National Fisherman


Fisheries projects throughout the state would receive a boost in the Legislature's budget.

The Legislature's fiscal year 2014 capital budget included more than $12 million to study Alaska's fisheries, much of it for work in Cook Inlet including drainages in the Matanuska-Susitna borough.

Topping the list of projects was $7.5 million for Gov. Sean Parnell's Chinook Salmon Research Initiative. In Parnell's version of the budget, that item came in at $10 million. Parnell's research initiative included an additional $20 million over the subsequent four years, for a total $30 million, five-year effort.

The initiative, which was a response to declining king salmon runs throughout the state, is meant to look at what was happening to the salmon. As proposed, the undertaking would look at 12 indicator river systems from Southeast Alaska to the Arctic, gain a better understanding of the factors affecting salmon, and offer strategies to enhance viability and increase returns.

The budget would also include $2.5 million to look at Susitna River drainage salmon and $2 million for king salmon in Northern Cook Inlet.

Those projects would be undertaken by the Alaska Department of Fish and Game, or ADFG.

ADFG's Susitna drainage project would look at research, restoration and enhancement, while the Northern Cook Inlet funding is specifically for enhancement.

ADFG Deputy Commissioner Kevin Brooks said additional research would receive funding in the Legislature's operating budget, as subcommittees added money for certain work that wasn't part of ADFG's request. That research includes sampling, salmon enhancement, monitoring escapements and genetics work.

Read the full story at the Alaska Journal>>

Inside the Industry

The following was released by the Maine Department of Marine Resources on Jan. 22:

The Maine Department of Marine Resources announced an emergency regulation that will support the continued rebuilding effort in Maine’s scallop fishery. The rule, effective January 23, 2016, will close the Muscle Ridge Area near South Thomaston and the Western Penobscot Bay Area.

Read more...

Louisiana’s Department of Wildlife and Fisheries, which governs commercial and recreational fishing in the state, got a new boss in January. Charlie Melancon, a former member of the U.S. House of Representatives and state legislator, was appointed to the job by the state’s new governor, John Bel Edwards.

Although much of his non-political work in the past has centered on the state’s sugar cane industry, Melancon said he is confident that other experience, including working closely with fishermen when in Congress, has prepared him well for this new challenge.

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