Salmon Derby Winner

The 62nd Golden North Salmon Derby came to a close at 6 p.m. on Sunday, and Sheldon Winters’ 35-pound king was the unofficial winner.

Official results will be available after a verification meeting on Tuesday. Once the results are verified, Winters will win $15,000 in prize money for his fish.

Winters celebrated the win by going to the Squires Rest and buying a round of drinks for everyone in the bar.

“I’ve been fishing with these two fishing buddies for almost 25 years,” Winters said. “We’ve been through rain, wind, broken down boats. We have fished for a long time for this…

http://www.juneauempire.com/stories/081108/spo_317297338.shtml

The Battle Continues on Fishing Limits

A new method for counting fish by the International Pacific Halibut Commission has set off another round of debate among Alaska’s charter and commercial fleets and could have far-reaching effects for both industries. …”

http://www.homernews.com/stories/01022008/news_1_001.shtml 

Commercial fishermen in Southeast Alaska are still in an outcry over newly imposed fishing limits that cut their fishing take.  The fishing limits imposed in other areas are not cutting down on the catch amounts.  At least this article gives some information on the reasoning behind the halibut catch cuts.

 Learn more about halibut fishing in Alaska

More Controversy About Possibly Damaging Mine

“The gold mine proposed for this stunning open country might be the largest in North America. It would involve building the biggest dam in the world at the headwaters of the world’s largest sockeye salmon fishery, which it would risk obliterating. ”

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/12/24/AR2007122401915.html?hpid=topnews

It looks like the decision will be up to residents, as it should be.  The environmental effects of something so large are a big worry.  How can you put a huge mine into Alaska’s wild country without encountering some problematic side effects?  Hopefully whatever happens will not inflict damage on Alaska’s salmon stocks or fishing industry.

Find more info on Alaskan Salmon Fishing

Halibut Catch Cuts

Southeast Alaska’s halibut fishing industry will face a lower catch limit again this season if recommendations made this month by the International Pacific Halibut Commission stand.”

http://www.juneauempire.com/stories/122407/sta_20071224012.shtml

Limiting halibut fishing will help the industry in the longrun, but short term the cuts are tough on those in the industry.  The good news is that larger catches are allowed for other areas of Alaska, like Kodiak. 

Learn more about Alaska Halibut fishing

Less Waste but More Cost for Commercial Fishermen

“Large bottom-trawling vessels fishing off Alaska will be required to retain more of the fish they actually catch instead of throwing unwanted species overboard.”

http://www.adn.com/alaska/story/242662.html

It seems like a good idea to eliminate or lessen the waste caused by throwing away “lesser desirable” fish species, but execution for Alaskan fishermen may be something else.  What will happen to these fish if there’s no market for them? Let’s see how it plays out.

Learn more about Alaska fish species

Mining Threatens Alaskan Salmon

Bristol Bay in southern Alaska is one of the richest fishing grounds in the world. The rivers emptying into it are the spawning grounds for runs of Sockeye salmon millions strong. These runs of salmon and other fish support a huge commercial and sport fishing market, as well as large numbers of marine mammals.

The headwaters of two of these rivers, the Kvichak and the Newhalen, may be threatened by a proposed copper/gold/molybdenum mine, which if built as proposed, would be one of the largest mines in the world…

http://en.epochtimes.com/news/7-10-24/61142.html

Sport fishing is constantly being challenged with pollution and environmental damage.  A huge mine right by Bristol Bay sounds like it would have a big impact on the quality of local salmon.

Tighter Restrictions on Fishing in Cook Inlet Areas

The Alaska Department of Fish and Game, Sport Fish division on Tuesday announced several changes to area fishing regulations in lower Cook Inlet after the Alaska Board of Fisheries met in Homer this month. The regulations add a day of fishing and increase the limit of kings on the Anchor River and discontinue the practice of “tight-lining” in the Nick Dudiak Fishing Lagoon among others…

http://www.homernews.com/stories/11282007/sports_11_004.shtml

The increase to the limit on kings is good news for sportfishing.  Read the entire story for a full list of regulations.

How to Identify Alaska’s Silver Salmon

Alaskan silver salmon can easily be mistaken for king salmon if you don’t know how to differentiate the two salmon species.  Here are some tips for identifying Alaskan silver salmon:

  • 24 to 30 inches in length 
  • Bright silver sides
  • Deep green or gray-blue backs
  • Black spots on upper sides
  • White underbelly
  • 6 to 10 pounds in weight
  • Unlike Alaskan king salmon, silver salmon do NOT have black gums
  • Smaller tail than king salmon
  • Unlike kings, silver salmon have black spots only on upper tail and NOT on lower lobes of tail

When you know these features of silver salmon, you can easily tell one salmon from another.

Happy Fishing!

Find out more information on Alaska Silver Salmon Fishing

Crab Fishing Not So Deadly

Don’t believe the hype of “Deadliest Catch.” Alaskan crab fishermen have never been safer.

The unusual thing about the Discovery Channel’s announcement of the upcoming red king crab season and, more important, the filming for the next season of “Deadliest Catch,” was the date.

Sept. 25, 2007.

See it? No? Look again. That’s right, 2007. From the looks of it, the catch today still is pretty deadly.

But as is said, appearances can be deceiving…

http://seattlepi.nwsource.com/local/334861_needle10.html

It is interesting to read how the rationalization works.

Best Methods for Catch and Release

Many fishermen practice catch and release fishing in Alaska.  Unfortunately, 16% of fish die after being released.  To improve the odds that your catch will continue living after you release it, use the following tips.

  • Refrain from using nets to bring in fish 
  • Don’t remove fish from the water
  • Take care in removing hooks and cut line
  • Don’t use bait
  • Land and bring in fish quickly to reduce the fish’s struggle time
  • Do not touch fish’s gills or eyes
  • Only handle fish with wet hands
  • If you remove the fish from the water, keep it out for less than 30 seconds
  • Remove the hook carefully and quickly
  • When releasing the fish, hold it in the water until it begins to swim, then let it go

The practice of catch and release fishing ensures that Alaska will continue to be the ultimate fishing destination for generations to come.