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#11-28-2012 - ComFish News Roundup

Alaska Governor Proposes Salmon Research Initiative
11-27-2012 - November 27, 2012, Kenai, Alaska – Governor Sean Parnell today
announced that his Fiscal Year 2014 budget will contain $10 million for the first component of a five-year, $30 million comprehensive Chinook Salmon Research Initiative. The research initiative will increase Alaska’s understanding of factors affecting the abundance of Chinook salmon stocks statewide. It will develop strategies to enhance viability and increase returns, using improved information from 12 indicator river systems from Southeast Alaska to the Arctic. The $10 million will complement existing funds in the Alaska Department of Fish and Game’s operating budget. The department currently spends approximately $14.6 million annually for Chinook salmon-related research and management.

The governor’s fisheries initiative resulted from work undertaken by a team of scientists assembled this past summer by the Department of Fish and Game to develop a comprehensive research plan to help the state better understand Chinook salmon abundance and productivity. The draft research plan was presented and publicly discussed at a two-day Chinook salmon symposium in Anchorage in October. The symposium drew more than 400 scientists, fishermen and women, members of the public, and government representatives.

“The high turnout at the symposium indicates the importance Alaskans place on healthy Chinook salmon resources,” Governor Parnell said. “The quality of the dialogue between scientists and the public was a critical step in developing a robust research plan that reflects both the most current scientific knowledge and the priorities of the people of Alaska.”

The research plan includes adult, juvenile, and harvest assessments, as well as genetics, biometrics, and local and traditional knowledge. Projects will be conducted statewide and the research plan will be updated as more data and analyses become available.

Federal agencies have been engaged in the research planning process and symposium, and will have a key role in filling knowledge gaps in salmon science, particularly in the marine environment. Data from marine surveys and near-shore trawl research in the Bering Sea and Gulf of Alaska could help identify key biological and oceanographic factors affecting salmon growth and productivity.

“Alaska’s fishing industry is a vital economic engine in our state,” Governor Parnell said. “Chinook salmon are a cornerstone of our culture and livelihood. I look forward to working with the Legislature in support of this research initiative.”

SE winter herring opens Friday
Posted: November 28, 2012 - 12:03am
Southeast Alaska’s winter food and bait herring fishing is scheduled to open in certain areas at noon on Nov. 30. The Alaska Department of Fish and Game announced the opening Tuesday. Section 3-B and District 4’s Craig and Klawock fishery is granted a guideline harvest level of...

Obama issues disaster declaration for storms
Published: November 27, 2012 Updated 14 hours ago
The Associated Press
ANCHORAGE, ALASKA — President Barack Obama has issued a disaster declaration for large parts of Alaska affected by storms, winds, flooding and landslides during the last half of September. The White House in a release Tuesday announced the declaration, which allows federal aid toR...

The Nushagak Fish and Game Advisory Committee Recommends Getting Rid of Permit Stacking in the Driftnet Fishery in Bristol Bay
One of the most significant changes to the commercial salmon fishery in Bristol Bay in recent years has been the creation of the duel permit system. However, if the local fish and game advisory committee for the Nushgak River region has its way that system will go away. KDLG's Mike Mason has the story. (4:44)...

False statements on resident sports fishing licenses presistent on Peninsula
Lying for fish
Posted: November 27, 2012 - 9:47pm
By Jerzy Shedlock
Peninsula Clarion
The Alaska Wildlife Troopers have charged more than a handful of individuals for lying on their sportfishing licenses since late October and offenders thinking they avoided detection may soon find themselves in trouble, as troopers address suspicious cases throughout the winter. “It keeps the troopers busy during the...

More Observers Coming to Alaska Groundfish and Halibut Boats
Nov 27, 2012
Jay Barrett/KMXT
On January 1st, there will be a sea change in the who, what, where and when of federal fisheries observer coverage for Alaska groundfish and halibut boats. “The purpose is to improve data quality, to more equitably distribute industry cost and to include halibut vessels," said NOAA Fisheries spokeswoman Julie Speegle in Juneau. "So the changes are, vessels and processors in the full observer coverage category will retain the...

Tanner crab fishery at Unalaska/Kelekta Bay opens Jan. 15
Posted 11/27/2012
by - Cordova Times Staff
A commercial season for tanner crab in the Eastern Aleutians district opens on Jan. 13, with a guideline harvest level of 35,000 pounds in the Unalaska/Kelekta Bay section only, the Alaska Department of Fish and Game announced Nov. 27. The Akutan Bay section, which was closed for the 2012 season, and the Makushin/Skan Bay section, which was open last year, will both be closed due to....