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Old 01-15-2019, 12:52 AM   #1
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King salmon season - Alaska

Hi folks, bad news. Alaska Fish and Game have sent out notice that King Salmon fishing through out Alaska will be severely affected by shut downs of King salmon retention.

I can speak to Southeast around Ketchikan. April 1 through June 24th there will be no sport fishing with King Salmon retention in all of Clarence Straits from Snow Pass area to Cape Chacon across to below Cape Fox on the main land.

Catch and immediate release is allowed.

Al-Ketchikan
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Old 01-15-2019, 09:52 AM   #2
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Hi Al, thanks for the heads up. Thereís going to be a lot of unhappy anglers out there.
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Old 01-15-2019, 10:32 AM   #3
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Al, Not too much different for non-residents than last season, when it was one king allowed for the season. Very sad state of affairs.
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Old 01-15-2019, 11:17 AM   #4
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Al, Not too much different for non-residents than last season, when it was one king allowed for the season. Very sad state of affairs.
Ken
Maybe not so sad to all. I've been sport fishing AK for a long time. It has been clear that King stocks are diminishing. Some major moves need to be done. Several reasons for lowered salmon stocks beyond being over fished.

Whether Orcas in Puget sound or Kings in AK, seals and sea lions are disrupting the balance. This will get interesting, it is now well beyond keeping the sport fishing in check.
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Old 01-15-2019, 11:44 AM   #5
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+1 to Sunchaser's comments. The sea lions and seals in the Columbia River below Bonneville Dam are enjoying a feast on the Chinook and other species of salmon.


The law regarding taking the sea lions has recently been relaxed. I don't have specifics but I would bet it will be challenged in court by the "Save the Sea Lions" tree huggers.
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Old 01-15-2019, 11:45 AM   #6
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Whether Orcas in Puget sound or Kings in AK, seals and sea lions are disrupting the balance.
Really?

Weren't there Orca, seals, sea lions and a gazillion salmon on this coast before we (Europeans) turned up? Me-thinks we are the major contributor to salmon stocks declining.
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Old 01-15-2019, 11:46 AM   #7
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The sea lions and seals in the Columbia River below Bonneville Dam are enjoying a feast on the Chinook and other species of salmon.
Again...a problem of our making having disrupted the natural flow of the river.
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Old 01-15-2019, 11:51 AM   #8
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What happened to the Catch, Fillet and Release fishing method?
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Old 01-15-2019, 12:03 PM   #9
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Again...a problem of our making having disrupted the natural flow of the river.
Yes Murray we all understand there are too many people. Too many dams, boats and politicians too. I prefer sterilization of - who - exactly? Until Justin makes that decision, other cooler heads will get involved.

In both WA and BC a toker party or two will likely come up with a very good solution for replenishing the salmon stocks. ANd naturally forget about it the next morning.

Recognizing the problem is the first step. But the easiest thing to do is nothing as you suggest, hardly a cure.
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Old 01-15-2019, 12:08 PM   #10
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Yes Murray we all understand there are too many people. Too many dams, boats and politicians too. I prefer sterilization of - who - exactly? Until Justin makes that decision, other cooler heads will get involved.

In both WA and BC a toker party or two will likely come up with a very good solution for replenishing the salmon stocks. ANd naturally forget about it the next morning.

Recognizing the problem is the first step. But the easiest thing to do is nothing as you suggest, hardly a cure.
I suggested doing nothing?

Just pointing out that seals, sea lions, and killer whales were here when we arrived and salmon stocks were HUGE. They are not the problem.
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Old 01-15-2019, 12:37 PM   #11
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I suggested doing nothing?
OK, your suggestions, specific for the AK kings are ???
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Old 01-15-2019, 01:10 PM   #12
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Up in South-central Alaska the King fishing has been very good in the salt water, late returns but good numbers of fish. Our winter king fishery is still going strong, when I pulled out at the beginning of October it was HOT. I landed six in 2 1/2 hours, boating two 20 lb fish and releasing a 30 lb fish after limiting out (2). I limited out in typically less than two hours almost every trip out.

My understanding is that these fish come primarily from Washington/Canada and are up here to feed before returning South. We got so effective at catching the salmon in the rivers that restrictions were set on the rivers and days fishing were limited. Of course that means we started catching them before they get to the river, and we are getting too good at that as well.

I release almost all of the Kings I catch, but do put a few in mine and other peoples freezers. When the fish are still in the salt water they tolerate release very well, in the river they are using energy they need to make it up river to spawn and I personally believe the mortality after multiple catches and releases is harming the reproduction.

We have a lot of anglers here who fish for the fun of it in the river, and release all but the largest fish. They are only allowed to keep two per season, but fish all summer hoping for the largest fish to enter on their ticket after keeping the first good fish they catch. If they kept a second, their fishing activity would be over for the summer.

No limits in certain salt water areas, limit of five per season in other areas.
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Old 01-15-2019, 01:16 PM   #13
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OK, your suggestions, specific for the AK kings are ???
Reduce commercial fishery. Reduce sport fishery. Reduce catch in international waters. Limit First Nations food fishery.

Establish no further logging/development buffer zones which extend well beyond a rivers natural maximum meandering and allow these forests to fully mature.

Take a full watershed/biosphere approach to development/management...such as accounting for downstream effects from tributaries.

Limit and stop ocean acidification to protect feed species.

That’s a start.

Did you know that in Haida origin stories, they tell of taking salmon eggs from rivers and carrying those eggs in baskets of wet moss to rivers that didn’t have salmon? That means the abundance of salmon on this coast was human caused.

Humans created, or at least encouraged, the abundance of west coast salmon in the past...maybe we can do it again.
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Old 01-15-2019, 01:50 PM   #14
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I realize this is poking a hornet nest, but part of the problem is mixed information, and a bunch of the problem is political.
The reduced salmon stocks and poor returns are not coast-wide. SE and specifically this area, we are seeing reasonable numbers and the commercial industry is fighting to have that recognized. The dying runs in BC and WA are just not being seen here, but because of political issues, total harvests for the coast are what they see, and SE is required to cut back along with everyone else.
That's not to say that reduced fishing pressure wouldn't help, but it is a drop in the bucket compared to logging, mining, agricultural runoff, and climate change.
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Old 01-15-2019, 03:42 PM   #15
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I'm a former ocean commercial salmon and tuna fisherman. All the over fishing doesn't occur in North America. Salmon swim across the North Pacific to Asia. And they're fished over there without regulation. But it's not just fishing.
The killer whale problem is related to salmon numbers. So you have to fix the salmon problem before you can impact the killer whale problem. A big part of the salmon problem is what they eat. Their food is no longer abundant. Herring is a main source of food along with other small schooling fish. Herring was fished to near annihilation on the West Coast, and then the rendering plants moved to Alaska where they repeated the process of elimination. By 1935 the herring population was crashing. 90% of the herring caught were sent to rendering plants. By 1939 herring fishing was closed in SE Alaska except for bait. In the 1950s Russian and Japanese ships trawling for herring in the Bering Sea. They took 146,000 metric tons in 1970. Herring fishing in western states has closed, reopened and populations crashed more than once.
Also sardine populations went thru the same process. They were about wiped out in 1950. The fishery was closed for many years but opened again. The population crashed again.
A blue fin tuna recently sold for over a million dollars. If they were abundant the price should be a few thousand per ton. Japan has no concept of conservation. Because they have nearly wiped out their local herring, they buy herring eggs from the US, further reducing future populations. Herring eggs are gathered off kelp and other natural or man made objects. But some herring is caught by seiners in some states. They get the eggs, but the herring is dead. Those eggs and those herring are our fisheries future.
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Old 01-15-2019, 04:45 PM   #16
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Reduce commercial fishery. Reduce sport fishery. Reduce catch in international waters. Limit First Nations food fishery.

Establish no further logging/development buffer zones which extend well beyond a rivers natural maximum meandering and allow these forests to fully mature.

Take a full watershed/biosphere approach to development/management...such as accounting for downstream effects from tributaries.

Limit and stop ocean acidification to protect feed species.

We all have our favorite reasons for the decline in west coast salmon. The rivers that produce Chinook typically host at least 2 or 3 other species of salmon that aren't in jeopardy.... In SE there is no shortage of Chums or Pinks... they spawn in the same waters... I think emphasis should be placed in areas that target a specific specie.
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Old 01-15-2019, 05:17 PM   #17
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I don’t know anything about NW Salmon so I always find these discussions interesting. Many of us with fishing backgrounds have chimed in on this subject before. I worked on the fish boats in SoCal from the mid 70s through mid 80,s. Saw a decline of many species in that duration. There are no easy answers and protein rules. Avoiding over fished species, and letting them get back to sustainable levels is one method though. I get it, it’s not an exact science, but the Scientist do their best to protect the stocks and future generations.
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Old 01-15-2019, 06:01 PM   #18
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...In SE there is no shortage of Chums or Pinks..
Just guessing, but I'm pretty sure the numbers today would be lower than 150 years ago.
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Old 01-15-2019, 06:25 PM   #19
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Hi Al, thanks for the heads up. Thereís going to be a lot of unhappy anglers out there.
Actually most ALASKANS don't get upset with fishery closures. It is the guides from outside that raise hell. Most Alaskans understand that they are protecting the run.

As far as I know (none of us are aquatic scientist) the runs have been going bad for at least the last few decades. The runs have also been reduced because the Environmental Waco Terrorist have been successful on the Columbia River to shut down hatcheries. A lot of them.

Thanks Al for the info. Our main reason for going to Sitka this summer was to fish for Kings. We may have to readjust our cruise this summer.
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Old 01-15-2019, 07:10 PM   #20
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Thanks Al for the info. Our main reason for going to Sitka this summer was to fish for Kings. We may have to readjust our cruise this summer.

Still lots of kings here, and the fishing has been pretty good lately. You southerners just don't get to keep very many of the fish you catch up here.
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