Proposals on topics ranging from optimum escapement goals for for Chinook salmon in the Copper River to a community subsistence salmon permit and a sea cucumber fishery are on the table for the Alaska Board of Fisheries meeting Nov. 30-Dec. 6 in Cordova.
The package includes 20 shellfish subsistence and commercial proposals, including several from Cordova District Fishermen United in support of the sea cucumber fishery and a golden king crab fishery, both in Area E, as well as several seeking changes in hatchery management plans to reduce straying of hatchery produced salmon who compete with wild salmon in river systems.
For upriver there are 28 proposals directly impacting fisheries, including nine calling for restrictions to dipnetting. Proposal 5, from the Kenai River Sportfishing Association, calls for establishment of an optimal escapement goal for Copper River kings, and is seen as likely to take up the most time and discussion.
KRSA’s proposal contends that a precautionary escapement goal is necessary for Copper River kings because the aggregate goal is unlikely to provide adequate protection for dozens of populations in this large, diverse basin.
A proposal from Ahtna Tene Nene would prohibit dipnetting from a boat in the Upper Copper River District to help increase brood stock to the Gulkana Hatchery, which has not had enough brood stock to meet its egg take needs since 2014. The increased number of dipnetters from boats since 2010 and large numbers of fish each subsistence dipnetter can harvest may be contributing to depletion of some smaller stocks, according to the proposal sponsor.
Proposal 19 from CDFU calls for a reduction in the maximum harvest level in the Chitina Subdistrict personal use fishery when the Copper River commercial harvest is 50% below the 10-year average on June 1, while the Fairbanks Fish and Game Advisory Committee asks, in Proposal 21, to change the Chitina subdistrict personal use fishery to begin on June 1 rather than the current date of June 7.
Proposal 24 from the Alaska Department of Fish and Game would add bag and possession limits for Dolly Varden in the Prince William Sound freshwater finfish subsistence fishery.
The Native Village of Chenega is asking in Proposal 26 for a community subsistence salmon permit authorizing tribal members to harvest salmon for subsistence throughout the Southwestern, Eshamy, Coghill and Northwestern districts of Prince William Sound.
The Native Village of Eyak, in Proposal 28, recommends increasing limits of drift gillnet users in the subsistence fishery to 30 salmon for a household of one, 60 for a household of two and 10 more for each additional household member, on grounds that the Glennallen subdistrict subsistence fishery gets twice as many as that now.
NVE’s Proposal 29 urges use of drift gillnets to harvest salmon for subsistence throughout Prince William Sound concurrent with commercial fishing openers and on Saturdays from 6 a.m.-10 p.m.
The deadline for comment is Nov. 15. All proposals are online at cdv.tiny.us/proposals.