Sunday, February 23, 2014

2014 Board of Fisheries Recap

It wasn't as scary as many predicted.

44 proposals out of 236 passed at the 2014 Board of Fisheries meeting.   Overall, there was a slight emphasis on conservation with an eye on getting more salmon into the rivers of the Upper Cook Inlet.   Because of this, many in the commercial fishing industry were not happy with the results.   To me, this was a step in the right direction:  long term viability for all user groups.

So, for readers of my blog, specific changes to the Kenai River sport fishery for 2014 are:
  • increased the possession limit of sockeye from 3 to 6.
  • Early Run slot limit for kings has been expanded to no retention between 42"-55".
  • barbless hooks when the king fishery goes to catch and release.
  • allow guided coho fishing from a guide boat on Labor Day. 
There were several other Kenai River changes but they dealt with regulatory boundaries mainly in the middle river.  This is an area that I do not guide so I won't elaborate on the changes.

On the commercial side of things, there were several changes that should help get more king salmon into the rivers.   One particular rule that I like is if the late run of Kenai kings is projected to be less than 22,500, setnetters are to be restricted to either 2 deep nets or 3 shallow nets (normal fishing allows for 3 deep nets).   It's been demonstrated that shallower nets catch less kings which will allow more kings to reach the river.   If this change proves to be effective I could see the next Board of Fisheries adopting a proposal to make all setnets shallow regardless of the run projection.

Most days I listened to the live audio stream of the meeting.  All I can say is my hat is off to the 7 members of the Board of Fish for a job well done.   They endured a two week marathon of testimonials and discussions on some very complex issues.   Did they get everything right?  Probably not.  But the beauty of this process is it can all be taken up again in three years.

Monday, February 17, 2014

Duluth Show Recap

We had another great show in Duluth.   Despite setting a weather record while we were there, 59 days this winter that have been below zero (and that total will grow), the attendance for the show was outstanding.   Lot's of people stopping by to chat about Alaska and several groups booking trips before we left the show. And if that wasn't enough, Dan and Mary Meyer came up from Peoria, Illinois to help us at our booth.   It's always nice to spend time with them outside of Alaska.

I'm not sure if I've ever posted a photo of just our booth.   As you can see, we're a bit "old school" when it comes to display booths.   Most exhibitors have the easy up, easy down, modular booth.   There are times I we wish we had the other styles but this just feels a little bit warmer and inviting.   Kind of like we hope our cabins and Alaska are for you.

As you know, I like to feature other businesses at the sport shows we attend.  This has to be our favorite exhibitor in Duluth.   Royalty British Kennels brings about a dozen of their dogs and let's the attendee's mingle with them.

Twice a day we have to walk right by their booth and of course we have to stop and say hello.   Jane just happened to find this pup who liked to have it's belly rubbed.

So, for the groups who requested more information, we're getting that together as fast as possible and you should receive it by the end of the day.   For the rest of you who we met and can't quite figure out your dates, availability during prime time is very limited.  The sooner you can commit the better.

Until next year, stay classy Duluth.....

Sunday, February 9, 2014

Duluth Boat, Sports, Travel & RV Show 2014

Once again Jane and I will be an exhibitor at the Duluth Boat, Sports, Travel and RV Show from February 12th-16th.   If you're in the area and would like a free ticket, make sure to send me an email and they'll be waiting for you at the will call booth.  Details for the show can be found here.

See you in Duluth!