Susitna River Coho Limit Increased to Four Per Day

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In a easily predicted move that some may consider a political calculation, ADF&G increased the limit for coho salmon effective today at 5pm. Also today at 5pm, the Matanuska-Susitna Borough Fish and Wildlife Commission is set to meet with ADF&G commissioner and directors, along with Mat-Su residents, about the commercial harvest of 90,000 coho salmon head to Upper Cook Inlet rivers. Coincidence? I think not.

Tonight’s meeting is from 5pm to 7pm at the Mat-Su Borough building in Palmer and is open to the public.  Continue reading “Susitna River Coho Limit Increased to Four Per Day”

3 Good Articles: It’s Not Our Fault Edition

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During my quest to learn more about how Mat-Su Valley fisheries are managed, I’ve come across a few good reads that Mat-Su sport anglers may find interesting. As usual, they include a lot of finger pointing.

It’s the Sport Angler’s Fault

The first is Little Susitna River Salmon History from 1886 to 2012, produced by Roland Maw, PhD, United Cook Inlet Drift Association (UCIDA) Executive Director and Audrey Salmon, UCIDA Office Manager, in 2013.

In this report, UCIDA lays out its argument for why coho salmon runs have declined in the Little Su, including laying blame on in-river users (sport anglers) for over harvesting the resource.  Continue reading “3 Good Articles: It’s Not Our Fault Edition”

ADF&G Commissioner Cotten to attend Mat-Su Borough Fish and Wildlife Commission meeting Aug. 22

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*Update*

Senator Dunleavy sent out a follow-up email with a new date and start time for the meeting. Meeting is now scheduled for August 22 from 5pm to 7pm. The meeting was first announced to be on Aug 17 at 6pm. There will be time for public testimony, which is limited to three minutes per person.

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In response to my letter regarding concerns with recent ADF&G management decisions in Upper Cook Inlet, Senator Dunleavy responded with the following,

“Thank you for contacting me with your concerns regarding the recent management decisions made by Fish and Game in the Upper Cook Inlet.  Commissioner Sam Cotten will be attending next week’s Mat-Su Borough Fish and Wildlife Commission meeting where he will be explaining the management practices and answering your questions.  The meeting is open to the public and I encourage you to attend to express your concerns.

The meeting will be held Thursday, August 17 at 6pm (*See update above*) at the main Borough building located at 350 E. Dahlia Ave in Palmer.  Please visit the Commission’s website for more details by clicking here.”  Continue reading “ADF&G Commissioner Cotten to attend Mat-Su Borough Fish and Wildlife Commission meeting Aug. 22”

Sen. Hughes Stands Up for Valley Sport Anglers, Coho Salmon

On July 31, commercial fishing boats intercepted 40,000 coho salmon headed to Valley rivers and streams. Many, including myself, wrote our elected officials to share our concern with such a large harvest while Valley streams sit nearly void of coho salmon.

I received a reply from my state senator, Shelley Hughes, from District F. Sen. Hughes voted no on the reappointment of BOF Chair John Jensen, supports the Conservation Corridor, and expressed her concern about the July 31 harvest of 40,000 coho salmon in this August 4th letter to BOF and ADF&G Commissioner Sam Cotton.

Request Action Regarding Corridor

Request Action Regarding Corridor 2

Continue reading “Sen. Hughes Stands Up for Valley Sport Anglers, Coho Salmon”

2017 Fishing Regulations Published

2017sc_sfregs_susitna_river_1.jpgJust one day after the NFL released its 2017 schedule ADF&G published the 2017 fishing regulations for Southcentral Alaska. One is anticipated by millions, the other by dozens. What I’m interested in is who America’s team (the Buffalo Bills) opens up against and where and when am I not allowed to fish.

While I don’t notice any major changes from the past few years, I’m anticipating ADF&G to release additional Emergency Orders on top of the EO’s released earlier this year as soon as salmon return numbers are available.  Continue reading “2017 Fishing Regulations Published”

Matanuska Valley Fish and Game Advisory Committee to Hold Elections on Wednesday, April 19th

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The Matanuska Valley Fish and Game Advisory Committee will hold an election meeting Wednesday April 19th at 7:00pm at Wasilla High School. The public is welcome and encouraged to attend.

Advisory Committees are local groups that meet to discuss fish and wildlife issues, provide a local forum for those issues, and make recommendations to the Alaska boards of fisheries and game. Their purpose as established by the Joint Boards of Fisheries and Game includes:  Continue reading “Matanuska Valley Fish and Game Advisory Committee to Hold Elections on Wednesday, April 19th”

ADF&G’s Friday News Dump: Susitna River King Salmon Restrictions

When a government agency sends out a press release on Friday afternoon it’s because they don’t want it to get much coverage. It’s call the Friday news dump. Is that what ADF&G is doing here?

While there is some good news for Susitna River anglers hoping to catch (and release) a king salmon, we’re again hit hard with restrictions. Most of us have come to expect ADF&G to restrict the harvest of kings and more will likely come in a few months. But while restrictions are depressing and may deter anglers from hitting the water, the worst part of this press release is in the last paragraph:  Continue reading “ADF&G’s Friday News Dump: Susitna River King Salmon Restrictions”

Fishing Time Increased on Wasilla Area Creeks

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Cottonwood Creek

In what appears to be a win for Wasilla and Big Lake area families and working people, ADF&G announced Thursday that it increased fishing time on the lower sections of Fish, Cottonwood, and Wasilla Creeks that are open to sport fishing for salmon. Past regulations allowed fishing at this weekend only fishery from 6 a.m. – 6 p.m. The increase extends fishing time to 5 a.m. – 10 p.m.

ADF&G also repealed the regulation closing Wasilla Creek to all fishing within 300 yards of Palmer-Fishhook Road. While still closed to salmon fishing, the area will be open to rainbow trout and grayling anglers beginning June 15.

Continue reading “Fishing Time Increased on Wasilla Area Creeks”

More from Alaska’s Board of Fisheries Meeting

As mentioned last week, I committed to learning more about Alaska’s Board of Fisheries (BOF) as it works through proposals at its 2017 meeting. The meeting is not everyone’s cup of tea, as many of my sport fishing friends have given up on the BOF due to the political nature of managing our fisheries.

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It takes fish to make fish was the message MSBFWC took to the BOF meeting.

You see, the BOF is made up of seven members, appointed by the governor and confirmed by the legislature. While the BOF’s website states board members are appointed “on the basis of interest in public affairs, good judgment, knowledge, and ability in the field of action of the board, with a view to providing diversity of interest and points of view in the membership”, many believe that the outcomes of BOF meetings are determine on election night, not at the BOF meetings.

Continue reading “More from Alaska’s Board of Fisheries Meeting”

Learning more about Alaska’s Board of Fisheries

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Coho salmon were in the river that day, but for how much longer? Photo: Ben Rowell

There is so much going on in Alaska right now. Many are focused on solving our state’s fiscal crisis (yes, it’s a crisis). Others are spending their free time protesting our president (yes, he’s everyone’s president). The smartest Alaskans are outside enjoying the best of what winter has to offer. But there are a small group of Alaskans holed up at Sheraton Hotel in Anchorage, trying to influence policy decisions being made at Alaska’s Board of Fisheries meeting.  Continue reading “Learning more about Alaska’s Board of Fisheries”