Thursday, May 28, 2015
Our son Sam surprised us with a visit from Seattle . I'd been there just a few weeks back but MP hadn't seen him for a year so even though he's a bit more ' nocturnal' than us, we're having some quality time. As we waited for our Alaska family to arrive me and Samurai took the opportunity to do what I do best...nothing important. When I golf I spend a little time in the woods and by the number of balls I find it's apparent I'm not the only one. We started out with the big dog driving them from the house to the parking lot but got a little bored with that so we decided to send them on a one way trip. I never did clear the river but Sam had that perfect swing that just seemed to just keep going , like a lazer shot, I'd say 280 yards. And we even had a little Junior golf instruction....Emma's were about the only ones we found. I got a a kind twisted reward feeling from plunkin a one dollar Titliest 1 into the river that some 'real' golfer had drawn his line and dotted his mark on.
And in the ' you heard it here first category'....I always say that whatever the Dept of Fish and Games tells you will happen usually just the opposite occurs. Well, I sense fulfillment of prophecy coming on here. Now granted only 10 days of sonar counts are available but already we are ahead in our King salmon counts by a factor of at least 3 over the last two years. Imagine that, King salmon returning to the Kenai river, what in the world is ADF+G going to do about that ?????
Wednesday, May 20, 2015
Us fish people have just been astounded lately by the dysfunction of our Alaska Board of Fisheries (BOF). The BOF consists of 7 members that usually have fish type backgrounds are appointed by the Governor and then confirmed by the Legislature. They are big Ju-Ju, they make bag limits, fisheries allocations (both commercial and sport), new regulations and in general they are supposed to manage all the fisheries to remain healthy...well good luck with that deal. Just recently a friend of mine who is by all standards the most qualified appointee ever with a fisheries type degree and fisheries habitat background failed confirmation. And never mind that he's sharp, articulate and honest. Why ? Because, he wasn't enough of a sportfish advocate for some people when the board is historically divided into 3 commercial seats and 3 sport seats and one subsistence seat. That make up alone is a formula for grid lock. So to use a musical analogy just what kind of music would a guitar like this make ????
Roland.... what a guy. He was the head of a commercial fishing group and with a fisheries degree of some sort he thought he was qualified to not only be on the BOF but maybe even Director of the Dept of Fish and Game. So When the Governor appointed him to the BOF as a campaign payoff a reporter I'd guess looked into him after they had an exchange over Roland's claim that he discovered the Bull Trout in the Lower 48....well....it turns out Roland claimed residency privileges in Montana as well as Alaska. He plead guilty in Montana to false fishing and hunting license residency and was fined 7500.00 and lost his hunting and fishing privileges in all the Western States that work together in these kind of cases. So, that makes him a cheat, maybe a liar. But we don't know yet what Alaska will do but seems to me that if he took our Permanent Fund checks fraudulently, well I guess he'd also be a thief. Just the guy we need on the BOF.
Bix....ahh so many years ago. He was on the BOF and cocktailed his way into an agreement that if the commercial guys on the BOF would vote for his proposed closure of our local commercial fisherman after a quota of 2500 Kings where caught....well he'd return the favor and vote for what they needed in their local area, and they did it. I was sitting there as the vote took place and the Chairman of the BOF who was of course a commercial fisherman gaveled a recess and looked like he was going to puke. Well, the new regulation after a year or two of protest and procedure discussion (as well as a little legal work) got thrown out and so did Bix.
Tom...BOF member Tom was the President of the Alaska's largest Sport Fishing Group. I knew this guy really well and when I asked him why he voted for an allocation of King Salmon in Southeast Alaska that gave 87% of the salmon to the commercial guys he replied " I got some chit's to call in". Well, in Jeff's world there's two problems here, it's illegal and HE DIDN'T CALL THEM IN. Once during a complicated discussion about the math of setting escapement goals he put a number out for the BOF and when asked how he came to that number he said " just a little modern math, ya know, algebra".
Debra...BOF member Debra was so commercial fishing based that she just didn't seem to understand any of the wonders of sport fishing....maybe even the wonders of any kind of fun. At a break she told me that commercial fisherman feed their families on the fish they catch and sport people, well. it's only about fun so what has more value ?......mmmmm.....I bought her another beer, with sport money.
Jim....Now this was not BOF but it illustrates the system we're working in. I'll never, never, never forget when the 'Blue Ribbon' committee met to make the Kenai River a 'special management area' of the State Parks system. One of the big issues with the public was to limit the number of guides ( and it should have been done) but.....Jim, a commercial fisherman when asked if one avenue of restriction was really fair he replied " we're not here for fairness, we're here to set regulations".
So that's just a sample, a small sample to fit this blog. Sometimes things just don't make sense....How's about something you've never seen before like this, three gal's on a pig. Ya know you ladies have it going on....ever thought about getting into fish politics ????
Wednesday, May 13, 2015
I told MP I had the secret to a get rich scheme. After all we're pretty much in the parking business here at Mile 14 and I have a real nose for parking business trends etc. What we do is buy a parking lot in Seattle and subdivide it...And for any of you still thinking we're charging you to much here at Stewart's landing hold your horses on that deal....we only charge 20 bucks to park and the Boat Launch is free...and you get to used that wonderful water closet with the blue water, not to mention it overlooks the beautiful Kenai River and not just more concrete like this place. So please keep coming to Mile 14.
It wasn't hard to find our King salmon. Twa, twa,twenty eight dollars a pound, but they'd fillet for free. I asked the fish monger if people really came in and bought a whole 35 pounder ( $ 1,015.00) ...he said of course they do, I thought you were going to buy one by the way you were looking at them...I must have sent mixed signals because what I was really doing was trying not to puke.
Tuesday, May 5, 2015
Everybody has their own favorite indicator of spring. Our old neighbor Roy Mullen always said it was when the snow melted off our roof so he could count how many Frisbee's the kids had lost. For me it was always going fishing....seeing that first King of the year or even catching him like I have many many times, some as early as today. But now I gauge it with other things in nature I guess. We spotted out first Robins here about a week ago and we have one living here that is driving us nuts...he seems to be courting having forgotten one basic standard of life in Alaska...if you want a good mate for sure think about bringing one with you. That guy right there sits in the same tree next to our check in gate and has this cackling call that is on about a 5 second cycle. Every now and then he hits the ground to grab a worm or something and then it's right back to the tree for more love ballads. Now MP says he must be a male because there's another one about 1/8 a mile away doing the same thing and they haven't found each other so they must both be males...mmmmm....in my mind they could also both be females, or just not like each other, or related, or maybe even a democrat, who knows?....here he is...
Another thing you see around here is Boats. Unlike the 48 these babies sit high and dry all winter just waiting for that first trip. Not only do you see a lot of boats you see them in all shapes and sizes....and sometimes you even get to thinking ' man am I glad that guy ain't MY fishing buddy'. We came across this fine watercraft that started out as a 16' Starcraft and ended up a 16' double decker cabin cruiser...with....a 1986 40 horse Evinirude, with the skag missing...Jeff knows those smokey old 2 cycles, he bought several of them. I guess I shouldn't make fun of a guys boat, my first one wasn't exactly the Queen Mary and Bill Forrest once told me some sage wisdom....never make fun of a guys dog, boat or what he smokes.