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Fishermen trouble

jerry mccuneThe 68-year-old president of the United Fishermen of Alaska – one of the 49th state’s most powerful lobbies – and three other commercial fishermen have been cited in Cordova for failing to report salmon catches.

Jerry McCune said earlier this week that he simply made a mistake after dropping his commercial catch at a tender. McCune said he told the tender to record his catch for the day plus three salmon – a “little teeny king” and two sockeye – he was taking home with him.

When he got his “fish ticket” back from the tender, he said, he tossed it into the cabin of the boat without checking to see if his so-called “home pack” catch had been recorded. Back at the harbor, he said, he was met by Alaska Wildlife Troopers, showed them the fish he’d kept, and discovered they hadn’t been recorded.

Troopers gave him a citation, and he called the tender to tell it to correct the report, he said.

“It wasn’t like I was fishing over the line,” McCune said, “but at the end of the day, it’s my responsibility.  It is my responsibility to check the (fish) ticket.”

McCune, who was reached by telephone, sounded mainly embarrassed about what had happened.

“I’ve never had a ticket in my life,” he said.

One of the other fishermen says he was wrongly cited and plans to fight. The two others, one who is 69 and one who is 75, could not be reached.

Super-heated fishtics

Some Cordova commercial fishermen reacted to the charges against McCune and the others with claims the actions were politically motivated. The troopers were reported to have flown into Cordova – an isolated, port community of 2,200 unconnected to the Alaska road system – from a post on the Kenai Peninsula, 180 miles to the west on the far side of Prince William Sound.

Some subsistence, personal-use dipnet, and rod-and-reel fishermen from communities upriver on the Copper or elsewhere in Alaska cited the accusations as evidence of widespread under reporting of Copper River king salmon harvests in the Cordova area.

There was no evidence to support either of those ideas, but emotions run hot in Alaska fishery politics or what is often just referred to as “fishtics.”

The citations were issued on May 18 after the year’s first opening of the Copper River salmon fishery. Alaska State Troopers reported them three days later.

They caused an immediate buzz in the Alaska fishing community given the dynamics of a year in which the Alaska Department of Fish and Game has forecast a disastrously low return of king salmon to the Copper.

King salmon sport fisheries throughout the Copper River basin have been closed for the season. Dipnetters have been banned from keeping kings. And subsistence fishermen, who are supposed to have a harvest priority, have been limited to two kings each for the year.

None of these groups are fishing yet, and the commercial fishery has already caught 4,793 Chinook.  That is only 207 fish short of the total allowable harvest Fish and Game set as acceptable for the year, and another commercial opening is set for Monday.

Going into the season, Fish and Game called for a total harvest of 5,000 kings with 1,000 of those to be reserved for subsistence fishermen upriver. Now, the agency is saying that the “harvest from the first three fishing periods was above anticipated levels despite unprecedented area restrictions, and poor weather conditions in the second and third fishing period that reduced harvest efficiency. This information continues to provide a preliminary indication of above anticipated king salmon abundance.”

Commercial fishermen, who have said all along they thought the king forecast was faulty, are saying “we told you so” with some accusing Fish and Game of putting a target on their backs by closing the sport and personal-use takes of kings before getting a feel for how many kings are returning.

Take a guess

The problem is there’s no real evidence to indicate the king forecast is wrong.

To try to protect kings, state fishery managers started the season with a closure of sheltered waters behind the barrier islands off the Copper River delta. That is where most king are usually caught.

Despite the closure, fishermen landed way more kings than managers expected during both the first and second, 12-hour fishing periods. So managers shortened the third period so as to not only restrict fishing time but to end fishing at lower tides.

Kings are believed to travel deeper in the water column than sockeye. By limiting fishing to times periods when tides are high enough to keep the lead lines that hang at the bottoms of gillnets well above the bottom of the Gulf  of Alaska, managers hoped to cut the king catch.

And the king catch did go down, dropping from an average of 1,818 for the first two periods of the fishery to 1,157 Chinook for the May 25 opener. The ratio of sockeyes, the strong stock, to kings, the weak stock, also improved, going from a two-period average of 24 sockeye for every king to 32 sockeye for every king.

The problem is, as McCune noted, “they have no index.”

With the fisheries being prosecuted in new ways, fishery managers have no history against which to compare the catch. Director of Commercial Fisheries Scott Kelley was left a message earlier in the week asking how exactly the state agency knows the reduced catch in the last king fishing period doesn’t simply reflect a king run that has gone past its peak and started to decline.

He has yet to return the call and answer the question.

In past years, king catches have started trending downward toward the end of May. Cordova fishermen caught 3,002 kings during a May 25 opening last year only to have the catch drop to 1,932 on the following, May 28 opening as the run began to fade for the season.

Fisheries managers would like to believe that their restrictions have reduced the harvest of a king run that is, hopefully, coming back bigger than the 29,000 fish forecast, but they have no way of knowing.

What they are very aware of is that a state sonar that counts salmon headed up the muddy, fast-flowing Copper started clicking like crazy on Friday. More than 38,000 salmon went up the river that day; another 28,000 followed on Saturday.

Painful for fishermen

By Sunday morning, close to 103,000 salmon had gone upriver – well more than twice the number of spawners Fish and Game biologists say they need by that date. Commercial fishermen were seeing red.

Salmon are a common property resource in the 49th state, but Alaska voters in 1972 approved a Constitutional amendment that seriously altered the way salmon were viewed. The amendment allowed the state to create an exclusive club of limited-entry, commercial salmon permit holders who have increasingly over the years come to think of the salmon resource as theirs.

For many if not most of the 536 owners of Copper River drift gillnet permits, every salmon over the cumulative goal of 43,400 for May 27 was a fish worth tens of dollars the state had taken out of their pockets. That fisheries managers might have had no choice but to let those sockeye upstream in order to avoid catching the threatened kings swimming with them was irrelevant because nearly all of the fishermen believe the state king forecast is wrong.

“I just wish they knew as biologist what we inside fisherman know,” fisherman Dan Jory texted, “that it is always the kings that come first. And that they have no way to count the kings. We fished the inside five days a week for generations,and maintained sustainability.

“Notice the huge spike in daily escapement, and that we are double the anticipated cumulative for this date soon to be much more. How about a story on that truth?”

The sonar did spike, but the evidence for the kings coming first is thin. Fish wheels put in the river to capture, tag and then use a capture-recapture analysis to estimate run strength, didn’t catch a king until May 18, and the wheels had caught less than 150 through May 25.

The Chinook catch has since began to pick up in unison with the sonar with a total of 400 kings caught by Saturday night, but what that means is anyone’s guess until wheels even further upstream began to catch tagged fish. The ratio between tagged and non-tagged kings provides an estimate of what percentage of all fish were caught and from that biologists can extrapolate a run-size estimate.

All they know at this point is that 400 kings they’ve seen in the fish wheel represent some portion of the run.

The lack of better management tools makes the situation difficult for everyone, and Fish and Game Commissioner Sam Cotten, a former fishermen, and Kelley have done all they can to make it easier for commercial fishermen.

They met with commercial fishermen in Cordova on May 18 to try to ease their fears about the coming season. National Fishermen, an industry tabloid, called it a “stakeholders” meeting.

Reporter Emilie Spring said the meeting was convened to discuss “the biggest issue the (Cordova) group has faced post-Exxon Valdez oil spill, and the locals are clearly anxious about how to take action.

“‘We welcome that fishermen have a special knowledge of how the fishery is occurring that management does not,’ said Fish and Game Commissioner Sam Cotten. ‘And we need an efficient way to collect that information.'”

Upstream, downstream

A hundred miles north of Cordova in the even smaller community of Copper Center, population 328, Glenn McDowell, the owner and operator at Klutina Salmon Charters was wishing someone would have met with him.

McDowell runs salmon charters on the Klutina River, a major Copper River tributary. King salmon are, or were, a big part of his business. The state didn’t just take a bite out of that business this year, it shut it down.

Nobody bothered to get in touch with McDowell before or after. He said he heard a rumor a closure was coming, called the area fisheries biologist in the regional hub of Glennallen, and was told he was out of business for the season.

“There is no public process,” he said in a text. “I was never asked how this decision might affect my business and the businesses in the area.”

Rod Arno, the executive director of the Alaska Outdoor Council, the state’s largest outdoor organization, said his interaction with the state regarding the Copper River amounted to “zero.

“The only thing Cotten said to me at the board meeting deciding whether or not to take up the Fairbanks Advisory Committee petition was that it ‘looked like I’d been out in the sun’.”

The Fairbanks group asked the state Board of Fisheries, the entity charged with setting state fishing regulations, to review Cotten’s emergency decision to give most of the Copper River king harvest to commercial fishermen and totally shut out dipnetters and anglers. Cotten rejected the committee’s request, saying there was no emergency.

Two board members then brought the matter to the full board which voted 4-3 against considering the situation.

Emergency?

As the fortunes of Copper River sockeye have gone up, boosted in part by a hatchery on the Gulkana River, the fortunes of Copper River kings have gone down.

Almost 69,000 kings were harvested in the Cordova fishery in 1998 and thousands more were caught by anglers that year. Last year, the total run of kings measured 29,109 – less than half the catch from almost three decades back.

The commercial fishery caught 13,001 of those 29,109.  Only an estimated 16,009 made it into the river.

“After upriver fisheries harvests are subtracted, the total spawning escapement estimate will likely be close to half of the lower bound spawning escapement goal of 24,000,” state fisheries managers reported. 

The lack of kings on the spawning grounds is part of a continuing trend.

The “in-river runs of salmon in 2012, 2013, and 2014 were the three highest runs since the sonar (sonar fish counter) was installed at Miles Lake,” managers told the fish board in 2014. “(But) the Chinook salmon components of these runs were the lowest three ever in the Copper River.”

The Copper River run is compromised of a complex mixed of king salmon from the Chistochina, Tonsina, Klutina, Tazlina, Gulkana and other rivers, and sockeye salmon bound for those streams and upriver in the Copper almost to Canada.

The difficulties of managing mixed-stock salmon fisheries are well documented. Canadian biologists Stuart Nelson and Bruce Turris summarized them nicely in a 2004 report on British Columbia fisheries for the Pacific Fisheries Resource Conservation Council:

“(Fisheries and Oceans Canada) faces a dilemma when confronted with mixed stock fisheries: if management focuses on optimal harvesting of strong stocks, weak stocks will be depleted (and possibly extinguished); if management focuses on weak stock sustainability or rebuilding, then valuable fishing opportunities on strong stocks must be forgone.”

This is exactly the problem fisheries managers for the state of Alaska now face, and there are only so many ways to deal with the problem. The Canadian experience is what Cordova fishermen are living.

“A mobile, efficient fleet was now applying heavy pressure to mixed stocks in a variety of coastal areas,” Nelson and Turris wrote. “The unmanageability of this situation, and in particular, the potential for harm to less abundant stocks, became apparent. Commercial fishery openings became shorter, less frequent, and unable to provide sufficient information to assess run size.

“We do not see the business environment facing commercial fishery participants getting easier, or current challenges abating. If anything, the constraints upon the fleet will further tighten.

“Commercial salmon fishery participants hoping for, or waiting for, a return to the fishery of old, will be disappointed. Selective fishing and precautionary management are not fads. Improving stock abundance will not trigger a return to large-scale mixed stock fisheries. In the face of an unflinching conservation mandate, the fleet must fundamentally change its philosophy and practices. Many commercial salmon fishery participants have recognized this reality, a few have embraced it, while others resist it.”

In Cordova, the resistance is strong.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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15 replies »

  1. The latest on the Copper River Commercial Fishery – Monday May 29 (data still coming in): 22 hour opener (outside islands), 359 deliveries: 1,577 kings (6,373 season); 29,470 sockeye (155,290 season).

    Truckin’ got my chips cashed in. Keep truckin’, like the do-dah man
    Together, more or less in line, just keep truckin’ on.

    Like

    • Latest update for Monday, May 29 – 10 hour opener, 483 deliveries, 2,072 kings (6,868 season), 38,623 sockeye (164,443 season).

      Only 3,000 kings over commercial allocation, based on preseason forecast of 4,000 available for CF.

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  2. Craig, In your response to Matt you state “you don’t know”, with regards to the impact of the so called “Commies” of the % of the King run Harvested. To that I say, You finally are writing the FACTS! When all the restrictions are lifted upriver after the manipulative, politically driven, management model proves itself WRONG (again), You will most certainly tweak the facts in a “told you so fashion”….. (36mph at 86% engine load?) WTF man? Alternative facts….
    right?

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    • i think you just made my point on technology, Kurt. it’s hard to keep up. fisheries managers have the same problem. my reaction was also WTF, but if it’s “alternative facts,” it ain’t me. here you go:

      https://www.nationalfisherman.com/archive/2012-07-around-the-yards/

      “In Homer, Alaska, Bay Welding Services sea trialed the Tazlina, a new 32′ x 12′ 10″ aluminum bowpicker on April 24 for local fisherman Bruce Petska.

      “‘Petska’s boat will fish the Copper River and Prince William Sound, which is part of the reason the boat is 2 feet wider than Bay Welding Services’ standard bowpicker. ‘It was built as much for fishing deepwater in Prince William Sound as it was for the Copper River, so it’s heavier and larger than Copper River boats,’ says Bay Welding Services’ Eric Engebretsen. ‘It also makes for a cleaner layout in the engine room and cabin, and increased carrying capacity.’

      “The bowpicker’s five individual fish holds take two bags each, which works out to about 12,000 pounds.

      “It pays to have water jets on the Copper River, which is another reason for the nearly 13-foot beam. Water jets were ‘one of the considerations for building wider. We knew we would have a heavier boat and wanted more boat to displace the weight, so we were not sitting lower in the water,’ says Engebretsen.

      “Two 15-inch Traktor jets from NamJet (previously North American Marine Jet) are hooked up to 364-hp FPT/Iveco N60s. Those engines are there because, at just under 1,400 pounds each, they were the only ones in ‘this weight and horsepower class that we could get keel cooled,’ Engebretsen says.

      “On sea trials, PETSKA’S BOAT HIT 34.6 MPH AT 86 PERCENT ENGINE LOAD, with 1 mile per gallon fuel consumption. She made 19 mph with 10,000 pounds on board.

      “The engines are a little oversized for the boat in terms of horsepower, but they will allow Petska to throttle back and not work the engines quite as hard as he would have to with the 300-hp model, which weighs the same.

      “These are the first FPT/Iveco engines installed in a boat built at Bay Welding Services.”

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  3. “The lack of kings on the spawning grounds is part of a continuing trend.”

    Craig,

    I believe we need to think back to our history in the Prince William Sound (Think huge oil spill…Exxon Valdez)
    A few years after the spill the Herring fishery collapsed (after years of record harvests)
    then, the next year the Pink Salmon catch was horrible.

    Then the state started pumping out pinks and chums in record numbers from the hatcheries in PWS.

    Now, years later Alaskan state biologists are learning that “Straying” of hatchery stock with other salmon species poses a “serious risk” to WILD stocks of fish attempting to return to their spawning streams.

    This excerpt is from a noaa.gov report…

    “For 25 years, methodical research by scientists has investigated the effects of the Exxon Valdez oil spill in 1989 on Alaskan communities and ecosystems. A new study released today into the effects of the 1989 Exxon Valdez oil spill in Alaska shows that embryonic salmon and herring exposed to very low levels of crude oil can develop hidden heart defects that compromise their later survival, indicating that the spill may have had much greater impacts on spawning fish than previously recognized.
    The herring population crashed four years after the spill in Prince William Sound and pink salmon stocks also declined, but the link to the oil spill has remained controversial. The new findings published in the online journal Scientific Reports suggest that the delayed effects of the spill may have been important contributors to the declines.
    “These juvenile fish on the outside look completely normal, but their hearts are not functioning properly and that translates directly into reduced swimming ability and reduced survival,” said John Incardona, a research toxicologist at NOAA Fisheries’ Northwest Fisheries Science Center in Seattle. “In terms of impacts to shore-spawning fish, the oil spill likely had a much bigger footprint than anyone realized.”

    https://www.nwfsc.noaa.gov/news/features/delayed_effects_oilspill/index.cfm

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  4. The opener that took place last Thursday was on an old believer Holiday. Roughly a third of the fleet didn’t have their gear in the water.

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  5. The only thing harder to find than a reporter who does not bring their own experience/bias to their reporting is an apologetic commercial fisherman.

    Sent from Rod Arno’s iPhone.

    >

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  6. We can agree to disagree about what the motivation is behind your writing, I apologize for the personal comment, uncalled for. Thank for clarifying what was unclear in the title of your piece and your comments when you wrote, Prized Fish Kill. Also, it’s tough to listen to you talk about the Halibut fishery, the Copper River and working in dangerous conditions from behind your computer. Regardless of catch share programs and quotas fisherman must make decisions regarding putting themselves and their crews in harm’s way far too often. These decisions are personal and to a man and woman I believe we’d prefer to keep them that way as opposed to being fodder for conversation on your blog. Thank you in advance for understanding.,

    Now my turn to clarify. I am not implying that anything in the ADFG management plan for 2017 should change. Moffitt et al made an an apolitical, science based forecast and the associated management plan needs to be respected by all stakeholders.. What I would hope is that the type of anecdotal observation I offered stimulates a productive conversation and that the department and stakeholders acknowledge that we are lacking the tools to make good decisions when it comes to Copper River King and Sockeye salmon. This has been going on for decades and we still have a sonar counter 7-9 days from the commercial fishery and using that singular tool for in season management, is today and always has been, an abject failure. Fish need to come first, but we are capable of a far better way to manage them.

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    • So Matt how could the fish allocations be based on sound, science based management if the sonar counter is an abject failure??? The measurement tools are certainly lacking, and there is no sign of that improving in the future. So it would seem that the current management is based on politics and influence…as in zero, zilch, no kings were allocated to the Copper River sport and personal use fisheries, which is absolutely BS too.

      But I don’t see how anyone could explain to Craig the “sound science” behind the fishery management if, as you concede, the data being collected is inaccurate.

      “Will someone please explain to Medred how the Limited Entry law combined with sound, science based management regimes have guided the management of Alaska’s fisheries resources for the benefit of EVERY stakeholder; commercial, sport, personal use and subsistence.”

      “…we are lacking the tools to make good decisions when it comes to Copper River King and Sockeye salmon. This has been going on for decades and we still have a sonar counter 7-9 days from the commercial fishery and using that singular tool for in season management, is today and always has been, an abject failure.”

      Like

      • Laura,
        The failure is that the counter is so far from the fishery on the Flats it fails to provide any information that can be used in season to properly assess run strength and make in season adjustments. If we had those tools and if for instance more Kings than forecast could be enumerated this year, personal use and sport fisheries could be reinstated and time and area restrictions on the Flats could be relaxed.

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      • Well perhaps more accurate data would prove there were greater numbers to the run, or it could prove the king run is indeed as weak as the forecast and the fishery should be closed completely. But either way, the determination of who gets the fish is not based on science, and it doesn’t seem fair that the sport and personal use fisheries got the shaft based on the current estimated return numbers.

        Despite the legal mandate that subsistence users have priority to the allocated harvest, the subsistence fishery was restricted to 20% of the allocated kings while the commercial fleet was granted the remaining 80%.The sport fishing charters, despite being heavily invested in their businesses, were allocated 0% of the run. The personal use fishery was also allocated 0% of the run. Meanwhile the commercial fleet has already caught 96% of the total quota for the king fishery (which includes some 80% of the subsistence allocation), they are earning top dollar at the docks, and on top of all that some are harvesting additional kings for personal use and failing to accurately report them. That’s ridiculous.

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  7. Perhaps one the most disturbing trends in our country today is the writing of individual journalists, the goal to forward their personal agenda, disguised as ” news commentary. “ If you are going to write, please try to stick to facts, stop cherry picking numbers, taking quotes out of context, using cleverly crafted insinuation, the sole purpose to create fear and angst in your readership.
    I lived in Cordova for years, fished on the Copper River for years and now I commercial fish in Bristol Bay. I love Cordova, it is a unique community that you will never understand. In one of your previous blogs, titled, ” Prized Fish Kill” you had the nerve to imply that greed associated with harvesting $10/lb. King Salmon led to the death of Mick Johns. ” Meanwhile, sky-high prices for freshly caught Copper River salmon – a prized, first-fish-of-the-season – encourage fishermen to take risks to fill their holds while fishing a coastline that long ago proved deadly.” You should be ashamed of yourself. Given Mick’s tragic passing, the impact on a family and a community, your editorial was an inappropriate, thoughtless, classless commentary As you are, pitiful.

    Back to your recent editorial. I’ll leave most of your flawed, inflammatory comments for others to comment on. Will someone please explain to Medred how the Limited Entry law combined with sound, science based management regimes have guided the management of Alaska’s fisheries resources for the benefit of EVERY stakeholder; commercial, sport, personal use and subsistence. It is not a perfect world and there are events and issues that present challenges; the Copper River is one of them, but to the largest extent there is not a state fisheries regulatory agency in this country that does not consider Alaska’s Fish and Game regulatory system as a poster child of the very finest in sustainable fisheries management.

    I want to address the Copper River King Salmon issue with one simple anecdotal, common sense observation. I’ll leave it at that and let your readers decide for themselves. Between May 18th and today the commercial fishing season has been open for 43 hours. That is 43 hours during the past 10 days and please remember that the harvesting has been restricted to the open ocean and the entire Copper River district fifty miles wide inside the barrier islands has been off limits and every King Salmon once inside those islands is free to begin its migration to the spawning grounds. Further, the commercial openings have been timed to avoid openings when King salmon are more vulnerable to harvest at or around periods of the lowest tides. Finally, consider that during those 4-commercial opening the weather was horrible during two of them the efficiency of the fleet was reduced drastically.
    During the 43 hours of commercial fishing in the past 10 days there have been 4 flood tides. During the period of time that the fishery has been closed there have been 16 flood tides. The flood tide is that 5-7 hour period that ocean current push up to 22 ft. of water into the ocean entrances and salmon pushed by the tides move into the inside waters and enter waters where commercial fishing is prohibited and they are safe to begin their migration. To date, the fleet has harvested approximately 4800 King salmon plus what will be harvested during the ongoing 9 hr. period. This number represents approximately 17% of the total expected return. I contend that it physically impossible for this fleet, fishing in deep water in the open ocean, the entire inside waters of the Copper River Flats, fifty miles wide closed, restricted to fishing during unfavorable tides and in heavy weather to harvest 17% of all available King salmon. Given the circumstances I’ve described it is much more likely that number is closer to 10% and that would put the total return 40-50K Kings not 29K. Just an opinion based on what has really transpired the past ten day. You decide.

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    • Matt: i’m approving this to post despite your ad hominem attack on me because i think some of the points you make do add to the discussion. they would have been better posted without the opening bullshit, but you’re entitled to your opinion. my interest here is the fish. let me repeat what the Board of Fisheries was told in 2014:
      2012/2013/2014 were the highest sonar counter numbers ever, and the three lowest Chinook returns ever. that pattern has largely continued. we now have five years of weak or relatively weak parent years for Chinook going on six if one is to believe Steve Moffit’s forecest. this never bodes well.
      as to the tragic death of Mick Johns, i feel for his family as i feel for all Cordova fishermen caught in the dilemma of rough seas, short openings and high prices. it’s the old halibut derby all over again. was the system “inappropriate, thoughtless, classless” when it wholly changed the way we harvest halibut to stop people from dying? and there was no implication on my part that Mr. Johns was “greedy;” that is an inference on your part. Mr. Johns was a guy trying to make a living. he was a small businessman like me. to the extent that we want make money (and i’ll be honest i’d like to make more; feel free to contribute) i guess we’re all greedy, but Mr. Johns no more so than of the rest of us yourself included unless you’re giving away your Bristol Bay catch.
      now, to the crux of your comment:
      i totally agree with all your observations on the Delta. and you ask the appropriate question, ie. is it possible that given all the restrictions on the fishery this year that the fishery has managed to catch the entire allowable harvest of Chinook in three short openings?
      where we differ is in the conclusion.
      your conclusion is “no, they couldn’t do it. impossible.” mine is a simple “i do not know.”
      the history of fishery management is replete with managers underestimating the abilities of fishermen to find and harvest fish. i hope you are right. i hope the forecast is wrong. i hope Moffitt totally blew it. but if he’s right and your wrong, the losers are the fish, which have been losing since 2012, and in the end the fishermen set to face a future of short openings and restricted fishing areas that almost always make the fishing more dangerous.
      what you need to recognize that while the fish are the same as they were 100 years ago, the fishery is different. we have much better technology for finding fish. we have gillnetters that will do 35 mph at 86 percent engine load. the fleet is faster, more mobile and better equipped. could that enable people to move around better to get on fish and catch more when fewer are there? possibly.
      it’s the big, unanswered question.
      could the fishery be modified in ways to both cap the harvest and make it safer for the fishermen? well, there’s no doubt about that. but no really seems to want to talk about that.
      now, i have a question for you: what if both you and Steve Moffitt, who made the forecast right? what if we’ve already harvested 17 percent, and it is the entire allowable harvest? what do we do next? shut the whole fishery (and the subsistence fishery) for the rest of the year to prevent the stock from being once again overfished? keep on fishing and say to hell with the fish?

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    • My Goodness Matt, but you are mean spirited. Medred does a great deal of research before coming to any conclusions. It is fair game to disagree, but when you become personal your message gets lost in the noise you make. That has happened to you.
      I take note that Commercial Director Scott Kelly used to manage Sitka Herring which has been slowing going downhill ever since. If he and Commissioner Cotten don’t start managing the Chinook harvest better we may someday not have any Chinook to harvest by anyone.

      Like

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