SitNews - Stories in the News - Ketchikan, Alaska


Illegally Dumped Fish Waste Invites Bears, Fines


July 21, 2016
Thursday PM

(SitNews) - As salmon surge into Alaska, anglers and dipnetters are reminded to properly dispose of fish waste. Discarding fish waste on public or private property or along roads, pull-offs and trails can attract bears into areas frequented by the public and result in fines ranging from $300 to $1,000.

In Anchorage, where nearly 300,000 people live in close proximity to bears, fish waste is discarded each summer in vacant lots, greenbelts, and along local streams and lakeshores. Anchorage area wildlife biologist Dave Battle believes many people who dump fish waste don’t realize the danger they create for others.

“Fish attract bears,” said Battle, “and bears are likely to defend those food sources.”

Dumping fish in these places can also attract big fines. Prohibited under Alaska’s littering laws (AS 46.06.080), illegal dumping can lead to penalties of up to $1,000.

Fish waste should not be dumped into local lakes and streams as fish pathogens and parasites can be drainage specific. Moving fish waste from drainage to drainage has the potential to introduce fish pathogens into stream systems, thus endangering local salmonids, according to Dan Bosch, Anchorage regional management coordinator with the Division of Sport Fish.

“Dumping fish waste into any other stream is not a proper method of disposal,” said Bosch.

Anglers who clean fish on site are encouraged to chop carcasses into numerous pieces and throw them into fast-moving water. Anglers who remove fish from the fishing site and fillet or process them somewhere else should follow these recommendations to dispose of fish waste in a safe manner such as, if allowed, fish waste should be taken directly to a waste transfer station or to the landfill.




Edited by Mary Kauffman, SitNews


Source of News:

Alaska Department of Fish & Game



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