The Board Of Fisheries (BOF) took significant actions today that will help send more salmon north to support the economy of the Matanuska-Susitna.
The Mat-Su Borough Fish and Wildlife Commission saw one of their main goals for the BOF meeting achieved when the Board approved their proposal 133, to enhance the Cook Inlet conservation corridor, on a vote of 6-1, with only Mr. Jensen voting no.
FWC member Larry Engel said
“this enhanced conservation corridor will allow the ADFG to better manage the complex mixed stock fishery found in the Inlet and return more salmon to the Northern District and Borough streams.”
BOF member John Wood spoke in support of the proposal, noting that
“of the public comments submitted on this proposal I found 240 in support of proposal 133 with only 2 opposed – that’s an overwhelming level of support.”
BOF member Israel Payton said,
“We need to move coho north to hit the goals – that provides more fish for all users. If we get more fish north to the Upper Cook Inlet, we can maximize our yield in the future for everyone as these fish spawn and return more fish and produce greater yield. Proposal133 is appropriate, needed, and I’m fully in support of it as written.”
The historic fishery in the Northern District was once robust. I concur with Mr. Payton, and if this passes I believe it would optimize the fishery.
Marit Carlson-Van Dort
There’s a reasonable expectation of terminal fisheries in the Northern District to have access to an appropriate portion of the fishery.
The Kodiak fishery at our Kodiak meeting took a haircut so to speak, so not to be consistent here would be inappropriate. For the Cook Inlet commercial fishery to not also take a haircut would be inappropriate. Because of that I’m inclined to support proposal 133.
The BOF started the morning session considering the ADFG’s proposal to delist Susitna Sockeye Salmon from Stock of Yield Concern. After much discussion, and getting assurances from ADFG and removing SOYC status from this stock would not change present restrictions, the BOF voted 7-0 to support this ADFG-recommended change. BOF member Israel Payton said, “With the understanding that we would continue appropriate conservation management strategies designed to move fish to the Northern District.” Because recent harvests of Susitna Sockeye have ticked up with Sustainable Escapement Goals generally met, this improvement is the product of conservative management applied here do to the SOYC status.
The BOF considered many proposals that could have had a negative impact on Coho Salmon, such as those that would increase Pink Salmon commercial harvest, but rejected all of these putting a priority on Coho conservation.
The BOF will wrap up Group 2 proposals on Wednesday morning, including proposal 195 and others that relate to the one percent rule.
After the noon break the BOF voted to table proposal 195 and other proposals related to the one percent rule until Wednesday morning.