National Fisherman


FAIRBANKS — A dire Yukon River king salmon forecast that could bottom out below last year’s low returns has some rural Alaska residents calling for a moratorium on subsistence fishing for the species.
 
“These fish are not going to be here forever, not the way we’re catching them,” Orville Huntington said Tuesday during a pre-season planning meeting with fisheries managers from the Alaska Department of Fish and Game. “It wouldn’t hurt to take a few years off and say, ‘Let them go.’ There are other fish out there.”
 
Huntington lives on the Koyukuk River, a tributary of the Yukon. He works as director of wildlife and parks for the Tanana Chiefs Conference.
 
Walter Stickman, of Nulato, read a letter from the Nulato Tribal Council that called for a moratorium.
 
“We have made sacrifices in past years and our sacrifices seem to have no results on the declining chinook salmon,” Stickman said. “The moratorium may or may not influence the 2015 projected run, but it will unite the rural subsistence fishermen toward a goal, potentially for the common good.”
 
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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