Category Archives: Featured Content

Back Up, The Bears Are Comin’

When you’re exploring Alaska, you never know what you may find, including a mama brown bear and her cubs, which is among the most dangerous situations to encounter a bruin and her offspring.

So imagine how this Katmai National Park hiker,  Geoffrey Glassner, who somehow managed to video his backwards walk, the bear family curiously following.

Here’s GrindTV, via Viral Hog, with more:

Glassner pulled out his camera and began recording while walking backward toward camp in a nerve-wracking encounter:

“This is the first walk from camp that I’ve had since getting here on Friday, July 14th, and what I don’t want to do while walking backwards is stumble,” he said in the video. “So I will keep walking backwards. Come on guys, give me a break.

“Cubs just keep coming. Aw, come on.

“I’m hoping they go off the trail at some point or somebody else comes along from camp.”

Nobody else came to help, but the bears did finally exit the trail.

Always be wary about bears and other wildlife when hiking in wilderness areas, particularly in Alaska. Here’s the National Park Service with more:

Bear Encounters

Once a bear has noticed you and is paying attention to you, additional strategies can help prevent the situation from escalating.

  • Identify yourself by talking calmly so the bear knows you are a human and not a prey animal. Remain still; stand your ground but slowly wave your arms. Help the bear recognize you as a human. It may come closer or stand on its hind legs to get a better look or smell. A standing bear is usually curious, not threatening.
  • Stay calm and remember that most bears do not want to attack you; they usually just want to be left alone. Bears may bluff their way out of an encounter by charging and then turning away at the last second. Bears may also react defensively by woo?ng, yawning, salivating, growling, snapping their jaws, and laying their ears back. Continue to talk to the bear in low tones; this will help you stay calmer, and it won’t be threatening to the bear. A scream or sudden movement may trigger an attack. Never imitate bear sounds or make a high-pitched squeal.
  • Pick up small children immediately.
  • Hike and travel in groups. Groups of people are usually noisier and smellier than a single person. Therefore, bears often become aware of groups of people at greater distances, and because of their cumulative size, groups are also intimidating to bears.
  • Make yourselves look as large as possible (for example, move to higher ground).
  • Do NOT allow the bear access to your food. Getting your food will only encourage the bear and make the problem worse for others.
  • Do NOT drop your pack as it can provide protection for your back and prevent a bear from accessing your food.
  • If the bear is stationary, move away slowly and sideways; this allows you to keep an eye on the bear and avoid tripping. Moving sideways is also non-threatening to bears. Do NOT run, but if the bear follows, stop and hold your ground. Bears can run as fast as a racehorse both uphill and down. Like dogs, they will chase ?eeing animals. Do NOT climb a tree. Both grizzlies and black bears can climb trees.
  • Leave the area or take a detour. If this is impossible, wait until the bear moves away. Always leave the bear an escape route.
  • Be especially cautious if you see a female with cubs; never place yourself between a mother and her cub, and never attempt to approach them. The chances of an attack escalate greatly if she perceives you as a danger to her cubs.

Nice Stocked Coho Salmon Returns Anticipated On Kodiak

 

The following press release is courtesy of the Alaska Department of Fish and Game:

The Alaska Department of Fish and Game (ADF&G) is anticipating large returns of stocked coho salmon to Monashka Creek, Pillar Creek, Mill Bay, and Mission Beach.

Last year coho salmon smolts were released into Monashka Creek, Pillar Creek, Island Lake, and Mission Lake. ADF&G expects to see large returns of coho salmon to Monashka Creek, Pillar Creek, Mill Bay, and Mission Beach in August and September; and the returns should produce great fishing this summer. Coho salmon returns typically peak in mid-September, but may occur through early October, in most years in the road system streams.

Anglers are reminded of the new road-zone coho bag limits. Coho salmon bag limits in the Kodiak Road Zone are two per day from January 1 through September 15, and one per day from September 16 through December 31. However, stocked returns to Monashka Bay drainages and the saltwaters of Monashka Bay, Mill Bay, and Mission Beach are exempt from seasonal bag limit changes and the bag limit for coho salmon is two per day year round. Review the 2017 Southwest Alaska Sport Fishing Regulations Summary booklet for detailed information.

For additional information, please contact the Kodiak Sport Fish Area Office at (907) 486-1880.

Sitka Seafood Festival Returns In August

Photos courtesy of Bobbi Jordan.

The following press release is courtesy of the Alaska Longline Fishermen’s Association: 
After a brief hiatus last year, the Sitka Seafood Festival is back, and under new management.The Sitka Seafood Festival began in 2009 as a celebration of wild Alaskan seafood. Thanks to the hard work of a group of dedicated volunteers, the festival continued to expand each summer, and in 2012 became its own nonprofit organization. This year, the Sitka Seafood Festival has been adopted by the Alaska Sustainable Fisheries Trust (ASFT), which will host the 2017 festivities for the first time in partnership with the Alaska Longline Fishermen’s Association (ALFA).
ASFT is a Sitka-based nonprofit dedicated to strengthening fishing communities and marine resources through research, education, and economic opportunity. ALFA is an alliance of local small-boat, sustainability-oriented fishermen who work to support coastal communities by involving fishermen in research, advocacy and conservation initiatives.
“Central to the mission of the Sitka Seafood Festival (SSF), as well as the mission of Alaska Sustainable Fisheries Trust, is the belief that Alaska needs a vibrant and sustainable fishing industry supporting economically empowered and self-sufficient Alaska communities,” says Willow Moore, ASFT’s executive director.
“Also, no one knows good seafood (and where to find it) like Alaskans. The Sitka Seafood Festival celebrates the fishing culture and heritage that local economies (and plates and palates) depend on, and the unique ecosystems of Southeast Alaska that sustain our local fish and families as they grow.”
The main events of the festival will kick off on August 10 Wild Salmon Day, and will run until August 19. Events will include:

  • “Wet Feet: Stories On, In, Under, and Of the Sea,” a storytelling night with Sitka Tells Tales at Beak Restaurant
  • A seafood trivia night at the Mean Queen
  • A film festival with the Sitka Film Society
  • Educational booths and games at the Crescent Harbor Shelter
  • Marine biology lecture and tours of the local harbor with Dr. James Carlton, Professor of Marine Sciences Emeritus at Williams College
  • “Coming to America: Invasive Species, Ocean Rafting, and Japanese Tsunami Marine Debris,” a lecture by Dr. Carlton at the Sitka Sound Science Center
  • Fish skin sewing classes at the Sheldon Jackson Museum
  • A lecture on Inupiaq mask carving at the Sheldon Jackson Museum
  • A family-friendly ocean treasure hunt around the Japonski Island boathouse, sponsored by the Sitka Maritime Heritage Society 
  • A fall season’s-end closing banquet at Centennial Hall, date TBD

A full schedule of events is available at sitkaseafoodfestival.com. Proceeds will go towards funding the Young Fishermen’s Initiative.

Thirty years ago, a young person who wanted to fish commercially needed a boat, some gear, and a sense of adventure to get started in the business,” Moore explains. “Today, young fishermen face staggering entry level costs, high operating costs, and a level of risk that is equivalent to buying a starter hotel, instead of a starter house, as a first step in home-ownership. The goal of the Young Fishermen’s Initiative is to help young Alaskan fishermen get on the water.”

Anyone interested in getting involved in the festival — by planning, donating, volunteering, or running a booth — is welcome to reach out to sitkaseafoodfestival@gmail.com, or visit sitkaseafoodfestival.com.

Ornery Orca Steals Show During Shark Week

File photo by Dr. Brandon Southall, NMFS/OPR.

 

A killer whale apparently has had enough with all this Shark Week mumbo jumbo and gotten orcas some attention!

Off Sitka, an orca reportedly harrassed and nearly damaged a small fishing boat. Here’s the Sitka Sentinel with more:

Victor Littlefield, his 14-year-old son and two of his son’s friends were on his 33-foot aluminum boat Sunday as it lay anchored near Little Biorka Island when the boat suddenly lurched violently to one side.
    Littlefield’s first thought was that he was being attacked by a great white shark.
    “I had just watched ‘Jaws’ the day before,” he said.
    But it wasn’t a shark. It was a killer whale, which had just rammed the side of the boat. 
    The orca hit the boat several times before it grabbed the anchor line and yanked on it, moving the boat around and then swimming toward the boat and slapping the bow with its tail. 
    “I was pretty much in shock,” Littlefield said. “I couldn’t believe it was actually happening.”
    Littlefield was out fishing with his son Hunter and his two friends when the incident occurred. They had just anchored up and had landed a rockfish. 
    When the orca attacked, one of the boys was able to get some of it on video, and Littlefield posted it on the Facebook page Sitka Chatters Sunday. In the video, the black and white whale is seen swimming around his boat with the anchor line in its mouth. After Littlefield was able to clip a buoy onto the line the whale tugged it out of his hands.
    “There was some cursing,” he said. “I thought it would rip the bow down.”

Fortunately, no one was hurt in the incident, and it’s not the only piece of news involving killer whales going on right now as Shark Week trudges on. There’s also this:

 

Brown Bears Feasting On Anchorage Campbell Creek Reds

Campbell Creek photo by Bob Wick/BLM

The following press release is courtesy of the Alaska Department of Fish and Game: 

An unusually strong return of sockeye salmon to Campbell Creek this summer is drawing hungry brown bears and prompting strong warnings from biologists for cyclists, runners, dog walkers and others to avoid Rover’s Run and other streamside trails in Far North Bicentennial Park.

“Our fish counting crew ran into four different brown bears on upper Campbell last week,” said Area Sport Fish Biologist Jay Baumer. “They saw a big boar on the North Fork, and a sow with two nearly grown cubs on the South Fork. That’s more than we normally actually see.”

Those reports underscore warnings by Anchorage Area Wildlife Biologist Dave Battle that people stay off Rover’s Run until mid-October when salmon runs fade and bears begin to enter hibernation. A popular trail with a history of brown bear attacks, Rover’s Run closely parallels salmon spawning waters in South Fork Campbell Creek.

“It’s a particularly dangerous time to be on trails in that area,” said Battle. “There is always a high concentration of brown bears near Rover’s Run this time of year, and more salmon this summer could mean increased bear activity.”

Natural runs of Chinook and sockeye salmon annually attract brown bears to upper Campbell Creek. Division of Sport Fish survey crews last week counted more than 1,700 sockeye, a number more than five times greater than the 10-year average of 317. Coho runs follow, arriving in August and remaining in the creek through October. Brown bears feeding on salmon frequently travel Rover’s Run and other area trails and close-range encounters — including attacks resulting in serious injuries — have occurred in the past.

To avoid dangerous bear encounters, Battle suggests recreationists not use Rover’s Run and other Far North Bicentennial Park trails that closely parallel the creek until at least mid-October.

“It’s a good idea right now to stay away from Rover’s Run especially, with its history of brown bear attacks and, really, all trails along Campbell Creek’s north and south forks,” said Battle.

A young mountain biker was badly injured in a brown bear attack on Rover’s Run in 2008. Six weeks later, a woman running the trail was also mauled. In 2010 another mountain biker was attacked. These incidents, along with other close calls since, led Travel & Leisure magazine in 2013 to list Rover’s Run among “The World’s Scariest Hikes.” For information about bear safety, visit www.alaskabears.alaska.gov.

Situk Sockeye Limits Increased

 

Situk River photo by Tony Ensalaco.

The following press release is courtesy of the Alaska Department of Fish and Game:

Sitka – The Alaska Department of Fish and Game announced today that the bag and possession limits for sockeye salmon on the Situk River will be increased to 6 per day, 12 in possession effective 12:01 a.m. Tuesday, July 25, 2017.

The escapement goal range for sockeye salmon in the Situk River is 30,000 to 70,000 fish. As of July 19, 2017, over 61,000 sockeye salmon have been counted through the Situk River weir. Average run timing data for sockeye salmon into the Situk River indicates that 25% of the run is still to come, and the escapement goal will likely be exceeded. Increasing the sockeye salmon bag and possession limits will increase harvest opportunity for anglers, and will not jeopardize the achievement of the escapement goal.

Anyone needing further information concerning this announcement please contact the Division of Sport Fish in Sitka at (907) 747-5355.

 

Discovery Nails The Fascinating Unabomber Story

Paul Bettany as Ted Kaczynski. Manhunt: Unabomber episode 102. (DISCOVERY CHANNEL)

 

“Betrayal after betrayal after betrayal. Until I couldn’t trust anyone. I want them to listen to me. I want them to pay for what they did to me. Well, let them hate me… They WILL NOT ignore me.”

-Ted Kaczynksi, as played by actor Paul Bettany in the new Discovery Channel series, Manhunt: Unabomber.

——————————————————————–

It’s funny: I consider myself a diehard history buff, but I also feel like I avoid being more aware about current events. It seems like the older the subject, the more comfortable I would feel if engaged in an intelligent discussion on the subject without looking uninformed and ignorant.  Sometimes I feel like current events are nothing more than current events and not worth my time. I was wrong about that

Until, of course, I had an inside look at something that happened fairly recently, although so much has changed over the past 20-odd years (most, sadly, have not been for the better in this guy’s opinion, but that’s a different story entirely).

I had the chance to get an advance peek at the upcoming miniseries, Manhunt: Unabomber (see the trailer above) by our friends at the Discovery Channel.  And as I stated, I really didn’t know a damn thing about this story until I watched most of the episodes that will air in the coming months (it premieres on Aug. 1)

Here’s what I claim to remember about Ted Kaczynksi (AKA The Unabomber): His crazy mugshot and playoff hockey-style beard, his being taken down in part by his brother, who ratted him out, the predictable Will Ferrell-led Saturday Night Live skits when the Unabomber was still a thing,  a memorable reference to the story in one of my favorite movies, Good Will Hunting, and a lot of mysteries about who this guy really was and why he was filling packages with bombs and mailing them around the country, killing three and injuring others.

But like most of the stories of the time, which usually eventually faded and were replaced with the next sensationalized story that captivated us, so too did Ted. The Unabomber’s place in the news cycle eventually faded. His 15 minutes – peaking in 1997 when he was finally apprehended – was post OJ and pre 9-11, and just like Twitter finds itself outraged one minute, and then moves onto the next headline shortly thereafter, eventually the Unabomber became yesterday’s news (but can you imagine the GIF’s, memes and hijinks the social media mob would have engaged in had Kaczynski come along a couple decades later?)

Sam Worthington as Jim Fitzgerald and Paul Bettany as Ted Kaczynski. Manhunt: Unabomber episode 102. (DISCOVERY CHANNEL)

So I had planned to watch the first episode Discovery sent me and tease it a little bit (Ted was an outdoors lover at an early age and a skilled hunter and angler ), but once I watched that two-part block, I was hooked. I binge-watched the remaining five episodes (I have yet to see the series finale and am already having withdrawals waiting for it!).

Discovery told me most of the series sticks to the factual events of the case, with a few liberties taken, such as creating a face-to-face meeting between Kaczynski and FBI agent Jim Fitzgerald, who masterminded the search, (much of what the Unabomber says during their confrontation was spoken during his trial). And what you watch from director Greg Yaitanes is compelling. 

This a series worth watching and getting hooked on, even for those a little out of the demographic who were  too young to remember it.  A great supporting cast – including one of my personal favorites, Mark Duplass, as the Unabomber’s brother, David,  gives Manhunt: Unabomber some acceleration and horsepower, but the underneath powering the engine are the two leads, Brits Paul Bettany as Ted Kaczynski and Sam Worthington (born in England but raised in Australia) as “Fitz,” the FBI agent who obsessively leads the team attempting to crack the case via the Unabomber’s complicated manifesto, which reflects a man’s brilliance and tortured soul.

Bettany, in particular is spectacular as the title character. He is wonderfully sinister, and a far cry from when I had just watched the likeable Englishman in 2004’s Wimbledon, a fun, sappy and harmless flick about a washed-up tennis player who wins one of the sport’s prestigious Grand Slam tournaments and finds love with Kirsten Dunst’s racket-swinging brat. But riding along with Bettany’s turn as one of the most infamous characters of our time was a fantastic change of pace from a versatile actor.

Worthington has more screen time and was  also excellent. but for me, the series’ high-water mark is Ted Kaczynski’s backstory, which criss-crosses a timeline from the days living in his Montana cabin – where he befriends some locals – his elementary school experience and ill-fated time as a whiz-kid Harvard student. It provides an opportunity to understand a little better as to the why and how of the story.  

Paul Bettany as Ted Kaczynski. Manhunt: Unabomber episode 102. (DISCOVERY CHANNEL)

“I was doomed to be a freak from the start,” Bettany’s Ted says during the episode while reciting a letter to his brother. In this context, we see a side of Kaczynksi that successfully humanizes him and broke my heart to see him endure. No longer do I envision the bearded freak hiding out in the Montana wilderness plotting his next act and baffling the FBI with his manifesto. Instead, I see a bright and sweet young boy in suburban Chicago struggling to fit in with his classmates, two years older than he was. I see a mathematical genius who suffers heartbreaking backstabbing from his best friend  (you can probably figure out how young Ted would avenge his buddy’s treason). I see him enter Harvard at an age when he should be taking high school AP trig classes and applying for Ivy League admission.

“David, I keep asking, how did I go from this innocent little kid to this? I think it was Harvard that did it. You don’t know about that either.”  

His early 1960s Harvard experience and psychological experiments conducted by Professor Henry Murray are depicted in chilling fashion. It was another case of an impressionable and gifted teenager being exploited, used and tormented by a role model he believed in and trusted. It was a sad moment and one of many turning points and triggers that turned a modern-day Einstein into a bitter, self-destructing troublemaker railing against the establishment.

Somehow, at least for me, that episode allowed me to feel sympathy as to why someone so brilliant could snap like that.  When I emailed back and forth with a Discovery Channel contact about what we love about this series, we both agreed there was a case for buying into what Ted Kaczynksi was thinking when he wrote his manifesto and why he went off course as tragically as he did.

Paul Bettany as Ted Kaczynski. Manhunt: Unabomber episode 107. (DISCOVERY CHANNEL)

Paul Bettany as Ted Kaczynski and Jeremy Bobb as Stan Cole. Manhunt: Unabomber episode 107.

At one point, Murray (Brian d’Arcy James), after treating his subject like a disposable lab rat, tells young Ted some prophetic words that would eventually haunt him for the rest of his life.

“Theodore, you did a wonderful job; you truly exceeded my expectations. … I couldn’t have asked for more from a subject or as a friend. I can’t wait to see how well you do next time.”

“Next time?” the shaken young student replies.

“I’m anticipating more great things from you, Ted.”

For more on Manhunt: Unabomber, check out the Discovery Channel’s website. 

Updates On Alaska Fishing Regulations

 

 

The following press release is courtesy of the Alaska Department of Fish and Game:

 

Regulation Reminders and Emergency Orders

  • Per Emergency Order No. 2-KS-2-26-17, effective 6:00 a.m. Wednesday, July 12, 2017, through 11:59 p.m.July 31, 2017, king salmon fishing season on Ship Creek has been extended to July 31, 2017 and the bag limit has been increased to two fish per day.
    • Ship Creek is currently OPEN to salmon fishing from the mouth to a cable 100 feet below the Chugach Power Plant Dam. The remainder of the creek up to 300 feet above the Elmendorf Power Plant Dam, near the William Jack Hernandez Sport Fish Hatchery, is CLOSED YEAR ROUND to ALL fishing.
  • Before you go fishing ALWAYS review the applicable 2017 Sport Fishing Regulations available online and at local vendors!
  • Sport fishing licenses, King Stamps, Personal Use Dipnet, and Prince William Sound Shrimp Permits are available for purchase online at the ADF&G Online Store.
  • Anglers can visit the ADF&G Hatcheries and Stocking webpage for more information regarding when and where fish are stocked. Most lakes in the Anchorage area have been stocked.
  • Campbell Creek: select areas of Campbell Creek opened to fishing for fish species other than salmon on Thursday, June 15. Make sure you check the 2017 Southcentral Sport Fishing Regulation Summary booklet for new fishing closures starting from the upstream side of Lake Otis Parkway Bridge. Beginning Friday July 14, Coho (silver) salmon is the only salmon species fishing allowed on Campbell Creek. No other salmon species may be targeted or retained on Campbell Creek.
  • Chester Creek: select areas of the Chester Creek opened to fishing for fish species other than salmon on Thursday, June 15. NO SALMON FISHING IS ALLOWED ON CHESTER CREEK.
  • Bird Creek opened to salmon fishing, EXCEPT king salmon on Friday, July 14. Salmon limits (except king salmon) are three per day, three in possession if 16 inches or greater. The bag limit for salmon less than 16 inches in length is ten per day, ten in possession.
  • Symphony Lake opened to fishing on Saturday, July 1. Arctic Grayling limits are five per day, five in possession; only one fish may be greater than 12 inches in length.
  • Eagle River (entire drainage) remains closed to king salmon fishing.

Stream Fishing

Salmon

  • Fishing on Ship Creek is open from the mouth up to the cable crossing roughly 100 feet below the Chugach Power Plant dam. There are currently no fishing time restrictions on Ship Creek.
    • Very few king salmon are being caught in Ship Creek. Silver numbers continue to pick up daily.
    • Due to the William Jack Hernandez Sport Fish Hatchery having met its brood stock goals, king salmon can still be retained while fishing in the open fishery areas per Emergency Order No. 2-KS-2-26-17. In addition, the bag limit has been increased to two king salmon per angler. FISHING FOR KING SALMON IS VERY SLOW, THERE ARE NOT MANY FISH; however, if you catch a king salmon while targeting silver salmon, you will be able to retain it and continue fishing for silver salmon. If you harvest a second king salmon, you will need to quit fishing on the creek for the day regardless of whether you are targeting other fish species.
    • With the exception of downstream section of Ship Creek all waters in the Anchorage Management Area are currently closed to king salmon fishing.
  • Fishing on Bird Creek on the opening day was slow but coho, chum, and pinks were being caught. Make sure you know how to identify your salmon. Retaining king salmon on Bird Creek is NOT ALLOWED. Please obey regulations and private property signs.
  • If you are successful and would like to report a catch please contact the Sport Fish Information Center at 267-2218.

Fishing Tip: Brush up on your fish identification before you head out fishing. Test your fish identification knowledge with the new Pacific Salmon ID Quiz.

Trout/Dolly Varden

  • Effective June 15, specific areas of Campbell Creek and Chester Creek opened to fishing for species other than salmon. On Campbell Creek, it remains CLOSED TO ALL FISHING below Dimond Boulevard and in the stretch of river from Shelikof Street to Piper Street. Above Piper Street is open to catch-and-release only effective June 15. Review the 2017 Southcentral Sport Fishing Regulations Summary booklet for more specifics.
  • Fishing for Dolly Varden and rainbow trout has been good on Campbell Creek. The creek is stocked with rainbow. Try fishing small spinners or bead-head nymphs in deep pools and along cutbanks.
  • Be aware that habitat restoration work is being conducted on Campbell Creek. Please obey all signs and stay on designated trails in these areas to reduce damaging all the hard work. This habitat work is going to help improve fish habitat on the creek. A great new fishing platform has been installed above the Dimond Bridge!

A new fishing platform has been installed above the Dimond bridge in Anchorage

Lake Fishing

General

  • Anchorage area lakes were stocked with rainbow trout last week. Bait under a bobber and small spinners or flies are all good methods for targeting stocked trout. Fishing should be fun!
  • APU/University Lake and West Chester Lagoon are in the Chester Creek drainage which opened to fishing for rainbow trout on June 15.
  • Symphony Lake opened Saturday, July 1. Great grayling fishing can be found in the lake but no reports to date. Small spinners and flies (dry flies and nymphs) work well on these fish.

Fishing Tip: To improve your success in local stocked lakes review the lake bathymetric (bottom depth profile) map online. This will help you determine what type of fish you are fishing for and where they might be. Often a little walk or getting away from the pack will provide rewards.

Northern Pike

  • There are very few opportunities for Northern Pike in Anchorage as they are not native to the region. ADF&G has taken steps to keep pike out of Anchorage lakes. Lower Fire Lake is the closest place to find Northern pike in the Anchorage Area. If you catch a Northern Pike in the Anchorage area, please contact the ADF&G Sport Fish Division immediately at 267-2218.

Hooligan

  • Hooligan is closed in both salt and fresh waters.

Pinks On The Emerald Isle

(ALASKA DEPARTMENT OF FISH AND GAME)

In the land where green rules, anglers are seeing pink. As you would expect, pink salmon are not native species in Ireland, part of a United Kingdom where Atlantic salmon once were plentiful but disappearing from river systems. 

Yet perhaps humpies are on the verge of a renaissance – albeit in an invasive manner – of appearing in UK waters.

As our head honco Andy Walgamott of Northwest Sportsman noted earlier today, A press release from Ireland’s fisheries’ department explains more about the strange sightings of pinks on the Emerald Isle:

 There have been several reports of non-native Pink Salmon in Galway, Mayo and Donegal rivers according to Inland Fisheries Ireland. The Pink Salmon species, which is of Pacific origin from the west coasts of the United States and Canada as well as Northern Asia, has been reported on several occasions during the past two weeks. The appearance of the species is of concern to Inland Fisheries Ireland as it may impact Ireland’s own Atlantic salmon species.

Catches of Pink Salmon have been reported on the Foxford Fishery, Co. Mayo, the Coolcronan Fishery on the River Moy, the Galway Fishery on the River Corrib, the Cong River on the River Corrib and the Drowes River in Donegal in recent days.

Pink or humpback salmon are a migratory species of salmon, native to river systems in the northern Pacific Ocean and adjacent regions of the Bering Sea and Arctic Ocean.  Outside of its native range, the species has established self-sustaining populations in rivers in northern Norway and in the far northwest of Russia.  These populations are believed to have originated from stocking programmes undertaken in this part of Russia in the second half of the 20th century. In Ireland, there is no license to farm pink salmon. 

One island over, Scottish fisheries have also seen evidence of pinks hauled out by anglers.

 

In nations where native salmon are in danger, it’s easy to say that pinks are a potential threat as all invasive species are, but Alaska’s hardly popular member of the Pacific salmon family, which as a species is struggling in the Last Frontier, seems to be on an unwanted British/Irish invasion tour these days.

Alaska Fishing Regulation Updates

A few updates from the Alaska Department of Fish and Game:

Sockeye Salmon Limits for Russian/Upper Kenai River Area Return to Three Per Day, Six in Possession July 15″

The bag and possession limits for sockeye salmon at the Russian River/Kenai River fly-fishing-only area, downstream to Skilak Lake on the Upper Kenai River return to three per day, six in possession beginning 12:01 a.m.Saturday, July 15, 2017. These regulations are described on pages 57-59 of the 2017 Southcentral Sport Fishing Regulations Summary booklet.

“Alagnak River Sockeye Salmon Sport Fishing Limits Increased”

The Alaska Department of Fish and Game is increasing the bag and possession limit for sockeye salmon, from five fish to ten fish, in all waters of the Alagnak River drainage effective 12:01 a.m. Thursday, July 13, 2017. The bag and possession limit for other salmon, except king and sockeye salmon, remains at five fish, of which only three fish may be coho salmon. These limits are in combination with the more liberal limits for sockeye salmon.

The escapement of sockeye salmon into the Alagnak River has exceeded the escapement goal of 320,000 fish. Through 6:00 a.m. Tuesday, July 11, 2017, over one million sockeye salmon have been estimated passing the Alagnak River tower. Therefore, it is warranted to increase the bag and possession limit for sockeye salmon in the Alagnak River sport fishery.

Tanner Crab Board of Fishery Changes and Fishery Updates”

The Alaska Board of Fisheries (BOF) adopted the following regulations that change the Cook Inlet Tanner Crab fisheries:

  • The personal use fishery was repealed to reduce redundancy and complexity. As a result, the noncommercial Tanner crab fishery is now defined as sport or subsistence fisheries.
  • The legal size of male Tanner crab was reduced from 5.5 inches to 4.5 inches based on new analyses of male size-at-maturity.
  • A limited noncommercial fishery was established from October 1 through the end of February. During this fishery, gear is limited to one pot per person with a maximum of one pot per vessel, bag and possession is limited to three legal size male Tanner crab and a permit is required for each person who participates in the fisheries. The sport fishery permits are expected to be available online by September 1.

To open the Tanner crab noncommercial fishery earlier than October 1, 5 AAC 35.408 Registration Area H Tanner Crab Harvest Strategy, requires the department to conduct a trawl survey to determine abundance thresholds of legal size Tanner crab. Trawl surveys were last conducted in 2013 for Kachemak Bay and 2012 for Kamishak Bay. Survey results of legal male Tanner crab were below the thresholds needed to prosecute a noncommercial fishery July 15 through March 15 as described in regulation, so this fishery has remained closed consistent with the harvest strategy.

The harvest strategy also includes a provision to open a limited noncommercial fishery in the absence of a trawl survey. Since no trawl survey has been conducted in 2017, this fishery will be open October 1, 2017, through February 28, 2018, with the more conservative pot and bag limits described above.