Category Archives: North Pacific

Bristol Bay Fisheries Report: July 11, 2020

The run in Bristol Bay is over 30 million fish, 30.8 million to be exact. Total harvest baywide was 2.1 million yesterday, bringing the season’s harvest in Bristol Bay to 20.9 million fish. Total escapement so far this season across the bay is 8.8 million. Fish per drift delivery saw a bit of a swing yesterday. Ugashik fishers averaged over 2,500 fish per delivery, the Naknek-Kvichak saw an average of over 1,000 fish per drift delivery, but other districts were between 180 and 700 fish per delivery. audio report, Messages to the fleet,  >click to read< 17:26

More uncertainty for Alaskan fishermen, ‘Devastating,’ meager chum salmon returns worry the fishing industry

“I have 35 years of experience and I’ve never seen a year this poor since 1988,” said Lars Strangeland, a gillnetter based in Juneau. “The market is extremely poor. We were looking at terrible prices wherever it goes.” The shutdown of restaurants and changes in international markets, all complicated by the coronavirus pandemic, is leading to less demand for chum salmon and roe. Strangeland is on the Board of Directors of United Southeast Alaska Gillnetters, and he said chum returns this year have been, “devastating.” “It’s unprecedented and staggeringly poor as well,” he said. >click to read< 13:07

Westport feeling deep loss after fishing tragedy

“You couldn’t get those two boys to sit still for too long, they were real adventurers,” Cole Rutzer, a 22-year-old Westport man whose body was found July 3 on the beach of a remote island near Kodiak Island, Alaska. He and his  longtime friend and fishing boat crewmate Dylan Furford had taken a  skiff from the larger boat to explore the island. Furford is missing and the Coast Guard has suspended its search. The two were part of a four-man    crew on the Westport-based Pacific Dynasty, fishing for Dungeness crab. Rutzer’s dad, Greg, is the captain and his cousin, Brent Gilbertson, was the other crew member. The boat had dropped crab pots and had some down time so Cole Rutzer and Furford, also in his early 20s, had gone to Tugidak Island, taking Trigger, Cole’s dog. >click to read< 08:07

Setting the New Normal – Point Steele

With concern over the 2020 Bristol Bay salmon season and Covid-19, there was only optimistic excitement at Washington State’s Velocity Marine as   the yard’s latest newbuild headed for sea trials.,, With a capacity of 18,000 pounds (8165kg) in RSW, Point Steele will deliver to the tender multiple  times in an opening. Even loaded, the boat can be expected to make roughly half the light boat’s speed. Lenco trim tabs help optimise performance under different load conditions. To make these speeds Point Steele is powered with a pair of Cummins QSC8.3 engines. photo’s, >click to read< 17:01

SURVEY: Please Help Extreme Gloucester Fishing: Restructure, Retool, Retrain, Revive and Reunite the U.S. Commercial Fisheries

Extreme Gloucester Fishing Commercial Industry Training Center is doing a U.S. Commercial Fisheries Survey – Please help Extreme Gloucester Fishing with our efforts to Restructure, Retool, Retrain, Revive and Reunite the U.S. Commercial Fisheries Take the Survey. 1. Do commercial fishermen care about their industry? 2. Should fish be owned before they are caught?, 3.,,,  >click to read<, and please leave comments or suggestions, and connect with others to get things started! Thank you, Captain Joseph Sanfilippo 10:30

Commercial Fisherman George Roy Hutchings Jr. of Kodiak, Alaska and Damariscotta, Maine

George Roy Hutchings Jr., 60, of Kodiak, Alaska and Damariscotta, passed away peacefully on Friday, July 3, 2020 at his home here in Maine with family at his side. He attended Nobleboro Central School and Christian Academy during his grammar school days. He attended Lincoln Academy, while working in South Bristol clamming, and later earned his GED. He left Maine in his teenage years to start his adventures in fishing in Point Pleasant, N.J., then on to more adventures scallop dragging in New Bedford, Mass. At the age of 20, George headed for an even greater and larger adventure in Homer, Alaska, where, after some tough times, he became a king crab and scalloping fisherman for many years. >click to read< 09:09

1 dead, 2 rescued after boat capsizes near China Poot Bay

One person is dead and another two were rescued Wednesday from the waters of Kachemak Bay by commercial fishermen and a surfer when their boat capsized near the mouth of China Poot Bay.,, The crew of the Casino took two males on board, including the one being given CPR by Tillion. The Casino is faster and was able to get them back to the harbor more quickly, Hollis said. “Everybody responded very well,” Hollis said of Tillion, Linegar and his deckhand. Crew from the F/V Captain Cook, captained by Malcom Milne, brought the third person back to the harbor. >click to read< 09:23

Bristol Bay Fisheries Report: July 7, 2020

We have the first million-fish catch day in the bay! Egegik harvested 1 million and 30 thousand fish, and the Naknek-Kvichak district and the Nushagak both had harvests over 950,000.  The total run across the bay jumped by 4 million fish yesterday, to 15.5 million fish. With respect to Egegik’s big catch yesterday, Egegik management biologist Aaron Tiernan had this to say in an email, “Wow! That was impressive. Based on Port Moller, there is still a good amount of fish to come.”,, A boat sinks in the Nushagak district.,, “I have never picked so much fish in my life in one opener” – Nushagak drifter describes a big opener. >click to read< 14:13

Bristol Bay Fisheries Report: July 6, 2020

The run is late this year, but it’s ramping way up across the bay. The total run passed 11 million fish yesterday, with some of the biggest harvests we’ve seen yet this season in 3 of the bay’s districts.  Total run in the bay jumped by over 3 million fish yesterday, to almost 11.5 million. Total catch bay-wide is 8.4 million, total escapement is 2.5 million, and there are an estimated 515,000 fish in-river in the bay’s combined rivers. Fish per delivery from the drift boats also jumped by an average of 500 fish per delivery bay-wide. All the districts that fished yesterday delivered more than 1,100 fish per delivery yesterday, and in Ugashik… that number was almost 2,000 fish per delivery. audio, report, >click to read< 14:39

Bristol Bay Fisheries Report: July 5, 2020

The total harvest for the bay is around 1.2 million, as of yesterday. Taking a look across the bay, the total run is at around 8.5 million. The numbers seem to be picking up on the eastside again. The Nushagak district’s daily harvest was 165,000 yesterday, bringing the season’s harvest to 2.6 million. That was harvested 4% by Igushik set-netters, 26% from Nushagak set netters, and 70% from drifters. In the full Nushagak district, daily escapement was 36,800 yesterday. That makes the total escapement across the Nushagak district 1,056,000 Breaking that down by river system… audio, >click to read/listen< 14:57

America Needs To Stop Relying On Countries Like China For Seafood Markets

When Americans visit a supermarket and wander past the meat counter, they see this century’s equivalent of the fishmonger’s stall: the seafood department. Laden over crushed ice in glass cases sits an array of fish products — whole snapper or shrimp, maybe, but almost always pre-sliced filets in a bevy of hues. Oysters and clams complete the display. In the rare cases where stores divulge the provenance of seafood, placards will often list Thailand, China or South American countries. Less frequently, however, will one see U.S-raised or caught seafood in such displays. This is disappointing to the patriot who wishes to ‘buy American.’ >clickto read< 07:00

New analysis shows seismic risks related to Pebble Mine

New analysis commissioned by Bristol Bay fishermen contends that plans for the Pebble mine project and environmental review do not adequately account for seismic risks on the proposed mine site, putting the fishery and regional communities and cultures as risk for devastation. With the U.S Army Corps of Engineers expected to release its record of decision on a critical permit application for the mine in mid-July, concerns remain with fishermen and others opposed to the mine abutting the Bristol Bay watershed over seismic and other risks outlined in the report produced by Lynker Technologies, in Boulder, Colo. >click to read< 18:06

Bristol Bay Fisheries Report: July 4, 2020

A big bump of fish hit the Naknek-Kvichak and Egegik yesterday — those fleets caught most of the bay’s daily harvest of nearly 1.2 million. Total harvest around the bay is now approaching 5 million. Escapement yesterday was 140,000, and 1.8 million fish have escaped around the bay this season. The total run is at around 6.8 million. The Nushagak district’s daily harvest was 60,000 yesterday, bringing the season’s harvest to,,, Breaking that down by river system, audio report, >click to read< 07:25

Bristol Bay Fisheries Report: July 2, 2020

Fish are picking up around the bay. The run leapt past the 4 million fish mark and is approaching 5 million, and the runs in the Naknek-Kvichak and Egegik both passed 1 million yesterday. Egegik had the largest daily harvest. In the Nushagak, the total run passed 2 million. Coronavirus update (Covid-19), U.S. House and Senate extend application deadline for PPP,Audio report, >click to read< 14:02

Southeast Alaska Dungeness crab catch starts strong again, price drops

It’s not as large as last year’s haul. But the catch from the first week of the fishery has topped 960,000 pounds and is expected to increase with additional landings from that first week still to be tallied. Effort is down substantially. Only 119 permit holders landed crab in that first week, compared to 170 in that first week last year. The recent average is 147 permit holders landing crab. The average price has also dropped from last year. It’s around $1.72 a pound compared to $2.97 a pound in 2019. >click to read< 13:17

Mark Adams, an Alaskan fisherman and devoted family man

Mark David Adams, an Alaskan fisherman and devoted family man died peacefully on June 3, 2020 in Cordova, AK, at home. He was born in Spokane, WA, to Bonnie and Gene Adams on March 21, 1963 and grew up in Metaline, WA, where he graduated from Selkirk High School in 1981. He was known for his hilarious storytelling, his knack for managing his commercial fishing business with several boats and motley crews, and his unending enthusiasm for coaching basketball. Foremost, he was a loyal and loving family man whose children were his pride and joy >click to read< 09:39

Substance Abuse and Safety: Coast Guard Identifies Concerning Trend in Maritime Law Violations in Alaska

U.S. Coast Guard investigators and inspectors have identified a concerning trend throughout the state of Alaska, ranging from illegal drug use to unserviceable life saving equipment. Investigators at Coast Guard Sector Anchorage have observed an increase in the number of positive drug tests for non-credentialed mariners throughout the Arctic and Western Alaska., Another concerning trend observed by inspectors with the Coast Guard Marine Safety Task Force relates to unserviceable or missing life-saving equipment aboard commercial fishing vessels. From June 8 through 22, members of the task force removed 119 immersion suits during commercial fishing vessel exams in the King Salmon area because they were not in serviceable condition. >click to read< 19:44

#FishermensLivesMatter: Until this pandemic is over, say no to fishery observers being placed on fishing vessels

On July 1st the Trump Administration’s agency, NOAA will require that fishing vessels resume taking fishery observers on their fishing trips. Due to the Coronavirus pandemic these activities have been suspended for almost three months due to the danger of spreading the deadly disease among the
fishing industry and their families. Fishery observers are required by National Marine Fishery Service regulations to observe commercial fishing operations in almost all of our countries fisheries based on various criteria that include likelihood of interaction with marine mammals or other protected species, amount of bycatch in each fishery, adherence to regulations, and anything else they can justify to support this huge taxpayer money gobbling con game they have created. >click to read< by Jim Lovgren #FishermensLivesMatter 22:27

UPDATED! Bail Fundraiser: Fisherman steals a King Salmon fire truck Saturday Night, drives to the bar with emergency lights on

An Eagle River man stole a fire truck from the King Salmon Fire Station Saturday night and drove 15 miles with lights flashing to a bar where he was arrested, police said. Dawson Cody Porter, 22, used a piece of lumber to break a window of the fire station and made his way inside the building around 9 p.m., the Bristol Bay Borough Police Department said in an online statement. Once inside, Porter started a fire truck and drove it through the station’s closed bay doors. >click to read< 16:32

Bail Fundraiser to Free Dawson Cody Porter – Last Sunday night, innocent man Dawson Cody Porter, 22, of Eagle River, Alaska, was wrongfully placed under arrest for burglary, vehicle theft, criminal mischief, and parole violations. He is currently held  on a $10,000 bail at the Bristol Bay Detention Facility in King Salmon. >click to read/donate< Organized by  Nicholas Scott, Naknek, AK

The Things That Didn’t Make It To The Screen On Deadliest Catch – Other Fishermen Have Suffered As A Result Of The Show’s Success

Much of what fans see on screen is true to life, with a bit of Hollywood’s embellishment for dramatic effect, of course. But while fans witness everything the crew does, much of what’s captured on camera, hundreds and hundreds of hours of footage, doesn’t even make it past the cutting room floor. Furthermore, while fans see how the fishing season affects the crew, they don’t see how it affects the town or other local fishermen. While Discovery has been praised for the award-winning show, there’s plenty that goes on behind the scenes that have never made it to the screen. Deadliest Catch speaks to the lives and risks the Bering Sea crews take every year, and while truly crazy things are captured on camera, not everything is revealed to the world. >click to read< 09:15

New Co-Op Allows Fishermen From Four Villages To Participate In Kuskokwim Bay Commercial Fishery

A group of fishermen in Quinhagak has formed an organization to revitalize commercial salmon fishing in Kuskokwim Bay. Their group is called the Independent Fishermen of Quinhagak Cooperative. On Monday, June 29, there will be a 12-hour commercial opening in Kuskokwim Bay from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Fishermen are limited to six-inch mesh or less. It’s the area’s first commercial opening in five years.,, The board has approved 70 fishermen to participate and has limited the co-operative’s eligibility to fishermen residing in four nearby villages—Quinhagak, Goodnews Bay, Platinum, and Eek. >click to read< >click to read< 11:22

An East Coast Perspective on Coronavirus Impacts

This was initially to be about how the New Jersey commercial fishing industry was coping with the coronavirus crisis. However, there is a seemingly infinite number of websites running commentaries on the national and/or international aspects of the ongoing pandemic in general and, surprisingly, as it specifically applies to and as it affects commercial fishing and the seafood industry. Considering this, sharing more than an overview of what the New Jersey industry, or at least that part of it that I have been in touch with, would probably not have much of an impact. But happily, at this point it seems that U.S. consumers aren’t really as averse to preparing quality seafood at home (when it isn’t available or is only limitedly available elsewhere) as most of us have believed. >click to read< By Nils Stolpe 12:05

Salmon harvest coming in below forecast

Commercial harvests of Alaska’s iconic salmon are generally below expectation so far this season, particularly in the Copper River, where the preliminary catch to date includes 81,228 reds, 5,815 Chinooks and 1,296 chums. And overall for the drift gillnet harvesters and purse seiners in Prince William Sound, so far it is a smaller run that forecast, with a preliminary collective harvest of some 736,453 fish. That’s according to statewide data compiled by biologists with the Alaska Department of Fish and Game, who update their preliminary harvest report daily and post. >click to read< 09:42

“Let’s hope this is one hell of an anomaly,” – Pandemic throws a wrench in salmon market

“If you want to categorize the bad news, the biggest factors are the sheer operating logistics for this industry in dealing with this virus, and keeping the workers safe,” he explains. “That’s one huge complexity. The second is the drastic drop-off in restaurant consumption, and the third is the drastic decline in people’s incomes. Those are the three major hits.” In a normal year, most of the uncertainty in the salmon market comes from the run itself; how the harvest compares to the previous year and how processors will keep up. >click to read< 08:49

How Coronavirus Is Threatening Alaska’s Wild Salmon Fishing Season

A Brooklyn winemaker travels north to Bristol Bay each summer to net the red salmon that support his family. This year he’s faced with a tough ethical and economic choice. Mr. Nicolson, 45, spends much of the year working at Red Hook Winery in Brooklyn, where he is the managing winemaker, but his main income is drawn from Iliamna Fish Company. The business, which he and two cousins own, sells Alaska red salmon directly to thousands of shareholders, most of them in New York and Portland, Ore., as well as to a few high-end restaurants and stores, including the Park Slope Food Co-op in Brooklyn. >click to read< 19:25

Coronavirus is making it difficult for Whatcom’s commercial fishing fleet this season

A new report from the Regional Economic Partnership at the Port of Bellingham indicates the local fishing fleet is dealing with a host of hurdles this summer, particularly for fishing boat captains who want to go to Alaska. Crew safety is proving to be particularly tough to figure out, as shown by the three American Seafoods fishing boats that had more than 100 crew members test positive for the virus after docking at Bellingham Cold Storage in late May and early June. The report surveyed 69 businesses tied to the industry, including 59 commercial fishing boats. >click to read< 09:11

For fishermen traveling to Bristol Bay, Alaska Air confusion complicates early season

Alaska Air normally starts flying to the region June 1, but this spring it began on May 18th. It’s aiming for year-round service to the region. But the airline has struggled to regulate its schedule. I experienced this myself when I was making plans to come to Dillingham. I booked a flight from Portland to Anchorage, and then on to Dillingham on June 2. But about a week before my trip, I got an email saying that my flight was now headed from Portland to Seattle, Seattle to Anchorage — with no flight to Dillingham.,, Gregg Marxmiller, a Dillingham fisherman, said flights he had purchased for his crew-members were pushed back twice. He wasn’t notified either time. >audio report, click to read< 16:34

Coast Guard assists vessel aground in Sukhoi Bay, Alaska

The Coast Guard assisted a vessel aground, taking on water in Sukhoi Bay, Alaska, Thursday. An MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter crew from Air Station Kodiak arrived on scene at 3:11 p.m. and lowered dewatering equipment and a rescue swimmer to 52-foot F/V Stormie B. The Stormie B crewmembers were able to utilize the dewatering equipment to control flooding.  Good Samaritan F/V Buccaneer arrived on scene at approximately 3:35 p.m. and remains in the vicinity to maintain communication. >click to read< 19:35

Copper River fishermen gain another harvest

Commercial harvesters keen on those Copper River salmon got a fifth shot at those prized Chinooks and reds on Thursday, June 18, in a 12-hour opener announced by Alaska Department of Fish and Game officials in Cordova. Waters within the expanded Chinook salmon inside closure area were closed for the period. It has been, in no uncertain terms a real slow start, with several of those openers already cancelled because of a very slow run. Through Tuesday, June 16, a total of 1,665 deliveries to processors from four 12-hour openers in the Copper River had brought in some 5,751 kings, 71,370 sockeyes and 1,056 chums, a total of 78,177 fish. >click to read< 16:01

Coast Guard medevacs Fisherman from vessel 322 miles northwest of St. Paul Island

Coast Guard aircrews medevaced a man from a fishing vessel 322 nautical miles northwest of St. Paul Island, Alaska, Wednesday. The 45-year-old man was safely hoisted at 12:12 p.m. and taken to St. Paul for a wing-to-wing transfer with a commercial medevac company for further transport to Anchorage. At 11:48 p.m., Tuesday, District 17 Command Center watchstanders received a medevac request for a fisherman reportedly experiencing gastrointestinal bleeding aboard the 170-foot fishing vessel Baranof. Watchstanders conferred with a duty flight surgeon and launched three Kodiak-based aircrews to respond. >click to read<  The image is of the medevac of an injured 31-year-old fisherman aboard the fishing vessel Baranof, June 3, 2020 >Video, click to read< 18:15