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KRSA Agenda Change Request to the Alaska Board of Fisheries – Part Three

September 19th, 2012

Part three of excerpts of KRSA’s ACR to the BOF:

3) STATE WHY YOUR AGENDA CHANGE REQUEST IS NOT PREDOMINANTLY ALLOCATIVE.
The sustained yield of this stock of king salmon is in serious jeopardy. Escapement objectives have likely not been achieved or achieved only through unprecedented restrictive action on all fisheries. The BOF must examine all “tools” used to manage all fisheries and, if possible, develop new tools that allow for continued opportunity and minimization of king salmon mortality. The management plan governing this fishery must be reevaluated to address the current realities prior to the 2013 season. ADFG’s stock assessment capability must be incorporated in the design of a new management plan. Although a rehearing of 5 AAC 21.359 could result in shifts in allocation of the burden of conservation, KRSA argues that the need to review is COMPELLING.

4) IF YOUR REQUEST IS ALLOCATIVE, STATE THE NEW INFORMATION THAT COMPELS THE BOARD TO CONSIDER AN ALLOCATIVE PROPOSAL OUTSIDE OF THE REGULAR CYCLE.
The new information is barely meeting or significantly missing the minimum escapement objectives for late-run king salmon in the Kenai River in 2009-2012. In addition, new information is certainly available describing the devastatingly negative impacts on fisheries dependent upon adequate numbers of late-run king salmon of Kenai River origin.

The confusion or lack of clarity in the management plan and its implementation contributes significantly to the jeopardy in which we find late-run king salmon of Kenai River origin.

At the time of this writing, ADFG has not yet provided the public with a final season end (2012) estimate of escapement. Preliminary analysis of data derived from the use of Didson sonar provides an estimate of in-river return that combined with harvest estimates indicates the 2012 run was the smallest on record.

5) CITE THE REGULATION(S) THAT WILL BE CHANGED IF THIS REQUEST IS HEARD.
KRSA requests that the Alaska Board of Fisheries amend their 2012/2013 agenda to accommodate a hearing of 5 AAC 21.359 Kenai River Late-Run King Salmon Management Plan.

6) STATE IN DETAIL THE REASON(S) WHY THIS MATTER CANNOT BE HEARD IN THE REGULAR CYCLE.
The sustained yield of late-run Kenai River king salmon is in serious jeopardy as are the fisheries that depend upon adequate numbers of late-run kings. The 2012 run was likely the smallest on record and the return the late-run of king salmon in the Kenai River has likely barely met or significantly fallen short of the minimum end of its spawning escapement goal range for the past four years. The economy of the region was deeply hurt by the near total closure of the in-river sport and commercial set net fisheries that harvest late-run king salmon. The management plan governing this fishery must be reevaluated to address the current realities prior to the 2013 season. See response to question #2 for more information.

7) STATE YOUR INVOLVEMENT IN THE FISHERY THAT IS THE SUBJECT OF YOUR AGENDA CHANGE REQUEST (e.g., commercial fisherman, subsistence user, sport fisherman, etc.).

KRSA represents sport and personal use fishery interests consistent with conservation and wise stewardship of sustainable fish resources and related habitats.

8 ) STATE WHETHER THIS AGENDA CHANGE REQUEST HAS BEEN CONSIDERED BEFORE, EITHER AS A PROPOSAL OR AN AGENDA CHANGE REQUEST AND, IF SO, DURING WHICH BOARD OF FISHERIES MEETING.

Proposed revisions to 5 AAC 21.359 Kenai River Late-Run King Salmon Management Plan are considered on a regularly basis during the triennial UCI BOF meetings and were discussed at the October 2011 BOF work session; however, 2012 brought the smallest return on record and never before has ADFG indicated that the late-run Kenai River king salmon barely met or likely failed to meet minimum escapement objectives for the past four years. Never in history has there been total closure of the sport, personal use and commercial set net fisheries that harvest these prized fish.

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