Tag Archives: Chinook salmon

Commercial Fishing Video Of The Day | F/V Northstar | Trolling 2014

Southeast Alaskan Trollers recently hauled in record breaking numbers this past April.  Ride along with the F/V Northstar and get a first hand look at trolling this past April.

Fishtory | The Days Of Salmon Traps And Fish Pirates

In the late 1800s, salmon traps dominated the landscape of commercial fishing in Alaska. For nearly 70 years, the salmon traps efficiently harvested massive volumes and controversy eventually ended the practice when Alaska gained statehood. The traps were primarily ran by large processors in the lower 48, which angered Alaskan locals and spawned the days of “Fish Pirates,” who would steal from these traps in a Robin Hood style liberation of resources. With the advent of statehood, fish traps were retired and and the limited entry permit system that we all know today was put into place. A few relics of fish traps exist today in Excursion inlet and many fishermen still frequent the locations of the old salmon traps, but those days have passed. However, Metlakata recently implemented a modern fish trap that might be an example of the future of fish traps. Is it possible that fish traps could return to Alaska waters? Only time will tell. Enjoy the video below to get a perspective of what it was like when fish traps were everywhere. Also, there are links below to explore the history on your own.

Internet ByCatch | Alaska Women Looking For Love Rank Men By “The Fish Scale”

 

That’s right, men! You might just be asking yourself, “What kind if fish am I?” TLC’s latest Alaskan related reality TV obsession has Alaskan women looking for love in Miami! Six “real” Alaska ladies are whisked away from the wild and “weirdness” of Kodiak, Alaska to find true love in one of America‘s most pretentious cities, Miami, FL. During the second episode, our Alaskan ladies are so overwhelmed with masculine prospects that they decide to rank them by types of fish. The highest rating is a White King Salmon, which means the ladies know their fish. The lowest descends all the way down the food chain to a lowly, flacid sea cucumber. In fact, TLC even has a game where you can rank celebrities by “The Fish Scale.” Click here to see for yourself. Now just remember, this is also the channel that brought us Honey Boo Boo! I have to say the verdict is still out in this one… Part of me feels horrible that I even watched it, but I can’t wait for the next episode. This is what happens when a fisherman is on shore for too long.  #RealityTvObsession

 

 

2012 West Coast Commercial Fishing Year In Review Part 1

Salmon

In May, Copper River Reds started the salmon season off with a bang. A huge unexpected run pounded the Copper River flats as the season began with triple the amount of forecasted reds.  In 2012, 374,000 sockeyes were harvested in just the first two openers. Sadly, the price plummeted to as low as 1.25 a pound in the first few weeks of the record run. The rest of the salmon season of 2012 was fairly lackluster. Bristol Bay had a mediocre run of 20 million fish, which is down from the average of 25 million fish. Prince William Sound was expected to have a huge run and even convinced some southeast salmon seiners to abandon their disappointing southeast pink forecast in hopes of hitting it big up north. This clustering of boats sparked rumors of 90 boat lineups at some of the most famous hook offs in PWS. Southeast fishermen managed to find salvation in hatchery fish, primarily chum salmon, which provided great value to a fishery devoid of their traditional pink salmon. Check here for Laine Welch’s salmon summation for all the stats and facts of salmon in the various districts. Read on for a few more highlights in salmon news from 2012.

Early in the year it was evident that King Salmon runs were in big trouble. Southeast trollers suffered a dismal spring run, and northern regions, such as the Yukon and the Kuskokwim were declared a disaster by fisheries managers. By the year’s end, King salmon was a major disapointment for most of Alaska‘s different fishing regions. The king salmon run on the Kenai was the lowest on record, which goes back to the 1980s.

In October, the Alaska Chinook Salmon Symposium was held to Anchorage to deal with the dramatic declines in Alaska’s most precious species. King salmon declines for commercial fishermen were nearly 40% in recent years. The symposium graced participants with scientific data related to decreased runs throughout Alaska. Fisheries biologist used the term, “Black Swan,” to describe the event, which highlighted the lack of knowledge on the health of chinook run. Basically, there is no hard facts to explain the severe decreases in King salmon. This issue could seriously affect the future of salmon harvests in Alaska, as protection measures for chinook could limit salmon harvests in other species.

Perhaps, the biggest story in 2012 revolves around the concept of GMOs. Genectically Modified Organisms dominate our grocery stores and there is no clear way to differentiate between which foods that contain them and which do not. Many other countries have measures in place to make sure the proper labeling of these genetically altered ingredients. California fought the hardest with the “Right To Know” initiative, which would have distinguished all GMOs from natural products. Sadly, all legislation regarding labeling GMOs was shot down. Then, we have “Frankenfish.”  AquaBounty wants to be the first of its kind to create a genetically modified salmon that can grow twice as fast is it farmed counterpart. While the genectically altered salmon concept met strong opposition in the beginning of the year, it was a great surprise when the FDA announced their endorsement of “FrankenFish” over the holiday season. The nation struggled with various GMO legislative efforts throughout the year, but all were ultimately defeated by corporate juggernauts with huge financial lobbying pressures. Sadly, it’s likely that we will see Aquabounty’s salmon in stores by the end of 2013.

Halibut

The battle between sport and commercial fishermen reached a fever pitch in 2012, as the IPHC released their catch limits at the beginning of the year. Overall, the commercial fishing cuts totaled a 20% decrease, or 7 million pounds less than the previous year. Sport fishermen in B.C. suffered the earliest closure of recreational fishing in history, spawning numerous debates about allocation of halibut rights between sport and commercial fishermen. Halibut continues to be a harsh subject for all fishermen and more cuts are likely in 2013. Scientists now realize that the stocks were being over estimated and the true estimate of the stocks are in a flat phase. Hopefully, with proper management, we will see an upturn in the projected biomass in the near future. Check out more facts here.

Herring

The Sitka Sac Roe Harvest prediction was cut short early this spring due to an early spawn and lack of the predicted biomass of 28,829 tons. In just three openers, fishermen harvested 13,534 tons, which is more of an average harvest for the fishery. Recent price fluctuations and the lack of Japanese demand in the wake of the 2011 Tsunami, has created a delicate market. Togiak also had an early spawn event in 2012, leading many to wonder about the predictive models used in the fisheries harvest forecast. On a lighter note, San Francisco herring harvests seem to have a glimmer of hope after years of disappointment. All eyes will be on the Sitka harvest this spring, which has a forecast of 11,055 tons. Togiak will come next will a large predicted forecast of 30,056 tons.

Crab

Dungeness Crab

California’s dungeness harvest for the 2011/2012 season was 31,680,250 lbs., with an average price of 2.99 per lb. Oregon crab fishermen harvested 14.2 million pounds at an average price of 2.95 per lb. in the 2011-2012 season. Washington’s Non-Treat Coastal Commercial Landings totaled 8,617,136 lbs. for the 20011/2012 season. This year, both northern fisheries were delayed into the new year due to a “meat fill” issue. Typically, the season begins on Dec. 1. In recent years, the dungeness price has reached record highs and demand remains strong for these west coast delicacies.

Part II will include Bering Sea Crab Landings, Shrimp, Squid, Groundfish, and Dive Fisheries

 

2012 Alaska Chinook Salmon Symposium

The severe declines in Chinook salmon over the years have prompted Alaska Dept. of Fish and Game to bring together numerous industry leaders to assess the status and livelihood of King Salmon in our local Alaskan waters. The northern regions of Alaska are suffering by the lack of kings, which are a valuable resource for subsistence fishermen in remote villages. Tune in live on the ADFG website to listen and interact with the event. Click here for live streaming.  A recent episode of Yukon Men highlights the struggle for salmon on the Yukon River.  Its embedded below.  A report from Dutch Harbor News highlights the subject, as well.

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State fishery managers are asking for input from Alaskans to help solve the case of disappearing king salmon.

A letter went out last week from Alaska Department of Fish and Game Commissioner Cora Campbell inviting stakeholders to a two-day symposium in Anchorage later this month titled ‘Understanding Abundance and Productivity Trends of Chinook salmon in Alaska.’ The stated goal is ‘to increase understanding and develop the most complete research plan possible.’

A draft analysis by a newly appointed fisheries research team represents initial efforts by the state to better understanding the causes for Chinook declines. The report, titled “Alaska Chinook Salmon Knowledge Gaps and Needs,” says that from 1994 through 2011, Chinook catches have decreased 7 percent for subsistence users, 40 percent for commercial fishermen and 12 percent for sport users.

via Fish Factor: Stakeholders invited to symposium on king salmon – The Dutch Harbor Fisherman.

Salmon Summery 2012

This summer has been a mixed bag of salmon highs and lows. Copper River started the salmon season with a huge record breaking run of sockeye. Bristol Bay has met many expectations, but the lack of a price jump puts a damper on a successful season. However, King salmon returns are poor. In Kenai, the failiure of the natural king run was considered a disaster. Southeast Alaskan trollers have suffered from the lack of kings, as well. Prince William Sound is the next big show. A huge run of pink salmon is predicted for this year and many boats are still waiting. In southeast Alaska, harvests are expected to be low, but the value and abundance of chum salmon has added some real economic diversity to fishermen. The summer is salmon is almost over, but the real story will still unfold. Will the pinks show up? Read on for more details of the state of salmon this summer.

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California Salmon | The Return Of The King

The news surrounding California’s salmon run has been dismal in recent history. However, this season is looking up. The price of salmon is at its highest in years and the California fleet is expecting a huge run this summer. This is a real triumph story for the fishermen of California, who have weathered a rough couple of years. Good luck to all the captains and crews, enjoy your season of June Hogs!

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The 2012 California salmon season opened last weekend, and the initial reports are good and could be getting even better. That’s great news for lovers of local salmon, who have pretty much had to do without commercially caught fish since 2008. There was a limited catch last year, but this year the catch looks to be big enough that there shouldn’t be any trouble finding fish.

This season’s catch should total almost 3 million pounds, according to the California Salmon Council, an industry group. Last year, the haul was less than 1 million pounds. That seemed like a lot then, but only because the fishery had been completely closed in 2008 and 2009, and the 2010 catch was only about 250,000 pounds. For reference, the high-water mark for California salmon since 2000 was in 2004, when more than 7 million pounds were caught.

Those bad years had been the result of several factors, including water diversions from the rivers that produce the salmon, and ocean conditions that reduced the amount of krill — similar to baby shrimp — the salmon feed on.

via California salmon start their comeback – latimes.com.

Southeast Salmon | Fishing Starts on the Taku and Stikine Rivers

The 2012 salmon season is here! Many people consider “Copper River Reds” the first salmon the  season, but southeast fishermen get a chance to start today.!  The Taku and the Stikine are open for a one day King salmon gilnett fishery. Southeast trollers also get a chance at the early kings this year too. Good luck to all! Let’s hope the season starts with a bang!  Enjoy the youtube pick of last year’s gilnett season in southeast.  I kinda like the disco beats in the video, too!

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Commercial Gillnetters and trollers in the Petersburg and Wrangell area will be targeting king salmon in the marine waters near the Stikine River starting early next week. The District 8 king season was closed for the previous three years because the Stikine runs were not big enough. This year, the Alaska Department of Fish and Game is projecting nearly 41 thousand large kings will return, which is enough for a commercial harvest.

Area management biologist Troy Thynes says, ” “Now in terms of this forecast, it’s probably, over the long term, about an average size king salmon run for the Stikine River. In short term, its actually under average because we’ve had some very large returns in the early 2000’s……What we’ve seen here is this forecast, compared to past years, is is above the last three years pre-season forecast and pretty similar to the 2007 and 2008 forecast.”

The Stikine River king salmon run is shared between Alaska and Canada under the Pacific Salmon Treaty. Based on the pre-season forecast, Alaska is allowed a total catch of just under 59 hundred kings including commercial and sport landings. Canada’s share is about 68 hundred fish.

Alaska’s target could change later this month when the state comes up with an in-season forecast based on actual returns to the river

via Stikine,Taku Fisheries start up this month | KFSK.