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Summary for January 26, 2009 - January 30, 2009:

Monday, January 26, 2009

Columbia Chinook fight: States get closer

Oregon drew closer to Washington in a catfight over Columbia River spring Chinook allocation that has become more of an extremely complicated cat-and-mouse game. – The Oregonian

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Copper River dipnetters go to court

FAIRBANKS — Frustrated by inaction from the state Board of Fisheries, the Chitina Dipnetters Association is taking its case to court.

The Fairbanks-based association, with financial support from the Alaska Outdoor Council, has filed a lawsuit against the state Board of Fisheries and Alaska Department of Fish and Game to get the Chitina dipnet fishery on the Copper River designated as a subsistence, rather than personal use, fishery. – Fairbanks Daily News-Miner

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Opinion: Is pollock fishery dying?

Are we witnessing the collapse of Alaska's great fisheries?

The sharp decreases of Bering Sea pollock stocks raise the question of whether Alaska's sustainable fisheries are a myth. – Thomas C. Royer, professor emeritus University of Alaska Fairbanks, writing in the Anchorage Daily News

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Bad year ahead for Yukon Chinook 

State biologists are expecting another grim year for Yukon River king salmon.
Fish managers are telling villagers in the region to brace for another poor run. They also are seeking ideas for getting more fish across Canada's border. – Anchorage Daily News

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Survey: Is Umpqua light necessary?

SEATTLE -- The Coast Guard is asking mariners to take part in a survey to determine if the Umpqua River Light is necessary for safe navigation.
The Umpqua River Light is a lighthouse on the Oregon Coast located at the mouth of the Umpqua River on Winchester Bay in Douglas County.
The survey can be downloaded at It can also be accessed by calling (206) 220-7283 or by e-mailing to request the survey by mail."


Tuesday, January 27, 2009

California crab season one of the worst

It's been one of the worst Dungeness crab fishing seasons in 20 years, according to early figures from the California Department of Fish and Game. – Eureka Times-Standard

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Plan to bring wind power to W. Alaska villages

In the coastal tundra village of Kongiganak, some residents are keeping their lights on this winter by promising to sign over future tax refunds. But the persistent Bering Sea winds that drive up the cost of light and heat in impoverished Western Alaska are now bringing a promise of redemption as well.

Last week the state proposed spending $14 million to erect wind farms in six villages on the Yukon-Kuskokwim Delta, including Kongiganak. It's part of a plan for spending $100 million on renewable energy around Alaska to reduce consumption of expensive diesel fuel and bring down local electric bills. – Anchorage Daily News

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Vessel aground near Kodiak, no one hurt

The 42-foot fishing vessel Currency ran aground in Muskomee Bay on the north end of Raspberry Strait near Kodiak Island at 11:33 a.m. Saturday.
The crew has sustained no injuries and all three crewmembers are in survival suits as a precaution but do not plan on leaving the vessel. – Kodiak Daily News

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Scientists watch active Alaska volcano

Redoubt volcano simmered down Monday after a rumbling weekend, but scientists are still anticipating a possible eruption, according to the Alaska Volcano Observatory.

Redoubt is 50 miles west of Kenai and 100 miles southwest of Anchorage. It last erupted over a five-month period from December 1989 through April 1990, dusting Anchorage with ash.
Anchorage Daily News

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Wave power developer pressured to scale down

Ocean Power Technologies is feeling pressure as local groups, the state and even the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission urge the company to shrink its 200-buoy Coos Bay plan. – Coos Bay World

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Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Opinion: Halibut ‘elephant in the room’ in B.C.

Once again, the issue of halibut management has come to the boil.

Despite all the issues that will exert some influence on management of the various salmon species this year for the west coast recreational fishery, everything pales in comparison as halibut have become the proverbial elephant in the room.

–  Jeremy Maynard, writing in the Campbell River Mirror

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If you’re a seiner, read this

A worker aboard a New Jersey commercial fishing boat died Tuesday morning after his leg was caught in a winch while fishing about five miles off the coast. – Asbury Park (N.J.) Press
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(Also, check out the February issue of Pacific Fishing. There, you’ll find an article called “A simple switch can save you from horrible mutilation.”)


Sport charters big business on Kodiak

Despite its remote location, Kodiak claims a healthy share of the state’s sportfishing income. Last year, 475,534 resident and nonresident licensed anglers spent nearly $1.4 billion on licenses and trip-related expenses in Alaska, according to a recently published economic-impact study of sport fishing in Alaska.

Kodiak is a popular sport fishing destination for residents and nonresidents.
Kodiak Daily Mirror

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Eureka to get new flake ice plant

EUREKA -- The Humboldt County Board of Supervisors voted unanimously Tuesday to allot $500,000 in Headwaters Fund money for a new Humboldt Bay-based flake ice plant.

The city of Eureka applied for the grant to fund construction of a new 50-ton flake ice plant on a city-owned finger pier at the foot of Commercial Street, adjacent to Pacific Choice Seafoods Co. – Eureka Times-Standard

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Sea safety course set for March

Washington Sea Grant (WSG) is sponsoring a three-day Sea Safety and Survival course in March for commercial fishermen and charter boat operators in the Bellingham area.

To register, or for more information, contact Sarah Fisken, WSG Continuing Education Coordinator, at 206-543-1225 or


Thursday, January 29, 2009

Gulf of Mexico council approves off-shore aquaculture

The Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council, which regulates fishing in federal waters in the gulf, approved regulations that would for the first time allow aquaculture in federal waters of the United States.

The move, contested by environmental groups, must be confirmed by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, which oversees fisheries councils nationwide – New York Times

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Another look at the Pebble Mine

Fly overhead in a bush plane -- there are no roads between native villages -- and marvel: Eight giant rivers braid across hundreds of miles of wetlands, carving cobalt ribbons through snow-coned mountains before emptying into Bristol Bay.

For more than a century, the wealth of this southwest Alaska watershed has sprung from the astonishing volume of salmon nurtured by those wild rivers. Bank-to-bank, gill-to-gill, tens of millions of silver-hued fish thrash upstream to spawn each year, unrestrained by dams, untainted by pollution.
Hartford Courant

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Fishing boats’ crews brawl off shore

Two men were injured in a fight aboard a commercial fishing boat outside Ventura Harbor, authorities said.

Ventura Harbor Patrol officers located the fishing vessel about 2.5 miles offshore and 3 miles west of the harbor entrance after they received a call for help about 1:50 a.m., said Senior Patrol Officer Pat Hummer.

When harbor patrol officers arrived shortly after 2 a.m., they found two men still fighting. One had the other in a headlock, Hummer said. – Ventura County Star

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West Coast fishermen must thrive on uncertainty

Many Americans are suffering emotionally as well as economically from the financial crisis. But for some people, life has always been full of big ups and downs — especially for fishermen.

Imagine trying to make a living by catching Dungeness crabs in the waters off far northern California. It's the most dangerous fishery on the West Coast. – National Public Radio

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Harbor merchant witnesses decline of fisheries

Chris Hegnes has spent the last 20 years watching Crescent City Harbor through the windows of Englund Marine and Industrial Supply Co.

In that time he has seen the store’s business steadily decline as the tightening of fishing regulations, vagaries of fish populations and gradual winnowing of the local fishing fleet drastically curtailed the number of fishermen needing supplies. – Crescent City Triplicate

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Friday, January 30, 2009

Fisherman jumped overboard into Bering Sea

The Coast Guard has suspended the search for a man who reportedly jumped into the Bering Sea off a fishing boat. Officials say the 39-year-old man, who was not wearing a survival suit, then avoided a fellow crew member from the Arctic Fox who tried to rescue him.
Juneau Daily Empire

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Columbia tribes warn of overfishing

The Columbia River treaty tribes warned Washington and Oregon on Thursday to keep spring Chinook sport fishing from ballooning to a point it jeopardizes catch-balancing requirements.
Vancouver Columbian

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Not all Exxon victims will benefit

As regular visitors to The Highliner know, we’ve been posting updates about payouts of punitive damages collected from the Exxon Valdez oil spill lawsuit.

As the distribution process continues, thousands of commercial fishermen, Native subsistence gatherers, cannery workers and others who claimed harm from the spill will be eager to know how much they’ll receive and when.

But one group might be taking an especially keen interest. – Pacific Fishing columnist Wesley Loy, writing as The Highline for the Anchorage Daily News

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Study: Klamath dam removal effects not long term

Removing four dams on the Klamath River will have dramatic, short-lived effects on its often struggling fisheries, but the river will rebound quickly, according to studies recently released by the California Coastal Conservancy. – Eureka Times-Standard

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Win money for a new gear idea

Designed to inspire innovative ideas for environmentally friendly fishing gear, World Wildlife Fund launches the International Smart Gear Competition with a call for new designs for fishing devices that reduce bycatch—the capture of unintended species in fishing gear. The competition is open to anyone and carries with it the chance to win $57,500 in prizes. – Press release

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