Thursday, December 10, 2009

Let's fix that Yukon River sonar, governor says

This just in from Gov. Sean Parnell:

Dec. 10, 2009

Gov. Parnell Proposes Funding to Improve Management of Western Alaska Salmon Stocks

ANCHORAGE — Gov. Sean Parnell today announced $1.3 million in proposed new funding for improved research and management of Western Alaska salmon stocks. The funding is included in the governor’s FY 2011 budget for the Alaska Department of Fish and Game (ADF&G).

"Western Alaskans depend on healthy salmon runs to feed their families and generate income," Gov. Parnell said. "These budget items will ensure ADF&G has the tools to accurately estimate returns and provide the maximum possible harvest opportunity consistent with sustainability."

Capital projects include funding for genetic analysis of Western Alaska salmon stocks to improve understanding of the distribution of Western Alaska stocks, funding for aerial surveys of Yukon River chum salmon to examine changes in distribution along the river, and funding to improve operations at Pilot Station Sonar. The sonar funding will allow ADF&G to determine the extent to which the sonar may be undercounting fish and to improve the accuracy of salmon return estimates. ADF&G will also conduct extensive site surveys to determine if relocating the sonar would improve accuracy.

Operating budget items include funds for genetic analysis of Yukon River Chinook salmon to allow ADF&G to determine the origin of stocks harvested in the Yukon fisheries, which can improve management decisions. Funding is also included for a statewide project to estimate and monitor subsistence harvests to determine whether needs are being met.

Gov. Parnell continues to push for a federal fisheries disaster declaration for the Yukon River Chinook salmon fishery. If granted, the declaration would allow the state to work with the congressional delegation to pursue additional federal funding.


Anonymous said...

Well, anything is better than nothing, I guess. But western AK has always been treated as a stepchild when if comes to ADFG funding. A good start, but much, much more is needed than this (largely) one time shot of funds.

Anonymous said...

I agree with #1...while it's good that they're trying to get the lower yukon sonar figured out, there is much more to do. What about Norton Sound, with the Tier 2 around Nome and other subsistence closures at Unalakleet? This doesn't even address those issues. To top it off, I understand that ADFG is asking the FEDS to grant them $$ for a weir on the Unalakleet River. Kind of interesting, given the State's position on the FED review of subsistence policy. Still, the project is needed. And them some...

Anonymous said...

Great job Governor

Let's fix the problem where there is a problem, not this BS shotgun apprach the Feds have in mind

Unknown said...

If the Bering Sea Draggers would quit catching King Salmon in their nets, the Kings would swim up the Yukon River. There would be plenty for everybody then.
Please send the 1.3 million dollars to me in Haines Ak for figuring out how to increase the King run.
Randy Katzenmeyer, Haines, AK