Official Board of Fish Teleconference Summary

ALASKA BOARD OF FISHERIES

Teleconference

Southeast King Salmon Sport Fishery

April 28, 2008

Summary of Actions

The Alaska Board of Fisheries (board) met by teleconference on April 28, 2008 to consider possible emergency regulations regarding sport fishing for king salmon fishing in Southeast Alaska.  Six of seven board members were in attendance (Morris absent).  Public listen-only sites were available in Ketchikan, Petersburg, Sitka, and Juneau. 

The Alaska Department of Fish and Game recently announced a 48 percent reduction in the Southeast Alaska king salmon harvest quota for the 2008 season.  The board considered possible adjustments to the sport fishing regulations beyond those announced by the department in a April 9, 2008 Emergency Order, including modifying the date of a salmon derby, allowing for in-season adjustment to regulations, and modifying the number of allowable lines for charter boats. 

The board adopted a finding of emergency based on the immediate preservation of the public peace, health, safety, or general welfare as provided for in Alaska Statute 44.62.250.

The board adopted an emergency regulation to apply to the 2008 season that would 1) allow retention of king salmon 28 inches or greater in length during the period of July 15-Sept. 30 by resident anglers, and 2) allow charter boats to use up to six lines in May and June.  In addition from July 15 through September 30 nonresidents may only retain king salmon 48 inches or greater in length.

The board noted that a key consideration from a resident fishing perspective was that prohibiting the retention of king salmon 28-inches or greater after August 1 for residents would essentially close an important fishing opportunity.  The action taken was intended by the board to allow for continued sport fishing opportunity for king salmon in marine waters for unguided sport anglers, consistent with board finding #1993-142-FB.  It was understood that a week-long reduction in non-resident fishing would make up the difference to allow an additional two months of resident fishing time in terms of conservation savings. 

The board also noted that a key consideration from a charter fleet perspective was avoiding a reduction in the number of lines allowed per vessel from six down to four, particularly during the months of May and June.  It was understood by the board that an additional week of non-resident fishing restriction in July would make up the difference in conservation savings that could be achieved by a reduction in the number of lines to four. 

The board addressed the allocation criteria, the sustainable salmon fisheries policy, and discussed costs to the public.  The board clarified its intent to delegate to the Commissioner the authority to adopt the emergency regulation permanently.  The emergency regulation will sunset on September 30, 2008.

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