National Fisherman

At Sea Diary

Matt MarinkovichMatt Marinkovich’s weekly At Sea Diary entry is a popular feature of the National Fisherman Web site, and now you can post your own reflections on Matt’s experiences fishing in the Pacific Northwest and North Pacific.

July 6, 2011 — Hello from the Naknek fishing district of Bristol Bay. We have been out fishing, without returning to shore, since June 21st or so — I've lost track.

Fishing has been good in Naknek, which has been good for me because that is where I fish, good or bad. Unfortunately, for many other fishermen, fishing is slower in other districts. Egegik is really slow — but not so bad as last year, I think. Regardless, many boats have been transferring up to Naknek. When a fisherman transfers, he has to sit out 48 hours; so it is a big, and sometimes painful, deal to transfer. Lately fishermen from Nushigak have been transferring to Naknek as well.

We started fishing in Naknek with around 350 boats in late June and we are up to about 550 now. Part of the enticement lately has been the opening of the Westside — the expansive area of the Kvichak River District. The Naknek/Kvichak is separated by a line that makes the Naknek section quite small. We have only fished in the Kvichak section three times so far, and when we fish in the Naknek section only, it is very crowded. The boundary line is simply bananas.

Overambitious fishermen with way too much horsepower have stepped up the competition to the boiling point. Guys are going way over the line, and it is getting tough to scratch out a decent day of fishing. I believe the peak of the run has passed and we are on the downhill slide, but there are always pulses of fish that push through. I'll be fishing until it slows way down, so I still have a way to go.

TO BE CONTINUED...

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Inside the Industry

NMFS announced two changes in regulations that apply to federal fishing permit holders starting Aug. 26.

First, they have eliminated the requirement for vessel owners to submit “did not fish” reports for the months or weeks when their vessel was not fishing.

Some of the restrictions for upgrading vessels listed on federal fishing permits have also been removed.

Read more...

Alaskans will meet with British Columbia’s Minister of Energy and Mines, Bill Bennett, when he visits Juneau next week and will ask him to support an international review of mine developments in northwest British Columbia, upstream from Southeast Alaska along the Taku, Stikine and Unuk transboundary rivers.

Some Alaska fishing and environmental groups believe an international review is the best way to develop specific, binding commitments to ensure clean water, salmon, jobs and traditional and customary practices are not harmed by British Columbia mines and that adequate financial assurances are in place up front to cover long-term monitoring and compensation for damages.

Read more...
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