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The United Cook Inlet Drift Association (UCIDA) was incorporated in 1980 to represent the 570 drift gillnet salmon fishing permit holders in Alaska’s Cook Inlet. UCIDA’s purpose is to enhance and perpetuate the interests of this valuable commercial salmon fishing industry.

Wild Alaskan salmon have been commercially harvested in Cook Inlet since 1882. Over the past twenty years, the drift gillnet fishing fleet has harvested more than 271 million pounds of salmon, primarily sockeye salmon. The combined efforts of the drift and set gillnet fisheries in Upper Cook Inlet have produced average annual harvests of over 23 million pounds of wild salmon for the American and world markets during the past twenty years. Five percent of the world’s supply of sockeye salmon comes from Cook Inlet.

UCIDA’s Board of Directors and staff work to promote responsible management to ensure the long-term health of this abundant salmon resource and the resulting opportunities and benefits it provides. The day-to-day work of UCIDA covers an extremely broad range of issues that ultimately affect salmon, their harvest and marketing. These may include fishery management, invasive species, oil and gas lease sales, navigation issues, endangered species acts, oil spill response, local, state and federal regulatory issues and both state and federal litigation.

The nine members of the Board of Directors serve staggered three-year terms. Elections are held at annual membership meetings. Members (Upper Cook Inlet drift gillnet permit holders) and Associate Members are encouraged to attend all Board meetings.

 

 

Office Manager – Audrey Salmon – info@ucida.org

Board of Directors

David MartinPresidentF/V Kaguyak
Erik Huebsch1st VPF/V Williwaw
Ian Pitzman2nd VPF/V Stephanie Anne
Paul MackieSec/TreasF/V Lorri Lee
Ilia KuzminDirectorF/V Currency
John McCombsDirectorF/V Katydid
Lavrentii (Larry) ReutovDirectorF/V Intrepid
Steve TvenstrupDirectorF/V Alaskan Lady
Dyer VanDevereDirectorF/V Swift Arrow

 


43961 K-Beach Road, Suite E
Soldotna, Alaska
(907) 260-9436

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Oregon and Washington set Columbia Spring Chinook Rules, Smelt Season

SEAFOODNEWS.COM [Longview Daily News] by Tom Paulu - January 30, 2015

Smelt dipping will be allowed at least two days on the Cowlitz River this year, with more days possible, depending on when the oily fish arrive.

During a meeting in Vancouver on Wednesday, Washington and Oregon fishery managers set a smelt season that was more conservative than last year’s.

Managers also set a Lower Columbia River spring chinook season that will run through April 10, similar to those of recent years.

Smelt were listed under the federal Endangered Species Act in 2010, and little dipping has been allowed since then.

Last year, sport dipping in the Cowlitz was allowed on five Saturdays, though people got their limits on only the last two of those days.

This year, fishery managers believe that the return will be similar to those of recent years but not as strong as the one in 2014, when an estimated 186 million smelt returned.

Despite that big number, fishery managers say they want to continue a conservative approach to fishing. Smelt dipping is allowed primarily to provide biologists with run size data, not to allow people to stock up for feasts of smelt or freezing them for bait.

Smelt reportedly are already in the Cowlitz River. On Tuesday, Roger Markley of Longview reported seeing a lot of smelt in the Cowlitz just south of Castle Rock and other callers have verified the information. WDFW biologist Brad James said lots of sea lions have been spotted at the mouth of the Cowlitz, along with “the leading edge of the main run.”

Sport smelt dipping is scheduled for Feb. 7 and Feb. 14.

“If smelt aren’t there on those two Saturdays, I expect we will extend this fishery later on,” said Guy Norman, regional manager for the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife.

On the other hand, if the smelt run is well below the run forecast, the agency would not extend the fishery, he said.

Spring chinook

Spring chinook seasons are set under a complex formula that allocates how many endangered wild fish may be killed in addition to the hatchery fish that are kept. This year, 70 percent of the impacts will be given to sport anglers, with the remaining 30 percent for the commercials, compared to a 65/35 breakdown last year.

Under those guidelines, a sport season was adopted lasting through April 10, a total of 38 days considering that no sport fishing is allowed on Tuesdays, when gillnetters may be on the river.

Winston Falls, a sport fisherman from Vancouver, asked that fishing be allowed Tuesdays. “I’ve never seen any controversies between the gillnet fleet and the recreational people,” Falls said.

But WDFW biologist Robin Ehlke said the Tuesday closures were supported by recreational and sport fishing advisory groups.

“Having those Tuesday closures makes life easier for everybody,” Ehlke said. “There aren’t conflicts on the drifts or at the ramps.”

A total spring chinook run of 312,600 is predicted this year, slightly less than last year’s return of 315,600, which was the most in the past decade.

“I recall when upriver runs were less than a fifth of this,” Norman said. “I think this year’s run definitely represents some outstanding opportunity relative to where we have been in history.”

Representatives of Idaho and upriver tribes said they would prefer that seasons start later so that more fish can get upstream. But Liz Hamilton, director of the Northwest Sportfishing Industry Association, said it’s important for businesses to have fishing in April. “Those openers drive people into stores,” she said.

Another meeting is scheduled for April 7 to consider whether the spring chinook season can be continued.

In several previous years, high water conditions limited fishing success in late March and early April, and more days were added.


Linda Lindner
Urner Barry
1-732-240-5330 ext 223
Llindner@urnerbarry.com
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