National Fisherman


Alaska anglers optimistic about promising early king salmon returns on many rivers -- after years of disappearing fish -- may want to temper any warm, fuzzy feelings about the largest of the state's salmon. Despite an increase in chinook salmon returns in some waterways compared to last year, biologists stress it's too early to say if the current numbers will be sustained the rest of the season.
 
Most king salmon returns appear to be running 10 days to two weeks ahead of the average. Warm spring weather has increased water temperatures throughout Alaska, hastening the fish's annual sprint to fresh water. But an early return doesn't necessarily mean a big return.
 
And an increase over 2013 wouldn't be much to crow about, given record or near-record low returns of king salmon last year from Southcentral Alaska to the Interior.
 
While kings have returned in greater numbers in many Southcentral areas, some of the most productive fisheries are man-made or enhanced runs, meaning the fish swimming there began life in a state hatchery.
 
In Southeast, saltwater fishing for chinooks has been downright hot, but those fish are temporary visitors. They are destined for spawning grounds in British Columbia, Washington and Oregon, where chinook returns are off the charts, according to the Alaska Department of Fish and Game.
 
Read the full story at Anchorage Daily 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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