Friday, September 29, 2006

Alaskan Anglers to be Surveyed on Sport Fishing Expenditures

From an ADFG News Release:

Anglers who purchased a state fishing license this year may soon be getting a survey in the mail as part of a federal effort to see how much money saltwater anglers are spending in pursuit of their pastime.

The first survey, the “Saltwater Sport Fishing Expenditure Survey” is being conducted by the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) as part of a multi-state effort among coastal states to find out how much money saltwater sport anglers contribute to their state and national economies, including how many jobs saltwater sport angling supports.

This survey will be sent to randomly-selected anglers, both resident and non-resident, who purchased a sport fishing license in 2006. The survey will ask anglers to estimate how much they spent per trip, and how much they spent during the year. In addition, the survey will ask about basic fishing activities, such as whether anglers fished from shore or from a boat, whether anglers used their own car, or rented a car, and more. All survey responses will be kept strictly confidential.

For more information about the national “Saltwater Sport Fishing Expenditure Survey”, contact Brad Gentner (Brad.Gentner@noaa.gov) at (301) 713-2328, ext. 215.

The second survey, the “Alaska Saltwater Sport Fishing Survey” is also being conducted by NMFS, and examines the factors that affect the number of marine recreational fishing trips taken in Alaska. This survey will help provide state and federal policymakers with accurate information about the economic value of Alaska’s salt water sport fisheries, and the economic impacts of potential changes in the regulations. As with the national survey, all responses will be anonymous.

For more information about the Alaska Saltwater Sport Fishing Survey, contact Dan Lew (Dan.Lew@noaa.gov) at Seattle (206) 526-4252.

Alaska Department of Fish and Game Commissioner McKie Campbell said the Department is very supportive of the NMFS surveys. “If you receive a survey, please fill it out as completely as possible,” he advised anglers. “This information will help provide an accurate picture of the economic value of sport fishing to Alaska and to the nation as a whole.”

Monday, September 25, 2006

Soldotna Meeting to Consider Higher Kenai H.P. Limits

From Alaska State Parks Current News:

Members of the public interested in commenting on a proposal to raise the horsepower limit for boats operating on the Kenai River are invited to offer comments at the Kenai River Special Management Area (KRSMA) Advisory Board's special public meeting on Sept. 28.

The meeting, to be held jointly by the advisory board and the Alaska Division of Parks and Outdoor Recreation, will give the public an opportunity to comment on the recommendations proposed by the Kenai River Special Management Area Advisory Board to create new state regulations raising the limit on engine size from 35 horsepower to 50 horsepower including other changes in state regulations affecting boating on the popular river, said Jack Sinclair, superintendent of parks in the Kenai area.

KRSMA has enforced a 35 horsepower restriction on boats operating on the waters of the Kenai River below Skilak Lake since 1987. At its April meeting, the advisory board members made a decision to address the issue that was described in the Kenai River Special Management Area Comprehensive Plan that calls for the KRSMA Board to determine if changes to the horsepower limit are appropriate. The factors to be considered included: 1.) Ease of enforcement, 2.) Ability to minimize boat wakes and, 3.) The convenience to boaters.

"This is simply housekeeping in that we're making a practical and sensible amendment to the horsepower limit which has really been a good regulation for the river… a regulation that can be better," said KRSMA Board member Jeff King. "We will need the cooperation of our local boat dealers; under no means will a return to any detuning be allowed. We also need a stronger boating education program and continued efforts to get boaters to run the boats responsibly and in the middle of the river allowing the wakes to dissipate."

In addition to the higher horsepower limit, the board's resolution also recommends the division should implement new regulations for boats operating the river to:
  • require all engines in excess of 35 horsepower to comply with 2006 EPA emission requirements for outboard motors
  • require all 50 horsepower engines to be factory-stamped as 50 horsepower engines
  • prohibit operation of larger engines detuned to 50 horsepower
  • prohibit operation of boats larger than 21 feet long, though consideration should be given to longer hulls until 2010
  • require the Division of Parks to conduct an aggressive program to educate all Kenai River boaters on the best practices for minimizing user conflicts and protecting habitat
All interested members of the public are invited to attend the meeting to comment about the proposed regulations, to share their experience and to register their comments on the matter. The advisory board's recommendations will go to the commissioner of the Department of Natural Resources for a final decision.

The Sept. 28 meeting will specifically address the proposed new regulations, and will allow an opportunity for the public to comment. That meeting will start at 6:30 p.m. at the Kenai Borough Assembly Chambers, at 144 N. Binkley St.

Online comments can be entered here.

The division will also welcome written public comments until Oct. 12, 2006. Comments may be sent to the Division of Parks at P.O. Box 1247, Soldotna, AK 99669 or by email at Jack_Sinclair@dnr.state.ak.us

For more information please call Sinclair at 262-5581, ext 1.

2007 Kenai River Special Management Area (KRSMA) Proposed Regulation Change

Applications deadline extended for Kenai River Special Management Area Advisory Board Seats

From Alaska State Parks Current News:

tThe deadline for submitting applications to be considered for one of five board seats on the Kenai River Special Management Area Advisory Board has been extended to September 29. The KRSMA Advisory Board is recruiting for up to five new board members to serve as public member representatives on this board. The KRSMA Board is a 17 member Advisory Board comprised of 9 members representing a broad spectrum of public interests, and 8 members representing various state or federal agencies or local government. Incumbent board members whose terms are expiring this year may also indicate their desire to continue on the board and may be reappointed.

The KRSMA Advisory Board meets monthly except for the summer months and advises the Commissioner of the Department of Natural Resources on issues related to the management of the Kenai River Special Management Area. The Board will be working on the continuing implementation of the recommendations in the Kenai River Comprehensive Management Plan. Some of the special projects that the Board will be addressing over the coming year include reviewing the most recent boat wake study that evaluated wakes produced by different types of boats with different passenger loading, direction of travel, planning or plowing and multiple boat wake effects. In addition, the board will be pursuing recommendations made earlier this year regarding horsepower restrictions and recreational user education.

Landowners, sport or commercial fishermen, recreational boaters or others interested in Kenai River habitat, fish or wildlife resources or recreation issues are urged to apply for a position on the Board. Persons interested in being considered are encouraged to contact Alaska State Parks at 262-5581 or the Kenai River Center at 260-4882 to pick up an advisory Board application.

An application can be downloaded here.

Saturday, September 16, 2006

Ninilchik Sues Feds Over No Fishery

Ninilchik's tribal government is suing Mike Fleagle, the Chair of the Federal Subsistence Board so a subsistence fishery can be created on the Kenai Peninsula's Kasilof River, according to the Anchorage Daily News.

Read the entire story >>>

Saturday, September 09, 2006

Buskin River Silver Limit Increased To 5

From an ADFG News Release:

Beginning at 12:01 a.m. Saturday, September 9, the daily bag limit for silver salmon from the Buskin River drainage will increase to five fish per day and five in possession. On the rest of the Kodiak Road System, the current daily limit for salmon will remain at five, of which only two can be silvers. In addition, Road System streams draining into Chiniak and Monashka bays remain closed to salmon fishing above their highway bridges until the regulatory opening date of September 16.

As of September 7, approximately 8,000 silvers have been counted through the Buskin River weir. This is the highest count on record for this date and over the upper end of the escapement goal range of 3,200 – 7,200 silvers. Since the upper end of the escapement goal has been exceeded, the Buskin River silver salmon bag limit will be increased from 2 to 5 silvers a day.

Thursday, September 07, 2006

Federal Subsistence Board To Consider Regulations

The 10 Federal Subsistence Regional Advisory Councils will meet during the next two months to review proposed changes to Federal subsistence fishing regulations for 2007-2008 and to call for proposals to change wildlife regulations for 2007-2008. The Federal Subsistence Board will consider the Councils' recommendations on fisheries proposals when the Board meets in January. The Councils will also receive updates on this year's fisheries resource monitoring plans and discuss current issues affecting subsistence in their regions. The Council meetings are open to the public.

Read the entire news release >>>

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Fed Subsistence Board Rejects Kasilof Fishery

The Federal Subsistence Board on Tuesday rejected an attempt to create a new subsistence fishery on the Kenai Peninsula.

According to the Anchorage Daily News, "the Ninilchik tribal government requested the temporary fishery in August, asking that residents in the Sterling Highway community of 785 be allowed to get dipnets in the Kasilof River beginning in September."

Read the entire Anchorage Daily News article >>>

Saturday, September 02, 2006

Ketchikan Creek Open to Sport Fishing

The Alaska Department of Fish and Game, Division of Sport Fish announced recently that Ketchikan Creek will be opened to sport fishing for all species, including king salmon, effective at 12:01 A.M. August 24, 2006 through 11:59 P.M. September 14, 2006. The daily bag and possession limit for king salmon in Ketchikan Creek is two king salmon 28 inches or greater in length and two king salmon less than 28 inches in length. The daily bag and possession limit for all other salmon 16 inches or greater in length is two per day in aggregate, and two in possession. Fishing gear permitted in Ketchikan Creek is single hook, unbaited, artificial lures only.

Read the entire ADFG News Release >>>

Friday, September 01, 2006

F&G Boards Call for Advisory Committee Improvement Ideas

The Alaska Boards of Fisheries and Game are soliciting proposals for improvements in the local fish and game advisory committee system. They also want to see proposals for identifying state "nonsubsistence" areas.

The Boards particularly want to hear proposals on enhancing the effectiveness of the advisory committee system. Proposals are due in December and will be considered the following year.

Read the entire news release >>>