Board of Fisheries votes on Bristol Bay king salmon management plan
ANCHORAGE, Alaska (KTUU) - The Alaska Department of Fish & Game Board of Fisheries voted on a final version of the King Salmon Management Plan that will take effect in the Bristol Bay area.
The Board unanimously voted on a plan via an amended version of Proposal 11 written by the Nushagak Advisory Committee, which limits bag counts for king salmon when fishing.
“There were some proposals that were maybe less collaborative that would have had, I believe, unintended consequences on other user groups,” Bristol Bay set netter Jamie O’Connor said.
Proposal 13 was a separate measure that was tied to the management plan but would have enacted conservation methods based on time to allow king salmon to enter the Nushagak River.
Many members of Bristol Bays communities were against these proposals, as well as the Nushagak Advisory Committee.
“We’re just really, really happy that we were able to maintain that seven days from 2018. Because that was a real heartache on subsistence users to stand down when other commercial and sport (fishermen) were fishing,” Dillingham Resident Gayla Hoseth said.
In 2018, the Board of Fisheries voted on and passed Proposal 18, which repealed a restriction that Bristol Bay residents could only fish three days out of the week.
While the Board voted in Proposal 11 unanimously, Board Chair Märit Carlson-Van Dort had some reservations about the plan and said she believed that they would be returning to this issue soon.
“I don’t think that this is an issue that’s going to be solved with this plan in the near term, I think that this is going to continue to be an issue that we revisit for the Nushagak River and other systems around the state of Alaska,” Carlson-Van Dort said.
Carlson-Van Dort also said that plans like these rely on anglers and commercial fishers to accurately submit their data and that this cooperation is vital if they are going to work in the future.
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