Monday, October 30, 2006

Anglers to Receive ADF&G Sport Fishing Annual Survey

From an ADFG News Release:

On October 30, the Alaska Department of Fish and Game (ADF&G) will begin mailing out 47,000 printed surveys to a sample of 10% of fishing license holders, both resident and non-resident. Called the Statewide Harvest Survey, the questionnaire covers all of Alaska, from Prudhoe Bay to the Southeast Panhandle, and asks anglers where and when they sport fished in Alaska, and how many fish they kept and released in 2006.

Survey responses are used by ADF&G researchers and managers to evaluate the sport fisheries, and to provide guidance to the Alaska Board of Fisheries in the development of management plans.

Researchers in other agencies, Alaskan recreational anglers, as well as visitors from the Lower 48 and from around the world also use the survey results to plan fishing trips and business ventures, and to quote in fishing publications. So if you’re one of the lucky recipients of the survey, it will be one of the ways you can contribute to improving the information that fishery managers, and others, depend on.

The survey comes in booklet form, with maps for every part of the state. Because our state is large, the booklet is also large, but the survey is easy to fill out. Anglers find their fishing spots on the map, then turn to that section of the booklet and write in their fishing information. There is space in the front of the booklet to include notes and comments. A postage-paid envelope accompanies the survey to help with the return.

Survey results for past years are posted on the Division of Sport Fish home page at www.sf.adfg.state.ak.us, under “Sport Fishing Survey Results.”

For more information, call Gretchen Jennings, Program Coordinator, in Anchorage at (907) 267-2404, or gretchen_jennings@fishgame.state.ak.us.

Kenai AC Proposes Anglers Keep Snagged Salmon

Then the Anchorage Daily News:

"Dwight Kramer thinks it's silly to outlaw unintentional snagging of a fish that doesn't like to bite a hook anyway. Last week the Kenai-Soldotna Fish and Game Advisory Committee agreed. It recommended that the state Board of Fisheries remove the prohibition.

The board will consider it at its spring meeting in Anchorage, March 9-13.

Though targeted at the congested Russian River -- a premiere sockeye fishery that the state says averages better than 50,000 fish harvested annually -- the proposal has statewide reach."

Read the entire story in the Anchorage Daily News >>>

Friday, October 27, 2006

Sport Fish Regulations Book Cover Art Contest Announced

From an ADFG News Release:

The Division of Sport Fish is sponsoring its annual contest for cover illustrations for three 2007 sport fishing regulation booklets. Students in grades K-6 who live in southcentral Alaska are invited to enter the contest.

Three booklets are included in the contest: 1) “Southcentral Alaska,” which covers communities in Prince William Sound, the Kenai Peninsula, the Matanuska-Susitna Valley, and the Anchorage area. 2) “Kodiak,” which covers communities on Kodiak Island, the Alaska Peninsula, and the Aleutian Islands. 3) “Bristol Bay,” which includes the communities of Bristol Bay from Pilot Point to Togiak.

Illustrations will be accepted only from students in grades K-6 in those three areas. Illustrations can be in any media, such as paint, colored pencil, marker, or collage, and should show a memorable sport fishing event. Brightly-colored illustrations are preferred.

Submissions should be postmarked no later than December 15, 2006. Submit illustrations to:

Fritz Kraus
ADF&G Division of Sport Fish
333 Raspberry Road
Anchorage, Alaska 99518

For more contest guidelines, visit the Cover Art Contest web page or e-mail Kraus at fritz_kraus@fishgame.state.ak.us.

For additional information contact Fritz Kraus, Anchorage Area Aquatic Education Biologist, (907) 267-2265.

Thursday, October 19, 2006

USFWS Calls for Suggestions on Membership of Federal Subsistence Regional Advisory Councils

From a USFWS News Release dated 17 Oct 206:

The Federal Subsistence Board is accepting written comments and suggestions through Nov. 13, 2006 on alternative methods for assuring balanced membership on Federal subsistence regional advisory councils.

Currently, there are 10 Federal subsistence regional advisory councils around the state. The members of these councils are volunteers and also local users of fish and wildlife resources. They serve a pivotal role in the Federal subsistence program by using their local knowledge and expertise to evaluate regulatory proposals and make recommendations to the Federal Subsistence Board.

The Federal Advisory Committee Act requires that advisory committees have a balanced membership. Current Federal regulations, adopted in 2004, set a goal of 70 percent subsistence users and 30 percent sport and commercial users on the Federal subsistence regional advisory councils. The intent of this regulation was to ensure the appropriate representation and meaningful majority role for rural Alaska residents, while providing appropriate representation for the interests of consumptive users of fish and wildlife on public lands other than rural subsistence users. However, on Aug. 8, 2006 the U.S. District Court for Alaska enjoined the use of this approach, saying the Board failed to articulate its rationale in adopting the 70/30 membership goal.

The Board is seeking written comments and suggestions at this time to consider alternatives that would provide balanced membership on the regional advisory councils. Written comments and suggestions will be accepted through Nov. 13, 2006 and can be sent by e-mail to subsistence@fws.gov, by fax at (907) 786-3898, or by mail to:

Federal Subsistence Board Attn: Theo Matuskowitz
Office of Subsistence Management
3601 C Street, Suite 1030
Anchorage, AK 99503

For additional information, please contact Ann Wilkinson at (800) 478-1456 or (907) 786-3676 or by e-mail, ann_wilkinson@fws.gov.

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Chitina Dip Net Permits Due 15 October

From an ADFG News Release >>>

The Copper River personal use dip net fishery closed for the season as of September 30, 2006. The dipnetting permits are now due back to ADF&G by October 15. These permits were for dipnetting in the Copper River downstream of the Chitina-McCarthy bridge, near the community of Chitina.

As a reminder, you are required to return your permit even if you did not fish, or even if you went fishing but didn’t catch anything. Continuing the Chitina personal use fishing opportunity largely relies on your compliance with requirements, and your cooperation is greatly appreciated. Failure to return any ADF&G permit is a violation and could result in a $200 fine and loss of future fishing privileges.

Please review the information you wrote down on the permit to make sure it is legible and correct. If no one in your household went dipnetting, please check the “Did Not Fish” box on the permit and return it.

Permits can be mailed to the Department with appropriate postage. For your convenience the address is printed on the back of the permit. Permits can also be delivered to your local ADF&G office during regular business hours.
If you have lost your permit, or if it is too damaged to go through the mail, please mail a letter that includes your name, mailing address, 2006 sport fishing license number, driver’s license number, and names of household members. Please provide a list of each time you went dipnetting, whether you dipnetted from a boat or the shore, and the number of each type of salmon you kept. If you went dipnetting but did not catch any fish, include the date, whether you dipnetted from a boat or the shore, and write “zero.” The letter should be mailed to:

Alaska Department of Fish & Game
Chitina Salmon Permits
333 Raspberry Road
Anchorage AK 99518-1599

More information on the fishery, including examples of how to fill out permits can be found at on the Chitina information page. For additional information contact Mark Sommerville, Area Management Biologist, (907) 822-3309.

Chilkat River Coho Limit Increased

From an ADFG News Release:

The Alaska Department of Fish and Game announced today that sport fishing regulations for coho (silver) salmon in the Chilkat River drainage will be liberalized. Effective 12:01 A.M. on Saturday, October 7, 2006, the bag and possession limits for coho salmon 16 inches or greater in length is six per day and twelve in possession in the Chilkat River drainage. The bag and possession limit for salmon less than 16 inches in length is 10 fish.

The inriver run of coho salmon to the Chilkat River is projected to be above the upper end of the escapement goal this year. As of October 3, a total of 3,808 coho salmon have been caught in the Chilkat River fish wheels. This is the third highest catch on record for this date and nearly 40% greater than the 5 year average of 2,747. The department is currently projecting that the inriver run will exceed 100,000 fish. This is well above the Chilkat River escapement goal of 30,000 to 70,000 coho salmon. Therefore, an increase in the bag and possession limit is warranted.

Anglers are reminded that the liberalized regulations do not apply to the Chilkoot River drainage. The bag and possession limit in the Chilkoot River drainage is two coho salmon. Anglers need to remember that you may legally only have the numbers of fish in your possession for the area you are fishing. For example, if you are fishing in the Chilkoot River, you should have no more than two coho salmon in your possession.

If you need further information concerning this news release call (907) 766-2625 for recorded sport fishing information or call the Division of Sport Fish office in Haines at (907) 766-3638.

For additional information contact Randy Ericksen, Haines/Skagway Area Management Biologist, (907) 766-3638.

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Kenai School Egg Take Oct 10 & 11

From an ADFG News Release:

The Alaska Department of Fish and Game Aquatic Education Program and the Kenai Peninsula School District will be starting this year’s school “Salmon in the Classroom” projects with two silver (coho) salmon egg-takes at Bear Creek in Seward, October 10 and at the Anchor River Wayside October 11.

Daily schedules are:

9:30 a.m. – 2:00 p.m., Tuesday, October 10 at the Bear Creek weir
10:00 a.m. – 1:45 p.m., Wednesday, October 11 at the Anchor River wayside

The general public may attend these egg-takes.

The eggs for both egg-takes will be taken from Bear Creek fish.

Fourteen Kenai Peninsula area schools are sending approximately 500 students to this event, while eggs will be delivered to 7 schools unable to attend the event. The “Salmon in the Classroom” program is designed to teach students about the life cycle, biology, habitat requirements and anatomy of salmon, Alaska’s most important fish. Each class takes up to 500 eggs for its aquarium, then students observe the developing salmon and record their observations. When the salmon reach the fry stage, sometime in May, the students will release the fish into local designated landlocked lakes or Bear Creek.

Salmon in the Classroom egg-takes will also be held in Anchorage, Palmer, Valdez, Cordova and Kodiak.

Please call Patti Berkhahn in Soldotna at (907) 260-2943, or e-mail at patricia_berkhahn@fishgame.state.ak.us if you have any questions or comments. During the Kenai Peninsula area egg-takes, Patti can be reached at (907) 394-0977.

For additional information contact Patti Berkhahn, Kenai Peninsula Aquatic Education Biologist, (907) 260-2943

Regional Advisory Council Meetings Homer, Delta, Ruby, Kotzebue, Sitka

The Southcentral Alaska Federal Subsistence Regional Advisory Council will meet October 17-19 at the Islands and Ocean Visitor Center in Homer. The meeting will begin at 9 a.m. each day. The public is welcome at this meeting. There will be opportunities for public comment. For more information read the USFWS News Release >>>

The Eastern Interior Federal Subsistence Regional Advisory Council will meet Tuesday and Wednesday, Oct. 17-18, in Delta Junction. The meeting will be held at the Delta Junction Community Hall and will begin at 10 a.m. Tuesday and at 9 a.m. Wednesday. For more information read the USFWS News Release >>>

The Western Interior Federal Subsistence Regional Advisory Council will meet Wednesday and Thursday, Oct. 11-12, in Ruby. The meeting will be held at the Ruby Community Hall and will begin at 9 a.m. For more information read the USFWS News Release >>>

The Northwest Arctic Federal Subsistence Regional Advisory Council will meet Friday, Oct. 13, in Kotzebue. The meeting will be held at the Nullagvik Hotel Meeting Room and will begin at 8:30 a.m. For more information read the USFWS News Release >>>

The Southeast Federal Subsistence Regional Advisory Council will meet Wednesday through Friday, Oct. 11-13, in Sitka. The meeting will be held at the Sitka Community House, Sheetka Kwaan Naa Kahidi, and will begin at 9 a.m. For more information read the USFWS News Release >>>

All USFWS subsistence news releases can be found here: http://alaska.fws.gov/asm/news.cfm?gnr=1