Uneven status of Pacific halibut revealed by annual data Alaska Journal of Commerce by Elizabeth Earl - December 4, 2019 Following the trend of the past several years, overall Pacific halibut biomass seems to be down again. The most recent stock assessment presented to the International Pacific Halibut Commission for its interim meeting on Nov. 25-26 shows a coastwide decline in spawning biomass, though that decline isn’t even across all areas. https://www.alaskajournal.com/2019-12-04/uneven-status-pacific-halibut-revealed-annual-data West Coast Dungeness Crab Meat Quality Improving, Still Low in Some Areas SeafoodNews.com by Susan Chambers - December 5, 2019 Washington, Oregon and California released the second round of Dungeness crab meat quality testing results this week and the results are mixed. In Washington, one of the two areas sampled was above the 23 precent threshold. The Westport area came in at 23.8 percent, but the Long Beach Area was only 21.8 percent, up from 20.4 percent in early November. Oregon's test results showed improvement from early November, when all eight areas were below the thresholds. Still, only half of the areas -- Garibaldi, Newport North, Coos Bay North and Brookings showed meat recovery rates sufficient to open the season. Astoria, Newport South, Coos Bay South and Port Orford were all below the standards. Astoria showed the slowest improvement with a 20.3 percent recovery rate in early November and a 20.4 percent result nearly a month later. Two of California's test areas -- Crescent City and Trinidad -- are still below the 25 percent necessary to open the season, but Eureka's crab had filled out to 24.5 percent. When rounded up, it meets the criteria. State managers are continuing to talk with their respective industries this week and have scheduled a Tri-State managers conference call on Friday, Dec. 6, to discuss a season-opening structure decision. At the same time, domoic acid levels remain low, with some areas being remaining to be tested or open to re-testing due to high levels in other species, such as razor clams. Photo: Crab pots are ready to be loaded on vessels in Charleston, Ore. Credit: Susan Chambers, SeafoodNews https://www.seafoodnews.com/Story/1158629/West-Coast-Dungeness-Crab-Meat-Quality-Improving-Still-Low-in-Some-Areas 2020 Stikine and Taku Rivers Chinook Salmon Forecasts Below Desired Escapement Minimum SeafoodNews by Peggy Parker - December 5, 2019 The preseason forecasts for Chinook salmon returning to the Stikine and Taku rivers in 2020 were announced last week and don’t reach the minimum for escapement, said Alaska Department of Fish and Game biologists. The terminal run forecast for Stikine River large Chinook salmon is 13,350 fish in 2020, below the lower end of the Escapement Goal Range (EGR) of 14,000 to 28,000 fish. Without reaching that threshold, the run will not provide an Allowable Catch (AC) for either the U.S. or Canada. The 2020 preseason terminal run forecast for Taku River large Chinook salmon is 12,400 fish, below the lower end of the EGR of 19,000 to 36,000 fish. Due to the very low forecasts and recent poor runs to these transboundary rivers, ADF&G noted that “all salmon fisheries in Districts 8 and 11 will have extensive conservation measures in effect through the duration of the Chinook salmon runs in 2020.” The forecast for the Stikine one year ago was 8,250 large fish, while the Taku was expected to see a run of 9,050 large fish. Two years ago, Stikine River forecast was less than 7,000 Chinook salmon making it back to spawn in the Stikine River near Wrangell and just 5,000 in the Taku River near Juneau. The Taku River king run hit a record low in 2016. It was closed entirely from 1974-2004, until larger runs prompted an opener in 2005, according to ADF&G. But looking at recent years, forecasts are increasing, and it may indicate a slow strengthening in each run. The forecast went from 5,000 for the Taku river in 2017 to 12,00 for 2020. In the Stikine, it’s increased from 7,000 Chinook in 2017 to 13,350 in 2020. In 2004 the Taku was the top salmon-producing river in Southeast Alaska. Fish and Game stats showed the river run was nearly 2 million wild salmon annually, including up to 100,000 Chinook salmon, 350,000 sockeye salmon and 400,000 coho salmon, 50,000 chum salmon, and 1 million pink salmon. https://www.seafoodnews.com/Story/1158561/2020-Stikine-and-Taku-Rivers-Chinook-Salmon-Forecasts-Below-Desired-Escapement-Minimum Environment/Science Biologist 'gobsmacked' the salmon sperm he helped freeze 20 years ago may now boost a dwindling stock 2,000 Chinook salmon eggs were fertilized — and most are surviving CBC News by Dominika Lirette - December 2, 2019 After a particularly bad year for salmon returns because of a landslide near Big Bar, the Carrier Sekani Tribal Council partnered with the Spruce City Wildlife Association in Prince George, to use salmon sperm they cryogenically froze 20 years ago, to try to replenish a chinook salmon stock. https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/british-columbia/20-years-ago-biologist-freeze-salmon-sperm-grow-population-1.5359914 FYI’s TOAST TO THE COAST - An event to end hunger TICKETS ON SALE NOW! Thursday, December 5, 2019 6:00 – 8:30 pm at the Anchorage Museum Presented by Pacific Seafood Processors Association in partnership with Alaska Seafood Marketing Institute Join us for Toast to the Coast- a fundraiser for Bean's Cafe & The Children's Lunchbox. https://myalaskatix.com/events/Toast-to-the-Coast--An-Event-to-End-Hunger--Presented-by-PSPA-for-Beans-Cafe-and-The-Childrens-Lunchbox-12--5-2019-54197 Officially Retired, Kelty Reflects On Decades-Long Career In Unalaska Politics, Fisheries KUCB by Laura Kraegel - December 3, 2019 Former mayor Frank Kelty has retired after almost 40 years as a local official. Before he moved to southern California last month, Kelty sat down with KUCB's Laura Kraegel to reflect on his long career. It began in the late 1960s when he moved from Washington to Alaska to find seasonal work as a seafood processor. https://www.kucb.org/post/officially-retired-kelty-reflects-decades-long-career-unalaska-politics-fisheries
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