It takes fish to make fish. Keep the Corridor open. That's the driving message that our Matanuska-Susitna Borough Fish & Wildlife Commission will be taking to the Alaska Board of Fisheries meeting beginning tomorrow in Anchorage. The local volunteer Borough Commission earned a 7 to 0 vote at the last Board of Fisheries meeting in 2014. The new regulations and new Conservation Corridor require the commercial drift gillnet fleet to fish closer to shore for most of July for the species they are targeting—Kenai sockeye, allowing northern coho and northern sockeye a substantially improved lane to return to spawning grounds seven days in the north in the Mat-Su Borough.
In two of the last three years since the Corridor opened, cohos and sockeyes had upticks in numbers here.
The Commission created two booklets that are posted here to give insight on our all too often failing escapements. Interception of fish has been a key problem.
• Report to the Alaska Board of Fisheries 2017, a 44-page report
• It Takes Fish to Make Fish—Keep the Corridor Open, a 24-page booklet
The meeting runs from Feb. 23 to March 8 at the Sheraton in Anchorage. Here is a link to the State page with meeting information including advance written public testimony, new science reports, and the 169+ proposals that the Board of Fish will consider on fish topics ranging from dipnetting, sportsfishing, commercial drift gillnet fishing, set gillnet fishing, habitat, king salmon, guides, and more. If you would like to testify, the next two days are your chance. Come down and sign up.
Photo by Stefan Hinman, fishing for coho on Jim Creek at the confluence with the Knik River.