Legislative Fisheries

The Alaska House special committee on fisheries will meet Oct. 19 at the Dena-ina Civic and Convention Center in Anchorage to discuss salmon management in the Arctic-Yukon-Kuskokwim region of western Alaska. Committee chairman Steve Thompson, R-Fairbanks and Rep. Bob Herron, D-Bethel, have scheduled two and a half hours for the session, which will be teleconferenced, at the request of constituents with concerns about management of those fisheries. Herron said information gathered would be provided to appropriate legislative subcommittees in the Alaska House and Senate to possibly implement management and funding changes. Herron said there are a number of concerns, from changing ocean conditions to high seas intercepts of salmon and international salmon treaty obligations voiced by constituents related to management of both commercial and subsistence fisheries. The anxiety level is particularly high because of the economy, and ever increasing cost of fuel for residents who need to make sure they have the resources to feed their families over the winter months, he said. The agenda calls for the Alaska Department of Fish and Game to present an overview of its management and funding for the region’s salmon fisheries, followed by constituent comments. Community involvement in management decisions and monitoring and cooperative research and monitoring are also on the agenda.