National Fisherman


After nearly a full day of board deliberations on 25 proposed regulatory changes, the Cook Inlet personal-use fishery remains largely unchanged in the midst of a process that has dramatically restructured commercial set and drift gillnet fishing in the same region.

Board members, dipnetters and commercial fishers agreed that personal-use fishing — particularly on the Kenai River — has been growing in popularity.

"I'm not inclined to change the fishery," said board member John Jensen of Petersburg. "It's a good channel for Alaskans to get sockeyes and the commercial guys can share a little bit."

The Alaska Board of Fisheries deliberated for several hours on proposals ranging from restrictions on the size of boat and wake generated, to several limiting personal-use fishing permits and the prohibition of king salmon in the fishery.

Of the three proposals that passed, one bumped up the number of sockeye salmon needed to liberalize the Kenai River personal-use, or dipnet, fishery from 2 million fish to 2.3 million.

The proposal, submitted by the Alaska Department of Fish and Game, or ADFG, brought the regulations in line with the Kenai River Late-Run Sockeye Salmon Management Plan which increases the in-river sport bag and possession limits when 2.3 million or more sockeye salmon are expected to hit the river.

Another proposal that clarified the term "fishing site" was passed.

Read the full story at the Alaska Journal of Commerce>>

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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