Sitka Herring Fishery

Update:

This update provides information regarding the 2010 season Sitka Sound herring spawn through April 14. To date, a total of 82.5 nautical miles of shoreline has been recorded with herring spawn during aerial surveys (see attached map). This compares to 65.6 nautical miles recorded in 2009 and the recent ten-year average of 55.0 nautical miles. The spawn occurred broadly throughout the northern and eastern areas of Sitka Sound as well as to the south in the Dorothy Narrows and Windy Pass areas. The major spawning event began on April 2 with about one-third of a nautical mile of spawn mapped on the north side of Halibut Point. Spawning gradually increased until peaking on April 10 when 49 nautical miles of active spawn was observed, a single-day record spawn since the Department began keeping record of the Sitka Sound herring spawn in 1964. The spawn has been contracting since April 10 and on April 14, no spawn was recorded. It is common in Sitka Sound to have a secondary spawn after the initial spawning event is over. The secondary spawn is generally comprised of a higher proportion of younger age classes than the primary spawning event. With some exceptions, the secondary spawning event generally occurs on shoreline that did not have spawning during the primary spawn. The Department will continue to conduct aerial surveys until it is evident that no significant additional spawning is likely to occur, which historically has been around April 25. The R/V Kestrel

will be returning to Sitka Sound on April 16 to support the spawn deposition dive surveys. 

 The Sitka Herring fishery has closed with approx. 17,743 tons harvested out of the GHL of 18,293 tons. 

There has been observed about 11 miles of spawn as of Tuesday 4/6/10

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Enhanced Salmon Allocation Workshop April 6, 2010

New Documents have been posted under the SE Enhanced Allocation link to the right for the upcoming allocation workshop on April 6th in Sitka.

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SSEI Blackcod Quota Announcement

Juneau…The Alaska Department of Fish and Game announced today that the Southern Southeast Inside (SSEI) sablefish annual harvest objective will be 634,000 round pounds for the 2010 season. This harvest objective is the same as that of the 2009 season. The 2009 SSEI sablefish longline survey’s catch per unit effort (CPUE) indicated a continued declining trend which was mirrored in the longline fishery CPUE. The department will continue to monitor the biological characteristics of the catch in both the fishery and survey for signs of recruitment. If the decline seen over the last 4 years continues into the future it may be necessary to reduce the harvest objective.

The 2010 equal quota share (EQS) for each of the 27 permit holders will be 23,400 round pounds. The 3% increase in the EQS this year is due to a decrease of one permit for this fishery. SSEI permit holders should have received a certified letter detailing legal overages or underages incurred during the 2009 fishery. Each permit holder’s 2010 EQS will be adjusted accordingly and a personal quota share (PQS) will be assigned. The SSEI sablefish longline fishery will open 8:00 a.m., Tuesday, June 1 and close at 12:00 noon, Sunday, August 15, 2010. The SSEI sablefish pot gear fishery will open at 8:00 am, Wednesday, September 1 and close at 12:00 noon, Monday, November 15, 2010.

Full ADFG Announcement is at: http://documents.cf1.adfg.state.ak.us/AdfgDocument.po?DOCUMENT=21993 

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Spring Troll Port Meeting Schedule

Petersburg . . . The Alaska Department of Fish and Game announced the following schedule for the
commercial troll public meetings to be held in towns around Southeast Alaska and Yakutat:

Town            Date                           Location                                 Time
Ketchikan  Monday,    April 12   Fish and Game Conference Room    7:00 p.m.
Craig        Tuesday,   April 13   Craig City Hall                              11:00 a.m.
Sitka      Wednesday, April 14   NSRAA Conference Room               6:30 p.m.
Pelican      Thursday,  April 15   Pelican City Hall                            10:00 a.m.
Hoonah    Thursday,  April 15   U.S. Forest Service Office                1:00 p.m.
Juneau     Thursday,  April 15   ADF&G Headquarters Conference Room 6:00 p.m.
Yakutat       Friday,    April 16   Yakutat Salmon Board Office           2:00 p.m.
Petersburg Monday,   April 19   Petersburg City Council Chambers  10:00 a.m.
Wrangell   Monday,    April 19    Wrangell Fire Hall                           7:00 p.m.

Meeting topics will include, but are not limited to, plans for the 2010 spring and summer troll fisheries, a review of the 2009 troll season and the Pacific Salmon Treaty. Department staff as well as the executive director of the Alaska Trollers Association will present information at these meetings. Anyone with an interest in the troll fishery is welcome to attend.

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Board of Fish Appointments

April 1, 2010, Juneau, Alaska – Governor Sean Parnell yesterday reappointed Claude “Vince” Webster of King Salmon and appointed Thomas G. Kluberton of Talkeetna to the state Board of Fisheries. 

 

The seven-member Board of Fisheries is responsible for conservation and development of the state’s fishery resources by setting seasons, bag limits, methods and means for the state’s subsistence, commercial, sport, guided sport, and personal use fisheries. The board sets fishery management policy, and makes the allocation decisions which the Department of Fish and Game must carry out through its management of fishery resources. Appointees are subject to legislative confirmation. 

Webster is finishing his first term on the Board of Fisheries, and is the current board chair. He is a set gillnetter in the Kvichak district in Bristol Bay, and a drift gillnet fisherman in the Naknek district. Webster is also an engineering equipment operator for the National Park Service, and previously worked as facilities and maintenance director for the Lake & Peninsula Borough School District. 

 

Kluberton is the innkeeper at Fireweed Station Inn near Talkeetna. He served as a member of the Matanuska-Susitna Borough Assembly from 2006-09, and served on the borough mayor’s Blue Ribbon Sportsman’s Committee during that time. Kluberton was co-owner of K&K Service & Rental, and director of market research for Netsys Technologies Inc. He also worked as an information systems and management consultant for the State of Alaska. 

 

The remaining vacancy on the Board of Fisheries, created by the resignation of Janet Woods on March 26, 2010, will be filled within 30 days as required by statute. 

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All Gear Treaty Chinook Quota Announced

2010 Quota

All-gear Treaty Quota 221,800

Purse seine 9,537

Drift gillnet 6,432

Set gillnet 1,000

Troll 163,864

Sport 40,966

This is 3,000 fish higher than 2009 and is after the 15% reduction required with the new treaty agreement. 

The full ADFG news release can be viewed at: http://documents.cf1.adfg.state.ak.us/AdfgDocument.po?DOCUMENT=21975

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AMSEA Training Available in Juneau (Free)

Alaska Marine Safety Education Association (AMSEA), in cooperation with the U.S. Coast Guard and UAS will offer a fishing vessel safety and drill conductor course in Juneau beginning Thursday April 22 and continuing on Friday April 23. The course includes a pool session with immersion suits. The class will meet at the USCG Sector Juneau Training Room in the DMV/ Alaska Department of Public Safety building at 2760 Sherwood Drive.

This course meets the U.S Coast Guard training requirements for commercial fishing vessels. It is available FREE to commercial fishermen thanks to funding from National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) and the U.S. Coast Guard.

This course is recommended for captains and crew serving on any commercial vessel. It provides practical information on the survival equipment found on most commercial vessels and on conducting emergency onboard drills. Skills are learned in a hands-on format.  Please register in advance by contacting AMSEA in Sitka at 907-747-3287. More information and online registration is available at www.amsea.org

Press release submitted by:  Kristie Sherrodd, Marketing & Publications Manager (AMSEA)  manager@amsea.org

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Summary of Board of Fish Actions

The summary of Board of Fish actions at the Statewide meeting this month are now posted online.

http://www.boards.adfg.state.ak.us/fishinfo/meetsum/2009-2010/statewide-finfish-2010.pdf

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Chitina Dipnet Fishery Remains A Personal Use Fishery

The Board of Fish first accepted the definition of “Subsistence way of Life” as it was defined in Proposal #200.  After that they deliberated as directed by the Court in reapplying the 8 subsistence criteria on Proposal #201.  After going through the criteria for determining a “Customary & Traditional finding” the board voted to retain the Chitina dipnet fishery as personal use. 

In other Board of Fish actions, the board opposed the implementation of statewide bag limits for sablefish, electric reels were made legal and provided a definition and weight limit of 15 pounds, Dungeness crab in District 2 was closed for the summer season and is now a winter fishery again. 

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Coast Guard host Marine Industry Day in Juneau Thursday 3/18/10

JUNEAU, Alaska — Personnel at Coast Guard Sector Juneau are hosting a Marine Industry Day Thursday at the Juneau Arts and Cultural Center from 8:30 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. to discuss with industry partners about vessel inspection requirements, commercial fishing vessel examinations, uninspected passenger vessel examinations and other maritime topics.  

Industry Day is designed to provide a forum for members of the marine industry to interact and discuss various issues with personnel from the Coast Guard.  The event is open to the general public but is geared especially to commercial vessel operators and waterfront facility representatives. 

“I encourage all our industry partners, especially smaller operators, to attend this event,” said Lt. Cmdr. Vivianne Louie, chief of Prevention at Sector Juneau.  “We really look forward to this event because it will provide us with a fantastic opportunity to establish stronger relationships with our maritime partners through face to face interaction”. 

Morning presentations will include an overview of Sector Juneau organization and functions, as well as an introduction to program managers and subject matter experts.  An open session in the afternoon will give industry members the opportunity to engage in informal discussions on topics mentioned above as well as  variety of topics including marine casualty reporting, Maritime Transportation Security Act regulations and pollution response procedures. 

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