2nd Special Session Fails to Save ACMP

The Alaska Coastal Management Program (ACMP) is closed with no chance to revive the program.

The Alaska Coastal Management Program (ACMP) is closed with no chance to revive the program. The Legislature failed to pass in the third attempt to save the program after calling themselved into session that lasted two days. The Senate passed SB 45 and the House of Representatives failed the measure after the Governor stated he would veto any legislation passed and testimony in front of the House Finance committee by Governor’s office stated that the program was closed down, office space let go, files stored, most employees already found another job and that they failed to apply to the federal government for the funding and it was too late to salvage the program.

The ACMP importance is the ability to require federal agencies to meet stricter State regulations/requirements on a federal project in federal waters or land. Without the program the State of Alaska can comment on a permitting process the same as any citizen of the United States.

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Yakutat Commercial, Subsistence and Set Gillnet Announcement

The Alaska Dept of Fish and Game announced a meeting today today to discuss the Situk-Ahrnklin Inlet Subsistence and commercial gillnet salmon fisheries on May 10 at 7:00 pm in the Yakutat High School auditorium.

The preseason projection for Chinook salmon through the Situk weir is very low. According to the Situk management plan this low projection has serious implications for both subsistence and commercial salmon harvest in the Situk-Ahrnklin Inlet fisheries. The meeting is being called to discuss options to allow for subsistence and commercial harvest of sockeye salmon while establishing conservation measures for Chinook salmon. The Situk-Ahrnklin Inlet fisheries are of vital concern to the community of Yakutat, and the public is urged to attend this meeting.

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ADFG Commissioner Confirmed by Legislature

Cora Campbell was confirmed on a 59 to 0 vote as ADFG Commissioner by the Legislature in a Joint session on April 8th confirming Governor appointees.

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2011 SSEI Sablefish Quota Announced

ADFG announced the 2011 Clarence Strait and Dixon Entrance (SSEI) Sablefish Quota will be an equal quota share for each of the permit holders at 23,300 round pounds. This is an 8% decrease from the 2010 quota.

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HERE WE GO AGAIN!

The Charter Operators of Alaska (COA) announced today that they filed a lawsuit in Washington DC and asked for a preliminary injunction to prevent the implementation of the Halibut Charter Limited Entry Permit program.

COA Press Release Lawsuit 4.4.11

Charter Halibut LEP Complaint 4.4.11

COA LEP Injunction 4.4.11

COA Memo of Law PI 4.4.11

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NPFMC Motion on Salmon Fishery Management Plan

The NPFMC today (April 1st) moved forward after presentations and public testimony the following motion:

Develop Alternative 3 as the preliminary preferred alternative for an initial review draft FMP (Fishery Management Plan) and continue to expand discussion of FMP provisions the Council could consider changing or adding, as directed below.

Preliminary Preferred Alternative
Alternative 3:  Modify the FMP to exclude the three historical fishing areas in the West Area (Cook Inlet, Prince William Sound, AK Pennisula)
In areas where the Salmon FMP applies, managment would be deferred to the State of Alaska.

Directions for Salmon FMP Additions
Fishery Impact Statement: Use existing documents to the extent possible to describe the fisheries occurring under the FMP.
ByCatch Management:  Include a management objective to minimize bycatch and minimize mortality of unavoidable bycatch in the directed salmon fisheries, but defer bycatch management in the directed salmon fisheries to the State of Alaska.  Document existing monitoring and management measures for initial review analysis.
Annual Catch Limits and Accountability Measures:

  • Use the NS 1 Guidelines exception for stocks managed under an international fishery agreement with regard to ACL/AM requirements for Chinook salmon harvests under the Pacific Salmon Treaty (labeled Option 1 in analysis).
  • Use the State’s salmon management program as an alternative approach to satisfy MSA requirements (labeled Option 2 in analysis)

Directors for Amending Existing Salmon FMP Provisions

Sport Fishery:  Remove the Sport fishery in the West Area from the FMP.
Management Objectives:

  • Prevent commercial directed fishing of salmon in the EEZ outside of the historical fishing areas.
  • Manage stocks harvested in directed fisheries as a unit throughout their range; manage interrelated stocks as a unit or in close coordination.
  • Retain management objectives for the directed commercial fisheries under the FMP in the East Area for future discussion (evaluate them against current state management objectives and the Pacific Salmon Treaty)

Salmon Plan Team:  For fisheries remaining under the FMP, explore review provided under the State of Alaska salmon management program and Pacific Salmon Treaty processes as alternative peer review processes for status of the stocks and fishery information.

Federal Salmon Limited Entry Permits:  Remove federal permitting provision.

Process for Review and Appeal:  More fully describe the process for the public to appeal and request Secretarial review of state regulations and inseason actions.

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Chinook Quota for 2011 Increased

Under the agreements of the Pacific Salmon Treaty, the SE AK treaty all-gear Chinook salmon quota is 73,000 fish more than last year for a total of 294,800.

Seine 12,676
Drift Gillnet 8,549
Set Gillnet 1,000
Troll 218,060
Sport 54,515

The bag limits for sport fishing for 2011 will be starting April 1st, 2011.
Alaskan Residents: bag and possession limit is three king salmon 28 inches or greater in length

NONRESIDENTS: bag and possession limit is one king salmon 28 inches or greater in length; except during May 2011 when the bag and possession limit is two king salmon 28 inches or greater in length. The nonresident ANNUAL limit is five king salmon 28 inches or greater in length

From Oct. 1st, 2011 through March 31, 2012; all sport anglers may use two rods fishing for king salmon.

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Coast Guard Dockside Examiner Schedule

Examiners will be available in the following communities for dockside exams.

Wrangell           Mar 31 – Apr 2nd
Kake                  April 10 -11
Hoonah             April 26 – 28
Petersburg       May 13- 15 (Mayfest)
Elfin Cove         June 2 – 6
Yakutat            June 6 – 10

For more information or to schedule in another community contact Scott Wilwert 907-957-0152

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Yakutat Dungeness Crab Survey Charter Bid Packets Available

Bids for the Yakutat Dungeness crab survey is due by Monday, April 4, 2011 at 4:30 to the Douglas ADFG office.
Minimum Qualifications are:

  • The vessel must meet two of the following three qualifications: 1) at least 50 feet in overall lentgh, 2) at least 50 net tons, 3) at least 50 gross tons.
  • Skipper must have at least one year of experience as master of a vessel fishing in the Yakutat Dungeness crab commercial fishery.
  • Vessel must have a sheltered marine head and shower
  • Operational DGPS, 24 mile radar, color video sounder, and VHF are required.
  • Must provide a minimum of 3 crew (skipper + 2 deckhands)
  • Current within the prior 12 month USCG inspections and all required safety equipment
  • Must provide 120 offshore (100 lb) Dungeness crab pots and buoy line, ADFG will provide bait jars, bait hangers and numbered buoys
  • Vessel must have bunk space for at least 2 ADFG biologists and the vessel’s own minimum required crew of 3.

Survey will take place for 7 days from June 1-7th.

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Board of Fish Appointments

On Saturday, Governor Parnell announced the reappointment of John Jensen, commercial fisherman from Petersburg and Bill Brown, Juneau business owner of Taku Reel Repair. The Gov. appointed Sue Jeffrey to replace Mel Morris. Our thanks to Mel Morris for his years of service on the Board of Fish.
Jeffrey, of Kodiak, has served as a member of the Kodiak Island Borough Assembly since 2005 and has been the Borough Representative to the Kodiak Fishery Advisory Committee since 2007. She is a commercial salmon fisherman at a Kodiak family set net site, and a subsistence halibut and salmon fisherman. A former reporter and editor of the Kodiak Daily Mirror, Jeffrey has also written and edited a number of fisheries publications. A co-founder of the Kodiak Maritime Museum, she brings a wide variety of fisheries-related experience to the Board.

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