Wednesday, February 28, 2007

NMFS Rejects One Fish Rule for Charter Fleet

The National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) has rejected the International Pacific Halibut Commission's rule which would have imposed a one fish limit on charterboat anglers during portions of the coming season.

The Anchorage Daily News reported that "Federal officials feel a better way to settle the growing fish fight between commercial fishermen and charter boat operators is to hammer out solutions through the North Pacific Fishery Management Council."

NMFS will be coming up with some alternative solutions, the paper reported.

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

Monday, February 26, 2007

Eulachon Closures-Unuk River and Burroughs Bay

"KETCHIKAN (KDN) — Federal and state managers are closing the Unuk River and Burroughs Bay area to subsistence harvesting of eulachon for the second straight season because of low returns in recent years.

"The federal subsistence fisheries in Unit 1-D will be closed from 11:59 p.m. Feb. 24 through 11:59 p.m. April 24.

"...Many eulachon spawning runs throughout the Pacific coast, including Southeast Alaska, have had marked declines in recent years," according to the department announcement.

"...Fish and Game also won't open commercial or subsistence fisheries for eulachon this year in Section 1-C, which includes the Klahini and Chickamin rivers.

"In addition, the state is closing the Stikine River and Bradfield Canal to commercial harvests.

"But while the Bradfield Canal is being closed to state subsistence harvests also, the Stikine River will be open to subsistence harvesting under state regulations, according to Fish and Game.
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Saturday, February 24, 2007

Chatanika subsistence pike fishing closes

From an ADFG news release >>>

The Alaska Department of Fish and Game has announced the closure of the northern pike subsistence fishery in the Chatanika River on February 23, 2007. This closure includes the section of the Chatanika River upstream of its confluence with Goldstream Creek to the boundary of the Fairbanks Nonsubsistence Area (approximately one mile downstream from the Murphy Dome Road landing (N 64° 58.931 W 148° 39.691).

To avoid local depletion of over-wintering aggregations of fish, the northern pike subsistence fishery harvest limit for this area is 1,500 fish from January 1 until these waters are free of ice. The Minto Flats Northern Pike Management Plan specifies that once the harvest limit is reached or exceeded during this time interval the fishery in this area will be closed until waters are free of ice. Based on recent fishing effort and catch rates, the department anticipates that the fishery harvest limit will be reached or exceeded by the effective closure date.

Please note: Subsistence pike fishing in the remainder of the Minto Flats area remains open. The Minto Flats Northern Pike Management Plan stipulates that an ADF&G subsistence household harvest permit is required for all areas prior to participating in the Minto Flats subsistence pike fishery and household members must have that permit in possession when participating in the fishery. All subsistence pike fishers must record the date and number of pike harvested on their permits the same day the harvest occurred.

The Chatanika River is closed to sport fishing for pike from Oct 15 – May 31. If you have questions regarding this report, please call the Alaska Department of Fish and Game office in Fairbanks at 459-7274.

For additional information contact Fred Bue, Area Management Biologist, Commercial Fish Div, 907-459-7274.

Sunday, February 18, 2007

Dip Net Restriction Proposal Angers Personal Use Fishermen

A proposal to limit personal use salmon dipnet fishermen to the same bag limit as sport anglers has dipnetters up in arms. The Alaska Board of Fisheries will consider the proposal at its March meeting.

The Anchorage Daily News reported in its February 18th edition that the Board has not acted on earlier proposals to clamp limits down. An article two days earlier in the Fairbanks Daily News Miner put an Interior Alaska face on it.

The subject is no news to dipnet fishermen on the Alaska Outdoors Forums where the subject is being hotly discussed in a much viewed thread.

Read the entire article in the Anchorage Daily News and the Fairbanks Daily News-Miner >>>

Thursday, February 15, 2007

Proposed Refuge Named for Jay Hammond Could Nix Pebble

A proposed Alaska state game refuge to be named after legendary bushrat governor Jay Hammond could close the door on mining development planned for Bristol Bay. Last week Hammond's widow, Bella, visited legislators in Juneau with a simple message, according to the Anchorage Daily News: "I think Jay would first and foremost think of protecting that area, mainly the fish and the game."

The proposed refuge would consist of 5 to 7 million acres of state lands in the headwaters of Bristol Bay drainages. Supporters claim the refuge would not preclude mining but would put more oversight in the Alaska Department of Fish and Game where resources could be more closely protected.

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

Monday, February 12, 2007

ADFG Considering Limited Entry for Fishing Guides

The Alkaska Division of Sport Fisheries is considering the option of a limited entry system for sport fishing guides and is looking for public comment.

On the ADFG website they have written this:

"The first step in this process would require that limited entry become part of the management "tool box" through legislative action. This is followed by the establishment of a Sport Fish Limited Entry commission or panel through which the details of a sport fish charter/guide "permit" would be outlined. Details and the criteria of a limited entry program may be managed by ADF&G, CFEC or a newly established Sport Fish Entry commission.

ADF&G has established a Limited Entry Task Force represented by both freshwater and saltwater guides from around the state. This group is tasked with working as liaisons between ADF&G and the industry. In an early December meeting, the task force agreed that ADF&G should have limited entry as a management tool and would further assist in drafting the legislative language that would be introduced to the legislature in 2007."

You can read the entire special issue page here >>>

Thursday, February 08, 2007

Kenai Winter Flood and Ice Wrecks Access, Habitat

January's flood along the lower Kenai River has wrecked years of work and millions of dollars of angler access and habitat improvements in the Soldotna area, according to the Anchorage Daily News. The devastation will mean that anglers will find fewer access points and salmon fry will be more vulnerable.

"In the short term it means some riverbanks will be closed to keep boots from tromping them into eroded bogs. In the long term, it could mean millions more spent to build a better system. And state biologists say a generation or more of salmon fry and smolt will be easier pickings for birds and fish because they lack shade and shelter among tree limbs and roots."

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

Monday, February 05, 2007

High Mercury Levels in Some Alaska Fish

The Alaska Department of Health and Social Services reported recently that while Alaska fish consumption is really good for you, there are some exceptions in some species.

For the first time, the department has said that some restrictions may be best. The Anchorage Daily News reported that "State health officials say the fish -- halibut over 50 pounds, shark, lingcod, yellow eye rockfish and spiny dogfish -- are safe to eat in normal helpings for most people. But they might not be OK for pregnant women and small children to consume in large quantities, officials said, and they're drawing up new guidelines."

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