National Fisherman


King salmon are the lynchpin of the Cook Inlet fishery. Other runs of other salmon species are far more abundant, but the health of king salmon affects all users.
 
Alaska is currently experiencing historic low runs of king salmon returning to major systems throughout the state. It affects Alaskans who have fished for kings for years in these rivers and creeks, and the visitors thousands of businesses depend on every summer.
 
Soldotna businesses sales are off 10 percent to 20 percent. There are more than 100 fewer guide licenses on the Kenai River now compared to 2007, a 28 percent decrease, and “For Sale” signs adorn many lodges.
 
Further, the sale prices of these are going down. Many attribute this to the lack of kings. The assessed values of river front homes have been a great help to the area, producing tax revenues that translate into jobs, goods and services.
 
This reduction of value and the number of people wanting to sell is occurring during a downtrend in sports and guided sports harvests of kings. At the same time sports and dipnet harvests of sockeye are remaining robust. What does that say about the value of the king salmon?
 
Read the full story at Juneau Empire>>

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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