National Fisherman


A federal judge late Thursday allowed the government to release water into the Klamath River to protect spawning salmon, saying the danger of a major fish kill outweighed the loss of irrigation water to Central Valley farmers.

The U.S. Bureau of Reclamation plans to release cold Trinity River water into the lower Klamath through Sept. 21 to prevent a die-off of the chinook salmon that need more water to spawn.

The plan was challenged by water districts representing growers who receive irrigation water from the federal Central Valley Project, supplies that have been sharply reduced this year because of weather-related shortages. U.S. District Judge Lawrence O'Neill of Fresno had granted their request to block the releases Aug. 13 and said the plan may exceed the government's legal authority.

But O'Neill denied an injunction Thursday that could have canceled the remaining month of scheduled flows. He said the legal issues remain uncertain, but the prospect of harm to the salmon, 11 years after a disastrous fish kill in the same waters, tipped the scales.

Read the full story at the San Francisco Chronicle>>

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.

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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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