Monday, December 27, 2010

Stikine, Taku king forecasts too low for gillnet opening

According to KFSK-FM (Petersburg), there again won't be a commercial king salmon gillnetting season for the Stikine and Taku rivers next May. Alaska Fish and Game has released its pre-season forecasts for the rivers, and the predicted returns won't be high enough to support a commercial harvest. The forecasts are large enough, however, for liberalized sport fishing limits (to be announced in spring). One department official says the expected low returns are likely the result of large escapements in previous years producing crowded stream conditions for young salmon, but that the trend is looking up. Listen to much, much more at APRN.
Thanks to Alaska Dispatch for the "heads up."

So while Kodiak Draggers' reported king salmon catch goes ballistic, fisheries around Alaska close for lack of fish.  Who'd a thought?  But Southeast Alaskans pretend that what happens in the Gulf of Alaska doesn't affect them.  Unconstrained halibut and king salmon bycatch is part of the reason why their halibut catch has been in such dramatic decline, yet they fail to engage in the politics of bycatch control because trawling is essentially closed in SE.  We can only hope they wake up.  Ecology means we are all part of one thing, afterall.

Make your New Year's resolution to write a letter, make a call, or attend the North Pacific Fisheries Managment Council  in Seattle January 31 through February 8, 2011 or the Alaska Board of Fish in Kodiak January 11 through 14 and tell our managers to stop the excessive and uncontrolled bycatch of our precious fisheries resources by unrestrained and unobserved draggers. Letters to the BOF deadline is tomorrow, the 28th.

Keep your flippers thawed.

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