Tag Archives: salmon

Prince William Sound season’s catch nears 56 million fish, statewide harvest now tops 201 million salmon

Statewide preliminary data compiled by ADF&G showed an overall harvest of 201 million fish, including 124.8 million pink, 55.3 million sockeye, 17.3 million chum, 3.4 million coho and 273,000 Chinook salmon. With the addition of some 100,000 fish last week, the 2019 Alaska commercial salmon season is nearly complete, noted Garrett Evridge of the McDowell Group, who compiles weekly commercial salmon reports in season on behalf of the Alaska Seafood Marketing Institute. >click to read<  10:47

Salmon Tales: Sex, myth and molecular genetics of an iconic fish

A sockeye salmon’s life ends right back where it began, culminating in an anadromous drama of sex, decay and sacrifice. Patty Zwollo says that it’s all part of sexual maturation in salmon: They swim up out of the Pacific into the same streams in which they were born and into the lives, literature and religion of the native peoples of the drainages. >click to read< 10:34

Salmon collapse hitting workers hard

Don Sananin has loved the sea and fishing since he started in the industry as a 17-year-old.,,,But after more than 50 years working as a commercial fisherman, the Burnaby man hasn’t seen a salmon season as grim as this year’s. Sananin, 70, who holds a licence for the area that includes the Fraser River to the west coast of Vancouver Island, hasn’t been out on the water yet. “There hasn’t been an opening,” he said. “The sockeye is the worst it’s ever been since the 1890s.”,,, “The impacts are on fishermen, plant workers, net menders, and reduction plant workers, from Lax Kw’alaams [in northern B.C.] all the way down to White Rock and all the places in between.” >click to read<  17:21

Bristol Bay Salmon Are in Hot Water

I’ve worked as both a journalist and a commercial fisherman for over a decade, participating in more than a dozen fisheries from Southern California to the western Gulf of Alaska. I’ve seen booms and busts over the years, and this summer the fishing in Bristol Bay was booming. Estimates say 56.3 million salmon returned to the bay’s rivers. While down from 2018’s record-breaking runs, with 62.3 million fish, Bristol Bay has so far bucked the trend of declining salmon runs seen in other regions. But all is not well. by Nick Rahaim >click to read< 09:43

‘The fish can’t get through’: Tsilhqot’in issues salmon closure notice after Big Bar landslide

The Tsilhqot’in National Government has issued a salmon closure notice effective immediately due to extremely low levels of sockeye, chinook and coho salmon in the Chilcotin, Chilko and Taseko rivers.  At the beginning of August the Tsilhqoti’in Nation declared a local state of emergency because of a massive obstruction caused by a landslide in the Fraser River north of Lillooet, which is preventing salmon from going upstream. As of this week, just over 200 sockeye and only 26 chinook have been spotted near the spawning ground along the Chilko River, said Randy Billyboy, fisheries manager for the Tsilhqot’in National Government. Normally, they would see more than 500,000, he said. Video, >click to read< 10:04

B.C. confirms sockeye salmon have passed through Fraser River slide naturally

The British Columbia government says that for the first time, sockeye salmon are confirmed to have swum past the massive landslide on the Fraser River north of Lilooet. As of Friday, the province says nearly 18,000 salmon had swum past the slide on their own via the natural channel that’s being restored. Nearly 52,000 salmon, including sockeye, chinook and small numbers of pink and coho, have also been transported,,, >click to read< 18:12

Opinion: Why Bonneville can’t save salmon

The Northwest is not winning the battle to save wild salmon and steelhead in the Columbia River. Although most of the 12 listed salmonid stocks in the basin demonstrated a weak upward trend for a couple decades, that progress has stalled. Total returns of salmon and steelhead passing Bonneville Dam last year slipped to the second-lowest level in the past 18 years, and spring Chinook returns were 60 percent of the 10-year average. by Tom Karier >click to read<10:34

Epic catch brings tons of fresh fish to the Central Coast

Salmon are running in epic numbers this year off the Central Coast, and that means lots of fresh fish for commercial fishermen and hungry customers.
This year’s salmon season, which started commercially on May 1, is the best local fishermen have seen in 20 years.  “It’s like Christmas for us,” DeGarimore said. “This is the biggest salmon catch we’ve had in the past two decades. We’re all really excited to see the boats coming in. Tourists are taking photos. Salmon are beautiful fish, and they make spectacular fillets. >click to read<15:14

Commercial fishing isn’t the main threat to habitat

A recent letter wondered why Gov. Inslee would allow gillnetters on the Columbia River. The fact is, in the environment in which orcas struggle to survive commercial fishers are the easiest element to manage.,,, Gillnetters catch limited numbers of salmon. But land developers and homeowners can destroy an entire salmon run permanently. The pesticides, fertilizers, weed killers, moss removers, and deck waterproofing folks liberally use around the house and yard are absolute fish killers. Personal care products, pain medications, antidepressants and other popular pharmaceuticals are either disposed of or excreted into our sewage systems and flushed into the Salish Sea and Columbia River. >click to read< by Arthur Lynch, Bainbridge Island

Northwest Dams to Spill More Water to Help Salmon & Orca

Dam operators will send more water spilling over the eight dams along the Snake and Columbia rivers in an effort to help young salmon survive the notoriously deadly trip to the Pacific Ocean. The spill management plan for 2019 and 2020 is a win for salmon advocates in a 17-year legal battle where federal judges have repeatedly told the government it’s not doing enough to prevent the extinction of salmon in the rivers of the Northwest. It also brings that litigation into alignment with the work of a Washington state task force determined to prevent the extinction of Southern resident killer whales whose survival depends on endangered Chinook salmon. >click to read<12:03

Farmers protest California water plan aimed to save salmon

Hundreds of California farmers rallied at the Capitol on Monday to protest state water officials’ proposal to increase water flows in a major California river, a move state and federal politicians called an overreach of power that would mean less water for farms in the Central Valley. “If they vote to take our water, this does not end there,” said Republican state Sen. Anthony Cannella. “We will be in court for 100 years.” Environmentalists and fishermen offered a different take on the other side of the Capitol to a much smaller audience. “For the 50 years corporate agriculture has been getting fat,” said Noah Oppenheim of the Pacific Coast Federation of Fishermen’s Associations. “Salmon fisheries have been tightening belts.” >click to read<13:17

Set netting is a ‘mud experience’ and these fishermen can’t get enough of it

Mud is the tie that binds all set netters together, but some are better than others at traipsing through the gloop. We found three fishermen who couldn’t stop gushing about it. Alana Kansaku-Sarmiento has left set netting (somewhat reluctantly, it seems) to drift with the fishing vessel Marion-Ruth.,,  I love, for some reason, the mud. And that’s a very personal reason that I would love Nushagak Point and set netting, but I happen to be one of those people who just loves walking in it, picking fish in it, dragging s**t — stuff — through it. I don’t know what it is. >click to read<12:20

Prince William Sound commercial catch tops 3.5M fish

Commercial harvests in Prince William Sound have reached 3.5 million salmon, even as the surge in the catch in late June slowed somewhat in early July. Through June 10 fishermen delivered to processors an estimated 2,450,601 chums, 1,022,779 sockeyes, 18,461 pinks, 7,829 Chinooks and 459 silvers. Drift gillnetters in the Coghill district alone have brought in over 1.8 million fish, including an estimated 1.7 million chums, 155,704 reds, 1,959 humpies, 386 kings and 94 silvers. Purse seiners in the Montague district had,,, Statewide harvest updates provided by the McDowell Group in Juneau for the Alaska Seafood Marketing Institute show that through June 10 nearly 28 million salmon have been delivered to processors. >click to read<12:55

The politically unifying potential of salmon

If there is any issue Democrats and Republicans in Washington State should come together on, it’s salmon. Salmon play a major role in our state’s economy, wildlife diversity and cultural heritage. In Washington alone, salmon help support nearly 16,000 jobs and a $1.1 billion annual fishing economy. Salmon alone provide over 134 million dollars of economic output to Washington state each year. They’re also a keystone species to 137 other animals, including orcas and bears. Unfortunately, the lowest counts of Pacific Northwest salmon in history — and a 60 percent decrease in the population since 1984 — now significantly threaten the essential role of salmon. >click to read<08:58

This Canadian First Nations group wants you to buy salmon raised on land

Alert Bay isn’t exactly a premier destination on British Columbia’s rugged Pacific Coast. On this winter day, there are more crows than people on the town’s wooden sidewalks, and most of the few small businesses near the waterfront are closed for the season. The biggest building is an abandoned salmon cannery, a reminder of what used to be here. It’s a past that Bill Cranmer remembers well.,, For centuries, he says, salmon sustained the Namgis’ lives and culture.,, Cranmer says if he and his Namgis First Nation people had their way, they’d get rid of open-water salmon farms. But they can’t, so they’re trying another idea for rebuilding a salmon economy for their community. They’ve built their own salmon farm — on land. >click to read<15:26

Hokkaido: Poor catches inflate salmon and saury prices ahead of year-end holidays

Poor catches for salmon and saury in the North Pacific have caused prices to spike across Japan as the year-end shopping season begins. In Hokkaido, which accounts for 70 to 80 percent of the nation’s autumn salmon catch, this season’s haul fell by more than 30 percent in the period ended Nov. 10, dropping to around 15.3 million fish, according to the prefecture’s fishery management division.,, In addition, fishermen are struggling with poor catches of saury, a slender but fatty fish popular as an autumn delicacy. click here to read the story 14:48

Record Chinook Salmon, Steelhead Returns Reported on Mokelumne River

For many years after Camanche Dam was built, the Mokelumne River, a major tributary of the San Joaquin River and the Delta, hosted small runs of Chinook salmon. The historic runs of steelhead after the construction of the dam averaged only 100 fish and no steelhead returned to spawn many years. But both steelhead and salmon runs have rebounded in recent years, due to a number of factors. In welcome good news for Central Valley salmon populations, the California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) and the East Bay Municipal Utility District (EBMUD) report record fall spawning returns of Chinook salmon and steelhead to the Mokelumne River, a tributary of the San Joaquin River.,, The hatchery has received 13,799 adult salmon to date—compared to 4,129 at this point last year—and is expected to break the record return of 18,000 in 2011. click here to read the story 20:33

Whopper of a salmon caught in B.C.! – Percy Walkus Hatchery catches fish as part of its conservation program

Volunteer fishermen with a hatchery in central B.C. found themselves one big salmon last month The Percy Walkus Hatchery caught the massive chinook along the Wannock River, about 80 kilometres southwest of Bella Coola. It weighed more than 50 pounds. It was one of 94 salmon caught as part of an “egg take” — a conservation program that ensures the strongest chinook gene pool survives. Volunteers harvest the semen — known as milt — along with eggs from the strongest broodstock fish, which are fertilized and planted in the nearby hatchery. More photo’s, click here to read the story 10:09

Alaska salmon season a success in global market

It was a generally good salmon season for Alaska, except for one species. “It was a disastrous year for chinook harvest.” That’s Andy Wink, a seafood economist with the consulting firm McDowell Group. Wink says while king salmon may be the most famous salmon species among Alaskans, it also makes up the lowest total value of all the different commercial salmon species. “Sockeye, pink salmon, chum salmon, those are the species that for the commercial fleet really move the needle in terms of total value.” click here to read the story 19:25

Declared unfit for human or animal consumption – Eighty tons of contested Bristol Bay salmon trashed in Anchorage landfill

Some 158,318 pounds of highly contested Bristol Bay salmon from the F/V Akutan have reached their final destination: the Anchorage landfill. This summer, the custom processor was supposed to process up to 100,000 pounds of salmon a day for Bristol Bay Seafoods LLC, a small group of fishermen. But nearly everything that could go wrong did. The vessel’s owner went broke, the crew wasn’t paid, and when 158,318 pounds of fish came off the boat in early September, the third-party testing group NSF declared it unfit for human or animal consumption. click here to read the story 09:17

‘Time is of the essence’: California Fisheries face uncertainty

State regulators and fishing officials said at a Eureka hearing on Friday that only by working together can they overcome the trials and uncertainty that several California’s fisheries face today. With a poor salmon catch in 2017 and 2016 and a potential delay in the North Coast Dungeness crab season following three years of poor landings and abnormal ocean conditions, Pacific Coast Federation of Fishermen’s Associations Executive Director Noah Oppenheim said fishing fleets are still feeling the economic effects and that time to address the underlying issues is running slim. click here to read the story 08:46

Salmon in the history of the Pacific Northwest

Lewis and Clark’s interpreter and guide Sacagawea was a “Salmon Eater.” That’s what they called her tribe of Lemhi Shoshone Native Americans, a nomadic band who lived in Idaho’s Lemhi River Valley and along the upper Salmon River — their descendants today living mostly on the Fort Hall Indian Reservation near Pocatello. Sacagawea’s tribe was made up of the Agaidikas or Salmon-Eater Shoshone and the Tukidikas. Sacagawea belonged to the Agaidikas. Food was almost always a big challenge for Lewis and Clark’s Corps of Discovery expedition. click here to read the story 19:43

2017 Commercial Salmon Harvest Summary

The Alaska Department of Fish and Game (ADF&G) has compiled preliminary harvest and value figures for the 2017 Alaska commercial salmon fishery (PDF 130 kB). Although there are still fish being caught, the majority of 2017 salmon fisheries have ended. The 2017 commercial salmon fishery all species harvest was 224.6 million wild salmon with an estimated preliminary exvessel value of $678.8, a 66.7% increase from 2016’s value of $407.3 million. Of this total, sockeye salmon again came in as the most valuable species, accounting for 48% of the value at $326.1 million and 23% of the harvest at 52.4 million fish. click here to read the press release 14:56

Do humans have it wrong? Treating salmon as commodity may threaten their wild existence

As once-uncountable Northwest salmon stocks have dwindled, humans have tried a number of remedies to bolster or replace the disappearing fish. We’ve caught them at dams and trucked and barged them past obstacles. When the fish return home, we strip them of their eggs, fertilize them in buckets and grow new generations of baby salmon in hatchery raceways. But what if humans have it all wrong? What if those efforts are not just not working, but actually reducing the salmon’s odds of survival? What if hatchery fish do more than just dilute the genetic fitness of the wild, native salmon that evolved to live and spawn in particular conditions in specific stretches of individual streams? click here to read the story 16:00

Drought years cut North Coast salmon population

Soon after the commercial salmon season opened on Aug. 1, Chris Lawson steered his 53-foot boat named Seaward out of the marina at Bodega Bay into ocean waters where he figured chinook salmon would travel. He spent the day trolling, his lines carefully prepared to entice the spirited, iridescent fish. There were plenty of salmon, but mostly two-year-olds too small for a commercial fisherman to keep. Lawson shook off nearly 100 short fish from his lines and kept just seven longer than the minimum size — 27 inches. He snagged $9 a pound for 63 pounds, yielding $567 for the day’s work before fuel expenses and pay to one crew member, who gets 20 percent.,, “Seven hours, we had seven fish,” Lawson said. “You make a little bit of money. There were a lot of short fish,” said Lawson, interviewed alongside his boat on Aug. 10. “It looks better for next year. Recreational guys are having an OK season.” Their size limit is smaller. click here to read the story 14:43

Trump administration urged to avoid salmon protection rules

A group that represents farmers is calling the costs of saving imperiled salmon in the largest river system in the Pacific Northwest unsustainable and is turning to the Trump administration to sidestep endangered species laws. The Columbia-Snake River Irrigators Association wants the government to convene a Cabinet-level committee with the power to allow exemptions to the Endangered Species Act. The irrigators association is frustrated with court rulings it says favor fish over people, claiming the committee could end years of legal challenges over U.S. dams on the Columbia and Snake rivers and bring stability for irrigators, power generators and other businesses that rely on the water. click here to read the story 18:12

Commercial salmon season finally arrives in the Bay Area

At Monterey Fish Market on Pier 33, one San Francisco fisherman alone brought in 300 pounds of salmon on Tuesday, the first day of the Bay Area commercial salmon season. That haul was, in co-owner Tom Worthington’s words, a good omen for the much-delayed start of the season. Yet it’s still too early to say what the rest of the season, which wraps up Sept. 30, will bring.,,, According to Larry Collins of the San Francisco Community Fishing Association, the larger fishing boats he works with report getting 20 to 50 medium-size fish a day. Most boats won’t come back for a few more days, so salmon probably won’t start showing up in the markets until the weekend. Those on the water reported calm seas and low winds. click here to read the story 08:23

Limited salmon numbers, sea lion population making tough season for fishermen

Governor Brown, along with Governor Jerry Brown of California, recently submitted a request to U.S. Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross for a declaration of a “catastrophic regional fishery disaster,” and a commercial fishery failure. The request comes after the National Marine Fisheries Service closed the southern half of the Oregon coast to commercial salmon fishing to protect dwindling stocks of Chinook salmon on the Klamath River. “When you look at the Klamath situation, it affects fisheries all up and down the coast,” said Steve Fick, who owns Fishhawk Fisheries in Astoria. Executive Director of the Port of Astoria Jim Knight said the south coast closure will likely mean more fishing boats competing for limited numbers of salmon on the north coast. click here to read the story 08:09

Copper River salmon return may not be huge, but at least they’re en route

After a long hard winter, Alaska’s commercial salmon fishing season officially gets underway in less than two weeks. The first big fishery for sockeye and king salmon is set for May 18 at Copper River, and the town of Cordova is buzzing, said Christa Hoover, executive director of the Copper River/Prince William Sound Marketing Association. “The mood changes at the start of May with all the folks back in town and boats going in and out of the water,” she said. Enthusiasm among the fleet of more than 500 drift gillnetters has not been dampened by a reduced harvest projection. Fishery managers expect a Copper River salmon catch this season of just 889,000 sockeyes, 4,000 kings and 207,000 coho salmon. “Regardless of the forecast from one year to the next, fishermen just want to have their nets in the water. It’s what they do and they are ready to go,” Hoover said. click here to read the story 08:34

It’s good business to keep Bristol Bay protections

Regulations are in the crosshairs in Washington, D.C. these days. Those elected officials and appointed agency leaders have been clear in their goal to get rid of regulations they say are blocking jobs and economic activity. I humbly suggest that in this flurry to slash red tape, one Environmental Protection Agency protection should stay in place: the one protecting the Bristol Bay fishery in Alaska from the controversial Pebble Mine. I guarantee you the EPA’s plan to restrict mine waste disposal in Bristol Bay waters protects jobs and economic activity: those of my family and the 14,000 others who rely on our nation’s most valuable salmon fishery. In fact, we Alaskans call the sockeye salmon that return to Bristol Bay in their annual spawning runs “red gold.” Bristol Bay is the largest wild salmon fishery remaining anywhere in the world. For thousands of years, those fish have represented not just survival, but wealth. continue reading the op-ed here by Kim Williams 09:08