BOF will consider PWS hatchery production

Copper River sockeye's rest on ice in a tote at the 60° North Seafoods dock on Monday, May 28, 2018. (Photo by Emily Mesner/The Cordova Times)

Additional hatchery production in Prince William Sound is the focus of a special meeting of the Alaska Board of Fisheries set for July 17 in Anchorage, prompted by an emergency petition from a sports fishing group on the Kenai Peninsula.

The board will consider whether to adopt emergency regulations to amend hatchery permit terms. Emergency petitions are good for 120 days.

The meeting was scheduled after the board received an emergency petition from the Kenai River Sportfishing Association on May 16 regarding additional hatchery production in Prince William Sound.

KRSA asked in its emergency petition for the fisheries board to emend actions taken in permit alternation requests made by the Prince William Sound regional planning team and deny an increase in the number of pink salmon eggs taken in 2018 by 20 million.

The petition contends that there is compelling science-based evidence of ocean competition issues of wild and hatchery-origin salmon and documented straying of hatchery-origin Prince William Sound pink salmon into Lower Cook Inlet.

Signers of the emergency petition include the Alaska Outdoor Council, Chitina Dipnetteres association, Kenai River Professional Guide Association, Southcentral Alaska Dipnetters Association, Alaska Sportfishing Association, Fairbanks Fish and Game advisory committee, Tsiu River Coalition and KRSA.

The meeting is open to the public.

Written comments are due by July 9. They may be mailed to Boards Support Section, P.O. Box 115526, Juneau, Ak 99811-5526, emailed to dfg.bof.comments@alaska.gov, or entered on the board’s main webpage, www.boardoffisheries.adfg.alaska.gov.

The board is not taking written comment or oral public testimony during this meeting.

Live audio stream of the meeting is intended to be available on the board’s website, www.boardoffisheries.adfg.alaska.gov

The agenda and other meeting documents, including the emergency petition, are online at http://www.adfg.alaska.gov/index.cfm?adfg=fisheriesboard.meetinginfo