Wednesday, July 16, 2014

MSC Certifies 13 West Coast Groundfish Trawl Fisheries

Thirteen groundfish trawl fisheries in waters of the exclusive economic zone off of the US West Coast have been certified as sustainable by the Marine Stewardship Council, an independent non-profit organization based in London.

MSC made the announcement in its international newsletter on July 11, saying these fisheries were certified in early June.

The fisheries include arrowtooth flounder, chilipepper rockfish, Dover sole, English sole, ling cod, longnose skates, longspine thornyheads, petrale sole, sablefish, shortspine thornyheads, splitnose rockfish, widow rockfish and yellowtail rockfish.

Harvesters in these limited entry commercial fisheries work in the Pacific exclusive economic zones off of Washington, Oregon and California between the southern Canadian exclusive economic zone border and the northern Mexican exclusive economic zone border.

Limited entry fisheries limit the number of vessels allowed to participate in the fishery, and these fisheries are divided into limited entry bottom and pelagic trawl and limited entry longline, traps and pots.

The harvest competes in both the fresh and frozen product markets, on a global scale with similar species from other regions of the world, and with other fish species, such as salmon and tuna.

MSC also announced that it is in the final stage of a two-year review of its fisheries standard, a process that the organization said has included fisheries managers, marine biologists, environmental organizations, governments and commercial partners.

Results of the review will help shape the new MSC fisheries standard and certification requirements, which are to be launched in October, MSC officials said.

The process has helped MSC ensure that its fisheries standard reflects the latest fishery science and management, and that it draws from the expert knowledge of the MSC’s diverse range of global stakeholders, organization officials said.

Congress Considers Limits on EPA Regarding Clean Water Act

A congressional subcommittee has begun hearings on legislation that could limit the authority of the Environmental Protection Agency to deny or restrict use of a defined area for specific purposes, including mining.

HR 4854, the Regulatory Certainty Act, had its first hearing on July 15 before the House Subcommittee on Water, Resources and the Environment. The session was chaired by Rep. Bob Gibbs, R-Ohio, the bill’s sponsor.

Gibbs’ bill would amend the Federal Water Pollution Control Act to clarify when the EPA has the authority to use section 404 of the Clean Water Act to deny or restrict use of defined areas for specific purposes.

In his opening remarks, Gibbs criticized the EPA for “setting itself up as the ultimate manager of land use and economic development in the nation.

“This is an example of government that thinks it has no limitations on its power,” Gibbs said. The legislation, which would have to make its way through the full House and then the Senate, is already drawing criticism from Trout Unlimited and United Tribes of Bristol Bay, the tribal body that asked the EPA several years ago to protect the Bristol Bay watershed from adverse affects of mining.

Tim Bristol, director of Trout Unlimited’s Alaska Program, noted that no Alaskan witnesses were called to testify, Instead the subcommittee called to testify representatives of the National Mining Association, U.S. Chamber of Commerce, the American Road and Transportation Builders Association, Associated General Contractors of America and two law professors from colleges in Virginia and Vermont.

HR 4854, said Bristol, “would prevent the EPA from carrying out its ability granted by the Clean Water Act to protect the world class fisheries of Bristol Bay.”

Robert Heyano, a veteran commercial fisherman from Dillingham who is president of United Tribes of Bristol Bay, said his organization was “frustrated and disappointed that no Bristol Bay residents were invited to testify at the committee meeting as they discuss upsetting the effort we requested to help protect our salmon and livelihood when the state of Alaska turned its back on us.

“The state elected to pursue short-term industry profit over the desires of thousands of Alaska Natives who depend on healthy Bristol Bay fisheries for subsistence and livelihood. Now members of Congress are attempting to follow suit and remove our last hope of saving our salmon from short-sighted mining in our home waters,” Heyano said.

Opinion: From the Fleet – Plan Addresses Workforce Needs of Alaska's Maritime Industry

By Kris Norosz, Julie Decker and Doug Ward

With our massive land endowment and bragging rights as the largest state in the nation, it’s easy to lose sight of an important fact – Alaska is a maritime state.

We have more miles of coastline than all other US coastal states combined. Alaska’s Arctic coast makes the US an Arctic nation. We share international maritime borders with Russia and Canada. Our location in the North Pacific makes Alaska the strategic lynchpin for logistical, security and economic activity between North America, Europe and Asia. And our only designated National Highway System connector is the Alaska Marine Highway System.

The sectors that drive our economy are dependent on direct maritime activity and support.

The waters off Alaska’s shores produce more than 60 percent of the nation’s seafood harvest. Significant amounts of oil and gas are produced offshore. Communities and consumers depend upon marine lines for fuel, durable goods and consumer products. In fact, more than 90 percent of all goods arrive on a ship. Ferries, cruise ships and personal watercraft ply our waters filled with commuters, fishers, and sightseers, generating hundreds of millions of dollars annually to Alaska’s economy.

Alaska depends on maritime infrastructure to facilitate all of this economic activity. There are 95 ports and harbors in 60 different locations with more than 10,700 mooring slips in our state.

Keeping the fleet shipshape creates opportunities to provide shore-side support in the form of marine electronics, boatlifts, supplies and gear. Also, let’s not forget the building and repairing of ships and boats suitable for our waters in Alaska’s shipyards and drydocks.

Are you beginning to see the picture?

Seafood harvesters, seafood processors, marine occupations, support industry jobs, and research, enhancement and management – all recognize the need to address our critical and growing workforce shortages together. Which is why these groups, joined by five state agencies – Labor and Workforce Development, Fish and Game, Transportation and Public Facilities, Education and Early Development, and Commerce, Community and Economic Development – and the University of Alaska, worked hand-in-hand to develop a strategic plan to work together and support this important workforce.

While you won’t see “maritime industry” in any economics report, these sectors all work on or near the water. The workforce for these sectors must possess common skillsets and competencies.

A recent study found Alaska ranks third in the nation in per capita maritime jobs. Our state relies heavily on this workforce, estimated at nearly 70,000 jobs, to keep our economy sailing smoothly.

That’s why this group of industry, education and government representatives are working together to resolve shared challenges – an aging workforce, misperceptions about maritime career opportunities and difficulties in filling well-paying jobs – through the creation of a maritime workforce development plan.

The University of Alaska provided resources to guide the planning effort, hold stakeholder meetings and support development of the plan.

With its long commitment to Alaska and particularly the fishing industry, the Rasmuson Foundation leant support and vision to the process. The foundation was instrumental in convening industry, university and state leadership to support the planning process, and to adopt an expansive vision of maritime workforce development. This vision spans frontline occupational preparation to more advanced technical and middle skill careers, as well as professional and managerial opportunities.

Senator Lyman Hoffman and Representative Bryce Edgmon also provided leadership, support, and advice as the plan developed. We are grateful for their contributions.

After two years of research, assessment and analysis, the Alaska Maritime Workforce Development Plan is now available. Go to http://www.Labor.Alaska.Gov/MaritimePlan to download or read online.

The plan identifies 23 priority occupations across the four maritime sub-sectors. It also includes strategies to create a seamless workforce development system that will prepare Alaskans for these opportunities.

In reality, our work has just begun. Now we must work together to implement the plan, inform Alaskans about maritime job opportunities, align educational and training resources, and create new pathways of opportunity for maritime employers and workers.

Over the next few months salmon fisheries will be in full gear, visitors will flock to our shores, and Alaskans will take to the water for commerce, recreation and subsistence. As we enjoy the opportunities our maritime state provides, let’s also make a commitment to work together to build the strong, skilled maritime workforce that makes these opportunities possible.

Read the plan. Tell others, such as local educators and maritime business owners. Provide your thoughts and ideas to help us implement the plan. Alaska’s maritime legacy is vast and inspiring. Its future will be equally challenging and rewarding. It begins with educated, trained and experienced Alaskans engaged in marine transportation, maritime support services, marine resource and ecosystem management, and seafood harvesting and processing. Let’s get underway.

Kris Norosz is government affairs director for Icicle Seafoods and co-chair of the Fisheries Seafood Maritime Initiative. Julie Decker is a commercial fisherman and executive director of the Alaska Fisheries Development Foundation. Doug Ward is shipyard development director for Vigor Alaska and chair of the Alaska Workforce Investment Board.

Bristol Bay Harvesters Say Majors Offering $1.20 a Pound for Sockeyes

Commercial harvesters delivering to Bristol Bay processors have brought in more than 28 million salmon through July 15, and the going home price appears to be about $1.20 a pound, the same price paid by processors in 1998. That’s 30 cents less than the $1.50 base price announced for the same week a year ago.

While processors were unavailable to confirm those prices, the Alaska Independent Fishermen’s Marketing Association, and several individual fishermen, said they had learned that the major processors were paying $1.20 a pound, plus 15 cents for chilled fish.

AIFMA had no immediate comment on the price, but reactions elsewhere ranged from acceptance to disappointment.

“Everyone was thinking the price would go up a little bit,” said Bill Gardner, who delivers his fish to North Pacific Seafoods. “A lot of guys are still out fishing, but the season is winding down. We are happy with what we caught. We’ll do it again, I’m sure, but it’s always kind of a punch in the gut to get a big reduction in price.”

Gardner, who owns a boat repair business in the Seattle area, said he realized the processors have a lot to consider, and “the market place is the market place.

“If the Fraser River doesn’t come in, maybe we’ll get some price adjustments,” he said. Processors have a tough job going out on the market to sell the fish, he said.

Canadian fisheries officials have predicted that the Fraser River salmon run may be shaping up to be the biggest there in 100 years. Meanwhile, Russian fishery science officials were also forecasting a large run of red salmon.

Canadian and Russia forecasts notwithstanding, some fishermen said they were plainly disgusted.

Casey Dochtermann, fishing with his brother Shawn Dochtermann in Egegik, described the $1.20 a pound going home price as “a sucker punch to the gut.”

In what other industry do you see the price going down on product being delivered while the price of everything else is going up, asked Casey Dohtermann.

No matter what the fishermen are paid, sockeye salmon fillets sell all year long for $9.99 to $12.99 a pound, he said. Widespread rumors this past spring were that Silver Bay Seafoods, a relative newcomer to Bristol Bay, was writing contracts for $2 a pound, so many fishermen anticipated that they would make more than last year.

Statewide, fish harvesters in Alaska through July 15 had delivered to processors more than 61 million salmon, including 35.8 million sockeye, 20.5 million humpies, 4.6 million chum, 300,000 Chinook and 269,000 silvers.

For Prince William Sound, the preliminary catch to date is estimated at over 23 million salmon, including 19.3 million pink, more than 3 million red, 1 million chum, 10,000 king and 3,000 coho salmon.

Quotas Stable for Aleutian Islands Golden King Crab

When the Aleutian Islands golden king crab season opens on Aug. 15, the quota will remain at 6.29 million pounds, crab managers for the Alaska Department of Fish and Game said July 15. The fishery will close on May 15, 2015.

The same quota was applied for the 2013-2014, and 2012-2013 seasons.

For waters east of 174 degrees west longitude, the individual fishing quota was set at 2,979,000 pounds, with the community development quota at 331,000 pounds, for a total of 3,310,000 pounds.

West of 174 degrees west longitude, the IFQ was set at 2,682,000 pounds, with an Adak community allocation of 298,000 pounds, for a total of 2,980,000 pounds.

Vessel registration was scheduled to begin on Aug. 12 at Dutch Harbor.

Fishermen were reminded to have a valid US Coast Guard commercial fisheries vessel safety decal, and an individual holding a 2014 Commercial Fisheries Entry Commission Aleutian Islands king carb interim use permit card must be on board at the time of registration.

Also at the time of vessel registration, all pots on board or in wet storage must be in compliance with current Aleutian Islands commercial golden king crab fishing regulations.

The National Marine Fisheries Service is seeking volunteers interested in testing electronic logbooks and willing to provide feedback for program improvements. Participants would not need to complete a paper daily fishing log. Minimum requirements on the vessel include a computer/laptop with Windows 7, a printer, and a USB drive. Internet access while at sea is not needed, as data is transmitted at the conclusion of each trip.

Those interested were asked to contact Suja Hall of NMFS at 1-907-586-7462, or via email at

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Nichols Bros. Celebrates 50 Years

By Chris Philips, Managing Editor

The first boat produced by the Nichols family was a tugboat. George "Mark" Nichols was an orchardist in Yakima, Washington in the 1930s. His 10-acre apple farm failed during the great depression, and in 1939 he moved his family South to the city of Hood River, Oregon, on the Columbia River, to build a tugboat with his brother, Luke.

Welding was one of many skills one acquired as a farmer, and Mark put that talent to good use, as he and his son Frank built the first Nichols Boatworks tugboat, the M/V Whale. That first boat established the commercial viability of a boatbuilding venture, and the brothers opened their Nichols Boat Works for business. There isn't much information on the Whale, but it was steel.

"Only steel," Current Nichols Bros. president Matt Nichols says. "Steel and later aluminum, of course. We never built fiberglass or wood boats."

From 1939 to 1964, The Nichols Boat Works built a series of steel tugs and fishing boats for the busy Columbia River. The brothers built tugboats for companies such as Shaver Transportation, Joe Bernert Towing Co., Brix Maritime, Brusco Tug and Barge, Smith Towing and Hendren Towboat Co.

The yard also produced steel fishing boats, a couple of pleasure craft and some passenger vessels, as well as several ferries including the ferry Wahkiakum, for Wahkiakum County, which runs between Cathlamet, Washington and Westport, Oregon.

In 1962, Mark's son, Frank Wilson Nichols, who had grown up building boats with his father and uncle, brought his wife and eleven children to Seattle to start his own business. He built his first boat, a steel fishing boat named Jenel, in Seattle's Ballard neighborhood. The 42-foot by 16.5-foot F/V Jenel, built for fisherman Jack Downing, was powered by a GM 6-71 diesel. Frank's son, Matt, was hired as a deckhand on the new boat, and fished in Alaska for four summers while he was in high school. On delivery of the Jenel in 1964, Frank Nichols bought a machine shop on a piece of land on Holmes Harbor, in Freeland, Washington on Whidbey Island.

"We all lived in that little shack for a while," Matt says. The company has always placed a value on its history and modest beginnings. For years, even after the yard had established itself as one of the top shipyards in the country, the old machine shop was a part of the operation. When the building was finally demolished in 1992 to make way for expansion of the yard, the front wall was kept and incorporated into the fence that surrounds the 14-acre facility.

The yard is actually separated from the water by a two-lane country road, Shoreview drive, which the yard's boats have to cross to reach the gently sloping launch site on the other side. After ten years of launching boats by rolling them down the gently sloping beach on specially-built cradles, Frank developed a hydraulically driven heavy mover, with crawler tracks, allowing the vessels to be driven into the bay, where they would float out of the cradles as the tide came in. The system allowed for the construction and launch of larger vessels, and worked so well that in 1991 it was updated to carry 2,500 tons.

In 1972, Frank's sons, Matt and his brother, Archie, took over the family business, along with brothers Mike, Nate, Luke, and Willie, with all the brothers working in the yard. Matt and Archie ran the business together until 1996, when Archie left to pursue other interests, and Matt bought out Archie's share in the company. One of their brothers, Luke, still runs the yard's machine shop, and Archie still consults on the occasional project.

"People are very important at Nichols," Matt Nichols says. "Our reputation doesn't come just from the quality of the vessels we build, but the people who build them." Nichols currently employs 252 shipyard craftsmen, which is considered full employment for the yard, although Matt Nichols notes that some projects have required hiring extra workers. "We were at about 375 crew at one point when we were building the Empress of the North and the X-Craft," he says, noting that the crew is trained in the trades with private classroom instruction every Tuesday and Thursday night. The company pays all the training costs, and is so successful that many other companies try to hire the highly trained Nichols employees away.

The training is certified by the State of Washington to rigorous standards, and the skilled aluminum craftsmen participate in continuing education classes to perfect their trades. Long-time Nichols craftsmen earn overtime to train the new employees. Currently, all of his employees live on Whidbey Island.

Matt Nichols' sons make up the latest generation of Nichols boatbuilders. Bryan Nichols, who managed sales for Nichols Bros for many years, now serves as Director of Sales at Vigor Fab. Justin Nichols, who earned a degree in industrial engineering, built boats on his own before hiring on at Nichols Bros. as production manager. Younger brother, George Nichols, works at the yard as a draftsman with 10 years of experience.

"It was awesome growing up with the yard," Bryan Nichols says. "As kids we spent a lot of time painting cranes, sweeping the yard – we had a lot of work." He says along the way they learned a lot about boats. "You end up learning so much about equipment, about machinery, and you don't even realize what you're learning at the time."

Bryan enjoyed meeting the customers and watching his father, Matt, sell boatbuilding and repair projects. "I learned negotiation and sales tactics from the master," he jokes.

He and his older brother, Justin, worked under multiple people at the yard each summer. "In the winter I would work a few hours after school, cleaning up the machine shop or something, and in the summer I was always working in the yard as an apprentice to someone," he says.

"In college I started working nights with my dad helping with estimates and proposals, and I would go to school during the day. Pretty soon it developed that I was working for him during the day and going to school at night."

Bryan says he's fortunate to love what he does. "Being able to stay in the industry has been a real treat," he says. "People get into this industry accidentally and kind of fall in love with it."

The fishing boats built by Nichols Bros. have included gillnetters, seiners, trawlers and crabbers, while the tugboats produced by the yard have run from standard line-haul boats to shallow-draft vessels for service in shallow Alaskan rivers, articulated tug and barge units, and modern tractor tugs for ship assist and escort work.

"Nichols is a great bunch of guys that work hard," says Gunnar Ildhuso, Jr., President of Ildhuso Fisheries and owner of the combination crab, pollock and whiting boat F/V Gun-Mar. "It seems like everybody on the Island works for them."

Ildhuso had the Gun-Mar built at Nichols Bros. in 1981. The 137-foot boat had 3,400 square feet of deck space and a hold capacity of 11,500 cubic feet. The 1,700-HP boat was capable of 12 knots, fully loaded.

In 1993, Ildhuso brought the boat back to Nichols for a two six-foot sponsons and a 40-foot mid-body extension. "Nichols had the mid-body built and ready for us when we finished the season," Ildhuso says. The modifications increased the deck size to 6,000 square feet and the hold capacity to 23,200 cubic feet, while maintaining a fully laden speed of 12 knots from the same 1,700 HP.

"We got the boat into the yard, and they did the work and it was ready in time for the next season," Ildhuso says. "I think it's a real well-run yard."

Matt Nichols says the yard performs quite a bit of maintenance and modification work. "A lot of our customers come back to the yard where the boat was built. We'd actually like to do more repair," he says. "With our yard at Freeland and our dock at Langley, we can do topside repairs and dockside work as well as haul-out projects."

One of the hallmarks of the company is diversity. Along with fishing boats and tugboats, Nichols Bros. has built a series of high-speed aluminum passenger vessels.

"We're operating three Nichols boats," says Greg Bombard, President of Long beach, California-based Catalina Express.

"We've got one newbuild – a great boat, the Jet Cat Express, and we've bought two other vessels through them," he says. "One that they had out on charter, and another one that came in as a trade-in."

Bombard worked closely with Nichols to develop vessels that would transport passengers in comfort across the channel to Catalina Island. The Nichols-built boats feature amenities like full ride control systems for stability, modern navigational systems, airline-style cabin seating, panoramic viewing windows, and on-deck seating.

"We've always worked well with Nichols Bros." Bombard says, "and those vessels have been great additions to our fleet."

Nichols Bros. has built paddlewheel riverboats, some military craft, a fireboat, research vessels, a pilot boat and patrol craft.

Nichols also builds great tour boats, according to Don Wicklund, the Port Captain for Seattle's Argosy Cruises. Argosy operates a fleet of nine tour boats around Seattle and Puget Sound, including several Nichols Bros.-built boats.

"We love Nichols," he says. Wicklund was a captain for Argosy in 1976 when the company was approached by Archie and Matt Nichols. "Nichols Bros. had an opening, and they wanted to keep the crew working," Wicklund says. "They offered us a great price, so we asked them to build us a boat like the Goodtime," he says. "They built the Goodtime II in two and a half months." The 250-passenger vessel has since seen continuous service along the Seattle waterfront. It was followed by several other Nichols boats, including the Goodtime III and Spirit of Alderbrook, and most recently the Royal Argosy, built in 1999 as a luxury dinner cruise boat. The 180-foot Royal Argosy was designed to evoke the era of the Seattle "mosquito fleet" of steamships that dotted Puget Sound at the end of the 19th century. The dinner cruise boat can accommodate up to 800 passengers, or seat 336 for a unique dining experience provided by professional chefs working in three full-service galley/kitchens.

"They're a great boatbuilder," Wicklund says, noting that the yard's attention to detail reduces maintenance costs and makes for a well-built boat.

"One of the things they do has to do with the skip welds," he says. A skip weld is an intermittent weld, used to reduce distortion in welded plate. "Where they skipped the weld, they caulk all the seams," he says. "That keeps water out and reduces or eliminates rusting in those seams."

Wicklund appreciates that the yard is close to Seattle, and the crew is easy to work with, but mostly, he says, "They take it to the next step- they do that 'one more thing' to make a boat that lasts many more years."

A recently completed Nichols boat is the 100-foot ship-assist tug M/V Delta Audrey, currently undergoing sea trials at the company's Langley facility before being delivered to San Francisco's Bay Delta Navigation. The boat is actually the sixth such vessel the company has had built by Nichols Bros., and Bay Delta's Operations Manager Peter Zwart, who has overseen construction of the whole series, is very happy with this latest boat.

"The boat looks great," he says. "I must say, this might be the best boat of the six."

Zwart says he's very happy to work with Nichols Bros. "This island has a bunch of excellent crafts people," he says. "For example, the welding is excellent- they do a really nice job, and they take pride in their work."

Zwart says he has built relationships and friendships with the crew at the yard, and that much of the quality comes from the management. "The price is fair- you get what you pay for. Matt Nichols is very approachable and easy to deal with," he says.

In 2007, Nichols Bros. was acquired by an investment firm and re-incorporated as Ice Floe, LLC. dba Nichols Bros. Boatbuilders. Matt Nichols remains the company's CEO, and in 2011 Gavin Higgins was appointed COO of Nichols Brothers, tasked with the oversight of the engineering, production, project management, purchasing and facilities departments.

Over the course of the yard's history, Nichols Bros. has reached many significant milestones. The construction of a high-speed aluminum catamaran for the US Navy's Office of Naval Research demonstrated the yard's technical expertise. Known as the X-Craft (Littoral Surface Craft-Experimental), the 262-foot by 72-foot Sea Fighter (FSF 1) is powered by a combined diesel or gas turbine (CODOG) engine configuration consisting of two MTU 595 diesel engines and two General Electric LM2500 gas turbines. The diesels can power the ship for long-range cruising, while the gas turbines allow the X-Craft to reach 55 knots in calm seas and more than 40 knots in sea state four. Ramps allow for roll-on/roll-off loading of equipment, and the flight deck can accommodate two helicopters. 

Another unique vessel shows the other side of Nichols Bros. The 360-foot paddlewheel cruise boat Empress of the North showcases the high level of finish the yard puts into its vessels. The 235-passenger Empress was built in 2003, and is currently taking passengers on 3- to 7-day trips on the Columbia River. CEO Matt Nichols recently returned from a cruise on the elegant vessel.

"I'd forgotten what a nice boat she is," he says. "I was invited to speak about her at the beginning of the trip, and for the rest of the cruise people were complimenting me on the boat.

That sentiment is echoed by commercial customer Peter Zwart, of Bay Delta Navigation, who says he really likes the way the yard builds his boats. "We'll go with Nichols on the next boat, too," he says. That's a nice recommendation to kick off the next 50 years.

Harvest of Alaska Sockeyes and Humpies Exceeding Forecasts

A bountiful harvest of sockeye and pink salmon far exceeding forecasts is being delivered by commercial fishermen to processors in Bristol Bay and Prince William Sound, and the fish just keep on coming.

Statewide, the preliminary harvest total on July 9 stood at 47,666,000 salmon, including nearly 28 million sockeyes, 16 million humpies, 3.7 million chum, 227,000 chinook and 196,000 coho.

In the famed Bristol Bay sockeye salmon fishery, which had a preseason harvest forecast of 16.86 million fish, harvesters had delivered in excess of 21 million fish.

 “It’s early enough in the season so that we could see another good push of fish,” said Travis Elison, at the Alaska Department of Fish and Game’s office in King Salmon.

Through July 9, harvesters for the Naknek-Kvichak had delivered 10.3 million sockeyes to processors, including 1.1 million fish on July 3 and 1.2 million fish on July 4. Since July 4, daily harvests had dropped to under one million fish, and the catch could come back up or continue to decrease, Elison said.

Other Bristol Bay preliminary harvest totals through July 9 included 5 million reds for Egegik District, 5.2 million reds for the Nushagak, 89,000 for Togiak and 497,000 for Ugashik.

Some permit holders who had started in the Egegik district had moved on to the Naknek-Kvichak’s more abundant runs, so that the spread of permits being fished included 629 permits for the Naknek-Kvichak, 334 permits in the Nushagak, 309 permits for Egegik, 85 permits in the Ughsik and 61 permits for Togiak.

The seine fleet in Prince William Sound was hauling in so many humpies that Alaska Department of Fish and Game biologists were having a hard time keeping the harvest numbers updated, said Tommy Sheridan, the state’s area seine manager.

The pink salmon season catch through July 9 was nearing 14 million fish, compared with the preseason forecast of just under 13 million fish, and Sheridan said that including common property and hatchery cost recovery fish, biologists now expected the overall harvest to exceed 20 million humpies.

While the peak has passed for the Copper River district, drift fleet harvests had slowed but kept on coming, with 1.85 million sockeye, 42,000 chum, 10,000 kings and fewer than 1,000 pink and silver salmon delivered.

Cook Inlet’s harvest reached 639,000 salmon, up from 244,000 fish just a week earlier, mostly sockeyes harvested in the central district of Upper Cook Inlet.

The harvest for the Southeast region stood at 2.3 million salmon. On the Alaska Peninsula, the catch exceeded 2.5 million salmon, including 1.8 million reds, and at Kodiak, 1.4 million salmon, including 1.2 million reds, had been delivered to processors.

FN Online Advertising