,000,000.
That is roughly a 4 billion dollar State waste! Each year! This means that the State of Alaska wastes a possible 4 billion dollar natural resource
surplus each year when it allocated these fish to commercial fisheries instead
of sport fisheries. 4 billion dollars is a lot money to waste; especially when the State of Alaska gets upset with its residents if they WANT & WASTE even five pounds of wild-game during a hunt!

Below are our current and past ADF&G, early run, Kenai River king salmon totals.

2010 - 675 early run Kenai River king salmon, cumulative by May 30.
2009 - 1759 early run Kenai River king salmon, cumulative by May 31.
2008 - 2590 early run Kenai River king salmon, cumulative by May 31.
2007 - 1204 early run Kenai River king salmon, cumulative by May 31.
2006 - 2048 early run Kenai River king salmon, cumulative by May 31.
2005 - 1624 early run Kenai River king salmon, cumulative by May 31.
2004 - 2288 early run Kenai River king salmon, cumulative by May 31.
2003 - 2630 early run Kenai River king salmon, cumulative by May 31.
2002 - 895 early run Kenai River king salmon, cumulative by May 31.
2001 - 3133 early run Kenai River king salmon, cumulative by May 31.
2000 - 1862 early run Kenai River king salmon, cumulative by May 31.
1999 - 3422 early run Kenai River king salmon, cumulative by May 31.
1998 - 1052 early run Kenai River king salmon, cumulative by May 31.
1997 - 3081 early run Kenai River king salmon, cumulative by May 31.
1996 - 3387 early run Kenai River king salmon, cumulative by May 31.
1995 - 3499 early run Kenai River king salmon, cumulative by May 31.
1994 - 4481 early run Kenai River king salmon, cumulative by May 31.
1993 - 2979 early run Kenai River king salmon, cumulative by May 31.
1992 - 1368 early run Kenai River king salmon, cumulative by May 31.
1991 - 992 early run Kenai River king salmon, cumulative by May 31.
1990 - 1559 early run Kenai River king salmon, cumulative by May 31.
1989 - 3900 early run Kenai River king salmon, cumulative by May 31.
1988 - 5574 early run Kenai River king salmon, cumulative by May 31.
Historic Kodiak Commercial Fisheries Intercept Information.

In 2010 The Department of Fish & Game claims that there is a problem with the escapement of both king salmon and larger king salmon, within the Kenai's river first run. The below ADF&G data is showing that if a Kenai river problem really does exist, that there are clearly also saltwater factors involved. It would be very short-sighted for anyone to claim that only in-river users could cause such large a river problem. 100% of the Kenai rivers early run king salmon must swim through the Kodiak Intercept gauntlet.

According to ADF&G's own data these Kodiak fisheries are TWICE as effective
as Cook Inlets commercial fisheries in July. Any fishery which was even close to Cook Inlets
July commercial fisheries should have been placed under a microscope by our Alaska Board of Fish but instead, it has not even been addressed.

200 miles south of the Kenai river there are only two ways for a Kenai or Kasilof king salmon to enter into Cook Inlet. These two paths consist of a northern and eastern
entrance around Kodiak Island. The Shelikof Straits make-up the southern entrance and the Kennedy & Stevenson entrances combine to make-up the eastern entrance.

Kodiak island & surrounding area map.
Both of these entry points are heavy guarded by intense commercial, sport and subsistence
fisheries within the month of June. In June of 2001 the Kodiak commercial fishery took
23,827 king salmon. 91% of these kings were taken by Kodiak Purse Seiners and 8%
taken by Kodiak Set Gillnets. Kodiak sport fishing took 8,541 king salmon in 2001, with 351 kings being taken by Kodiak subsistence fisheries.
23,827 Commercial King salmon 73%
8,541 Sport King salmon --------- 26%
+ 351 Subsistence King salmon 1%
32,719 King salmon taken in 2001 within Kodiak Management Area Fisheries.

73% of total reported, king salmon taken by Kodiak commercial fisheries were taken by the Kodiak Commercial Seine Fishery. What is a Seine Fishery? click here -

The Kodiak Commercial Seine Fleet fully guards both Cook Inlet Entrances and removed 21,611 king salmon from these entrances in June of 2001. Kodiak set gill netting also removed 2,216 more king salmon in 2201.


Kodiak Intercept Fisheries have grown substantially in the last 10 years and this can be clearly seen by the rapid increase in its total king salmon catch.


Historical Commercial King Salmon Catch In The Kodiak Management Area,
1899 - 2001. Commercial gill net, seine and troller King salmon harvested.
[ page 44]. King Salmon Harvested

Year Kings
1899 ---- 1,104
1905 ---- 2,496
1909 ---- 3,907
1917 ---- 1,457
1927 ---- 4,358
1931 ---- 1,541
1936 ---- 2,548
1945 ---- 2,021
1951 ---- 2,402
1959 ---- 1,837
1972 ---- 1,300
1981 ---- 1,418
1987 ---- 4,612
1990 ---- 18,806
1991 ---- 22,233
1992 ---- 24,299
1995 ---- 18,704
1997 ---- 18,728
2001 ---- 23,827

Commercial salmon harvest by gear type in the Kodiak Management Area, 2001.
Early Run Commercial fishing begins June 5th.
Purse Seine --- 21,611 King salmon - 91%
Set gillnet --- 2,216 King salmon - 8%
23,827 Commercial king salmon

Historical Sport Fish King Salmon Catch In The Kodiak Management Area
1977 - 2001. King Salmon Harvested
Year Kings
1977 ---- 483
1979 ---- 752
1981 ---- 789
1984 ---- 921
1986 ---- 520
1990 ---- 996
1991 ---- 2,508
1992 ---- 2,217
1993 ---- 5,092
1994 ---- 3,166
1995 ---- 2,662
1997 ---- 5,221
1998 ---- 4,052
1999 ---- 6,791
2000 ---- 9,629
2001 ---- 8,541
Subsistence early run, salmon fishery harvest Kodiak Management Area. [ Page 54 ] King Salmon Harvested Year Kings
1990 --- 131 King Salmon
1991 --- 177 King Salmon
1992 --- 318 King Salmon
1993 --- 243 King Salmon
1994 --- 205 King Salmon
1995 --- 175 King Salmon
1996 --- 253 King Salmon
1997 --- 383 King Salmon
1998 --- 350 King Salmon
1999 --- 296 King Salmon
2000 --- 351 King Salmon
2001 --- 351 King Salmon, est. not final
23,827 Commercial king salmon 73%
+ 8,541 Sport king salmon --------- 26%
351 Subsistence king salmon 1%
32,719 King salmon were taken in 2001 within Kodiak Management Area Fisheries.
There were 12,069 king salmon commercially harvested within the Cook Inlet Area in July & August of 2002. There were 32,719 king salmon caught within Kodiak Fisheries in June of 2001. This demonstrates a combined June Kodiak commercial/sport/subsistence harvest
which is TWICE as effective as Cook Inlets July commercial fishery.


Recent History of Chinook Salmon Harvests in Marine Waters of ...

Recent history of chinook salmon harvests in marine waters of ... from chinook salmon harvested in commercial salmon fisheries near Kodiak, 1980-1995.


2007 - 563,807 king salmon
2006 - 625,760 King Salmon
2005 - 680,329 King Salmon
2004 - 802,989 King Salmon
2003 - 613,870 King Salmon
2002 - 557,305 King Salmon
Statewide Alaska Commercial King Salmon Bycatch, 1970-2007
Alaska Commercial Salmon Catch & Value Chart

For additional information regarding Alaska's salmon fisheries
please contact

Additional Kodiak commercial gill-net interception web posts.
Dear Alaska Board of Fisheries Member:
Kodiak Gill Net Intercept Fishery
Kodiak / Cook Inlet king bycatch relationship

If we could ever get the Alaska Board of Fish to address saltwater interception of Kenai salmon, they would discover a large increase in gill-net king interception by both Kodiak area gill-nets. The Kodiak area used to take maybe a few thousand kings back 10 - 20 years ago, now they are intercepting 30 - 40,000 kings annually and those are the cannery numbers, we have no idea what isn't making it to the canneries. It is my opinion that if the Kodiak area is admitting to 30 - 40,000 intercepted kings, then Cook Inlet is no doubt doing the same but just doing a better job of covering it up. We are really looking at a possible 100,000 king interception between the two commercial fisheries. Again the problem is no doubt happening in the saltwater. Just about all Cook Inlets rivers and streams are experiencing a problem with returning kings, that speaks to a much larger problem than any individual location. I have spoken to the ADF&G about this general problem and they basically agree that the problem appears to be happening at sea and not on the spawning grounds. The facts show that all of Cook Inlet is experiencing a wide-spread problem with returning kings, which points to a problem at sea. The facts also show that our sport fisheries can only effect about 5 - 15% of any run therefore any solution solely addressed by sportfish restrictions, would not be effective. All this points to the fact that if you wanted to address a reduced early or late run king problem, you will have to do it by restricting salt-water gill-netting. The problem with both our Cook Inlet & Kodiak area salmon management plans is that they are all set-up with a sockeye priority. As long as you can't prove that commercial fishing will totally wipe-out the kings, what-ever they do is okay.
In order to stop the gill-nets you would need absolute data which says Kenai kings are being wipe-out. Since we don't have that kind of data, thanks to the ADF&G mis-management of its Kenai River king salmon sonar, any shut-down that would stick would no doubt only apply to everyone but the gill-netters. The only real way to shut-down these gill-netters is to accurately count Kenai River king salmon and show that they are systematically being wiped out over time. Without this reality data both Kodiak and Cook Inlet commercial fisheries will go on wiping out Kenai River king salmon, even while the inaccurate Kenai River sonar equipment continues to count phantom kings into the future. That future will be one of great king salmon sonar escapement numbers, while no angler is able to catch a fish. We need to get the Alaska Board of Fish to address these increasing Kodiak Area Commercial Intercept Fisheries.

smithtb 02/07/14 - 04:40 pm
Kingsize get some data


You forgot to mention that only the Kasilof district can currently fish in June. Point in fact, they could have fished early and didn't this year, despite the fact that the Kasilof run was stronger than ever this year - they remained closed for King salmon conservation until very late June.

AND THE KASILOF SOCKEYE BEG WAS EXCEEDED BY 44% last year. I believe that puts expected yield for 2013 escapement somewhere at or below that of an escapement at the bottom of the goal range.

You can't ignore all the harvest and genetic data which shows that this early season is a very clean fishery with regard to kings.

And Mr. Ducker is an East Side Setnetter. I'm sure he is every bit as concerned as you about interception of our kings by other fishermen of ANY persuasion. To blame him simply because he is also a "commercial" fishermen is about as daft as it gets.....

Yes, the Kodiak seiners are now required to release any kings over 28", and genetics will be ran on Kodiak caught kings for the first time this year. Thank your local commercial fishing interests for helping those issues get addressed at the Kodiak BOF meeting.

FrozenNorth 02/07/14 - 04:51 pm

OK, that's about what I figured.

The Kodiak salmon fishery caught about 34,000 kings in 2013, which I believe was a record. The average king harvest over the last 10 years is about 17,000. Not 100,000, not 75,000 or other any such number as you posted earlier. Since there was non-retention of kings in most of the lower Shelikof starting June 7, almost all the kings were caught incidentally in the eastside pink fisheries through the summer, not just June. Most seiners would tell you they are mostly immature feeder kings. The Board of Fisheries looked at this in their recent meeting in Kodiak and now there is a non-retention policy island wide for kings over 28".

Nobody... not me, not you, or any fishery biologist, knows the river of origin of those fish and until there is definite genetic stock identification (likely in the next few years) we won't know. If it is similar to what we've seen in sampling of the Gulf of Alaska trawl fisheries, then a significant portion will be Pacific NW and British Columbia fish, with SE AK, and Gulf of Alaska stocks mixed in there. But, that's just speculation. We don't know yet. Call them all Cook Inlet fish all you want, but that's just your opinion, and it is almost certainly wrong.

Its easy for anyone to get to the ADF&G website and look at harvest summaries, or look at an annual management report for historical data.

beaverlooper 02/07/14 - 06:29 pm
any king

123 seems to think any king caught anywhere in the ocean is headed to the Kenai river. And before he calls me a commercial fisherman again I will say AGAIN i fish with rod and reel ONLY.
I'll Give up fishing the Kenai river for 5,6 or7 years just to do my part but the guides won't. I don't believe the guides are the total problem with the decline in kings but they are part ,a sizable part, of it .We can't do it all but we can do something, especially when it comes to habitat and fishing in spawning beds.

kenai123 02/07/14 - 09:31 pm
MY post plainly shows the Kodiak king kill only up to only 2001.

FrozenNorth, What are you referring to? The Kodiak data I posted plainly shows the Kodiak king kill up to only 2001. "It shows where at least 30,000 - 40,000 of our Cook Inlet kings went each and every year up to about 2001". After 2001 the commercial by-catch kill went through the roof even farther. Does Tom Sawyer also require the 2001 - 2013 commercial wipe out data of king salmon around Kodiak? Seeing the data up to 2001 was not enough to show you what way this issue is is headed?

FrozenNorth 02/07/14 - 11:19 pm

Again, there is no data (yet) that shows the river of origin of kings caught around Kodiak in the summer salmon fishery. So anything or anyone who tells you there were "30,000-40,000" Cook Inlet kings caught in Kodiak each and every year before 2001" is simply incorrect. Nor is there any data to suggest catches "went through the roof" after that. Making the statement doesn't make it fact.

Most of your links (I didn't look at them all) don't even support what you are saying, or they link to something unrelated, btw.

KenaiKardinal88 02/08/14 - 06:56 am
More Garbage From Commie Fishers

The average Alaskan sportfisher is taking almost no King Salmon. The setnetters and in-river Guides has destroyed this fishery - SHUT THEM DOWN!

No more set nets - catch fish at the mouth and put the revenue in the state accounts.

borninak 02/08/14 - 09:41 am
Out of State Commercial Guides & Commercial Fisherman

Sorry Kingsize but the out of state commercial guides and commercial gillnet permit holders in Cook Inlet number around 20%, give or take a few for both user groups. These numbers are verifiable with ADF&G and State Parks registration numbers. So these ridiculous assertions of 80% out of state (by both sides) just display complete ignorance of both industries. Claiming that one setnetter or a guide hired a few from out of state drives the industry rate up to 80% is pathetic. Both user groups hire plenty of in state helpers locally. I hire local high school, family and college students exclusively, as do most all of my neighbors. So the next time you attempt to back up your 80% non-sense, try doing it with some actual data that can be verified, not just hyperbole.

borninak 02/08/14 - 09:52 am
If you take money.


Your quite delusional on most things, but especially so when it comes to the definition of commercial. If you have a State business license to conduct your fishing guide operation, (I assume you do), you file taxes with the borough(unless your a crook), you take peoples money to take them out fishing, you file tax form Schedule C with the IRS(profit and loss for small business) then you are commercial. By definition, commercial is engaging in any activity, service, etc where you intent is to make a profit. You are a commercial fishing guide so get over it.

wilsonro 02/09/14 - 01:13 pm

You are right about Setnetters fishing in June, but what you lack to mention is that we open on the last week in June and it’s the Setnetters below the Blanchard line. We mostly filter the water, “meaning we don’t catch sh!!”. We also only fish two 12hr periods in a week. You make it sound like were open the whole month all day long. You Kenai River guides are going to be your own demise someday, and I hope I am alive to see it. I have always supported Sport fisherman that do it for enjoyment and for putting some fish in the freezer. I just wanted for the record to mention that there is a big difference between Sport fisherman and Commercial Guide fisherman. The sport fisherman need to start looking at how these guides are destroying their playground.

leewaytooo 02/10/14 - 02:36 pm
obviously the goal is not to

obviously the goal is not to protect the river and the fish....

the river is like tundra.........the more you move across

it the more you damage it.. maybe once the humans

moving around on the river stop might recover...

it will take more time than the COMMERICIAL guides

are willing to give.........they want their fast food money

NOW..... make it drift only and the river and the

fish will have a better chance of recovering......

stop catch and release also........ just too many die

as a result of the "fun" of catching then releasing....

if you want to continue catch and release,, make it a real

challenge....... no rods or reels... bare hands only....

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