Archives for September 2016

Lots of fish meetings/comment deadlines. Be a part of the decision making!

Fish Radio
Lots of fish meetings, comment deadlines
September 30, 2016

Alaska regions Credit: ADF&G

Alaska regions
Credit: ADF&G

This is Fish Radio. I’m Laine Welch – A big line up of fish meetings that affect your livelihood. More after this –

Get a fish tech degree on the go with fully loaded iPad classes from the University of Alaska/Southeast. No internet required! Head for a career in Alaska’s largest industry.  Contact Reid Brewer at UAS Sitka.  http://fishtechalaska.com/    907-747-7799

Federal grants are available to help “Made in America” companies compete with imports and save US jobs. Learn more at www.nwtaac.org.
Fish meetings over the next few months give industry a chance to be a part of the decision.  First up is the North Pacific Fishery Management Council meeting October 3 – 11 in Anchorage. On the agenda: observer deployments, electronic monitoring and a first look at next year’s catch quotas for groundfish which account for over 80 percent of Alaska’s harvest poundage. For pollock, the catch is approved for two years, meaning it will again be about three billion pounds.

The public has until October 4 to comment to the state Board of Fisheries on agenda change requests and stocks of concern – 12 were received so far. The Fish Board will hold a work session October 18-20 in Soldotna. Through March, the Board will take up 276 proposals focused primarily on Kodiak and Cook Inlet.

And unless the Fish Board agrees to hold an emergency hearing in the next week on bairdi Tanner crab in the Bering Sea, there likely will be no fishery until 2019 at the earliest. Summer surveys showed mature females were below a threshold in one of two fishing regions.

“It’s not a result of the crab not being there.  It’s a result of the survey not being able to find them.”

Ruth Christiansen is science advisor for the group Alaska Bering Sea Crabbers, which along with the communities of Unalaska and St. Paul are pushing for at least a partial Tanner opener. The crab fisheries open October 15th.

Turning to halibut – the International Pacific Halibut Commission is calling for regulatory and catch limit proposals, due by October 31. The public will get a first glimpse at catch recommendations at the IPHC interim meeting, November 29-20 in Seattle. The annual halibut commission meeting is set for January 23-27 in Victoria, British Columbia.

All of the fish meetings are available in real time on line – you can find links at our website www.alaskafishradio.com

Fish Radio is also brought to you by Ocean Beauty Seafoods – who salutes and says thanks to the men and women fishing across Alaska for their hard work and dedication. (www.oceanbeauty.com) In Kodiak, I’m Laine Welch.

Tracking Southeast AK salmon streams for changing water flows

Fish Radio
Southeast salmon streams prepare for  changing water flows

September 29, 2016

The watersheds of southeast, Alaska,   showing the Pacific Salmon hydroclimatic sensitivity index for predicted hydrologic change. Credit: C.Shanley

The watersheds of Southeast, Alaska, showing the Pacific Salmon hydroclimatic sensitivity index for predicted hydrologic change.
Credit: C. Shanley

This is Fish Radio. I’m Laine Welch – Protecting Southeast’s salmon streams from changing water flows. More after this –

Get a fish tech degree on the go with fully loaded iPad classes from the University of Alaska/Southeast. No internet required! Head for a career in Alaska’s largest industry.  Contact Reid Brewer at UAS Sitka.  http://fishtechalaska.com/    907-747-7799

Federal grants are available to help “Made in America” companies compete with imports and save US jobs. Learn more at www.nwtaac.org.

One third of Alaska’s salmon harvest each year comes from fish produced in the 17,000 miles of streams in Southeast’s Tongass rainforest.   A changing climate is altering rain and snowfall patterns that affect that habitat – for better or worse. Now, a first of its kind study details the potential changes and how people can plan ahead to protect the fish.

 In general the global climate models are saying it’s going to get warmer and wetter. I’ve also heard another rule of thumb that the wetter places in the world are going to get wetter and the dryer places are going to get dryer. Obviously Southeast Alaska is one of those wet places.

Colin Shanley is a conservation planner and GIS analyst for The Nature Conservancy in Juneau and co author of “Climate Change Sensitivity Index for Pacific Salmon Habitat in Southeast Alaska.”

He studied nearly half a century’s records of water flows, temperatures and precipitations in stream sources to model future projections.

If we can build models based on historic patterns we can use these global climate models to sort of predict into the future how flows might change.  

Shanley says watersheds fed by snow packs will likely experience the biggest impacts.

When we compiled data and models saw that some of the watersheds that are super steep and are fed by snow driven catchments are going to see some of the biggest changes. They might not all be bad but those are the ones that showed some of the largest changes in flow.   

On the other hand, glacial fed salmon systems could provide new and better systems.

In Southeast, South-central and Prince William Sound there’s a lot of glacial fed systems that salmon use and some glacier fed systems that salmon haven’t colonized yet. So there is some opportunity as glaciers shrink and melt that it would create new habitat and in some cases better habitat. Some of the glacial fed systems here are really cold and so they have slower growing conditions and less food,  but if some of those warm up they might actually become better salmon habitat. //And some of those glacial systems are really big rivers so there is definitely some opportunities for some sort of shift in productivity where some of the smaller streams might have a harder time but some of these glacial fed systems might actually uptake in their production.  

Watersheds that are in good shape should be fairly resilient. For waters near roads and other developments, The Nature Conservancy hopes to begin restorations –

We’ve started to look at the places we think high salmon values intersect with areas of potential restoration, evaluating where those failing culverts are to make sure that there is adequate draining, that there is no run off on these roads dumping excessive sediment in streams. We’ve looked at areas where before more stringent timber management regulations required riparian buffers – is there adequate large trees  along the rivers and if aren’t can we put some in there to build pools and provide shade as well as slow down the water in some of these high water events. So there are lots of things we can do.   

A group in Southeast is starting a stream monitoring network to track salmon runs. Find links to Shanley’s salmon habitat report at our website – www.alaskafishradio.com

Fish Radio is also brought to you by Ocean Beauty Seafoods – who salutes and says thanks to the men and women fishing across Alaska for their hard work and dedication. (www.oceanbeauty.com) In Kodiak, I’m Laine Welch.