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Summary for April 13, 2009 - April 17, 2009:

Monday, April 13, 2009

Petersburg man considered as new director of NMFS

Wow, what's this talk I'm hearing about Arne Fuglvog being in line to become the new National Marine Fisheries Service chief?

Fuglvog, formerly involved in salmon and halibut fishing out of Petersburg, is now an aide to U.S. Sen. Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska. – Pacific Fishing columnist Wesley Loy writing his new blog: Deckboss

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Still talk of drilling off Northern California

The three-decade war over oil drilling on the North Coast is shifting to a more measured consideration of wind and wave power generators along the rugged and scenic seascape. – Santa Rosa Press Democrat

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Opinion: Salmon vulnerable to Pebble Mine

This weekend I'm taking my first trip to England -- not for leisure, but to protect my way of life in my homeland of southwestern Alaska.—Everett Thompson, writing in the Anchorage Daily News

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Cops: Sturgeon poachers use Sacramento salmon fry for bait

California Fish and Game wardens arrested seven men suspected of catching Sacramento sturgeon by using juvenile salmon as bait, then selling the fish for its high-dollar eggs or caviar, officials reported Friday. – The Union, Grass Valley, Calif.

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Columbia sea lions turn appetite to sturgeon

Last month, government agencies gathered the media at Bonneville Dam to discuss the problem of sea lions eating endangered salmon.

As if on cue, a sea lion surfaced below the dam, feasting on a fish as birds circled overheard. Cameras clicked, videotape rolled.

But most missed that the sea lion wasn't eating a salmon. It was eating a sturgeon. – The Oregonian

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Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Columbia remains open to sport fishing

State officials on Monday rejected pleas by tribal and gillnet fishermen to shut down the huge lower Columbia spring Chinook sport fishery until more salmon pass upstream of Bonneville Dam.

The Vancouver Columbian

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Dillingham gives Interior secretary an earful

DILLINGHAM, Alaska -- U.S. Interior Secretary Ken Salazar traveled to this Bristol Bay community on Monday in his first visit to Alaska since becoming secretary.

KTUU, Anchorage

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Alaska Fish Board nominee runs into opposition

Gov. Sarah Palin's nominee for the state Board of Fisheries has run into opposition from sport fishing groups and critics who say his approval would leave the body without a voice from north of Big Lake.  

Anchorage Daily News

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Commercial fishing lawsuit roils Alaska Legislature

With only eight days left in the session, members of the state Legislature have introduced resolutions asking Gov. Sarah Palin to examine the "inordinate and potentially unfair, unethical, and disproportionate influence of the commercial fisheries industries on fisheries management in Alaska."

- Pacific Fishing columnist Wesley Loy, writing in his blog: Deckboss

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Not many pleased with bycatch rule for pollock fleet

The Kodiak Fisheries Advisory Committee met Friday to discuss fishery issues of importance to the city and borough.  Duncan Fields reported on actions taken at the recent meeting of the North Pacific Fishery Management Council.

Kodiak Daily Mirror

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Wednesday, April 15, 2009

British jewelers to boycott Pebble Mine gold

Six U.K. jewelry retailers representing 260 stores have pledged not to buy gold from the proposed Pebble Mine in Alaska. – National Jeweler

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There’s no business like show business!

The Discovery Channel airs the fifth-season premiere of its cult hit Deadliest Catch. In the Bering Sea, the reality show follows the boats and crewmen engaged in the treacherous, high-stakes profession of crab fishing. Recently, we tracked down two of the series’ salty captains, Johnathan Hillstrand, 46, and his brother Andy, 45—in the lobby of the Ritz-Carlton Four Seasons Hotel. The brothers sat down on a comfy couch to tell of the adventures they’ve seen on their vessel, Time Bandit. – Time Out Chicago

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Oregon senators want Navy range plan changed

FLORENCE — Oregon’s two U.S. senators are asking the U.S. Navy to amend its plans for expanded warfare training in the Pacific Northwest, citing concerns about economic and environmental impacts of the government’s plans. – Eugene Register-Guard

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Hubbub over Brent Johnson

Down in Juneau, the House Resources Committee is scheduled to meet to consider Gov. Sarah Palin's appointments to the Board of Fisheries. All the hubbub is over one Brent Johnson. – Pacific Fishing columnist Wesley Loy, writing for his new blog: deckboss.

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Editorial: Pebble Mine developers may have a point

Developers of the Pebble gold and copper mining prospect have accused political opponents of numerous campaign-law violations during the 2008 Clean Water initiative fight. – Anchorage Daily News

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Thursday, April 16, 2009

Palin seeks new offshore drilling

Gov. Sarah Palin told the new secretary of Interior that Alaska needs new offshore oil and gas development or risks an early shutdown of the trans-Alaska oil pipeline. – Anchorage Daily News

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West Coast crab fishing claims another life

SEATTLE — One of two men pulled from the waters near Cape Elizabeth, Wash., by the Coast Guard died at the Aberdeen General Hospital in Aberdeen, Wash. Tuesday.

Coast Guard units in Port Angeles, Wash., and Astoria, Ore., received a mayday from the 31-foot fishing vessel, Renee Marie, at 7:20 p.m. Tuesday. An HH-60 helicopter crew from Air Station Astoria was immediately launched along with a 47-foot motor lifeboat crew from Station Quillayute River, Wash. 
Using directions provided by the Coast Guard's Rescue 21 system, the helicopter crew was able to fly directly to the scene of the overturned vessel where they found Westin Fowler of Port Orchard, Wash., tangled in crab fishing gear. 

"The Rescue 21 system got us within yards of the vessel," said Lt. Robert Potter, a Coast Guard pilot who responded to the scene.

A rescue swimmer was lowered to retrieve Fowler and Coast Guard personnel administered CPR to him until they reached medical personnel on shore.  Fowler was taken to Aberdeen General Hospital where he was later pronounced dead.

Two Coast Guard HH-60 helicopter crews from Air Station Astoria, Ore., two 47-foot motor lifeboat crews from Stations Quillayute River and Grays Harbor, Wash., and two commercial fishing vessels searched the waters eight miles west of Cape Elizabeth for the second man, Jeremy Brown of Port Orchard, who was found in a life raft at 11:20 p.m. after a helicopter crew spotted a flare. 

The 47-foot motor lifeboat crew from Quillayute River  rescued Brown and transported to him Grays Harbor where it was determined he was well enough to return home.

"Mr. Brown's presence of mind helped a great deal to increase his chances of survival," said Potter.  "He managed to stay focused enough to get the raft inflated and those flares shot off.  The third flare he fired perfectly illuminated the raft he was in, and all our resources headed straight for him."

Potter also praised the commercial fishermen who aided in the search when they heard the mayday transmission.

The Renee Marie is homeported in Chinook, Wash. – Coast Guard press release


Opinion: Trip to England on anti-Pebble business

I thought the day I went to England I would take my daughter on an adventure, bring to life a little fantasy of the Old World to my little girl, Lakota. Guess I will just have to make a second trip over there to show her the sites, history and country she fantasizes about.

This weekend I'm taking my first trip to England – not for leisure, but to protect my way of life in my homeland of southwestern Alaska. – Everett Thompson, writing in the Homer Tribune

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Gillnetters shunning Kodiak sac roe herring fishery

The Kodiak commercial herring sac roe fishery opened Wednesday at noon. Due to recent low participation in the fishery by gillnetters, changes were made in how fishing periods will be implemented.

Kodiak Daily Mirror

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Latest fed move on Cook Inlet belugas

Wednesday, in the Federal Register, NOAA Fisheries published an advanced notice concerning critical habitat for the Cook Inlet beluga whales.

 “We aren’t yet proposing a rule on critical habitat for the Cook Inlet beluga whales, but we will,” explained Doug Mecum, Acting Administrator for the Alaska Region of NOAA Fisheries.  “This notice is an effort to get as much information as possible early in the process.”

NOAA press release

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Friday, April 17, 2009

Natives seek disaster declaration for Yukon River

Two leading Alaska Native organizations recently sent letters to U.S. Commerce Secretary Gary Locke, asking the federal government to declare a fisheries disaster on the Yukon River. – Tundra Drums

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Stop Ketchikan Dungeness summer fishery

Everyone needs to help stop the Ketchikan area summer commercial Dungeness crab fishery. It hasn't taken place for 20 years because it was a bad idea back in the day and it's a bad idea now.
Lloyd Gossman, writing in SitNews, Ketchikan

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Changes sought in Columbia hatchery operations

In a report to Congress, biologists called for big changes in the sprawling Columbia River hatcheries
so the operations support, not hinder, the massive regional effort to restore natural salmon runs.
Seattle Times

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Trident now owns Wrangell Seafoods

Evidently the sale of bankrupt processor Wrangell Seafoods Inc. to Trident Seafoods Corp. of Seattle is complete. – Pacific Fishing columnist Wesley Loy, writing in his new blog: Deckboss

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Sports fishermen win Fish Board nomination fight

JUNEAU -- Alaska sport fishing groups flexed their muscle and successfully blocked a commercial fisherman from taking a seat on the Board of Fisheries. – Anchorage Daily News

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