pf home
Summary for July 13, 2009 - July 17, 2009:

Monday, July 13, 2009

Bristol Bay surpasses pre-season forecast

Friday’s scorecard shows that the Bristol Bay sockeye catch stands at 27.6 million fish through Thursday.
That's way over the preseason forecast of 24 million. And the fishing ain't done yet!

– Pacific Fishing columnist Wesley Loy, writing in his new blog, Deck Boss

To read the Bristol Bay in-season catch reports, go to

Official statewide salmon catches

For a look at Alaska-wide salmon catches, go to


Crabbers to be paid to retrieve lost pots

NOAA Administrator Dr. Jane Lubchenco at the fishing port in Newport announced more than $7 million in American Recovery and Reinvestment Act funding to restore habitat projects throughout coastal Oregon.
Three projects were selected in Oregon, including the Newport project, proposed by the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife, which received $699,000 to employ off-season commercial fishermen to remove 180 metric tons of derelict crab pots and other fishing gear along the Oregon coast.

NOAA press release

Read more:


From the grounds: Southeast trolling

The king season had been slow. Spring fishing was really hit or miss, and there were no big scores to speak of. The July opener proved to not be much better. The big boats did OK. The Fairweather grounds did not produce any numbers.

Unfortunately the price wasn't there either. Most processors on the north end were in the $2.30 to $2.65 price range. The size average was small as well. We had a 12 pound average, which was about 2.6 off from the spring average.

All around, it was a bleak king season. We’re hoping that price and size improve for the August opener.

Coho have not shown up in any numbers yet, but the price is so-so, all things considered: $1.30-$1.45. This probably will not be a big money year for Southeast trollers, but it is still early and I still have hope.

Hopefully folks saved some money last year to help them ride this out.

Fisherman Steve Ricci


California cry: ‘People, not fish’

The rallying cry “people, not fish” has echoed loudly from Sacramento to Bakersfield, moving Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger to commit vast amounts of money and extra water to a depressed agricultural region where Dust Bowl comparisons are no exaggeration in some parts.

San Diego Union Tribune

Read more:


Tuesday, July 14, 2009

NOAA near banning harvesting of krill off Northwest

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) has published a final rule in the Federal Register prohibiting the harvesting of krill in the Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) off the coasts of California, Oregon, and Washington. The rule goes into effect on Aug. 12.  Krill are a small shrimp-like crustacean and a key source of nutrition in the marine food web.

Science Daily

Read more:

Fisherman tangled in gear, dies

The U.S. Coast Guard evacuated the injured captain of the vessel Swell Rider Friday afternoon after an accident onboard his fishing boat.

The captain, Keenan Stearns, 50, of South Bend, Wash., died from his injuries before reaching the hospital, a Coast Guard spokesman said.

Daily Astorian

Read more:

Fisherman drowns in Togiak

A 56-year-old man drowned in Bristol Bay in Togiak Monday morning, the Coast Guard said.  
He was fishing in an 18-foot skiff with his two teenage daughters when he went overboard while pulling in a net, said Coast Guard spokeswoman Sara Francis.

The Coast Guard has not released his name yet.

Anchorage Daily News

Read more:

Copper River gillnetter must pay hefty fine

Authorities say a salmon gillnetter photographed fishing eight hours prior to an opener on the Copper River flats can keep his 33-foot boat, the F/V Sushi. But first he'll have to pay $20,000.

Pacific Fishing columnist Wesley Loy, writing in his blog: Deck Boss

Read more:

Grounds watch

The cumulative catch in Bristol Bay has reached 28,185,792, as of Sunday night. The forecast was for a harvest of 25 million sockeye.

Read more:

We hit the big time!

Well, sorta. A contributing editor of The Atlantic Monthly magazine picked up on an article Pacific Fishing published in the May issue. It concerned the use of insecticides in farm-raised salmon, and we wondered why the Food and Drug Administration bans the import of such fish from Chile but not from British Columbia, where farmers admit to using the same insecticide to battle sea lice.

Read about our brush with fame at

Half-naked PETA protestors vs. Seattle fish-throwers

A group of half-naked animal-rights activists dressed like fish say a veterinary convention is no place for fish-throwing.

About a dozen members of PETA protested Saturday outside the annual convention of the Illinois-based American Veterinary Medical Association. 

Juneau Empire

Read more:


Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Kodiak hoping for large pink haul

The projected pink salmon run of more than 20 million in Kodiak waters has fishermen smiling after a disappointing red run.

Kodiak Daily Mirror

Read more:


Southern Cal fishermen face poor catches

The fishing isn't as good as it used to be for the commercial fishermen working the waters off
Southern California.

San Francisco Chronicle

Read more:


Oregon to fund Klamath dam removal

The state of Oregon will finance most of the cost of removing four Klamath River dams to help salmon under a bill signed by Gov. Ted Kulongoski Tuesday.

San Jose Mercury News

Read more:


Something strange off arctic Alaska

Something big and strange is floating through the Chukchi Sea between Wainwright and Barrow.

Anchorage Daily News

Read more:

Opinion: Pebble Mine a huge gamble

Much has been written about the Pebble mine. Millions of dollars have been spent on the debate over what the development of one of the world's largest open-pit mines will mean for Alaska's economy, its people, its resources, its future and Bristol Bay.

Bob Gillam, a lifelong Alaskan who has owned a home on Lake Clark for 25 years, writing in the Anchorage Daily News

Read more:

Grounds report

Reports have the dock price of chum in the Lower Yukon at 50 cents a pound – far higher than in
other areas. The predominant buyer is Kwik’pak, which has been energetically marketing the run of oil-rich salmon.

Poor Yukon salmon harvest portends last year’s

This year’s story of fisheries along Alaska’s Yukon River has a distinct similarity with events last summer when lack of fish led to severe economic distress over the winter.

– Indian Country Today

Read more:


Thursday, July 16, 2009

New Alaska governor to face challenges

The energy crisis. Hunger. Fishing closures. A lack of jobs.
The reports coming out of rural Alaska since last winter have been grim, and Native leaders are hopeful their relationship with the governor will improve with Sean Parnell.

 – Seward Phoenix Log

Read more:

Grounds report

As the Bristol Bay fishery winds down, fishermen are fuming over delivery limits imposed by processors before the sockeye run peaked in early July.

Here’s Robin Samuelson of the Bristol Bay Economic Development Commission:
“If you’re talking about June 28 in Bristol Bay, you’d better be damn ready for the fish.”

The packers weren’t, Samuelson said.

More in Pacific Fishing magazine.

Marine protected areas worry N. Cal fishermen

The North Coast is about to engage in a process that has some fishermen worried.

The state must decide what sort of marine protected areas to establish on the North Coast, something it has already done in some of California’s other coastal regions.

Crescent City Triplicate

Read more:

NMFS changes Cal water operations

The National Marine Fisheries Service recently announced changes the agency will require in the operations of the state and federal Central Valley Water Projects to protect the salmon listed under the Endangered Species Act.

Indian Country

Read more:

Kodiak to use fed funds for harbor work

The Kodiak city harbors are set to receive $240,000 from the U.S. Senate Appropriations Committee, Sen. Mark Begich announced.

Kodiak Harbormaster Marty Owen said the money will be used toward acquiring environmental clearances and contract plans for dredging work at St. Paul Harbor and the northeast entrance to St. Herman Harbor.

Kodiak Daily Mirror

Read more:

Scientist studies Bering Sea mud

David Shull's study of the critters living in the mud at the bottom of the Bering Sea could help reveal how climate change is affecting the world's largest commercial fishery, as well as the people and wildlife dependent on that region in Alaska.

Bellingham Herald

Read more:


Friday, July 17, 2009

Grounds Report: Bristol Bay prices up

Even in the face of a global recession, the ex-vessel price for Bristol Bay sockeye is higher than last year and the year before. Word has it that the first settlement on the bay is 70 cents a pound.

Why the higher prices? It’s a complex story that we’ll explain in the September Pacific Fishing.


The arctic blob? Algae

A sample of the giant black mystery blob that Wainwright hunters discovered this month floating in the Chukchi Sea has been identified. It looks to be a stringy batch of algae.

– Anchorage Daily News

Read more:


Time magazine visits Bristol Bay

Theo Chesley Noses his six-seat turboprop into a drizzly wind and levels off, soaring above the rich, silty veins of the Nushagak River in southwestern Alaska. The Nushagak is a salmon highway.

– Time magazine

Read more:


$1 million to clean Alaska beaches

The Marine Conservation Alliance Foundation in Juneau was awarded $1 million in federal stimulus funds from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration to do what the organization does best — conduct marine debris cleanups across Alaska.

– Cordova Times

Read more:


Work on another Sacramento River canal

State water officials plan to drill into channel bottoms at 16 locations throughout the Delta as they explore possible intake sites for a peripheral canal. The drilling could begin as soon as next month.

– Stockton (Calif.) Record

Read more:


Obama Administration honors NOAA Alaska scientist

President Obama has honored NOAA’s Dana Hanselman, an Alaskan fisheries scientist, with a Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers.

The award is the highest honor bestowed by the United States government on outstanding scientists and engineers in the early stages of their careers.

Hanselman serves as the primary analyst and author for annual stock assessment and fisheries evaluations of Alaska sablefish plus several similar reports for rockfish in the Gulf of Alaska. He works from Juneau in the Auke Bay Laboratories, a division of Alaska Fisheries Science Center.

As a graduate student at the University of Alaska’s Juneau Fisheries Center and supported as a National Sea Grant Fellow in Population Dynamics, Hanselman worked closely with scientists of the Auke Bay Laboratories on his dissertation project to determine a more cost effective and accurate method of conducting fish population surveys.

The new designs were tested at sea twice during several years of cooperative research between the University of Alaska and NOAA Fisheries, resulting in several journal papers and recommendations to Alaska Fisheries Science Center survey scientists. This research will be continued in 2009 through a grant from the North Pacific Research Board.

– NOAA press release

 <<< TOP >>>