19 July 2013

Regulations mount

At least they're hitting the commercial guys as well.  7,500 kings seems high considering Kenai escapment last year was almost 2/3 of that.

Council votes for new restrictions on Gulf of Alaska salmon bycatch

Published: June 11, 2013 

— The Gulf of Alaska trawl fleet faces new restrictions, as fisheries managers seek to limit the number of chinook salmon it unintentionally takes.
The North Pacific Fishery Management Council passed a policy over the weekend that lowers its cap on bycatch of the fish. It's expected to take a year and a half before the federal government formally adopts the policy, APRN reported (http://bit.ly/18mk8Tv).
The trawl fleet comprises about 50 vessels, fishing for things like cod and rockfish, and bringing their catch to seafood processing plants in communities like Kodiak.
Bycatch in the fishery has ranged from 3,000 to 10,000 fish. The question facing the council was how many chinook salmon the trawl fleet could unintentionally kill before it would have to stop fishing.
Conservation groups wanted a cap near the low end. Fleet representatives wanted a higher limit, arguing a lower cap would put them at risk of fisheries closures.
Fleet representatives said the economic harm they'd face from a low cap would spread to the coastal towns that handle their catch.
The council settled on 7,500 as the new cap.
Concerns have been raised in recent years about the health of Alaska's Chinook runs.
Bill Tweit, a council member who represents the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife, said the council had no choice but to take a conservation-minded approach. But council member Roy Hyder, with the Oregon Department of Fish and Game, was sympathetic to concerns raised about the economic impact.
"The person in Kodiak that doesn't get called by the processor to work on a line is the person that's going to pay the biggest price," he said.
Cora Campbell, Alaska's Fish and Game commissioner and a council member, said salmon fishermen have experienced plenty of economic damage already. She said a policy that wouldn't require the trawl fleet to change its behavior would be unfair.
"If you set the hard cap at a level where it would not have constrained the fishery in the past 10 years, that is not a balanced approach," she said. "That is not sharing the burden of conservation between the trawl fleet and the directed salmon fishermen."

Read more here: http://www.adn.com/2013/06/11/2935372/council-votes-for-new-restrictions.html#storylink=cpy

Read more here: http://www.adn.com/2013/06/11/2935372/council-votes-for-new-restrictions.html#storylink=cpy

12 June 2013

Big M@*%$& F!($*%# Jungle Fish

I got my hands on this film a few weeks ago and popped it in the other night.  I'm not one for straight up fish porn F3T style.  Most of Felt Sole works for me, partly because I live according to patagonia (despite not sponsoring the film, patagonia has a strong brand presence throughout Jungle Fish).  Beattie Productions has unreal footage and puts out good stuff, but once you've seen one it doesn't get off the shelf much.
Costa has done a good job with this film, the cast, the story, and the fish.  It delivers that holy shit moment while telling a story of pioneering an industry and creating a beacon for rural communities and sustainable development.

Give it a look-see:


"JUNGLE FISH" presented by Costa Films

For decades, the native peoples of Guyana have struggled for economic independence. But hope might be prowling in Guyana's rivers in the form of the largest freshwater fish in the world, the arapaima.  Follow three expert fishermen as they undertake a two-week voyage deep into the heart of Guyana's rain forest. Their mission:  to demonstrate that the arapaima can be caught with a fly rod.  If they succeed, it will prove that the country's fledgling sport fishing industry is viable.  And that will mean a brighter future for the native peoples, the rain forest they call home – and the endangered arapaima itself.
29 Minutes Running Time

08 June 2013

Protect the King

ADF&G: based on preseason outlook, the 2013 Kenai River early-run of king salmon is expected to be very low.

There are, in fact, just 343 kings in the river right now.

Emergency orders on the Kenai peninsula, for both the Kenai and Kasilof Rivers are out in an attempt to protect the early-run kings which have been low in recent years.  This comes on the heals of last season, where many guides and fishers saw their season ended weeks after it had begun, due to historically tragic number.  Fishing for kings is still allowed, but is it moral?

My first Kenai King.  I'm afraid it won't be topped

The new regulations prohibit the retention of any king between 20" and 55".  This one here came it at about 54", and within the 2011 slot limit regulations prohibiting retention.  I'm not interested in keeping fish that size.

Wild Kasilof King

The Kasilof has an emergency order prohibiting the take of any native fish greater than 20", down from  retention of 10 jacks per day and 2 greater than 20" with natives allowed just three days per week.

The good news is that the sockeye are expected to have another strong year, and if last year was any indication they are just days away from hitting the Russian River weir and are probably already stacked in Power Lines and Guardrail.

Current Kenai King Counts:

Current Russian River Sockeye Counts:

ADF&G Automated Fish Count Hotline
(907) 262-9097

05 June 2013

Not your average Chub

News flash from the LA Times via E & E News:

Grand Canyon fish rebounds Juvenile humpback chub

Endangered humpback chubs have been found spawning in Havasu Creek in Grand Canyon National Park, NPS biologists said.
The humpback chub, which has a pronounced hump behind its head, is indigenous to the Colorado River Basin. The discovery marks the first time the fish were found reproducing in the creek, where scientists have been working to introduce a chub population.
During a monitoring trip two weeks ago, researchers for the first time used ultrasound imaging equipment to determine whether female humpback chubs were developing eggs. The technology allowed researchers to avoid dissecting the fish to determine whether they were spawning.
Changes in seasonal flows in the Colorado River Basin, as well as invasive species, have threatened the once-prevalent fish (Julie Cart, Los Angeles Times, June 3). -- WW

In November I made my first trip down the Colorado's Grand, floating over big bows  for the first few days, where management has done a great job at building a robust population and sport industry.  Further down stream the trout taper off and you enter Humpback Chub territory (not technically territory but habitat).

SUPing up the Little Colorado
Below is the Little Colorado River, not surprisingly the location of many creation stories, and aptly the heart of the Humpback population.  While on the river in Nov. USGS conducted a high flow experiment (done every 4 years) with the goal of redistributing sediment throughout the river, simulating natural flooding, and reviving habitat.  It looks like they found one positive marker for the flood.  Lava Falls at 35,000+ cfs was another story.

23 March 2013

Environmental Film Fest (Arguably better than F3)

This film is being shown as part of the DC Environmental Film Fest.  Check it: http://www.dcenvironmentalfilmfest.org/

Green Lawns vs. Green Riverbanks
Well worth your time.

17 December 2012

October Trout

It was got damn cold out but with no trips on the board, might as well go fishing.

25 September 2012

This, from AK State Parks

Closure of Kenai River Special Management Area to all boating traffic
(Soldotna, AK) – The Kenai River Special Management Area is temporarily closed to all boating traffic, effective Monday, September 24, 2012 at 1:00 pm.

Recent heavy rainfall has created flooding conditions within the Kenai River watershed.

“Alaska State Parks has been monitoring water conditions along the Kenai River”, said State Parks Director Ben Ellis. “Based on current high water levels and forecast hydrology levels, this closure is necessary to protect public safety by prohibiting any boating on the Kenai River. In addition, it will protect property and habitat that may be damaged by boat wakes”, said Ellis.

This closure does not include the waters of Skilak and Kenai Lakes. The closure will remain in effect until the Director has determined flood levels have receded to a point where the risk to public safety, property, and habitat has diminished to an acceptable level.

Local News Here:  http://www.ktuu.com/news/ktuu-kenai-borough-braces-for-flood-crest-on-tuesday-20120924,0,7241098.story

21 September 2012

Official Flood Stages

With 2 "uncommonly severe" storms in the past week dumping inches upon inches of water on the Kenai Peninsula our days of low and clear flows are over.  We're approaching 2 feet over National Weather Service at the head of Kenai River, and the flow has exploded.  See below.

3,100 cfs - 14,300 cfs

A few big kings survive

A few gifts despite hight water 
My kind of dolly

With another system moving up from the south, Seward will get more rain and we will get more water.