This morning’s meeting of the King Salmon Task Force skirted the issue of King Salmon counts. We asked Task Force Member Rob Williams, President of Kenai Peninsula Fishermen’s Association, why these numbers matter.
Williams: “Well basically we want to know if we have a problem or if we don’t. Would we have been able to fish this summer? Regular openings at least? Mondays and Thursdays, and maybe a couple extra days on abundance? That’s a question I have personally, but that cant’ be answered with a post-season assessment. The way the Department is doing a post-season assessment now, we have no in-season information and that’s a very scary precedent to set, in my view. I’d like to know at least daily or every other day escapements on King Salmon, just like we do on Sockeye.”
Williams said he felt the Department and Co-Chairs were avoiding discussion of King Salmon numbers because the data won’t be available until the end of the year, at which point the Task Force will be halfway through its allotted time period to consider the issues.
Today’s meeting included all Task Force members, with the exception of Ken Coleman who was previously engaged.