BOF sets salmon hatcheries session for Oct. 16

Alaska Board of Fisheries officials are planning a special session on salmon hatcheries on Oct. 16 in Anchorage, to hear reports from the Alaska Department of Fish and Game, followed by a town hall style public forum with public participation.

A live auto stream will be available on the board’s website at www.boardoffisheries.adfg.alaska.gov

The special session will follow the board’s 2018-2019 work session. No regulatory action will be taken during the work session, where the board’s action will include considering and deciding whether to accept several agenda change requests, including two on hatchery issues.

The Kenai River Sportfishing Association’s ACR would prohibit the Valdez Fishery Development Association from incubating, rearing and releasing pink salmon resulting from additional egg take capacity permitted in 2018 and cap egg take capacity. Another ACR, from Virgil Umphenour, a former board member and chair of the Fairbanks Fish and Game Advisory Board, would cap statewide private non-profit salmon hatchery egg take capacity.

All ACRs to be considered at the October work session are posted online at http://www.adfg.alaska.gov/index.cfm?adfg=fisheriesboard.meetinginfo&date=10-15-2018&meeting=anchorage

The board discussed at its meeting this past March taking up hatchery issues during this work session and then revisiting the issue during its statewide meeting in March 2019 after release of the Alaska Department of Fish and Game’s statewide salmon enhancement report.

The work session is open to the public, but no oral public testimony will be taken. Written comments may be mailed to the board by Oct. 3 at Boards Support section, P.O. Box 115526, Juneau, Ak 99811-5526, emailed to dfg.bof.comments@alaska.gov, submitted on the boards webpage at www.boardoffisheries.adfg.alaska.gov, or faxed to 1-907-465-6094.

After Oct. 3 written public comments are limited to 10 single-sided or five double-sided pages in length from any one individual or group. Those comments will be accepted as record copies and inserted in board member workbooks at the start of the board meeting.

During the meeting, written public comments up to the equivalent of 10 pages from an individual or group may be submitted by hand delivery at any time if 22 copies are provided.

The fisheries board will also hold a joint protocol committee meeting with their counterparts at the North Pacific Fishery Management Council at the Egan Center on Oct. 17 to discuss issues of mutual interest. The committee last met in May 2014.

At this meeting the committee intends to discuss topics including the status of the council’s fisheries management plan development for Cook Inlet salmon in federal waters, the status of state management of Chinook salmon in Southeast Alaska, and Bering Sea Pacific cod abundance and management issues.

More items may be discussed as determined by the committee. An agenda is posted at http://www.adfg.alaska.gov/index.cfm?adfg=fisheriesboard.meetinginfo&date=10-17-2018&meeting=jointprotocol.

The joint protocol committee meeting is open to the public and there will be opportunity for written and oral public comment, BOF officials said.