National Fisherman

Be ye a halibut angler -- Alaska-based or from afar -- there was good news coming out of the North Pacific Fishery Management Council this holiday season tempered by a little coal-in-the-stocking courtesy of the Alaska Department of Fish and Game.

The Council, for its part, decided to stick with a two-fish-per-day limit for flatfish anglers fishing out of Southcentral ports near Anchorage, the state's largest city, next year. There had been worries about a reduced limit, as is already in place in the state's Southeast Panhandle because of a shrinking "biomass'' -- as the scientists call it -- of halibut.

The not-so-good news from Fish and Game was related directly -- and sadly -- to that biomass problem. There appear to be plenty of fish, but most of them are small. The state's Preliminary Estimates of Sport Harvests concluded Southcentral anglers caught about 300,000 of the tasty, white-fleshed fish in 2012, about the same as in 2011. But state fisheries biologist Scott Meyer from Homer reported the average size of halibut kept by Southcentral anglers dropped under 15 pounds for the first time ever. Some Kenai River sockeye salmon get bigger than that.

Read the full story at Alaska Dispatch>>

Inside the Industry

The anti-mining group Salmon Beyond Borders expressed disappointment and dismay last week at Alaska Governor Bill Walker’s announcement that he has signed a Memorandum of Understanding with B.C. Premier Christy Clark.

This came just days after his administration asked members of his newly-formed Transboundary Rivers Citizens Advisory Work Group to provide comment on a Draft Statement of Cooperation associated with Transboundary mining.


NMFS recently released a draft action plan for fish discard and release mortality science, creating a list of actions that they hope can better inform fisheries.

We know that fishermen have to deal with bycatch by discarding or releasing unwanted catch overboard, but there is a data gap regarding how those fish survive.

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