Assembly Supports Salmon Enhancement Through Lake Fertilization


Maggie Wall/KMXT

Three of Kodiak Island’s major sockeye producing lakes are considered by some to be in a declining state of production, which could drag down the local salmon industry.

The Kodiak Island Borough Assembly at last week’s regular meeting voted to support a lake fertilization program which is hoped will boost production in the lakes.

KMXT’s Maggie Wall has more.

-((Boro Ass Supports Fertilization 5:54 "The Kodiak….OH Mayor Rick Berns."))

The Kodiak Island Borough Assembly voted to support both the idea of lake fertilization, and to financially support the Kodiak Regional Aquaculture Association’s effort to fertilize three lakes on the island’s west side. Assembly members will also lobby the legislature to get state funding for the project.

The project itself will require a lot of time and support from many sides before becoming reality. KRAA wants to increase sockeye runs in the Karluk, Frazer and Spiridon Lakes by feeding the tiny organisms down at the bottom of the food chain, with the hope of having more, fatter salmon at the top of the chain.

KRAA’s Gary Byrne explained the project to the assembly:

–((Gary Byrne on Karluk process))

The assembly voted unanimously to support the fertilization project.

Prior to the discussion, assembly member Sue Jeffrey pointed out a potential conflict of interest which Mayor Jerome Selby ruled was not really a conflict:

–((Sue Jeffrey and Jerome on setnet site))

When it came time to vote Jeffrey said it was important to support the salmon industry and the fishermen who voluntarily contributed to the KRAA efforts:

–((Sue Jeffrey on KRAA’s membership))

Assembly member Jerrol Friend said past fertilization projects have a track record of success:

–((Jerrol Friend on past projects))

Assembly member Dave Kaplan is a former biologist with the Alaska Department of Fish and Game:

–((Dave Kaplan an important project))

Speaking of the Fish and Game, Mayor Selby said a copy of the resolution was sent to Fish and Game ahead of last week’s assembly meeting:

–((Jerome on F&G can’t officially support project))

While the project received strong support from the assembly, there still is a long road ahead before it becomes reality.

KRAA’s Gary Byrne explained previously that this could be a long and arduous process because of the Kodiak National Wildlife Refuge and requirements for fertilizing lakes in the refuge.

However, borough support will go a long way to kick-starting the process. Assembly member Judy Fulp:

–((Judy Fulp on getting federal money while it’s still available.))

At the end of the meeting, Old Harbor Mayor Rick Burns thanked the assembly for its support of the fishing industry.

–((Rick Berns on the importance of Frazer))

Old Harbor Mayor Rick Berns.

I’m Maggie Wall.


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