Board of Fish meets in Kodiak Jan. 11-14 to consider 37 area-wide fishing regulation changes

 

The Board of Fish is set to meet in Kodiak Jan. 11 – 14 to take up Kodiak specific fisheries proposals.

KMXT’s Maggie Wall has this report.

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The Alaska Board of Fisheries makes regulations regarding fisheries in state waters. Commercial fishing, sports fishing, and state subsistence fishing.

 

“So the board has certain authorities. For instance, they might set the dates for fishing season, or they might close waters or open waters, you know. Fish is like game, it’s a public resource. And until you have the authority to go and take fish or to take game, you can’t do it. So the board of fish creates that authority for people to go participate in fisheries.”

 

That’s Glenn Haight, the Executive Director of the Fish Board.

While he admits making regulations may sound dry, the Fish Board has the potential to make decisions that directly affect the lives of those who depend on fish for commercial harvest or for the family table.

 

“And so, you know, it’s it. It may seem a little bit abstract, but the board can, for instance, limit sport fishing in a river to just one hook and no bait and that can dramatically impact how many fish you can catch. It can change the size of gear in a commercial fishery or not let a fishery occur in a certain spot and can dramatically impact the way or how much fish is caught. So it’s important it’s really important for everyone Want to pay attention.”

 

Sockeye salmon schooling in Hidden Lake. (Photo by USFWS/Katrina Mueller)

Haight offers some more examples of how the Fisheries Board actions affect Kodiak residents.

 

In commercial fisheries? I mean, this fish is your raw material, right, that you’re using to conduct your business and it can dramatically go away based on an action by the Board of Fish.

 

“And similarly for someone who loves sports fishing, who isn’t always dialed into what the board of fish is doing. And that sounds normal, we’re busy doing other things. They could just show up to their favorite stream one day and see it’s closed. So it’s, it’s important at least to pay attention to what the oard officials are up to when they’re when they’re operating in your region.”

 

There are 37 proposals covering Kodiak sports fish, groundfish and herring, and Aleutian Islands groundfish.

For instance, under sports fishing, the board will consider amending the boundaries of the Kodiak Road Zone salt waters, establish a sport fishing season for king salmon in the Dog Salmon River, and modify the area closed to sport fishing in the Monashka Creek drainage.

In addition, there is also a proposal to establish a management plan for the Kodiak Area rockfish sport fishery and a guideline harvest range for the Kodiak Area commercial rockfish fishery.

So how can you get involved and learn more about the regulations being considered that will affect Kodiak waters?

One way is to check out the Board of Fish website. Haight suggests checking out what’s called the ‘Roadmap’ to get an overview of which proposals would do what if approved.

Look over the agenda, review any of the proposals that might be of interest or may directly affect you.

And if you feel prompted to participate there is short lunch hour workshop before the meetings begin to coach you in how to testify and how the process works.

Click here to go to the “Road Map” to see list of 37 proposals for Kodiak area grouped by topic and fishery.

 

 

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