National Fisherman

ANCHORAGE — New rules to protect king salmon returning to Kenai Peninsula rivers unfairly target commercial fishermen, they said Wednesday after the Alaska Board of Fisheries approved the measures.
 
Jim Butler, a commercial set-net fisherman and a representative of the Kenai Peninsula Fishermen’s Association, said the loss of fishing opportunity will not be equally shared with anglers.
 
“There has been nothing in the river that been changed except ‘not-bait,’” he told the Peninsula Clarion (http://bit.ly/1eYmgi5). “There’s been not one less motorboat day, not one less drift boat day, there has been no limitation on the number of hours the commercial guide industry fishes.”
 
The Fish Board, meeting in Anchorage, voted 6-1 in favor of “paired restrictions” for late-run king salmon returning in July. State fish managers will have the power to reduce both sport and commercial fishing in Cook Inlet when king salmon return numbers look low, the Anchorage Daily News reported.
 
For example, river anglers in private boats or boats with guides could be prohibited from using bait. That would kick in restrictions on nets used by set-netters, the commercial fishermen who stretch gill nets perpendicular to ocean beaches near rivers to intercept returning salmon.
 
Set-netters target sockeye salmon but catch an estimated 13 percent of the returning kings.
 
Fish managers could also require in-river anglers to catch and release kings. Under the new rules, commercial set-net fishermen would then be limited to one 12-hour fishing period per week instead of two.
 
King salmon are a huge draw for the peninsula’s tourism industry, attracting anglers who support lodges, restaurants and guides. Sport fishing interests had pushed for the paired restrictions.
 
Read the full story at the Juneau Empire>>

National Fisherman Live

National Fisherman Live: 11/06/14

In this episode:

NOAA report touts 2013 landings, value increases
Panama fines GM salmon company Aquabounty
Gulf council passes Reef Fish Amendment 40
Maine elver quota cut by 2,000 pounds
Offshore mussel farm would be East Coast’s first

 

Inside the Industry

EAST SAND ISLAND, Oregon—Alexa Piggott is crawling through a dark, dusty, narrow tunnel on this 62-acre island at the mouth of the Columbia River. On the ground above her head sit thousands of seabirds. Piggott, a crew leader with Bird Research Northwest, is headed for an observation blind from which she'll be able to count them.
 
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NOAA and its fellow Natural Resource Damage Assessment trustees in the Deepwater Horizon oil spill have announced the signing of a formal Record of Decision to implement a gulf restoration plan. The 44 projects, totaling an estimated $627 million, will restore barrier islands, shorelines, dunes, underwater grasses and oyster beds.

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