Monday, August 27, 2007

Upper Kenai Subsistence Fishery "Quiet"

The Anchorage Daily News reports that the first Upper Kenai River subsistence fishery authorized by the Federal Subsistence Board was "fairly quiet." 108 Ninilchik area residents received permits and only 410 sockeye were harvested.

A number of factors may have contributed to the less-than-expected harvest, including confusion about the new opportunity, difficulty of access, smaller salmon runs, and some opportunities closer to home.

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

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Kenai River Special Management Area Advisory Board Members Sought

From an ADNR News Release:

The Kenai River Special Management Area Advisory Board is recruiting for up to four 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. Applications are due October 1, 2007.

Monday, August 20, 2007

Bear / Angler Encounters Down at Russian River

Encounters of the worst kind between anglers and bears at the popular Russian River fishery are down this year, according to the Anchorage Daily News.
"The bears and most of the people crowding the Russian River during the summer sockeye runs have been behaving themselves, living a relatively peaceful coexistence, officials and anglers say."
An aggressive plan that included dye-marking problem bears has not resulted in any colored bears, because the only candidates were a sow and cubs, and biologists decided not to mark the bear.

A smaller, later fish run and increased enforcement of new rules may also be contributing to reduced tensions, the paper reported.

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

Friday, August 17, 2007

Return Upper Cook Inlet Personal Use Permits

From an ADFG News Release:

August 15 was the deadline to return 2007 Upper Cook Inlet personal use salmon permits to the Department of Fish and Game. These are the permits for dipnetting at the Kenai and Kasilof rivers, and for set gillnetting at the Kasilof River.

You are required to return the permit, even if you did not fish, or even if you fished but did not catch anything. Compliance with the permit requirements is important to the future management of the Upper Cook Inlet personal use fisheries and your cooperation is greatly appreciated. Failure to return an ADF&G personal use fishery permit is a violation and could result in a $200 fine and loss of future privileges. If you return your permit immediately no action will be taken

Please review information you wrote down on the permit to make sure it is legible and correct. If no one went personal use fishing, please check the box “Did not Fish” 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.

—MORE—

If you’ve lost your permit, or if it’s too damaged to go through the mail, please mail a letter that includes your name, mailing address, 2007 sport fishing license number, driver’s license number and names of the household members. Please provide a list of each time you went dipnetting/gillnetting, where you went, the date you fished and the number fish by species you kept, including flounder. If you went dipnetting but did not catch any fish, include the dates and locations, and write “zero.” The letter should be mailed to:

Alaska Department of Fish and Game
Personal Use Salmon Permits
333 Raspberry Road
Anchorage, Alaska 99518-1599

For any questions, contact the Anchorage Sport Fish Information Center at (907) 267-2218 or Kristine Dunker, Fisheries Biologist in Anchorage at (907) 267-2889.

Kids-Only Fishing Day at the Homer Spit, Sat Aug 18

From an ADFG News Release:

A portion of the Nick Dudiak Fishing Lagoon will be open to fishing only by kids 15 years of age and younger on Saturday, August 18, from 12:01 a.m. to 11:59 p.m. The youth-only fishing area will be posted. Fishing will be open to anglers of all ages in the remainder of the Fishing Lagoon.

ADF&G staff will be on hand from 3:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. to show kids how to set up fishing gear. Some fishing gear will be available for kids to use.

All other sport fishing regulations remain in effect for the Fishing Lagoon. The daily bag and possession limit is 6 coho salmon of any size. The lagoon area is closed to snagging until further notice.

Kids-only fisheries were established by the Alaska State Legislature and implemented by the Alaska Board of Fisheries to provide special opportunity for young people to catch fish. This is the final Kid’s Fishing Day at the Nick Dudiak Fishing Lagoon in 2007.

Saturday, August 11, 2007

Access Restored at Situk River Lower Landing

The Alaska Department of Fish and Game, Division of Sport Fish recently purchased a public access site along the Lower Situk River about 10 miles southeast of Yakutat. The purchase was funded through the Federal Aid in Sport Fish Restoration Program and Fish and Game funds which secures public access to the Lower Situk River.

The parcel is approximately 0.8 acres in size and includes a gravel road, parking area, boat launch, and vault latrine. The site is located where the Lost River Road terminates at the Situk River. The parcel was formerly a portion of the Setuk Harry Native Allotment.

The State would like to express appreciation to the owners of the adjoining allotment, the heirs of Maggie John, for allowing public access to the Situk River during the land acquisition. As a result of the new river access, the public is reminded to now turn right at the “Strawberry Point” sign near the end of the Lost River Road to continue on to the Situk River Landing.

Thursday, August 09, 2007

Susitna Sockeye Catch & Release Only August 11

From an ADFG News Release:

Beginning Saturday, August 11, at 12:01 a.m., anglers may not keep or possess sockeye (red) salmon in the entire Susitna River drainage, which is described as Susitna River Units 1-6 on page 23 of the 2007 Southcentral Alaska sport fishing regulation booklet.

Popular sockeye salmon systems in the Susitna River drainage include Larson Creek (Talkeetna River drainage); the Talachulitna River; and Hewitt, Lake, and Shell creeks.

Sockeye salmon escapement for the Susitna River drainage, as measured by the Yentna River sonar project, is approximately 60,613 through August 6. The Yentna River accounts for approximately 50% of the entire Susitna River drainage sockeye salmon return. On average, approximately 95% of the escapement has passed the sonar by August 6. At this time the total sockeye salmon escapement is projected to be approximately 63,573 fish, well below the escapement goal range of 90,000 to 160,000 fish. Therefore, it is warranted to prohibit the retention of sockeye salmon while sport fishing in Susitna River drainages.

Beyond BOW Gulkana River Raft/Fish/Camp Trip

The Alaska Department of Fish and Game in cooperation with the Hunter Heritage Foundation of Alaska is hosting a Beyond Becoming an Outdoors-Woman (BOW) Gulkana River Raft/Fish/Camp Trip from August 23 through August 26. The trip begins at Paxson Lake and ends at Sourdough. Trip fee is $650.

This is a 4-day/3-night full-participation raft trip with licensed fishing guides. Participants will have hands-on instructional experience rowing the raft. Participants will set up & tear down their own campsite and prepare their own food. Plan to fish for rainbow trout (catch & release only), Arctic grayling, and sockeye salmon. Spin and fly fishing gear will be provided as well as instruction if needed.

For more information and to download registration materials, go to the BOW website and click on “Gulkana River Raft/Fish/Camp Trip.”

Visit the website and contact Nancy Sisinyak (907-459-7346) with any questions.

Eshamy Creek Lagoon / Drainage Closed to Sockeye Keeping August 10

From an ADFG News Release:

Beginning Friday, August 10, anglers may not keep or possess sockeye (red) salmon in the salt waters of Eshamy Lagoon (Editor: Prince William Sound) inside ADF&G markers, as well as in the entire fresh waters of the Eshamy Creek drainage. All sockeye salmon accidentally caught while fishing for other fish must be released without removing them from the water.

The daily limit for salmon (other than king and sockeye salmon) remains 6 per day and 12 in possession, of which only 3 per day and 3 in possession may be coho (silver) salmon.

The escapement of sockeye salmon past the Eshamy Creek weir is well behind the normal count for this date. By this date, the escapement averages 8,722 sockeye salmon, but is now only 1,779, with only small schools of sockeye observed in the lagoon. Low rainfall may further hamper adequate escapement. In order to ensure that the escapement goal of 20,000 to 40,000 sockeye salmon can be met, further sport fishing harvest must be curtailed. Sockeye salmon fishing will be re-opened if the escapement can be projected to exceed 20,000 fish.

Eshamy Creek Lagoon / Drainage Closed to Sockeye Keeping August 10

From an ADFG News Release:

Beginning Friday, August 10, anglers may not keep or possess sockeye (red) salmon in the salt waters of Eshamy Lagoon (Editor: Prince William Sound) inside ADF&G markers, as well as in the entire fresh waters of the Eshamy Creek drainage. All sockeye salmon accidentally caught while fishing for other fish must be released without removing them from the water.

The daily limit for salmon (other than king and sockeye salmon) remains 6 per day and 12 in possession, of which only 3 per day and 3 in possession may be coho (silver) salmon.

The escapement of sockeye salmon past the Eshamy Creek weir is well behind the normal count for this date. By this date, the escapement averages 8,722 sockeye salmon, but is now only 1,779, with only small schools of sockeye observed in the lagoon. Low rainfall may further hamper adequate escapement. In order to ensure that the escapement goal of 20,000 to 40,000 sockeye salmon can be met, further sport fishing harvest must be curtailed. Sockeye salmon fishing will be re-opened if the escapement can be projected to exceed 20,000 fish.

Swanton Appointed Alaska Director of Sport Fish

From an ADFG News Release:

Commissioner Denby Lloyd today announced the appointment of Charlie Swanton as Director of the Division of Sport Fish for the Alaska Department of Fish and Game (ADF&G). Currently, Swanton is the Southeast Regional Supervisor for Sport Fish with the Department.

“Charlie brings a wide range of experience and knowledge to the Director’s job,” said Commissioner Lloyd in announcing the appointment. “He has worked all over Alaska, and he’s dedicated and enthusiastic about creating sport fishing opportunities for all Alaskans.”

Swanton earned degrees from the University of Alaska-Fairbanks and the University of Washington. He began his career with ADF&G in various research positions with the Division of Commercial Fisheries, but more recently has been the regional management supervisor and Southeast Regional Supervisor with the Division of Sport Fish. Charlie’s career has given him exposure to fisheries in the Chignik and Kodiak areas, throughout the broad Arctic-Yukon-Kuskokwim region based out of Fairbanks, and in Southeast Alaska.

“I’m extremely pleased that Charlie agreed to bring his skills and intelligence to this important position,” Lloyd said. Swanton’s first official day as Sport Fish Director will be August 13th.

Swanton replaces outgoing Sport Fish Director Kelly Hepler, who served in that role for seven years. Hepler leaves the job after a distinguished 28-year career at ADF&G.

The Division of Sport Fish is responsible for fisheries stock assessment and management, development of public access for sport fishing and boating, hatcheries, and planning, information and education services. The division employs more than 400 full-time and seasonal employees and has an annual budget of more than $40 million.

Thursday, August 02, 2007

Homer Fishing Lagoon Openings and Education Opportunities

From an ADFG News Release:

A portion of the Nick Dudiak Fishing Lagoon, formerly called the Homer Spit Fishin’ Hole, will be open to fishing only by youths 15 years of age and younger on Saturday, August 4, from 12:01 a.m. to 11:59 p.m. The youth-only fishing area will be posted. The remainder of the Fishing Lagoon will be open to fishing to anglers of any age.

The ADF&G Mobile Aquatic classroom, Fish and Game staff, and volunteers will be on hand from 2:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. to conduct free educational activities and to assist kids. Activities will include how to set up fishing gear, how to tie fishing knots, and how to identify adult and juvenile fish, as well as catch-and-release demonstrations and more. Fishing gear will be available for kids to use. Frameable photos of kids with their catch will be provided upon request.

All other sport fishing regulations remain in effect for the Fishing Lagoon. The daily bag and possession limit is 6 silver salmon of any size. The lagoon area is closed to snagging until further notice.

Youth fisheries were established by the Alaska State Legislature and implemented by the Alaska Board of Fisheries to provide special opportunity for young people to catch fish. The final Youth Fishing Day at the Nick Dudiak Fishing Lagoon in 2007 will be Saturday, August 18.

Boaters Alerted to Fish Wheels on Kenai River

From an ADFG News Release

The Division of Sport Fish will operate two fish wheels in the Kenai River near river mile 28, about one mile upstream of the Moose Range Meadows boat launch at the end of Keystone Drive. The wheels will be in place through October 5.

The fish wheels are located on both banks of the river, and are tethered to the river banks with partially submerged lines up to 200 feet long. The lines are marked with orange floating buoys and may extend out from the shoreline up to 30 feet. Anglers and boaters should be alert and use extreme caution in this area.

The fish wheels are used to capture coho (silver) salmon for a research project.

There are also weir structures installed in the river, in order to direct fish to the fish wheels. By regulation, waters within 300 feet of a fish weir are closed to sport fishing, including catch-and-release. The section of river closed to fishing is designated by ADF&G markers on each river bank.

To avoid the equipment and anchoring lines, boaters and anglers should stay in the middle of the river channel near river mile 28.

Afognak River Re-opens for Sockeye

From an ADFG News Release:

Effective Thursday, August 2, the Afognak River drainage and adjacent salt waters will re-open to fishing for sockeye (red) salmon.

As of July 30, the sockeye salmon weir count of 19,561 fish indicates that the escapement goal of 20,000 – 50,000 into the Afognak River drainage will be achieved, thus the sport fishery can be reopened.

The re-opened area includes all fresh waters of the Afognak River drainage, as well as those salt waters of Afognak Bay inside of a line from Settlement Point (58°03.00 N lat., 152°43.70’ W long.) to Otrubistoi Point (58° 02.00’ N lat., 152° 45.50’ W long.)