SitNews - Stories in the News - Ketchikan, Alaska


Fish Traps
By Rudy McGillvray


January 06, 2009

In light of the high price of deisel fuel for boats, perhaps fish traps are not a bad idea. They are and were the most efficient way to catch fish. They just need better management.

Ok, I'll bet I've got your attention now. There are approximately 20 seine permits out chasing salmon every summer, and they mostly fish in the same areas, they all have to buy about 500 to 700 gallons of fuel per trip. That is the first adder to the cost of catching a large amount of salmon. Don't forget the skiff on the other end of the net. THe time it takes to get to the fishing grounds, the crew a boat has to have to haul the net after a set, are all adders to the cost of catching our fish.

Fish traps, on the other hand, do not cost any fuel, once set in place, and anyone with a seine permit would own a share in one. That is, the permit owner would be allowed a share of the fish trapped according to his catch history to the date set by fisheries managers. Who, in adddition would be the ones actually operating the traps. The state in its management wisdom, which has done a fine job so far, would decide the openings and closings of the trap to shore lead, that would allow sufficient escapement to ensure future runs of salmon. The persons actually working the trap would be employees of the state fish and game unit, where the trap is operating. The seiners and gillnetters, who don't want to pay for high-priced fuel, would share in the costs of trap operation, and benefit through share ownership in the operating trap.

The public would benefit from perhaps a lower priced, healthy wild product. I tend to see it as a win-win situation. Less high-cost fuel burned, less expense costs in catching said fish. And the least damage to the fish caught.

Just something to contemplate while sitting around trying to think of ways to help "green" the planet.

Yours, in efficient fishing,

Rudy McGillvray
Ketchikan, AK

About: "Long-time resident, since before statehood."

Received January 06, 2009 - Published January 06, 2009


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