Tag Archives: salmon

Choppy Weather and Fishing Limits gets California salmon season off to slow, expensive start

Commercial fishing boats may only fish south from Pigeon Point on the San Mateo coast, instead of in the typical area open all the way to Mendocino County this time of year. Strict limits on this year’s salmon season were set by the Pacific Fisheries Management Council in consideration of what’s expected to be a smaller population of adult king, or chinook, salmon in the ocean this year. The geographic limitations and conditions are keeping local fishing boats in Monterey Bay for now, but some of the fish are making their way to the Bay Area. Sarah Bates came down to Monterey Bay from San Francisco with a crew member on her boat, F/V Bounty. “Everybody is in the bay because it’s the only place to hide from the afternoon wind,” The limited season means they don’t have much of a choice, Bates said. “We feel pressure to fish in bad weather where there’s so few days,” she said. “We’re pretty much going to go fishing no matter what.”  photos, >click to read< 21:09

SB 29: Setnet permit buyback bill moves from Senate committee

Without objection, the Senate Resources Committee advanced Sen. Peter Micciche’s Senate Bill 29 to the Finance Committee March 8; the bill authorizes the state to buy back nearly half of the upper Cook Inlet setnet permits on the Kenai Peninsula from any members. “We’re finally at the end of our rope. Fishing families that have been fishing the East Side of Cook Inlet for generations are at the end of their rope,” Micciche said to the committee. “We want some of those fishing families to remain viable and give those that choose to be bought out an opportunity to move to other fisheries or to retrain for another line of work.” >click to read< 09:59

“What if the dams came out?” – Snake River dams proposal draws accolades, criticism – It will take an Act of Congress

It’s a “pinch me, this is real” moment, said Amy Grondin. So when she heard Republican U.S. Rep. Mike Simpson of Idaho announce a proposal to breach all four Lower Snake River dams, infamous for blocking salmon passage, she saw a ray of hope. Titled the Columbia Basin Fund, the plan calls for replacing the dams’ hydroelectric energy production with other sources. The fund also would ensure that flood control, farm irrigation and grain transportation are addressed, all to the tune of $33 billion.  >click to read< 09:24

Alaskans pursue permanent protections for Bristol Bay

Robin Samuelsen still recalls his first meeting about the prospective Bristol Bay. It was around 2005 or 2006, in Dillingham, Alaska. Listening to an early plan for developing a copper and gold mine in the spawning grounds of Bristol Bay’s abundant salmon, this Curyung tribal chief and commercial fisherman quickly made up his mind. “You’ll kill off our salmon,” Samuelsen remembers saying, adding: “I’ll be up there to stop you.” >click to read< 09:25

GOP congressman pitches plan to breach Lower Snake River dams in new vision for Northwest, Salmon

Could Congressman Mike Simpson, a Republican from a conservative district in eastern Idaho, have launched a concept that will forever alter life on the Columbia and Snake — and finally honor tribal treaty fishing rights in the Columbia Basin? His proposal includes removing the earthen berms adjacent to all four Lower Snake River hydroelectric dams to let the river run free, to help save salmon from extinction, while spending billions of dollars to replace the benefits of the dams for agriculture, energy and transportation.,,, Simpson is careful to point out that what he has released is an overall concept that provides only broad spending targets for key initiatives. What he wants is a regional conversation about a new vision for the Northwest. What if we stopped debating whether the Lower Snake River dams are valuable, and recognize that they are, then figure out together how to replace those benefits? video, >click to read< 14:15

NOAA Fisheries reports on early pandemic impact on fisheries

NOAA Fisheries Friday, January 15 released a report on the economic impact on the seafood catch and recreational fishing nationwide and here in Alaska through last summer.,, Nationwide the commercial fishing industry started off 2020 with increases in revenue from seafood sales. But as the pandemic hit in March, that income dropped off 19 percent compared to the most recent five-year average. Those declines swelled to 45 percent by July. >click to read< 19:25

Some bright spots for high-value salmon, halibut in 2021

Following the trend of the last several years, the salmon forecast for the 2021 salmon season in Bristol Bay looks positive. The Alaska Department of Fish and Game is forecasting a total return of about 51 million sockeye salmon, with an inshore run of about 50 million. That’s about 6 percent better than the average for the last decade and 45 percent greater than the long-term average.,, Halibut outlook – Stock numbers in the Pacific halibut fishery are overall still declining, but there are individual bright spots in some regions. >click to read< 10:43

Plan will remove Klamath River dams, reopening the waterway along Oregon-California border

An agreement announced Tuesday paves the way for the largest dam demolition in U.S. history, a project that promises to reopen hundreds of miles of waterway along the Oregon-California border to salmon that are critical to tribes but have dwindled to almost nothing in recent years. If approved, the deal would revive plans to remove four massive hydroelectric dams on the lower Klamath River, creating the foundation for the most ambitious salmon restoration effort in history.  >click to read< 12:16

Coho swarm Willapa: Astounding run brings increased limits

An unexpectedly strong coho salmon return in the Willapa has fishery managers and biologists reassessing run size,,,. Willapa’s commercial gillnetters are hoping to get more fishing days this fall after early limits to avoid impacts on scarcer Chinook. Commercial fishermen are often the canary in the coalmine when it comes to reporting what’s occurring offshore. The first signs of a bigger-than-expected coho salmon run began showing up on the Port of Peninsula docks a couple weeks ago. >click to read< 18:28

Working Waterfront: Fifth-generation fisherman counts on sixth generation to take his place

Greg Veitenhans was destined to be a fisherman. His father fished, as did his father, going back five generations. And growing up in Gig Harbor, Veitenhans was surrounded by fishermen. “Back then everybody fished,” “When I was a kid that’s what you did; either you fished or you were too young to fish or you were too old to fish.”,,, He’s also fished up and down the West Coast for salmon, halibut, sardines, and squid, among other fish. Alaska has always been the go-to, however. “You can go to Alaska broke and you know you’re gonna come back with something. But you go to California broke, you may never come back; you may not have enough to even get home on,” Henry, now 20, first accompanied his father to Alaska at age 8, and has done so every summer since. Joey, now 18, began fishing at 10.  At first, the Veitenhans boys were under the impression that they’d be going off for a fun family vacation with their dad, before realizing that it entailed hard work in the wet, cold Alaska weather. Excellent story!!  >click to read< 15:42

Kuskokwim Bay Commercial Fishery Processing At Capacity

Seattle based E&E Foods is buying and processing the salmon on a ship anchored in Goodnews Bay. Chief Operating Officer Ken Eg says that the ship can handle 70,000 pounds of fish per day, and it’s often been buying more than that during recent openings. Eg said that about 70% of that poundage is sockeye salmon. The rest is divided between chum and kings, with coho expected to arrive by the beginning of August. The number of fishermen participating in the fishery has grown from 25 fishing the first openings, to 70. The majority are in Quinhagak, with the rest in Goodnews Bay. E&E wouldn’t disclose how much the fishermen are paid per pound of salmon, but called the price “competitive” and said that fishermen can get extra cash. >click to read<  12:05

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

More restrictions for Fraser River chinook fishermen

All but one of 13 Fraser River chinook populations assessed by the Committee on the Status of Endangered Wildlife in Canada are currently at risk. New restrictions this year include maximum size limits of 80 cm in southern marine recreation fisheries to help mitigate risks to larger females, and an expanded fishing closure off the mouth of the Fraser River. Additional closures have been added in the Strait of Georgia and Juan de Fuca Strait for protection of the Southern Resident Killer Whales. >click to read< 09:35

Big Bar Landslide: 99% of early Stuart sockeye, 89% of early Fraser River chinook salmon runs were lost

The officials with Fisheries and Oceans Canada told a Commons committee that 99 per cent of early Stuart and 89 per cent of early chinook salmon were lost. Rebecca Reid, the department’s regional director for the Pacific region, said salmon survival improved later in the summer when work started to transport fish past the slide, helping them reach their spawning grounds. It’s believed the massive landslide north of Lillooet, B.C., occurred in late October or early November 2018, but it wasn’t discovered until last June after fish had already begun arriving. Fisheries Minister Bernadette Jordan told the committee the volume of the slide was equivalent to a building 33 storeys high by 17 storeys wide. >click to read< 13:06

Gary Griggs – Salmon and squid

Salmon and squid both came on the radar this past week,,, These two marine animals have both shared some top billings in their importance to California’s commercial fishery in recent years, although there are significant year-to-year fluctuations. Calamari or market squid have been the number one fishery in tonnage caught, year after year… until last year. In typical years, 70,000 to 118,000 tons (118,000 is the allowable total catch) would be brought to the docks by the squid boats, making up consistently two-thirds of the entire commercial catch. >click to read< 10:46

In This Remote Town Spring Means Salmon, and Thousands of Fisherman From Coronavirus Hot Spots

Later this spring, Alaska’s Bristol Bay will blossom into one of the largest annual salmon fisheries in the world. The regional population of about 6,600 will triple in size with the arrival of fishermen, crews and seasonal workers on jets but also private planes and small boats, many traveling from out of state. And yet the heart of the health care system in southwestern Alaska, in a corner of the state where the Spanish flu once orphaned a generation, is a 16-bed hospital in Dillingham operated by the Bristol Bay Area Health Corp. Only four beds are currently equipped for coronavirus patients. As of Wednesday, the hospital had a few dozen coronavirus tests for the entire Florida-sized region, tribal leaders said. >Click to read< 14:16

Big Bar Landslide blasting resumes, In-river drilling and excavation underway.

The huge remediation project is jointly managed by Fisheries and Oceans Canada, the B.C. government and B.C. First Nations, who are guided by an Indigenous leadership panel. It involves equipment operators for excavators and rock trucks, drillers and blasters, rock scalers, emergency medical, river rescue and helicopter evaluation crews, environmental specialists and archeologists. “Blasting in waterways is not uncommon and the methods the contractor is using to drill and blast rock near and in-water are well understood,” the department said. more, >click to read< 12:02

Fishery Mismanagement?: Research suggests DFO worsened impact of salmon fishery crisis

Unifor has released a new report that says artificially low catch limits over the past 25 years pushed the West Coast salmon fishing industry to the brink, leaving it unable to cope with the 2019 crisis. “The federal government created a commercial fishing economy so precarious that when the salmon collapsed this year, the industry went with it,” said Jerry Dias, Unifor National President. “Commercial salmon fishing may never recover.” >click to read< and to read A Report to Governments on the 2019 Salmon Season  >click here< 13:18

The little known United States and Canadian border war

For the past 116 years, a disputed passageway off the Alaskan coast has spurred a war between the two neighbouring countries. Though the US and Canada have the longest undefended border in the world, Dixon Entrance is one of four long-running border disputes between the friendly neighbours. The roots of the quarrel date back to the 18th Century; a time when the colonising stakeholders in the Alaskan Panhandle region (the narrow strip of mountains, fjords and channel islands bordering modern British Columbia) were England and Russia, followed by the US. >click to read< 17:37

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