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Time for reconsideration

Posted: May 29, 2014 - 8:29am

From the P.C. 5-23-14, Outdoor View, “ To ensure healthy salmon runs and to provide a quality fishing experience, fishing pressure must be reduced on Cook Inlet and the Kenai River. All use must be reduced and limited, with commercial use first.” Les once again has shown his true colors and pretzel logic. From the constitution, in times of shortage the non-resident will be  restricted first. For the record, the commercial fishermen were the first and remain the only user group that is limited. Just for clarification, the guides remain unlimited along with the in-river fishermen and the Deep Creek Marine fishermen (charter and otherwise) , winter king fishermen, and the fastest expanding group in a fully allocated fishery; the personal use dip net fishery. With concepts such as carrying capacities, genetic natural selection, hook and release mortality, shrinking spawning habitats, derbies on declining stocks, sure it is time for some reconsiderations. How about a slice of honesty in that reality sandwich?

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kenai123 05/31/14 - 10:08 pm

John McCombs is correct, Cook Inlet fishing restrictions may sound easier to accomplish than Gulf of Alaska restrictions but they WILL NOT fix our current statewide king salmon problem. Les published an article which might address a small fraction of the king problem but it ignores the bulk of our Gulf of Alaska trawler problem. Cook Inlet commercial gill netters and anglers arguing over who kills more kings is not going to help our king salmon. While Cook Inlet netters and anglers are busy arguing, the Gulf of Alaska commercial Pollock trawler industry is busy eating both of their lunches.

This trawler industry destroyed millions of adult kings with their king salmon by-catch between 1995 and 2007 while our ADF&G was sleeping on the job. Then around 2008 our ADF&G woke up and we finally placed some theoretical king by-catch limits on this trawler industry. Even if the industry does abide by the limits it will still take 15 - 20 years for this stock to rebuild. Many people believe that these by-catch limits will not be observed or enforced and if that happens it will take this stock more than 20 years to rebuild.

The article Les published was short-sighted in proclaiming that increased Cook Inlet fisheries restrictions will magically cause our statewide king salmon problem to go away. The bulk of this king problem has been generated outside the Cook Inlet area and should be addressed first within the Gulf of Alaska commercial trawler industry and not within Cook Inlet fisheries.

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