National Fisherman

AUGUSTA, Maine — A bill that opens the entire St. Croix watershed to sea-run alewives for the first time in nearly three decades went into law Tuesday without the signature of Gov. Paul LePage.

The bill, LD 72, An Act to Open the St. Croix River to River Herring, breezed through the House and Senate and was sent to LePage's desk on April 10. Under Maine law, the governor has 10 days, excluding Sundays, to sign or veto bills or they become law automatically.

Rep. Madonna Soctomah of the Passamaquoddy Tribe, who sponsored the bill, said it came about because Native Americans, sportsmen and others wanted to let alewives swim their natural course.

"This is a survival issue," she said.

The bill became law with only about a week to spare before its contents become relevant. It requires state officials to remove barriers in fishways at Grand Falls Dam in Washington County by May 1 in order to allow alewifes to migrate upriver. It would be the first time since 1995 that the fish would have full access to the St. Croix River watershed.

Read the full story at Bangor Daily News>>

Inside the Industry

NMFS has awarded 16 grants totaling more than $2.5 million as part of its Bycatch Reduction Engineering Program.

The program supports the development of technological solutions and changes in fishing practices designed to minimize bycatch and aims to to find creative approaches and strategies for reducing bycatch, seabird interactions, and post-release mortality in federally managed fisheries.


Abe Williams, who was elected to the Bristol Bay Regional Seafood Development Association board last spring, has been selected as the new president as of September.

Williams fishes the F/V Crimson Fury, and is president of Nuna Resources, a nonprofit that supports sustainable resource development in rural Alaska, including fighting for an international solution to issues raised by the proposed Pebble Mine project.

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