The hatchery in the southeast Alaska community of Kake is scheduled to close Monday, though it remains possible that a regional hatchery group could still take it over.

Wild salmon capture continues growing in the main fishing districts in Alaska, reaching 5.5 million specimens statewide by 24 June.

Kake’s Gunnuk Creek Hatchery will be closing in a little more than a month, something Kake residents and leaders say is a calamity for the town’s economy and access to fish.

Kake Mayor Henrich Kadake Sr. said he’s been involved with the hatchery since “day one,” almost 40 years. It started as a high school project in 1973 and incorporated in 1976.

Major fishing ports and harbors critical to Alaska's economy are in the midst of designing, construction and fund sourcing in the spring of 2014, to meet needs ranging from float replacements to strengthening breakwaters.

With steady fishing vessel traffic from the Kenai Peninsula to Homer, Seward, Dutch Harbor, Sitka and Wrangell, planning, bidding and finding construction funds is an ongoing process, harbormasters said.

Resources for All Alaskans, a group formed to combat a proposed initiative to ban commercial setnet fishing in certain parts of the state, met in Kenai to talk strategy with several local fishing groups after being dealt a blow when an Alaska Superior Court judge ruled that it could not intervene in a lawsuit over the initiative.

High 2013 salmon returns and high escapement projections for non-Alaska rivers are working in the favor of Southeast Alaska commercial and sport fishermen.

King salmon abundance estimates have more than doubled from last year.

The total number of chinook salmon Southeast Alaskan fisheries are allowed to catch is 439,400, up from 176,000 in 2013 and 266,800 in 2012, according to Alaska Department of Fish and Game information.

U.S. commercial and recreational saltwater fishing generated more than $199 billion in sales in 2012, a gain of seven percent over the previous year, with the economic impact of fishing jobs increasing three percent from 2011 to 2012, according to a new NOAA Fisheries economics report.

Further, two more fish stocks were rebuilt to target levels in 2013, bringing the number of rebuilt U.S. marine fish stocks to 34 since 2000, according to another NOAA Fisheries report also released today.

A bill that would make the Alaska Commercial Fisheries Entry Commission a division of the Alaska Department of Fish and Game got an introductory hearing in the Legislature April 19, with the expectation that commercial fishermen and other stakeholders will consider the idea for possible enactment next session.

Before then the Legislature’s Audit Division will “audit” the two agencies to identify overlapping activities, entry commission duties that may not easily be merged into Fish and Game, and possible costs and savings from the consolidation.

Fishers, processors and the general public will see changes to certain fisheries regulations under bills passed by the Alaska Legislature this session.

In the final days of the 2014 session, lawmakers agreed to extend and expand a fisheries product development tax credit program for processors, change the fisheries landing tax for harvesters, authorize a new source of funding for fisheries infrastructure and alter the existing Commercial Fishing and Agriculture Bank.

A move to develop mariculture through the creation of partnerships and strategic planning, has been announced by the Alaska Fisheries Development Foundation, which envisions ocean farming as a future billion dollar industry for Alaska.

AFDF, perhaps best known for the annual Alaska Symphony of Seafood competition, feels that the economic effect of mariculture could literally double the current value of the Alaska seafood industry in 30 years, said Julie Decker, executive director.