Victoria is live blogging from the Alaska State Board of Fish meeting 2/6/10


Feb 6, 2010

Vic has been in Anchorage this week attending a variety of meetings and also peaking in on the Alaska State Board of Fish,  BOF.

She is going to do some live blogging throughout today while the Board goes through its last phase, called deliberations on the proposals that have been brought before them.

This particular meeting is for Western Alaska (all areas are on a once every three year cycle)  the area that includes the end of the Alaska Peninsula. Think of it as that long skinny part of Alaska that goes out to the Aleutian Islands.

It includes both the Pacific Side, the side Kodiak is on, and then as it wraps around to the Bristol Bay side.

It does not include the actual Aleutian Islands.

This is important for both the Yukon area and Bristol Bay. The salmon travel up and around this area on their way to both the Yukon and Bristol Bay.

There is a possible issue with creating some policies to help the Yukon Chum or Keta runs, that are becoming an increasingly important salmon species for the fishermen and villagers there due to issues with the Chinook.

It also addresses some issues for our Pilot Point and Ugashik villages. There is a river in the Bristol Bay area that is under concern also thus the Bristol Bay regions is concerned in how this area is managed.

As things progress during the meeting Vic is going to try and give some update comments to keep all in touch.


75 Responses to “Victoria is live blogging from the Alaska State Board of Fish meeting 2/6/10”

  1. alaskapi Says:

    GO VIC!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  2. UgaVic Says:

    OK, the board is due to come back on record, ie start the meeting again, in about 30 minutes from now.
    Will get on as soon as it looks like we are starting
    There is a group of Yukon area people here so will let them know this is going on so if they want to add comment they can.
    Keep your fingers crossed :-)

  3. UgaVic Says:

    For those of you who might not remember the set up of the last “fish” meeting I was at I will review so you have a visual. Although this is a different board the set up is the same.
    I did not think to bring a camera :-(
    There is a big set of tables up in front of the room, set up in a U. There are ‘staff’, including those who help the board as state staff and such over to one side a little.
    All of this is behind a yellow and black striped tape on the floor that we, as the public, are allowed behind. The is, I believe, is to allow them to do their job and not have any of us interfer.
    There are area biologists on ‘our’ side of the line so we can speak to them during this time if needed, but it is kept to a minimum at this point.
    IF anyone on the board need to speak with any one of the public they call a break and step out from behind the tape.
    Then there are rows of chairs split down the middle of the room.
    It SEEMS right now that our BB and Yukon are people are seated on one side and the “Area M” as we call them on the opposite :-)
    The public can not speak to anything at this point, all that came before.
    We are now down the board discussing and then voting on these proposals as they are in the documents.

  4. UgaVic Says:

    At this point we are given a set of committee reports that tell us what the actual proposal says, some comments by the staff and others. We also get a comment by the department of Fish & Game, F&G.
    There is a Department of Law if that is needed and also a Federal Subsistence Representative.
    They tell us what the general support or opposition is.
    So I am trying to read and listen as we move forward, given I did not get to read and attend all the meetings up until now

  5. UgaVic Says:

    Ok- we are on Proposal on 116 – this is about a 8.3% limit of SOckeye and chum issues

  6. UgaVic Says:

    Ok, the chairman of the board, who is a BB fisherman was opted out due to a possible conflict so he could not participate in the vote.
    NOW – it has been amended with some different language that might allow any benefit he MIGHT get to be involved woudl allow him to get involved again
    Discussing it

  7. UgaVic Says:

    This proposal is to allow again for a allocation of only so much of a forecasted Sockeye salmon, of our BB salmon, amount to this southern fishery.
    At one time they were only allowed to catch up to 8.3% of our forecasted salmon that were due to come through the area and then on up to us in BB and beyond. (only for the seining group of fishermen)
    This limit was taken off 3 years or more ago.
    The BB area is asking for it to come back into the management plan.
    More discussion

  8. UgaVic Says:

    Mel Morris, board member, is asking if these fishermen will have a place to go to fish if they were cut off in this particular area
    Now they are bringing a map up to see how far these boats might have to travel if they were shut out of an area

  9. UgaVic Says:

    Staff is setting a Power Point map

  10. UgaVic Says:

    It seems there might well be 2-3 areas the fishermen can move into so now the board can look at the traveling distances.

  11. UgaVic Says:

    For those who need more details it is down in the South Unimak and Shumagin Island area

  12. alaskapi Says:
    page 140- is proposal 116

  13. UgaVic Says:

    This is, the possible closures, are based on a ratio of fish that are caught in a seiner’ net.
    They might have to move up 45 miles or about 5 hours. Not sure how out of line this is

  14. UgaVic Says:

    This is all on the Pacific side of the Ak Peninsula

  15. alaskapi Says:

    for those who want to read public comments on this proposal
    it’s a big file…

  16. UgaVic Says:

    This all is partly coming about cause in this ratio of Sockeye is also Chums, which are usually headed to other areas.

  17. UgaVic Says:

    Last year over 700,000 chums were caught – those checking in – correct me if I am wrong.
    This is the ‘June’ fishery they are talking about.

  18. UgaVic Says:

    At this point the chairman, Vince Webster, is still not allowed into the conversation as they have not adopted the amendment.
    There is a discussion that this high of a catch was not a ‘normal’ thing. Something like in 42 years it has happened like 5 times, hope I heard that right.

  19. UgaVic Says:

    Looks like the amended failed 4 to 1 so it looks like the chairman has to stay out of it

  20. UgaVic Says:

    Now onto it as it is written
    A Togiak processor, above Dillingham, is in favor of putting a cap on as they feel their chums are also being hurt by it

  21. UgaVic Says:

    A number of both positive and negative comments were made on this
    There was a 8.3% cap was taken away in 2001
    They went to a ‘windows’ managment plan. This means they stop fishing for regular times so fish can go ‘through’ to the areas they are actually bound for
    BREAK TIME :-)

  22. UgaVic Says:

    Ok Break is over—

  23. UgaVic Says:

    There was a question about why it was ever lifted – the 8.3% cap.
    LOTS of break discussion on if it did work or not. A couple of board members came to get public info from the audience.

  24. alaskapi Says:

    area map

  25. UgaVic Says:

    One board, Mr Brown, member is saying the figures, 700,000, need to be kept in context to the total catch we are looking at.
    We get millions of FISH, not just pounds, in BB alone of Sockeye.
    This is not to say if this were a trend that they would not be concerned

  26. UgaVic Says:

    Now Boardmember Delow (sp?) is saying we need to watch this but he is feeling we need to wait for the science that is due out in the next couple of years, the WASAP (sp?) study. This is a genetics info on which fish are going where and being caught where.
    The Norton Sounds also has a concern on the chums that go through here also up to them.

  27. UgaVic Says:

    The board seems to not want to be ‘reactionary’ to this large catch of chums from last year.
    Now another board member is concerned that we will have to wait 3 years to look at this again and THEN what?

  28. UgaVic Says:

    There is a discussion that what is not much to the Area M area for a number is a big number to the Norton Sound Yukon area.
    He is really trying to make the case for being conservative!!

  29. UgaVic Says:

    Board member Carl Johnstone is speaking on all this

  30. UgaVic Says:

    A couple of other board members are saying they agree BUT would prefer to wait.
    One member, Mr Brown, said that maybe there can be a board generated proposal in between times if needed to address this.

  31. UgaVic Says:

    Mr Delow would really have liked to at least heard Mr Webster’ comments in this hard subject.
    Now another member is saying he wants to ‘alert’ to this area’s fish is saying HOW important they want them to realize these fish are

  32. UgaVic Says:

    this proposal was defeated.
    Mr Webster is back in the discussion

  33. UgaVic Says:

    117 was withdrawn
    118 and others that are similar are being discussed

  34. UgaVic Says:

    There is to provide for more fishing openings in a southern area
    Some of those in oppostion are worried about the Coho that are moving through the area, mentioning our BB and Togiak fish in particular.
    122 would NOT be allowed in this grouping of proposals that are similar

  35. UgaVic Says:

    For those that are having a hard time keeping up – it looks like any DIRECT help for the chums that are bound for the Yukon or Norton Sound did not get any real help.
    There might be some indirect help coming but it will not be the main force of a proposal.
    I will be here continuing as there are many more little things that might add up to be some help.

  36. alaskapi Says:

    Thanks Victoria!
    Watching your info as it comes out…
    Sorry to hear 116 failed…

  37. UgaVic Says:

    There is now discussion that as much as they were not ready to do much to help the early June fishery this post June should not be added to

  38. UgaVic Says:

    118 is failing – so not ADDED time to fish in a post June time – this is a little good news

  39. UgaVic Says:

    119-121 are being skipped for now if I understand right
    Now onto 122

  40. UgaVic Says:

    122 – to add more time, 14 hours, before each set opening during July to fish.
    It MIGHT be restricted to just set net fishing, they are looking into it now

  41. UgaVic Says:

    They would be targeting Sockeye salmon but ALL five salmon stock might be caught too.
    We are still talking about the ‘South Alaska Peninsula’ area.
    There is much commenting right now about all the different fish and how it is being fished.
    The entire idea on all of the gaps in fishing time and such is to allow for escapements and also for good genetic diversity in the run also.

  42. UgaVic Says:

    This looks to affect (OK or effect – not sure right now :-) ‘only’ about 60 permit holders.
    A fair amount to many of us in fishing an area.

  43. UgaVic Says:

    122 – looks to be failing
    yes, it failed 0 to 6

  44. UgaVic Says:

    short break

  45. UgaVic Says:

    back from break

  46. UgaVic Says:

    We are on 125 now- that will allow for some more openings BUT only in terminal areas, which is inside the actual river the fish are bound for, if I understand correctly

  47. alaskapi Says:

    AND answering my questions about a specific Area M issue via email :-)
    Go Vic!

  48. UgaVic Says:

    What I am hearing more and more is there is not much genetic information or studies on these fish in this area.
    Interesting and sure re-enforces that we need MORE SCIENCE!!

  49. UgaVic Says:

    Mr Webster is said he not going to support this until more genetics are known.
    Now another board is saying he will because it is inside the river is fine with him.
    They are targeting pinks and chums in the rivers they are already inside of.

  50. UgaVic Says:

    There is a fair amount of discussion about economic impacts of most of these proposals, on the villages, not just fishermen.

  51. alaskapi Says:

    Ann- she’s got her head down dumping info into this thread- bet she doesn’t even notice til tonight and then we’re in for an ear-boxing… :-)

  52. UgaVic Says:

    SOMEWHAT off the subject – AK RESIDENTS !!!!!
    Chairman Mr Vincent Webster, both a set net and drift fisherman from BB, is up for reappointment by Gov Parnell.
    Most of us are in support of this and it sounds like he is in need of support letters due by close of business Monday to the Gov.
    He has been on the board only this first term. In my opinion, and from what I have heard from others in other areas, he has been very fair and worked hard to have the board process be one of bringing consensus between fishermen and villages than one of the board making all the decisions of settling the disagreements.
    I will see if I can find the email address but if AK RESIDENTS would want to write a letter of support for his reappointment we in many parts of Western AK would appreciate it!!!!

  53. UgaVic Says:

    Proposal 125 failed

  54. UgaVic Says:

    Now 127 is up
    This is a proposal to repeal a test fishery.
    The depart of Fish and Game is opposed.
    The committee heard no support for it either. There is a question about what was meant by this.
    Some discussion of what was meant.

  55. alaskapi Says:

    proposer is insisting that the test fishery for immatures POLITICALLY and unfairly punishes this fishery and wants it repealed or threshold set higher

  56. UgaVic Says:

    Guess there is a test fishery where they go looking to see how many immature fish show up in a net.
    They want to change this to allow for more leeway in the number of immature salmon so it is not a hard number with a yes or no go on one count – looking more for a ratio than a hard number.

  57. UgaVic Says:

    Again another area where do not know if this is really a ‘nursery’ or just an area where many immature fish are traveling through.
    NOT enough science!!

  58. UgaVic Says:

    Sounding more and more like members are wanting to be conservative and NOT get rid of or modify this.
    Vote is —0-6 failed

  59. alaskapi Says:

    ANN- LOL!
    ( She told me they’re looking to have a real dinner tonight and some time to relax so maybe we’re safe for a bit about this putting-her-on-a-pedestal thingy … whew .)

    GO VIC, GO!

  60. UgaVic Says:

    Proposal 128—
    Still on this test and NOW want to see if they can do it on a ratio of immature fish versus the number of fish caught.
    Looking at taking no action based on last proposal.
    Feeling is it is —so they are going past it

  61. UgaVic Says:

    Proposal 129–
    They want to extend the area into and through Oct.
    There has been no Coho harvest since 2004.
    There is concern on the Togiak subsistence harvest.
    WOW – this concerns me as I am worried there is TOO much pressure being put on the Coho runs, always much smaller than Sockeye.

  62. alaskapi Says:
    up to page 148 in pdf version, 122 in paper version

  63. UgaVic Says:

    There is ‘only a handful’ of fishermen expected to participate.
    We have NO data on these runs as a whole.
    Something tells me that we will come to regret this as a group!!

  64. UgaVic Says:

    Seeing at least one member is supporting.
    Mr Webster is asking if they have ANY information as to where these are going.
    There are now question as to WHY no fishery since 2004 – 2009 and the staff is having to explain.
    They are thinking that there was a misunderstanding of some wording- it might have been a department ‘operating in ere’ by allowing it prior to 2004

  65. UgaVic Says:

    OK- so “in error”. Am getting listener’s cramp :-)

  66. UgaVic Says:

    Now they are discussing if there would be concern if there were lots of Sockeye caught during this.
    Looks like going to vote–
    passes 5-1

  67. UgaVic Says:

    Now on the next to the last one #129
    There is a proposal to change a different gear size and type to target pink salmon.
    The Advisory Councils, AC, of most areas were opposed.
    Now board discussion- no one opposing at the committee BUT the AC were not happy about it earlier.
    They feel it was a mixed stock fishery.
    The enforcement is now talking about how hard to enforcement this. This is specifically talking about the DEPTH of the net.
    They are saying ajoining areas are different and this makes it harder to enforce. It is also appears to make the amount of gear about 70% bigger in total area, if I understand right.

  68. UgaVic Says:

    Mr, Brown is not in support and speaking to the idea of dealing with a mixed stock and the possible affects.
    Others discussing more in detail.
    They are voting—-
    it has failed 1-5

  69. UgaVic Says:

    On 131 now – maybe the last one.

  70. alaskapi Says:

    Vic – was that 130 -instead of 129-in the proposal book? the one which just failed?

  71. UgaVic Says:

    More gear proposals.
    This time in the actual size of the holes or mesh size.

  72. UgaVic Says:

    Looking to bring it down to a 4 1/2″ mesh size.
    They are discussing if any Sockeye get caught or immature fish.
    This might well catch some Sockeye if used. The sustainable discussion is involved in all these – this time much more is being said about what might help to ‘unintended’ fish catch.

  73. UgaVic Says:

    They are looking to target pink salmon but not chums. It is not required to buy this size gear.
    Voting –
    passed 6-0

  74. UgaVic Says:

    WE are DONE for tonight.
    We will be back at it 8 AM tomorrow.
    Have a good evening and will be back bright and early doing “Fish Stuff”

  75. thatcrowwoman Says:


    So proud to know such intelligent, observant, outspoken, hardworking, non-quitting, community-organizing, wonder women!

    and AKM for introducing us also, too, and Shannyn and Diva…

    You are fine examples for our daughters and little sisters of what it means to be a good citizen and powerful woman.

    Quayana and Shalom.

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