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Delegation supports Cook Inlet disaster declaration

Posted: August 23, 2012 - 8:32am

Alaska’s congressional delegation wrote a letter Wednesday in support of Gov. Sean Parnell’s request for a federal disaster declaration in Upper Cook Inlet due to this year’s weak return of king salmon.

Sen. Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, Sen. Mark Begich, D-Alaska, and U.S. Rep. Don Young, R-Alaska, wrote Acting Secretary of Commerce Rebecca Blank about their concerns. The three echoed much of what Parnell said in his Aug. 16 letter, writing that the weak king run caused closures, gear restrictions and impacts which spread to the sockeye salmon fishery as well.

They called for “all appropriate federal resources” to be made available to affected fisheries and communities as quickly as possible.

They wrote that east side setnetters in Cook Inlet saw a nearly 90 percent drop in revenue due to closures caused by the king run and the northern district fishermen saw a 50 percent reduction.

“Businesses dependent on recreational fishing are a principle driver of the economy in the Kenai and Susitna river drainages and both were severely impacted by the downturn of the chinook stocks,” they wrote. “Fishing closures and restrictions to ensure conservation of the stocks deprived these businesses a critical source of income, and residents a traditional and important source of food for their families.”

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KenaiKardinal88 08/23/12 - 09:44 am
No Declaration Needed

The factory trawlers rape the resource and throw back kings, halibut, etc. as by-catch. They are safe from scrutiny because Native Coprorations are involved.

The Kodiak Commercial Fleet destroys many salmon heading for Cook Inlet. Our of sight, out of mind.

The Commercial Fishers (including Guides), hammer the same locations irrespective of whether the species are in distress.

The Alaska recreational fishers are completely screwed.

wilsonro 08/23/12 - 11:39 am
FED Assistance

I think most of us will have something figured out before we would even see a check of some sort from the feds. I don’t want their money, I think the US Tax payers shouldn't be responsible for the state of Alaska's BOF screw ups. I would like to fish, that’s what I want, and for the people that made some of the worst decisions in ADF&G history be held accountable! I thought the way Anchorage Daily News quoted our genius governor was sick, we are a sockeye fishery not a Chinook fishery, that would be the unlimited number of guides on the river, they’re the ones that target the Chinooks. One other thing the governor had wrong was the guides still were able to fish, I saw guide boat's full of people sockeye fishing! We Eastside setnetters lost pretty much the whole season, those last few openers we never even fished by our set up, because of our location, it is a waste of fuel. Some northern guys did, but I think they caught more Humpy’s than anything else. This whole deal is a joke! My Grandfather is rolling over in his grave right now! By the way he died commercial fishing silvers, like we use to be able to do. Democracy is broken in this country, it’s all about whose in Juneau sucking up and selling property to Senators!!!

Watchman on the Wall
Watchman on the Wall 08/23/12 - 12:23 pm
Replace the Delegation

Replace the Delegation for going to the govt. for anything is what i would say.
The regulations and allowing massive numbers of guides has brought us to the very same state for fishing that Washington & Oregon and a few others states have been in for years, NO FISH due to over fishing and regulations by Fish & Game.
When we see the drift fleet catching Kings while the set netters are restricted from even fishing we know that things are upside down & a scape goat was picked out while the guides and desire for COMMERCE are the real reason with the help of fish regulations.
The very same thing has happened to OUR moose hunting on the Kenai with the spike fork/50" or 3 brow tines regulations.
What a bunch of BS regulations being shoved down OUR throats which will all lead to less food for Alaskans & others from commercial fishing.
Guided fishing does nothing for anyone other than guides & their families with local commerce boosted as well, it's not good for the masses of Alaskans PERIOD.

If the #2 proposition #2 passes it will only allow this type of Fed/governmental control of many other areas in Alaska for the good out siders only, as in Pebble mine for one.

When you invite the govt. in for any reason your only opening your self up for more control and loss of state freedoms & rights to govern as ALL OF HISTORY SHOWS & WILL SHOW IN THIS STATE AS WELL. Not yelling just impressing the point with the caps. What a mess.

akkindgirl 08/25/12 - 03:45 pm
Hopefully the feds wise up~

It wasn't a weak King run that caused a natural disaster it was a late king run that was mismanaged by our states department of fish and game. I spoke with a federal biologist in mid July and asked him what he thought was happening. His response was the early king run had been over fished (and we all know by who) and so the fishery was adjusting itself to be later running. It appears the mighty Kings are smarter than our representatives in Washington, our state biologists, and our local guides (start booking trips in August instead of June) as was this federal biologist I spoke with. Hopefully our acting Secretary of Commerce tells the state to provide their own economic relief for its citizens who were wrongly shut out of work this summer. So I say to Sen. Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, Sen. Mark Begich, D-Alaska, and U.S. Rep. Don Young, R- the state is the responsible party here and should be held accountable for their misdoing not the federal government. With the low approval rating in Washington it's hard to get behind anything the federal government is involved with these days but I have to say the only person whom I know accurately predicted the King run this summer was the federal biologist (money well spent with this employee) I happened to run into while watching people fish from the shores of the Kenai and he doesn't even study the Kenai Kings. So if this fishery is evolving due to overfishing and people point the finger at one user group and try to shut them down again instead of writing letters in support of federal disaster funding for Alaskans our elected representatives need to collect some data and information from their own federal biologists and write letters to the governor and managers of our resources ensuring there is real justifcation for such decisions if they expect the feds to foot the bill in the end!

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