Board of Fisheries Observations Part 6

In Part 4 we mentioned that the Board had been given incorrect data from ADF&G during deliberations on Central District Drift Gillnet Fishery proposals. The incorrect information included inflated rates of overall northern coho exploitation and an inflated rate of the drift catch of coho in full-inlet openings versus Area 1 openings. As it turns out, recent research data shows that the drift fleet catches fewer coho in full inlet openings than when it is restricted to Area 1, south of Kalgin Island. The Board was given the corrected data after deliberations.

We’ve been hoping that the Board would regard the corrected data compelling enough to reconsider proposals to restore additional time and area to the drift fleet. On this final day of the meeting, it appears that they are not willing to reconsider.

Only two changes were made to the Drift management plan. Between July 16 and July 31, in the middle tier for Kenai sockeye (2.3-4.6 million), we may get one district-wide opening instead of being restricted to Area 1. The other change is an alignment of the boundaries of the Expanded Kasilof Section with the Anchor Point Section.

The Mat-Su Borough opposed that minor adjustment, claiming that it would target more of their coho…  Mat-Su spokespeople impressed everyone with their greed during the meeting. Now they are pretending that the Board has done them wrong:

From the Valley Frontiersman:

Board of Fish Lowers the Boom on Mat-Su Basin fisheries (3/2). In a 4 to 3 vote by the Alaska Board of Fisheries in Anchorage today, the Mat-Su Basin fisheries were dealt a blow. The commercial drift gillnet fishing fleet will be allowed more time in the Conservation Corridor—a protected fish passing lane to the north, hard won by the Matanuska-Susitna Borough Fish & Wildlife Commission at the last board meeting in 2014 and staunchly defended this week before a Fish Board, which was mostly deaf to the conservation plight.

By the way, the Mat-Su Borough representatives were also given the corrected data about drift exploitation of coho but they have never let science interfere with their efforts to eliminate commercial fishing.


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Soldotna, Alaska
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