National Fisherman


PRINCETON-BY-THE-SEA -- Bay Area commercial fisherman unloaded the season's last haul of salmon Wednesday, bringing a close to what some trollers are calling the best Chinook fishing since 2005.
 
The king salmon fishery, one of the most valuable in California, continues to rebound after suffering through three shortened or canceled seasons between 2008 and 2010. Fishermen and regulators attribute the resurgence in part to favorable river and ocean conditions several years ago when the current generation of adults hatched and made their way out to sea.
 
"It was a good year," said Larry Collins, president of the San Francisco commercial fisherman's association. "Some guys did really well."
 
A preliminary estimate from the California Department of Fish and Game shows nearly 267,000 salmon were unloaded through Aug. 29. That would already be the most since 2005, when fishermen brought home roughly 341,000 over a full season. The fishery collapsed in 2006 partly because of environmental pressures, including the degradation of river habitat and Central Valley farmers' heavy demand for the water stored in the Sierra Nevada snowpack.
 
"It's all about how much water they get for going up and going down the river," Collins said.
 
The last day of fishing was Tuesday. Boats returned to Fisherman's Wharf in San Francisco and Pillar Point Harbor near Half Moon Bay after dark and began selling the last catch in the morning.
 
Brad Wilcox was asking $12 a pound he was selling retail from his boat, Luna Sea, at Pillar Point. The fish were not only abundant this year, he said, but fat and tasty.
 
"My biggest fish this year was 44 pounds," said Wilcox, "which is about as big as it gets."
 
Read the full story at the San Jose Mercury News>>

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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