Saturday, August 26, 2023

Alaska Board of Fisheries Agenda Change Requests for 2023/2024 Cycle Posted

The 2023/2024 Agenda Change Requests (ACRs) have been posted. The 13 ACRs will be considered at the Board of Fisheries Work Session scheduled for October 12 & 13 at the Egan Center in Anchorage. Comments on ACRs are due September 27th, 2023.

ACR 2 submitted by the Fairbanks Advisory Committee to reduce South Peninsula June salmon fishing time would put Area M salmon back on the Board agenda for the 3rd year in a row. ACR 2 requests the Board to:

  • Conduct an out-of-cycle Area M Board of Fish review of the South Unimak and Shumagin Islands June Salmon Management Plan before the 2024 season.
  • Change management to specific windows and delete caps.
  • Consider  observer coverage for both the drift and seine fleets as well as point of delivery and within the processing plant.
  • Develop plan for securing run reconstruction numbers on the Kuskokwim River and increasing accuracy of numbers on the Yukon River.
  • Increase genetic sampling area and response time on analyses. 
  • Consider a new Area M management plan with an annual review.

ACR 1 would require set gillnet anchors and buoys to be removed from the water when not actively being fished.  

ACR 3 would reduce commercial salmon seine depth in the Southwestern and Unimak Districts.

ACRs 4, 5 & 6 address Bristol Bay salmon gear concerns.

ACR 7 addresses Yukon Commercial gillnet gear.

ACR 8 would restrict Copper River Commercial salmon fishing.

ACR 9 would change sport salmon fishing regs.

ACR 10 addresses Nushagak sport salmon fishery management.

ACRs 11, 12 & 13 address Southeast Alaska King salmon management.

The Board will only accept an agenda change request:

(A) for a fishery conservation purpose or reason;
(B) to correct an error in a regulation; or
(C) to correct an effect on a fishery that was unforeseen when a regulation was adopted;

If the Board accepts an ACR at the Work Session, it will then be scheduled for a regular meeting during the 2023/2024 meeting cycle. The regular meetings this cycle are scheduled:

  • November 28 - December 1 in Homer for Lower Cook Inlet Finfish
  • January 9 - 12 in Kodiak for Kodiak Finfish, and
  • February 23 - March 7 at the Egan in Anchorage for Upper Cook Inlet Finfish

Comments on Agenda Change Requests can be submitted here by September 27.

Tuesday, May 9, 2023

Alaska Legislature Confirms all Governor Dunleavy's Board of Fisheries appointees

 The Alaska Legislature met today in a Joint Session of the House and Senate to consider all the Governor's appointments to Boards and Commissions.

For the Board of Fisheries, Gerad Godfrey of Eagle River, Mike Wood of Talkeetna and Stan Zuray of Tanana were confirmed by unanimous consent. Greg Svendsen of Anchorage was confirmed by a vote of 53-7.

Monday, May 1, 2023

Alaska Senate Resources Committee Overview: Area M Fisheries Part II

 The Alaska Senate Resources Committee will hear the second part of an Overview: Area M Fisheries today May 1 @ 3:30pm. Invited testimony is scheduled by Kiley Thompson, Frances Leach, Brian Ridley, Curt Chanberlain and Virgil Umphenour. You can find the link to watch at 3:30 under the LIVE NOW tab at Kiley's presentation pdf can be found here. Frances' presentation is found here.

The Senate Resources Committee Overview: Area M Fisheries Part I, Friday April 28 with ADFG Commissioner Doug Vincent-Lang presentation pdf here, testimony video here.

Friday, April 28, 2023

Alaska State Senate Resources Committee to Hold Hearings on Area M Fisheries

Today April 28th the Senate Resources Committee will hold a hearing: Overview: Area M Fisheries Part 1. ADFG Commissioner Doug Vincent-Lang will give that presentation, hearing will begin at 3:30pm.

On Monday May 1 at 3:30 in Senate Resources will be Overview: Area M Fisheries Part 2, with Kiley Thompson, Frances Leach, Virgil Umphenour, Curt Chamberlain, Brian Ridley.

Alaska Legislators Introduce Bills to Close Area M Salmon Fisheries

On April 12th Senator Donald Olson of Golovin introduced Senate Bill 128 to close the June salmon fisheries in all of Area M. The bill was referred to Senate Judiciary and Resources committees. Senator Kawasaki added on as a co-sponsor April 14th and the Senate Judiciary Committee held a hearing on SB 128 April 21st.

At the April 21 hearing on Senate Bill 128, Committee Chair Claman made several points: His office has received more calls and emails on SB 128 than on any other bill during his 9-year tenure on the Senate. The Senate Judiciary Committee will not close the public hearing on the bill until “all who wish to testify are given an opportunity to testify.”  Chairman Claman recognized that there are constitutional questions raised by SB 128, and given the few days left in this year’s regular session, SB 128 is unlikely to get another hearing before the legislature adjourns. Members of the public should continue to submit comments to but avoid sending multiple emails.
The Senate Judiciary Committee heard limited testimony of just 20 members of the public at the April 21 hearing, 15 of those 20 from across the state were opposed to SB 128.

On April 26th Representatives Cronk, McCormick, Stapp, Foster, and Tomaszewski sponsored the introduction of House Bill 180, which was referred to House Fisheries and Resources committees. Senate Bill 128 and House Bill 180 are identical in language, and would close the ADFG Salmon Management Area M from June 10 through June 30 in 2023.

At this writing, House Bill 180 is not yet scheduled for a hearing.

Tuesday, December 20, 2022

Crab Fishery Closure - SBA Economic Injury Declaration Process

The State of Alaska is preparing a request to the SBA for them to declare an Economic Injury Disaster pertaining to the Bering Sea and Bristol Bay crab fishery closures. This disaster declaration would open up the SBA Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) program to affected businesses. The EIDL is a low interest loan program that would allow businesses in the affected areas to apply for a loan to help bridge any business expenses they would’ve otherwise been able to pay had the fishery not closed.

In order to make an economic injury declaration, at least five small businesses in a disaster area need to have suffered or expect to suffer substantial economic injury as a result of the disaster. The economic impact can be direct (in the case of commercial crabbers) or indirect (in the case of support businesses). This information is collected via an economic injury worksheet provided by the SBA (attached). Completing this worksheet does not make a business beholden to apply for a loan; it simply provides the SBA with evidence to declare this event an economic disaster, which will open it up for any affected businesses to apply.

The first step in this process is to identify the “disaster area”. Grace Beaujean from DCRA worked with ADF&G on initial identification of the areas of the state affected by the crab fishery closure. 

These are the 3 SWAMC areas where we need to collect 1 acceptable worksheet each:

1.      Pribilof Islands REAA

2.      Aleutian Region REAA

3.      Lake and Peninsula Borough, Aleutians East Borough, Bristol Bay Borough, Iditarod Area REAA, Kenai Peninsula Borough, Kodiak Island Borough, Kuspuk REAA, Southwest Region REAA

The SBA and DCCED have requested the help of the ARDOR’s to help get the needed information for the declaration.  Please forward or make public this request to all of your local business and fisheries organizations.  I would also recommend that an announcement be provided on your local radio station, local paper or community news board. 

I would suggest that any company who will realize financial losses due to the closure of the Bering Sea and/or the Bristol Bay Red King fisheries complete the Economic Injury Worksheet and submit it to by the end of December.  

DCCED is not sure of the timing for the SBA application deadline, so until that is determined please get your application in as soon as you can.  The applications will only show need for the SBA to open the EIDL program to affected business and fishermen, it is not to determine who gets the loans or not.  Without showing that there is a need in our region (and we are the most significantly affected region) the declaration may not be made.  I assume that there will be far more than 5 worksheets from these three regions submitted, and that will be helpful. I have sent this out to multiple stakeholders, but there are many more who do not provide email addresses to a manager/owner or operator.

Please contact me with any questions you may have, and I will get back to you as soon as I can.  This is a rare opportunity to quickly access a long-term, low interest loan to keep your business afloat in the next year.  The worksheet is simple and easy to fill out.

Shirley Marquardt

Southwest Alaska Municipal Conference

907-562-7380 office

907-538-9088 cell


Friday, July 8, 2022

Community Meetings with Alaska Board of Fisheries Today and Tomorrow

There will be a Sand Point community meeting Friday July 8th at 1PM in the AEB office building with Board of Fish members John Wood and Marit Carlson-Van Dort. 

There will be a King Cove community meeting Saturday July 9th at 1PM in the AEB office building also with Board of Fish members Marit Carlson-Van Dort and John Wood.

Please come to a community meeting to welcome & talk with these Board members.