Thursday, April 22, 2010

Russian River bear awareness campaign update

Russian River Bear Awareness Campaign Update 4/22/2010

Due to excessive encounters with brown bears who become habituated to feeding on whole salmon carcasses anglers throw back into the Russian River, the five fish-cleaning tables on the Russian River upstream from the confluence with the Kenai River were removed in 2009.

Only four fish-cleaning tables were left in place, one on each side of the ferry crossing of the Russian River, and two at the Russian-Kenai confluence. Anglers were asked to pack fish out whole if possible, or to thoroughly chop fish carcasses into smaller pieces before tossing them back into the river(s).

"Unless carcasses are returned into river in a form where they're not available as food to brown bears, we'll continue to have problems," said ADFG biologist Jeff Selinger.

Results were mixed. While there were fewer bear encounters and less carcasses in the Russian River upstream of the Kenai confluence, few anglers chopped fish into smaller pieces before returning them to the rivers, and according to Selinger, "carcass-loading was terrible." 

The removal of fish tables and asking anglers to chop up fish carcasses or haul fish out whole, was an interim step to lessen brown bear habituation and enounters with anglers, and additional changes are under review.

Please do your part if fishing the Russian River to reduce bear encounters.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Halibut bag limits and regulation changes for halibut charters in Southeast Alaska

Anglers wanting to go on a halibut fishing charter in area 2C (shown on map) in southeast Alaska, which includes trips from Ketchikan, Sitka, Juneau and other southeast locations, can only retain one fish per day.
Area 3A, with charter fishing trips out of Homer, Valdez, Kodiak and other locations in the central Gulf, has a two-fish bag limit.
A new limited-entry system for halibut charter operations will take effect in 2011, limiting the number of charter boats in the guided halibut sport fishery in Areas 2C and 3A.
For more information, visit the National Marine Fisheries Service website.