Federal Subsistence Board rejects Makhnati Island herring proposal

Federal Subsistence Board
News Release

For immediate release: December 14, 2007
Contact: Maureen Clark (800) 478-1456 or (907) 786-3953
     E-mail: Maureen_Clark@fws.gov
Federal Subsistence Board Approves Changes to Subsistence Fishing Regulations

     The Federal Subsistence Board took action on 18 proposals to change Federal subsistence fishing regulations at its Dec. 11-13 meeting in Anchorage. The new regulations take effect April 1, 2008.
     The Board approved a proposal for use of one temporary subsistence fish wheel for the harvest of salmon on the Kasilof River by residents of Ninilchik. Fish harvested by the fish wheel fishery will be included as part of the annual total harvest limits for the subsistence dip net/rod-and-reel fisheries on the Kasilof.
     A proposal that would have reduced the mesh size of gillnets used by subsistence and commercial fishermen on the Yukon River failed on a tie vote. In addition, the Board rejected a proposal to reduce the depth of nets of Yukon River subsistence and commercial fishermen. The proposals were intended to allow greater passage of large Chinook salmon to spawning grounds.
     The Board also rejected a proposal that would have closed a portion of the Makhnati Island area of Sitka to the commercial harvest of herring. Board members said there wasn’t a conservation concern for the herring stocks in Sitka Sound and it was not clear that a closure of the area to the commercial fishery would benefit subsistence users.
     The Board lifted closures to the harvest of sockeye salmon for non-Federally qualified users in Falls Lake Bay, Gut Bay, and Pillar Bay in Southeast Alaska. The Board found that there were no conservation concerns for sockeye at these locations and removal of these closures would allow all users the opportunity to harvest sockeye without concern for Federal jurisdictional boundaries.
     The Board approved a proposal to move the start date of the Stikine River subsistence salmon fishery to Aug. 1, pending coordination with the Pacific Salmon Commission, and to make subsistence fishing permits for the Stikine fishery valid for the length of the fishing season.
     Federal subsistence fishery regulation books will be published in late March and will be available statewide. The regulations also will be posted on the Federal Subsistence Management Program website, http://alaska.fws.gov/asm/home.html.

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