Salmon Hatcheries for Alaska is urging opposition to several proposals before the Alaska Board of Fisheries, because of concern of adverse impact to hatcheries. The meeting is scheduled for Dec. 10-13 in Seward, Alaska.
In a statement issued on Nov. 18, Salmon Hatcheries of Alaska spelled out its reasons for opposing six proposals, including Proposal 22, which the organization contends would change the entire dynamic of funding for non-profit salmon hatcheries in Alaska. The proposal urges the fisheries board to cap or otherwise numerically limit the amount of hatchery-produced fish returning to a hatchery that a hatchery operator could have for cost-recovery purposes. Such a limit, according to the proposal, would eliminate the unintended adverse consequences of hatcheries producing too many pink salmon solely for the purpose of fulfilling the hatchery’s revenue targets and enhancing depleted fish populations.
Salmon Hatcheries for Alaska also opposes Proposal 27 which would modify the Tutka Bay Lagoon Hatchery Management Plan by deleting the Halibut Cove subdistrict special harvest area from the plan for commercial enhancement and cost recovery. The proposal contends that the subdistrict lies within waters fully allocated for statutory park uses.
Halibut Cove Lagoon, on the south side of Kachemak Bay from Homer, Alaska, is a known nursery and reproductive area preferred by very valuable species like spot shrimp and crab. Chinook salmon have been stocked there using federal sport fish funds for four decades specifically for recreational users, the proposal read.
Salmon Hatcheries for Alaska contends that Halibut Cove has been a commercial harvest site for many years, that the site provides an opportunity for pink salmon harvest and that pink salmon are not detrimental to release of Chinook salmon smolt, since no Chinook have been released at Halibut Cove for two years and there are no future plans for their release.
Copies of all proposals on the Seward meeting agenda can be found online at https://www.adfg.alaska.gov/index.cfm?adfg=fisheriesboard.proposalbook#,fixed,,10