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#12-14-2012 - ComFish News Roundup

View of the Kenai Mountains over the Turnagain...
View of the Kenai Mountains over the Turnagain arm of Cook Inlet. The photograph was taken about 18 miles South of Anchorage, and shows the tracks of The Alaska Railroad Company, which run from Anchorage to Whittier and Seward. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Study traces salmon stocks
Biologists document genetics of setnet king harvest
Posted: December 12, 2012 - 9:53pm  |  Updated: December 13, 2012 - 2:09pm
By Rashah McChesney
Peninsula Clarion
A genetic analysis of chinook salmon caught in the Upper Cook Inlet east side setnet fishery showed more than 25 percent of the harvest typically attributed to the Kenai River actually returning to the Kasilof River. The new information means estimates of the percentage of the late run Kenai River harvested by the setnet fishery — usually between 17-19 percent according a Fish and Game researcher — will drop. More than 2,300 samples were collected between 2010, 2011 and 2012. However......

Story last updated at 3:22 PM on Wednesday, December 12, 2012
Forecast for Bristol Bay sockeye run down from '12
BY Cristy Fry
The Alaska Board of Fisheries met this week in Naknek as residents and other permit holders were grappling with a sockeye forecast for 2013 that is down 20 percent from what was a less-than-robust run in 2012. Perhaps as a result of that forecast, the board took a cautious approach to some of the proposed changes such as increasing the escapement goals for some area rivers. The Alaska Department of Fish and Game forecast for sockeye harvest in Bristol Bay is 16.6 million fish, down from the 20.6 million caught in 2012. The drop is reminiscent of declines seen at the turn of the last decade, when......

Changes in the Commercial Fishery in the Nushagak District
The Alaska Board of Fisheries wrapped up their Bristol Bay meeting earlier this week. As KDLG's Mike Mason reports... some significant changes are coming for commercial fishermen in the Nushagak District. (5:36)....

Dec 13, 2012 - 02:46 PM AKST
Council sets 2013 harvests, keeps charter halibut rules
Pollock harvesters heard good news at the North Pacific Fishery Management Council meeting in Anchorage Dec. 5 to 11.
The total allowable catch, or TAC, for Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands pollock was set at 1.27 million metric tons, about a 4 percent increase versus the 1.22 million metric ton harvest for 2012. The Pacific cod harvest for the BSAI was set at 260,000 metric tons, a slight decrease from 2012. In the Gulf of Alaska, pollock will also go up and cod will also go down. The TAC for Gulf pollock is 121,046 tons, up about 5,000 tons compared to 2012. Gulf Pacific cod is down about 5,000 tons, to 60,600 tons, and black cod, or sablefish, is down about 400 tons, to 12,510 tons. The council also recommended status quo management for the halibut charter industry in Areas 2C and 3A, or Southeast Alaska and Southcentral. The status quo measures are a reverse slot limit and one fish bag limit for Area 2C, and two fish of any size in Area 3A. The reverse slot limi.......

Pebble Spokesman Blasts the EPA
A spokesman with the Pebble Limited Partnership used a public presentation last month in Anchorage to criticize the EPA for their "Bristol Bay Watershed Assessment". KDLG's Mike Mason listened in and filed this report. (2:17)....

Board of Fish Rejects a Troll Fishery in Bristol Bay
The Alaska Board of Fisheries took no action during their Bristol Bay meeting this week on a proposal to create a new fishery in Bristol Bay. KDLG’s Mike Mason has the details. (2:53)....

Rau offers lessons in life, trolling in ‘As the Gurdy Turns’
by Robert Woolsey, KCAW
December 13, 2012 9:17 pm
A writer and salmon troller has published a new collection of articles written over the course of thirty-five years fishing in Southeast. As the Gurdy Turns is the first book for Ron Rau, who was a frequent contributor to The Alaska Fisherman’s Journal......

DOT Transfers Ketchikan Marine Facilities to AIDEA
December 14, 2012
(SitNews) Ketchikan, Alaska - The Alaska Department of Transportation and Public Facilities (ADOT&PF) finalized the transfer of the Ketchikan marine engineering offices and warehouse to the Alaska Industrial Development and Export Authority (AIDEA) Monday in Ketchikan, Alaska. The Alaska Department of Transportation ceremoniously transferred the 2.5 acre....
Biologist: Tsunami debris overwhelming in spots
By BECKY BOHRER — Associated Press
Debris that gathered this past summer on Alaska's Kayak Island made walking on its beaches feel like walking through a natural disaster zone, a federal biologist said Thursday......
December 13, 2012
'Deadliest Catch' star comes to dinner in Monterey
If your weekend road-trip plans include a stop in Monterey on Saturday, you can linger over a three-course dinner that includes Alaskan king crab or Alaskan salmon, and meet the wild and wooly Capt. Johnathan Hillstrand, who will be in town...... Murkowski Gains DHS Commitment on Alaskan TWIC Issues
December 13, 2012
Senator’s Attention and Pressure Brings a More Efficient Process
WASHINGTON, DC – Senator Lisa Murkowski today met with Transportation Security Administration Chief John S. Pistole and U.S. Coast Guard Vice Admiral Neffenger to discuss her concerns about the burdensome requirements for Alaskans seeking to renew their Transportation Worker Identification Cards (TWIC) – objections she raised in a November 21 letter to the Department of Homeland Security.
 “Getting a security card renewed for your job shouldn’t require hundreds of dollars worth of plane tickets and all that time away from work,” said Murkowski. “I was pleased to hear a commitment from DHS, TSA, and USCG regarding their plans to ease the burdens associated with the TWIC program. Administrator Pistole traveled to Alaska and visited a TWIC enrollment center, and he assured me he understands the unique challenges Alaska TWIC holders face.”
In the hour-long meeting, Senator Murkowski and the federal officials discussed ways DHS is working to ease those challenges, including allowing current TWIC holders to request extended expiration date (EED) TWICs.  EEDs are 3-year temporary TWICs available to many individuals with a TWIC that expires on or before December 31, 2014 for the price of $60: more details are available at
 “It was also encouraging to hear that DHS is already planning how it will implement the provision in the Coast Guard Authorization bill we just passed yesterday to reform the TWIC program so that only one in-person visit to a designated enrollment center is required,” Murkowski said.

Another chance for U.S. icebreaker Polar Sea amid Arctic changes
Puget Sound Business Journal by Steve Wilhelm, Staff Writer
Date: Thursday, December 13, 2012, 2:43pm PST - Last Modified: Friday, December 14, 2012, 5:31am PST
Steve Wilhelm
Staff Writer- Puget Sound Business Journal
Maybe the U.S. won’t have just one heavy icebreaker — compared to Russia’s six — after all. And that's important at a time when melting ice is opening new areas of the Arctic to commerce.....

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