Coastal erosion could change Alaska’s boundaries

Changes to Alaska’s coastline and creeks could affect fishing boundaries, but the state Board of Fisheries is waiting to weigh in on possible fixes until a new committee can delve into the issue.

At the Bristol Bay finfish meeting in Anchorage in early December, the board heard testimony from several setnetters asking the board to make their sites whole after time and tides have taken their toll.

No one questions whether Dick Armstrong fished the first Graveyard Point sites for decades. But over time, boundary markers have moved and Graveyard Creek has shifted its course, and the family says the sites they have fished for decades are no longer part of the legal Naknek-Kvichak fishing district. So the entire and extended Armstrong clan asked the board to change a boundary at Graveyard Point.

At Clark’s Point, the opposite has occurred: the mud flats have filled in, reducing the fishing time for several sites. So setnetters asked the board to allow them to put their nets farther out into the ocean. That proposal was submitted by Alannah Hurley, with support from those at most adjacent sites, and others in the region.

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Ashley Herriman

Ashley Herriman is the online editor for National Fisherman.

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