Jane Lubchenco Appointed to Head up NOAA Agency

Jane Lubchenco will head up the NOAA agency.  Dr. Jane Lubchenco is an environmental scientist and marine ecologist who is actively engaged in teaching, research, synthesis and communication of scientific knowledge. She graduated from Colorado College, received her Ph.D. from Harvard University in marine ecology, taught at Harvard for two years, and has been on the faculty at Oregon State University since 1978.  She is an internationally known marine ecologist who is deeply concerned about climate change and overfishing.

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Fax Number Currently Not Working

Due to some communication glitches, our fax number is not working (523-1168).  We will let you know what gets worked out.

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Sport Fish Guide Services Board Meeting Summaries

Public Meetings summaries regarding the Sport Fish Guide Services Board are now posted on line at:


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FDA Reviewing Mercury Levels for Fish Consumption

The FDA is currently reviewing the seafood advisory consumption warnings and considering revising the warning because the benefits of eating seafood outweigh the mercury concerns.

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Southeast Tanner and Golden King Crab Season Announcements

Petersburg . . . The Alaska Department of Fish and Game announced today that the seasons for the 2008/09 commercial Tanner and golden king crab fisheries in Southeast Alaska will open by regulation at 12:00 noon on Sunday, February 15, 2009. The season start for the Tanner and golden king crab fisheries was changed by the Alaska Board of Fisheries in 2005 to: “the smallest Juneau tidal range between February 10 and February 17” [5 AAC 35.110. and 5 AAC 34.110 (b)]. The registration deadline for both fisheries will be Friday, January 16, 2009. According to SEC 16.05.065(b), registrants after that date will be required to pay a $45.00 late fee. Buoy tags are mandatory for all commercial Tanner and golden king crab gear and are available in any area office in Southeast Alaska for $1.25 each. 

The Department is in the process of finalizing the details of the Tanner crab and golden king crab fisheries. These details will be announced in subsequent news releases. Both the Tanner and GKC 2008/09 news releases will be announced during the week of January 5, 2009. 

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Sitka. . . The Alaska Department of Fish and Game announced today the following information concerning the pre-season forecast for king salmon returning to the Stikine and Taku Rivers in 2009:
     The 2009 pre-season terminal run forecast for large Stikine River king salmon is 32,000 fish. The resulting U.S. Allowable Catch (AC) is 390 large Stikine kings. An AC of this size will not allow for directed fisheries to start the first Monday in May. An in-season forecast will be produced in late May. If the first in-season forecast is similar to or greater than the pre-season forecast, limited directed king salmon fisheries could occur. The 2009 forecast is the first Stikine River king salmon pre-season terminal run forecast in the past five seasons that does not allow for directed fisheries. During the 2005, 2006, 2007 and 2008 seasons the preseason forecasts were 80,300, 60,600, 37,400 and 46,100 fish respectively. When the first in-season Stikine River king salmon terminal run forecast is produced, a news release will be distributed as soon as possible with the estimated run size, resulting allowable catch, and potential information concerning directed king salmon fishery openings.
     The 2009 pre-season terminal run forecast for large Taku River king salmon is 50,150 fish. With the current escapement goal, there is no US AC available to conduct directed king salmon fisheries in District 11. However, an expedited bilateral review of the escapement goal range could lead to the acceptance of a lower escapement goal for the Taku River which could provide adequate US AC to conduct directed king salmon fisheries in 2009. The US and Canada have agreed to jointly review the current escapement goal by mid January so that a revised escapement goal could be in place for the 2009 season. When this process is completed, a news release will be distributed as soon as possible with the forecast run size, new escapement goal, any resulting allowable catch, and information concerning any directed king salmon fishery openings that could occur.

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Tulsequah Chief Mine Public Hearing on New Barge Plan

Thursday, December 11, 2008
6:30 pm to 9:30 pm
Project Presentation and Discussion
Centennial Hall, Ballroom 3
101 Egan Dr.

On December 5, 2008 the State of Alaska released for public review and comment the following public notice, application materials and ACMP Start-up Packet relating to the Tulsequah Chief Taku River Barging Proposal. Further information on the upcoming public meeting and how to comment can be found below, or in the Public Notice display ad which was published on December 5th in the Juneau Empire newspaper. A second display ad was published in the Juneau Empire on Sunday, December 7th.

The Tulsequah Chief mine is located in British Columbia, Canada near the confluence of the Tulsequah and Taku Rivers. Currently, the only means of transportation into the mine site is by air and water. Access to the mine has been provided over the past two summers using conventional shallow draft tug and barges, operating during the summer months. Redfern has proposed a transportation option that would use air cushion barges, towed by shallow draft tug during the aquatic season, and by amphibious tractors travelling over frozen gravel bars and ice during the non-aquatic (winter) season. There would be no barge operations during the freeze-up and break-up periods. Zinc, lead, and copper concentrate from the Tulsequah Chief Mine would be transported via the air cushion barge to Juneau where the concentrate will be transferred to commercial barge service destined for Skagway. Barges returning to the mine site from Juneau will carry supplies, such as fuel, lubricants, construction materials and mine mill maintenance materials.


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Karl Johnstone Appointed to Board of Fish

December 5, 2008, Anchorage, Alaska – Governor Sarah Palin today appointed Karl Johnstone to the Alaska Board of Fisheries. 

The Board of Fisheries’ main role is to conserve and develop the fishery resources of the state. This involves setting seasons, bag limits, methods and means for the state’s subsistence, commercial, sport, guided sport, and personal use fisheries, and it also involves setting policy and direction for the management of the state’s fishery resources. The board is charged with making allocation decisions while the Department of Fish and Game is responsible for management based on those decisions. 

 “Alaska’s fisheries are a vital part of our culture and economy, which makes sound management critical,” Governor Palin said. “Karl will be a strong voice for protection of the resource and fairness to all users.  His experience and judgment will be as asset to the board as they address many fishery management challenges.” 

Johnstone, of Anchorage, is a retired superior court judge who has been an active sport fisherman in Alaska since 1967.  He fished commercially for salmon in Bristol Bay and herring in Prince William Sound and Southeast Alaska in the 1980s.  Johnstone earned a bachelor’s degree in business and a juris doctorate in law from the University of Arizona.  He practiced law until 1979 when he was appointed superior court judge. Johnstone was appointed Presiding Judge of the Third Judicial District in 1990 and served in that position until his retirement. Since then he has had a limited practice as a lawyer, mediator and arbitrator. 

Johnstone fills a public seat on the board left vacant when Jeremiah Campbell of Seward resigned.  His term will run through June 30, 2009. 

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Sitka Sound Herring Preliminary GHL for 2009 Announced

Sitka. . . The Alaska Department of Fish and Game announced today the preliminary guideline harvest level (GHL) for the 2009 Sitka Sound sac roe herring fishery is 15,308 tons. This GHL is based on a 20% harvest rate of the forecast biomass of 76,542 tons of mature herring. 

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Gillnet Task Force Meeting – December 1st

The Gillnet Task Force Meeting is December 1st – 8:30 am at Centennial Hall in Juneau.

See previous post for draft agenda.

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