Friday, January 31, 2014

Board of Fisheries Meeting 1/31-2/13

Mouth of Kenai River during the personal use fishery

If you're concerned about Alaska fisheries, the next two weeks are very important.   The triennially Board of Fisheries (BOF) meeting will be held in Anchorage from 1/31-2/13.  The BOF is made up of 7 members appointed by the Governor and their main role is to conserve and develop the fishery resources of the state. This involves setting seasons, bag limits, methods and means for the state's subsistence, commercial, sport, guided sport, and personal use fisheries.  Perhaps most important to me is the BOF is in charge of allocative decisions.  In other words, who gets what slice of the pie.

What makes Alaska unique is it is the only state that allows the public (and not just Alaskans) to submit regulatory proposals about ongoing management issues across the state.   Because of this process it is a highly political affair with all user groups being well represented.

This year there are 236 proposals for Upper Cook Inlet.   That's right, 236.   Specific to the Kenai, there are 10 proposals for the management of the early run of kings.  As an example, one is to reduce the current low end of the slot limit from 46" to 42".   And, for the late run of Kenai kings there are 12 proposals.  One of which is to lower the escapement goal of kings from a minimum of 15,000 to 12,000.

In this BOF cycle there are quite a few proposals that have merit, some, not so much.    I've been to several of BOF meetings (I am unable to attend this year but have written letters) and have walked away thinking, 1) I would never want a BOF job because there will always be a user group disappointed in a decision, and 2) as a whole, the BOF members are a level headed, pragmatic group that let facts and common sense guide their decisions despite the emotions (and politics) that permeate the 2 weeks of discussions.

If you would like to see the 2014 agenda, click here. Or, if you're really committed to this process you can listen to a live audio stream by clicking here.

When these meetings are done make sure to look for my follow up post to explain what changes, if any, will occur in 2014.

Sunday, January 26, 2014

2014 Kenai King Forecast

Wish I had better news but it looks like 2014 will be a lot like 2013.

My prediction is the first run of kings (May/June) will start out conservative, most likely catch and release.   Some time in early June a determination will be made whether or not the minimum of escapement goal of 5500 will be met.  Based on Alaska Department of Fish and Game's (ADF&G) preseason prediction of 2150 my guess is the fishery will be closed and that will last until the beginning of the second run, July 1st.

The second run (July) will start out conservatively, perhaps no bait.   By the middle of the month, if ADF&G can not predict the minimum escapement of 15,000, the fishery will go to catch and release. Considering their prediction is 19,700, there's a very good chance that the fishery will go from catch and release to a full closure towards the end of the month.

That's my best guess and I hope mother nature proves ADF&G and me wrong.  If not, I am definitely geared up to offer guided red salmon and trout trips during this period.   This has been my advice to all of my May, June, July clients: BE FLEXIBLE.   One way or another I'll give you an Alaskan fishing experience.

Sunday, January 19, 2014


There's one more fisherman that made it to heaven.  My friend Orv Lundbohm lost his battle with cancer on 1/11/14.

Orv and Deb Lundbohm

I really love guiding on the Kenai River but the one thing that saddens me are the trips that involve the "bucket list."   Every year I have several clients that fit into this category.   My friend Orv was diagnosed with melanoma cancer last year and told me it was about time he came to Alaska.   Neither one on of us used the term "bucket list" because we both thought that this would be the first of many trips.  Heck, it was a treatable cancer, he was stronger than an ox, and he had an incredibly positive attitude.  Having cancer and beating it would just be a hiccup in a long live......Unfortunately, medicine and the right attitude were not enough and sadly, his life was cut short too soon.

Orv leaves behind a wonderful legacy.   A terrific family, many friends, and a brotherhood of hockey players that will truly miss his presence on and off the ice.

Jane and I are glad that Alaska could be a small part of a very big life.

Monday, January 13, 2014

St. Paul Sport Show Recap

 Rice Park located next to the RiverCentre

Oh boy, what an interesting week.   I should start out by talking about the weather in Alaska and Minnesota. During the entire show the Kenai Peninsula temperatures were in the 30's.  Not bad.   Over three thousand miles south in Minnesota, temperatures were -30 to -40 and the windchills ranged from -45 to -60.   It would seem that this kind of weather would keep people indoors and away from attending a sport show.   Wrong.   Everyday the attendance was good.  The "polar vortex" did break and by the weekend the temperatures rebounded to the 20's and 30's.   It felt downright balmy.  

Vendors eagerly awaiting the start of the show.
It was a great show for Jane and I.   Lot's of visits from old friends, and lot's of new people interested in visiting Alaska in 2014.

One of the the things that I really look forward to at sport shows are new products or new services.   This year there was a booth that offered guided bowfishing trips in Minnesota.  As a kid I use to use my small 25lb fiberglass bow to shoot fish.   I loved it.

Needless to say, this sport has evolved into something I would have never imagined.   This boat has two tiers for bowhunters.   All around the perimeter it is rigged with spot lights.   Looks like the making of another reality show on the Discovery Channel.
On Saturday my good friend John called and said he was in town and he had an extra ticket to watch the Minnesota Wild play the Colorado Avalanche (the arena is adjacent to the sport show venue).   With the blessing of Jane I was able to attend.   Little did I know that our seats were right on the glass.   Definitely not the Bob Uecker section.   The added bonus to this evening is one of the players on the Avalanche, Brad Malone, rented a house from my mother this summer.   I texted her this photo of her "adopted son."  Definitely made her night.

Jane and I enjoyed our time in St. Paul.   And, for all the people who requested additional information about Alaska,  you'll have it within the day.


Saturday, January 4, 2014

Sportshow Season 2014

The 2014 sport show season is almost here.   So far we are committed to two shows, but if that changes I'll be sure to let you know.

From January 9th-12th we will be in St. Paul, Minnesota for the 2014 Minnesota Sportsmen's Show.  Click here for specific information about the show.

From February 12th-16th we will be in Duluth, Minnesota for the 2014 Duluth Boat, Sports, Travel and RV Show.  Click here for specific information about the show.

As always, we have a limited amount of show passes so if you would like them, send me an email at   It's a first come basis and when the tickets are gone, they're gone.

Hope to see you in either St. Paul or Duluth!