From the Alaska Department of Fish and Game, the 2015 Togiak herring forecast and harvest allocation are listed below for the Togiak District sac roe and spawn-on-kelp fishery, and the Dutch Harbor food and bait fishery, given a maximum 20% exploitation rate of the projected run biomass.
A ballot measure to protect salmon in Southwest hasn’t grabbed as many headlines as pot and campaign politics. Ballot Measure 4, sponsored by the group Bristol Bay Forever, asks voters to give the Alaska legislature final say on any large oil, gas and mining projects in the 36,000 square miles of the Bristol Bay Fisheries Reserve.
The initiative does three significant things to the existing reserve, said Dick Mylius, a former state director for the Division of Mining, Land, and Water.
Kuskokwim area commercial salmon fishermen earned 2.2 million dollars in 2014. A preliminary report from the Alaska Department of Fish and Game released Friday shows the total income slightly below last year’s total, but still 27-percent above the 10-year average.
Fishermen in District 1, the Lower Kuskokwim, tallied 818-thousand dollars, while Quinhagak fishermen earned 844-thouand dollars, and Goodnews Bay fishermen were paid 576-thousand dollars.
The Bristol Bay red king crab season scheduled to get under way Oct. 15 is set for another increase, rising 14 percent, from 8.6 million pounds last season to 10 million pounds this year, including 10 percent for community development quotas.
The quota was up 9 percent last year, from 7.8 million pounds.
The St. Matthews blue king crab season will re-open this year with a cautious quota of 655,000 pounds, after being closed last year.
he legal showdown between the Environmental Protection Agency and the group behind the giant Pebble mining prospect near Bristol Bay is coming to a head, with the first oral arguments in one case set for Friday morning in Anchorage and the recent filing of a second lawsuit that claims the agency illegally colluded with mine foes.
Both cases, under the purview of Alaska federal District Court Judge H. Russel Holland, were filed by Pebble Partnership, owned by Northern Dynasty Minerals
For the past couple of years the City of Dillingham was much larger than it is today. That’s because the city successfully annexed much of Nushagak Bay into the city limits. However, earlier this year a judge in Dillingham reversed the annexation and basically ordered the process to start again. KDLG’s Mike Mason reports.
Region 10 of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is offering an online webinar on Sept. 9 and Sept. 10 to provide a brief overview of the Clean Water Act Section 404 (c) proposed determination for the Pebble deposit in Southwest Alaska.
The presentation will be offered Sept. 9 from 2 p.m. to 3 p.m. Alaska time and from 8 p.m. to 9 p.m. on Sept. 10.
The 2014 inshore Bristol Bay sockeye salmon run of 40.6 million fish ranks 7th out of the last 20 years (1994–2013) and was 17% above the 34.7 million average run for the same period. This year’s sockeye run was 53% above the preseason inshore forecast of 26.6 million fish. Togiak was the only district to come in lower than preseason forecast with Naknek/Kvichak, Egegik, Ugashik, and Nushagak districts all larger than predicted. The 28.8 million sockeye salmon commercial harvest was 61% above the 17.9 million preseason forecast.
At its August meeting, the Dillingham city council voted to move forward with a draft petition to annex the waters of the Nushagak commercial fishing district. The vote was not unanimous; councilman Tracy Hightower cast the lone dissenting vote.
The 194-page draft petition, which will likely be filed with the Local Boundary Commission, looks very similar to the petition drawn up in 2010. The boundaries for annexation are the same. The proposed tax rate of 2.5 percent has not changed. And already a few "Ax the Tax" signs have popped up around town.
Political group Bristol Bay Forever is sponsoring a ballot measure that would put additional environmental protections on the area known as the Bristol Bay Fisheries Reserve. The area, consisting of 36,000 square miles of land and rivers in Southwest Alaska, was established in 1972 as a way to protect the local salmon populations from the effects of oil and gas development. For any oil or gas company to get surface entry rights, they need to obtain a legislative declaration that says their activities won’t harm the fish.
Extreme Seafoods made waves as they entered the Bristol Bay fishery this year. The company, founded in 2013, purchased the Paug-Vik Corp facility in Naknek that most remember as the old Baywatch plant. A company email circulated around the fleet promised $2 per pound for sockeye, long before the season began, as well as a $5,000 signing bonus and up to a $10,000 advance. Payments would be made within weeks of each delivery, and a fleet of tenders, including two new vessels, would service both the Naknek and Egegik River fishermen.
Perhaps the biggest fish story this week is the Dungeness crab fishery in Southeast, which is seeing its best season ever. The total catch this year is pegged at nearly 6.5 million pounds for 150 crabbers who are getting about $3/pound, up 50 cents from last year. The summer dungie fishery closes August 15 and reopens October 1.
The proposed open-pit copper and gold Pebble Mine will not be built, according to billionaire mining financier Robert Friedland.
"The United States Environmental Protection Agency has just killed the Pebble Mine in Alaska. It will not be built," Friedland said Wednesday during a presentation at the Sprott Natural Resource Symposium Vancouver.
Last Friday, the EPA suggested it might invoke a little used provision that may block the mine's construction.
The Regulatory Certainty Act of 2014 has received an approval vote from the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee. The bill, introduced in June by Ohio Congressman Bob Gibbs, curbs the Environmental Protection Agency’s authority under section 404(c) of the Clean Water Act. Specifically, it would prohibit the EPA from halting a project before the environmental permitting process begins, like what happened with the proposed Pebble mine, and limit the period of consultation to a minimum of 30 days.
Supporters of the embattled Pebble Mine project in Alaska are making a desperate effort in Congress and the courts to keep it alive in the face of warnings from the Environmental Protection Agency that it could devastate the finest run of wild salmon left on the globe.
Members of the U.S. House of Representatives are pushing a bill to keep the EPA from blocking the mine, despite opposition from Washington state lawmakers who say the project could be devastating to the fishing industry in their state.