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Thread: Kiss King Fishing Goodbye

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    Statewide Kings salmon have declined.

    When we had wholesale logging, lots of mining and all kids of roads and trails being pioneered around spawning ground we had lots of kings.

    As things quieted down, the Kings have declined.

    Something else is the cause. Marine Mammal populations have gone unchecked since the Protection act in the 70's. Related?
    I don't know where you've been me lad, but I see you won first Prize!
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    No no, it couldn't
    be the marine mammals, aka seals. Tey're endangered you know.

    It's the dams on the rivers.
    All the dammed rivers around here show a huge decrease in salmon returns.
    So let's tear out all the dams.
    Unfortunately the undammed rivers show the same huge decrease in salmon.
    But that data doesn't conform to the current paradigm, so it must be an anomaly.
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    Shutting down the Upper Cook Inlet without addressing the Lower Cook Inlet doesn't make a lot of sense. Recreational opportunities are lost but the bigger impact will be declining property values and boat values. Let alone the lodge operators who just lost 50% of their income season. Maybe we need another oil spill. When commercial fishing was closed that year the sport fishing was off the charts good. But the State still can't figure out how to explain declining returns. Oh, wait, it's a Pike problem, right? River life will be mighty quiet this year.
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    Dave Calkins's Avatar
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    bycatch.

    a simple, ugly word!
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    BC12D-4-85's Avatar
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    Likely several causes for changes in composition (mainly size-age) and abundance. Here's some recent discussion and speculation:

    http://juneauempire.com/local/2017-0...lmon-s-decline
    https://psmag.com/environment/killer...oo-many-salmon

    Forecast North Pacific water temps and impacts on salmon:

    https://alaskapacificblob.wordpress....ific-forecast/
    http://pwssc.org/the-blob-with-dr-rob/

    One recent study and conclusions:

    http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/1...faf.12272/full

    And some salmon bycatch (non-targeted species harvest) info that Dave mentions:

    https://alaskafisheries.noaa.gov/fis...tch-management

    Lots of folks working on unravelling this no doubt.

    Gary
    Last edited by BC12D-4-85; 03-14-2018 at 02:32 PM.
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    algonquin's Avatar
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    OK here is my 2C on this. I was operating a fishing charter business in the lower Cook Inlet, targeting Salmon and Halibut . I was averaging 1-3 hours of trolling per king, sometimes much better. Then ( mid 2000's) our wonderful fish and game released the migration routes of the King, GPS, and times of the year. The Taiwan pirates showed up with open Ocean drift netters with 19 mile long nets. That year we were pulling gear for hours and hours for nothing to the point I and other. Captains stopped fishing Kings. The number I heard was 100 hours per fish and I think that was very close. I went from 2-3 kings a charter to only a few for the year.
    That happened and you can ask any other charter Captain in the lower Inlet at that time and they will confirm this. I want to know where our Navy and Coast Guard were when we needed them? The politicians must have made a windfall of payoffs.
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    www.SkupTech.com mike mcs repair's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by algonquin View Post
    ...our wonderful fish and game released the migration routes of the King, GPS, and times of the year. The Taiwan pirates showed up with open Ocean drift netters with 19 mile long nets. ....
    exactly what i was thinking...

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    BC12D-4-85's Avatar
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    More on the upcoming fish wars: https://craigmedred.news

    Gary
    Last edited by BC12D-4-85; 03-14-2018 at 09:04 PM.

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    As usual, they focus on forecasts for poor returns, not the reasons for the poor returns. Like I said before, they need to look downstream to determine whether fish aren't returning of if returning fish are getting intercepted. It's probably a combination, and if local interception is a factor closing sport fishing isn't a fair response. We all want a sustainable resource. Sustaining it needs to include all users.

    FWIW, my take on the causes for crashing King numbers in the Susitna? One of many? The Deshka landing, followed by much improved jet boats. In the "old days" we took small, under-powered boats from the Su landing at the Kashwitna. That trip limited numbers of people on the rivers because it was a journey and there was no support network once you shoved off. When the Deshka Landing opened the access to the Deshka and the Yentna systems changed overnight. So did the numbers of fishers and hours fished. The change in the numbers of boats and fishers in the popular streams has exploded in the past 30 years. We used to think 10 boats at the mouth of the Deshka was too crowded. These days 300 boats isn't unheard of. The resource isn't unlimited.

    On the other hand, the creek that my cabin sits on has gone from the best King fishing in south central Alaska to being closed for the better part of 10 years now. Zero pressure through two life cycles and there's no evidence that the numbers of fish are improving. That leads me to think the problem isn't limited to sport fish pressure. Somebody else is catching those fish. For years ADFG blamed Pike. But Pike have always been there. In my locale I've watch policy drive the data, not data driving the policy.
    Last edited by stewartb; 03-15-2018 at 01:21 PM.
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    All I can say is when I go pike fishing, nothing goes back in the water but a fresh fly and steel leader occasionally. The birds have to eat too. But the commercial boats in cook inlet with the long nets are shocking in number and size. Last summer my brother and I came across the inlet on floats in his 185 at about 2500' on our way back from Bristol Bay the week after the 4th of July. The ceiling was about 3,500 and the pass was too sketchy for our taste. I guess I just hadn't seen the fishing armada in all it's glory before from that close. Its a wonder a fish can make it to the rivers. I know the fishermen have to make a living, but that's crazy. I wonder if my kids will ever be able to see a big 80+# Kenai ghost in their lifetime.

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    Not to get into politics. but i beg you to come up and actually go out fishing for a day or a week with us the commercial fishermen. Come out on my boat with me and see really how it is. I got to fish 4 days last summer. I caught one jack king 5.5 lbs.
    We the commercial fishermen who pay for the hatcheries. get all the blame and yet we are not the ones destroying the rivers and spawning beds .
    We sometimes get to fish 2 days a week. This summer i will be lucky to get 7 days of commercial fishing in. Now go look at the dipnetters and the subsitence netters and the guides and the sports fishermen. Then tell me where are all the fish going. You have a open invitation to come out and see for real in COOK INLET.

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    Commercial fishermen pick up the tab for just about anyone who catches a salmon in Alaska that started its life in a hatchery.

    That was a finding that wended its way to the surface during a hearing last week of the House Fisheries Committee on the state’s hatchery program. The program began in the mid-1970s to enhance Alaska’s wild salmon runs.Unlike meetings that are top-heavy with fishery stakeholders, most of the committee members are not deeply familiar with many industry inner workings and their interest was evident.“Who funds the hatchery programs?” asked Rep. Jonathan Kreiss-Tomkins, D-Sitka, referring to the 25 private, nonprofit associations that operate in Prince William Sound, Southeast Alaska, Kodiak and Cook Inlet.

    Turns out, it’s commercial fishermen.

    “In each region where there is an aquaculture association, commercial salmon permit holders have levied a salmon enhancement tax upon themselves from 1 to 3 percent,” said Tina Fairbanks, executive director of Kodiak Regional Aquaculture Association.

    Fishermen also catch and sell returning adult salmon to the hatchery, which operators use to pay operating expenses, a process called cost recovery. In 2017 cost recovery fish, which fetch a lower price for fishermen than selling to processors, accounted for 79 percent of hatchery income.

    There have been discussions about sport charter operators contributing, but it’s not really needed, said Steve Reifenstuhl, executive director of the Northern Southeast Regional Aquaculture Association. “Because of the mechanism we have for doing cost recovery, there is not really a need to bring in additional money.”

    “That’s very refreshing to hear right now that you have adequate revenue. That is not something we hear very often,” said Rep. Sarah Vance, R-Homer. “So thank you to all the fishermen who contribute and make it sustainable.”

    “The hatchery programs truly represent one of the most successful public/private partnerships in the state’s history,” Fairbanks said. “These facilities produce salmon for sport, subsistence, personal use and commercial fisheries at no cost to the state of Alaska. The revenues generated through commercial landings and fish taxes go back into the communities and state coffers and represent a great return on the state’s initial investment.”

    “It’s very uncommon,” said Dan Lesh, an economist with the McDowell Group. “It is quite impressive that it produces such large economic benefits with no cost to the state.”


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    Quote Originally Posted by Sourdough75 View Post
    Its a wonder a fish can make it to the rivers. I know the fishermen have to make a living, but that's crazy. I wonder if my kids will ever be able to see a big 80+# Kenai ghost in their lifetime.
    The Kenai run that is struggling the most is the early king run, and there has been zero commercial pressure on that run for decades. Zero. To lay the blame for the demise of kings at the feet of the Cook Inlet fleet is, frankly, incorrect. Yes, some late run kings are taken by both drift and setnetters in the inlet, but the early run struggles show that in-river issues and/or at-sea survival issues are a primary concern. Again, the early run has been terrible for years, and there is zero commercial pressure on it in Cook Inlet.
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    aktango58's Avatar
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    Hatcheries funded by commercial fishing... sort of! You must remember that State funds were invested to get them going, and there is lots of money that was not paid back. Also, commercial fishermen are taking a PUBLIC resource, fish, owned by ALL the Alaska people and making money from it. Why shouldn't the commercial fisheries pay a fee to purchase that resource? Oil companies must, logging must, miners must... I digress.

    At some point even the few fish taken by a gear group, like gill netters, becomes a devastation due to the low numbers overall. But as asked before- where are the fish?

    Someone says Bycatch? But who's by catch? Anyone looked at the allowable allotment of by catch for the dragger fleet? Those are the feeder small ones I understand, not quite ready to go back and spawn... so if they take a percentage of fish, fish from all the west coast, then there are less headed for rivers.

    Next we deal with the explosion in charter and sport boats- more people in Alaska fishing, more visitors fishing, better equipment and electronics to find the fish, faster boats and yes, the famous ADF&G documents telling everyone when and where; (Yes, the asian fleet of drift nests was real and the Coast Guard did nothing).

    The the fish must pass the commercial troll fleet in the few days they fish with their electronics, gps moving map coupled to autopilot for the drags. Next is the seine fleet and marine mammals between, and again gillneters near the mouth of the rivers- then the seals and sea lions on the way into rivers and spawning beds.

    ADF&G tagged 100 fish out of the Taku, over 60 of them were eaten crossing the bar into the river by seals!! (endangered? Nope, moved to rivers in Alaska).

    Each user and gear group takes a part out of the return. The dragger fleet I was told are allowed more than the entire commercial troll fleet... if so that is a lot of bycatch.

    With numbers low, even a small percentage by each group becomes a large number in total. Where we used to panic with under 4,000 fish returns to the Chilkat, they changed the goal to 1,400 now, but we got 880 last year. Result? close subsistence.

    A reminder, subsistence users have priority over commercial users by our constitution. While I agree it looks ugly for commercial users over the next few years, the previous years of lobbying for more fishing ground is coming back to haunt.

    One other thing: What does a release of 30,000,000 aggressive chum smolt into the water with the wild stock runs do to the wild salmon? No one knows, but we get less wild returns, so increase the hatchery production to make up for the wild stock loss, and then open the fishery longer to capture the hatchery stock. The returns are again low for wild stock, so more hatchery, more fishing, and even less wild stock.

    The solution is going to be tough. I feel for folks depending upon salmon.
    I don't know where you've been me lad, but I see you won first Prize!
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    these are all dipnetters in the mouth of the KENAI RIVER. Commercial fishermen do not get to fish anywhere close to the mouth. Where is the presure on the rivers and species coming from? I love to sport fish myself but people this is not sport fishing. Click image for larger version. 

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    Might help you folks who live with a bunch of people....but....I’d sure like to see area M shut down again... the last time is was shut down...the pink salmon and silver salmon returns where substantially greater...in my neck of the err....tundra. You know...where there aren’t any trees to block my view..... from the ground...
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    mvivion's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by eskflyer View Post
    Commercial fishermen pick up the tab for just about anyone who catches a salmon in Alaska that started its life in a hatchery.

    That was a finding that wended its way to the surface during a hearing last week of the House Fisheries Committee on the state’s hatchery program. The program began in the mid-1970s to enhance Alaska’s wild salmon runs.Unlike meetings that are top-heavy with fishery stakeholders, most of the committee members are not deeply familiar with many industry inner workings and their interest was evident.“Who funds the hatchery programs?” asked Rep. Jonathan Kreiss-Tomkins, D-Sitka, referring to the 25 private, nonprofit associations that operate in Prince William Sound, Southeast Alaska, Kodiak and Cook Inlet.

    Turns out, it’s commercial fishermen.

    “In each region where there is an aquaculture association, commercial salmon permit holders have levied a salmon enhancement tax upon themselves from 1 to 3 percent,” said Tina Fairbanks, executive director of Kodiak Regional Aquaculture Association.

    Fishermen also catch and sell returning adult salmon to the hatchery, which operators use to pay operating expenses, a process called cost recovery. In 2017 cost recovery fish, which fetch a lower price for fishermen than selling to processors, accounted for 79 percent of hatchery income.

    There have been discussions about sport charter operators contributing, but it’s not really needed, said Steve Reifenstuhl, executive director of the Northern Southeast Regional Aquaculture Association. “Because of the mechanism we have for doing cost recovery, there is not really a need to bring in additional money.”

    “That’s very refreshing to hear right now that you have adequate revenue. That is not something we hear very often,” said Rep. Sarah Vance, R-Homer. “So thank you to all the fishermen who contribute and make it sustainable.”

    “The hatchery programs truly represent one of the most successful public/private partnerships in the state’s history,” Fairbanks said. “These facilities produce salmon for sport, subsistence, personal use and commercial fisheries at no cost to the state of Alaska. The revenues generated through commercial landings and fish taxes go back into the communities and state coffers and represent a great return on the state’s initial investment.”

    “It’s very uncommon,” said Dan Lesh, an economist with the McDowell Group. “It is quite impressive that it produces such large economic benefits with no cost to the state.”

    Hatcheries have nothing to do with Kings.......or do they? The Alaska hatcheries have been successful in flooding their local streams with pink and chum salmon, for the most part. Sockeye hatcheries failed miserably due to piss poor planning and the prevalence of IHNV. As George noted, all those hatcheries were built by ADFG with Alaskans money.

    So, you’ve got hatcheries literally flooding streams with pink and chum. And those fish, like kings, go to sea to mature before returning. All those “extra” fish have to eat something when they’re in the ocean. Are they competing with kings for limited food resources? Who knows, but it’s a sure bet all those hatcheries aren’t helping king populations.

    Many years ago, I served on submarines. Off Asian waters, we often had to back out of our op areas and surface to remove all the fish nets, complete with glass floats, that were banging against the hull. Those nets were all monofilimint (outlawed in US waters, the mesh was salmon web, and the nets were generally 10,000 meters long. The upside of this whole CF was sometimes we got to pick a few salmon out of the nets, as we cut them off the boat.

    There are LOTS of different pressures on those poor salmon. Frankly, I’m amazed any of them make it upstream to spawn.

    MTV
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    7 billion mouths to feed and millions of pockets to be lined. Greed, gluttony, and hubris.

    To hell with the environment; I want my ivory toothpicks, gold fillings, and bearskin rugs.

    Hurry up and get your’s now—its a race to the bottom.
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    Thats it im burning more fossil fuel flying and running my boat and vehicles snogo's and wheelers , And im going to burn more wood now, why leave it for our great great grandkids. im going to help global warming freezing or staying even , depends on who ya talk to . enjoy life go fishing with a pole and a hook and throw my net out when i can. Cant we just all get along LOL

    JP

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    Quote Originally Posted by mvivion View Post
    Hatcheries have nothing to do with Kings.......or do they? The Alaska hatcheries have been successful in flooding their local streams with pink and chum salmon, for the most part. Sockeye hatcheries failed miserably due to piss poor planning and the prevalence of IHNV. As George noted, all those hatcheries were built by ADFG with Alaskans money.

    So, you’ve got hatcheries literally flooding streams with pink and chum. And those fish, like kings, go to sea to mature before returning. All those “extra” fish have to eat something when they’re in the ocean. Are they competing with kings for limited food resources? Who knows, but it’s a sure bet all those hatcheries aren’t helping king populations.

    Many years ago, I served on submarines. Off Asian waters, we often had to back out of our op areas and surface to remove all the fish nets, complete with glass floats, that were banging against the hull. Those nets were all monofilimint (outlawed in US waters, the mesh was salmon web, and the nets were generally 10,000 meters long. The upside of this whole CF was sometimes we got to pick a few salmon out of the nets, as we cut them off the boat.

    There are LOTS of different pressures on those poor salmon. Frankly, I’m amazed any of them make it upstream to spawn.

    MTV
    YES THEY DO
    Kasilof River Early-Run King Salmon Restricted To Hatchery Kings

    Author: Jennifer Williams | February 14, 2019
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    The Alaska Department of Fish and Game (ADF&G) announced on Wednesday the sport fishing regulation restriction for king salmon in the Kasilof River restricted to hatchery kings only.

    This restriction is effective from 12:01 a.m. Wednesday, May 1 through 11:59 p.m. Sunday, June 30. The bag and possession limit for king salmon 20 inches or greater in length is one hatchery fish.

    Hatchery king salmon are recognizable by the healed adipose fin-clip scar. Naturally-produced king salmon may not be possessed or retained and are distinguishable by an intact adipose fin, a small fleshy fin on the back of the fish just ahead of the tail. Naturally-produced king salmon that are caught may not be removed from the water and must be released immediately.

    In addition, the use of bait is prohibited and only one unbaited, single-hook artificial lure may be used in the Kasilof River from its mouth upstream to the Sterling Highway Bridge. Single-hook means a fishhook with only one point.

    Area Management Biologist Colton Lipka” “To ensure a successful naturally-produced king salmon broodstock season in 2019, ADF&G has determined restrictions to the early-run king salmon sport fishery in the Kasilof River will provide the best chance to achieve these goals. Its important to our staff and anglers that we continue our efforts to protect and rebuild our wild king salmon stocks. ADF&G does anticipate an increase in angler effort on the Kasilof River due to early-run king salmon restrictions on the Kenai River and we have to manage accordingly with restrictions only allowing hatchery king salmon to be retained on the Kasilof River.”

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    mvivion's Avatar
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    Yes, one king hatchery.....my point was simply that there are a number of other hatcheries pumping out “less desirable” species of salmon, which may be competing for limited food resources. Or not.

    MTV

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    King return so far on the Deshka is very poor. They want minimum of 13,000, looks like it might not hit 8,000, worse than last year of near 8500.
    Something is happening to the kings maybe while out in the ocean for 4 years? By catch getting them? Not sure what, but sure no good return this year, when in 2016 return was near 23,000, 2015 near 24,000. So seems like returns this year should have been far better.
    And all sport and commercial on westside/Anchorage bowl was closed this year.
    John

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    Quote Originally Posted by mvivion View Post
    Yes, one king hatchery.....my point was simply that there are a number of other hatcheries pumping out “less desirable” species of salmon, which may be competing for limited food resources. Or not.

    MTV
    Little Port Walter is a NMFS king hatchery, but yes- most have dropped even Coho due to the sensitive and critical handling required. Instead of quality we are getting quantity without knowing the effects to the rest of the environment.

    Out of curiosity, has the beluga population increased in Cook Inlet? We reportedly have about 1,400 resident whales now, from less than 200 in the 1970s. The sperm whales sit in the hatchery harvest areas at times and just feed off salmon.

    Do the hatcheries attract additional whales that eat wild salmon?

    Millions of questions out there, all negative possibilities for wild stocks. I have no problem closing sport fishing as well as commercial fishing; but those need to go before subsistence. And commercial boats killing fish as target and bycatch need to be focused upon, not just target fisheries.
    I don't know where you've been me lad, but I see you won first Prize!

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    There's lots of theories...some are linked to freshwater origin and others subsequent ocean area used. Ocean area used exposes stocks to differing rates of natural mortality like from poor feed sources, predation from whatever, and fishing mortality incurred during other targeted fisheries or bycatch. This is just a quick search summary. If the adequate young smolts go to sea in healthy condition and return in good shape (?) but fewer than expected then in between there's some thing(s) causing excessive mortality. The goal current research is to find out what, where, and how to fix it.

    https://www.kcaw.org/2018/05/29/chan...g-king-salmon/
    https://www.kdll.org/post/tagging-st...almon#stream/0
    http://www.legis.state.ak.us/basis/g...28&docid=14913
    https://www.npfmc.org/wp-content/PDF...chflyer913.pdf

    Gary

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    Quote Originally Posted by BC12D-4-85 View Post
    There's lots of theories...some are linked to freshwater origin and others subsequent ocean area used. Ocean area used exposes stocks to differing rates of natural mortality like from poor feed sources, predation from whatever, and fishing mortality incurred during other targeted fisheries or bycatch. This is just a quick search summary. If the adequate young smolts go to sea in healthy condition and return in good shape (?) but fewer than expected then in between there's some thing(s) causing excessive mortality. The goal current research is to find out what, where, and how to fix it.

    https://www.kcaw.org/2018/05/29/chan...g-king-salmon/
    https://www.kdll.org/post/tagging-st...almon#stream/0
    http://www.legis.state.ak.us/basis/g...28&docid=14913
    https://www.npfmc.org/wp-content/PDF...chflyer913.pdf

    Gary
    Land, that is a tall order....so many variables......

    MTV

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    BC12D-4-85's Avatar
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    Yes. Time and money will be committed. Even then there's no guarantee managers can control overall King Salmon mortality.

    Edit: A recent example of some analysis: https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/...1111/faf.12272 Section 4 Discussion may be of interest.

    Gary
    Last edited by BC12D-4-85; 07-03-2019 at 12:09 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by BC12D-4-85 View Post
    Yes. Time and money will be committed. Even then there's no guarantee managers can control overall King Salmon mortality.

    Edit: A recent example of some analysis: https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/...1111/faf.12272

    Gary
    Now I am laughing. Every study I have seen done up here usually comes to the conclusion that they need more $ to study longer because they got more questions than answers.

    They have been studying salmon for years, yet still have zero idea on what is eating/killing the Kings. The one statement we continue to hear is that is not fresh water, but ocean survival. That statement coupled with the one that "Chilkat Fish are inland feeders", (meaning they stay within the southeast Alaska waters), but they don't attribute the increase in whales, seals, sea lions, improvements in fishing effectiveness and multi million hatchery fish released in the southeast waters as a problem.

    We can control one variable- amount of fishing pressure. But we don't.
    I don't know where you've been me lad, but I see you won first Prize!

  31. #31
    BC12D-4-85's Avatar
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    Read the link in #29. There's more but that's enough for now to share some ideas.

    Gary

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    Interesting.

    Forgot, one hatchery in Sitka does some king release also
    I don't know where you've been me lad, but I see you won first Prize!

  33. #33
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    Here's an easy read summary updated June 2019 of the current State of Alaska research plans for King Salmon: https://www.adfg.alaska.gov/index.cf...nitiative.main

    The links included are worth reviewing especially this 2013 publication that discusses what was known and planned for at that time: http://www.adfg.alaska.gov/FedAidPDFs/SP13-01.pdf

    The State's role is dependent on annual legislative funding and with this year's budget there may be reductions. Other Federal Agencies and groups are involved which may help continue the research and provide answers. https://www.fisheries.noaa.gov/speci...salmon#science

    Gary
    Last edited by BC12D-4-85; 07-03-2019 at 12:32 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by aktango58 View Post
    Now I am laughing. Every study I have seen done up here usually comes to the conclusion that they need more $ to study longer because they got more questions than answers.

    They have been studying salmon for years, yet still have zero idea on what is eating/killing the Kings. The one statement we continue to hear is that is not fresh water, but ocean survival. That statement coupled with the one that "Chilkat Fish are inland feeders", (meaning they stay within the southeast Alaska waters), but they don't attribute the increase in whales, seals, sea lions, improvements in fishing effectiveness and multi million hatchery fish released in the southeast waters as a problem.

    We can control one variable- amount of fishing pressure. But we don't.
    The more we know, the more we know how little we know.
    And scientific studies present more questions than answers - that's just the nature of studying complex natural systems. So yes, more money will be needed to answer these new questions, which will then present more questions, which will then need more money. But the rewards are worth it.
    It may also appear that there is conflicting information coming out of these studies, but let's take Chinook salmon as example using some very, very rough numbers:
    A female lays 5,000 eggs on average (varies by female weight and can be as much as 10,000 or more).
    The egg to smolting survival is about 7% (varies by stock/stream, water temperature/flow, density of spawners, weather, etc.)
    Smolt to adult returning survival is about 2% (well it used to be, but now it's less than 1% for some stocks and is dependent on lots and lots of factors).

    There are a number of studies that look at various causes of mortality at every life stage, and sometimes the answers may appear conflicting because many factors are interacting in ways that are hard to predict.
    For example, increased fresh water temperature increases metabolic rates and growth of the fry but if there is little food, then their mortality increases, otherwise with sufficient food, they grow bigger, increasing their survival.
    Then there are predator-prey interactions - and answers to questions such as what happened to the herring? What is the effect of changing prey field on Chinook salmon survival?
    And then my field of studies - adaptive plasticity and population resilience due to standing genetic variation, meaning if and why some populations are able to adapt better than others. For example, why some Chinook stocks are affected so differently by the recent marine heat waves?
    The list is almost endless.
    Like you said, we can control amount of fishing pressure, but seeing and understanding the whole picture is not without merit either.
    Thanks eskflyer thanked for this post

  35. #35
    aktango58's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by AKClimber View Post
    Like you said, we can control amount of fishing pressure, but seeing and understanding the whole picture is not without merit either.
    Jacek,

    Well said!!

    My desired point, though not said well, is that we are in need of extreme action if we wish to save the Kings. While it would be nice to 'know' all of what is going on, that will never happen as for years they have studied. If they do not act to save them now, take drastic measures, we might as well let the species go.

    Easier to study them if we have some coming back I think.

    But in practical sense, if after 40+ years the questions are not answered, more study over the next few probably won't come to an earth shattering finding.


    How is the 170?
    I don't know where you've been me lad, but I see you won first Prize!
    Thanks eskflyer thanked for this post
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  36. #36
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    Chinook-King have been in decline for over a Century. Started in California and worked its way north. Some stocks/populations have done ok others not. It's not universal and as researchers have noted the species has a plastic-like variable life style more than other salmon and some ability to adapt. They're moving across the Arctic in search of new habitat.

    Loss of overall numbers and older large spawners impacts freshwater fertilization and genetics for their progeny to prosper and grow big. Ocean predation happens - Sharks, Sea Lions, and Cetaceans like Killer Whales feast and are popularly supported. Bycatch happens. And in mixed stock fisheries it a challenge to preserve the few at the expense of the many. Stock-specific DNA sampling might help delineate oceanic range and contributions to overall harvest.

    Naturally occurring stocks may be doomed to minimal abundance despite efforts understand and improve. There's always the Endangered Species Act (ESA) that can bring out torches and pitchforks: https://www.fisheries.noaa.gov/speci...lmon-protected and https://ecos.fws.gov/ecp0/profile/sp...le?spcode=E06D. It might come to that in Alaska, or at least more severe restrictions on any harvest in both salt and freshwater. They aren't car tires that can be replaced.

    Gary
    Thanks eskflyer thanked for this post

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