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SitNews - Stories In The News - Ketchikan, Alaska
April 08, 2013

Front Page Photo By KAREN HORN

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Front Page Photo By KAREN HORN ©2013
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Southeast Alaska: Sitka Sound sac roe herring fishery closed rest of 2013 season - The Alaska Department of Fish and Game has closed the Sitka Sound sac roe herring fishery for the remainder of the 2013 season.

The last competitive fishery occurred on March 30th and since then the ADF&G has not been able to identify a body of good quality herring to hold another competitive opening.

On April 3rd, the fishery was opened under a cooperative agreement among permit holders and the agreement initially allowed up to 480 tons of herring to be harvested with additional harvests based on the results of this initial harvest allotment. The Sitka Sound herring sac roe regulatory district, which includes the waters of Salisbury Sound south of the latitude of Point Kakul, Sitka Sound and contiguous waters and western Baranof Island south to Aspid Cape was opened under this agreement from 8:00 a.m. until 6:00 p.m. on April 3rd.

According to the ADF&G, at the close of the fishery at 6:00 p.m., only 250 tons of roe quality herring was harvested. Several sets made in locations south of Sitka indicated a large presence of small herring. With little progress made in harvesting good quality herring, the presence of recruit size herring, and no indication of a substantial biomass of additional quality roe herring in the area, the ADF&G announced the season closure on the VHF radio at 6:00 p.m., April 3. - More...
Monday PM - April 08, 2013

Southeast Alaska: ADF&G Announces 2013 Southeast Alaska Chinook Salmon Harvest Quota - Under provisions of the Pacific Salmon Treaty, the Alaska Department of Fish and Game (ADF&G) announced that the preseason Chinook salmon all-gear harvest quota for Southeast Alaska in 2013 is 176,000 fish. This year’s quota is 90,000 fish lower than the 2012 allowable preseason Chinook all-gear harvest level of 266,800.

The annual all-gear quota for Southeast Alaska is determined by the Chinook Technical Committee of the Pacific Salmon Commission. The quota is based on the forecast of an aggregate abundance of Pacific Coast Chinook salmon stocks subject to management under the treaty. Most Chinook salmon produced in Alaska hatcheries may be harvested in addition to the annual treaty limit.

According to the Alaska Department of Fish & Game, the Chinook harvest in Southeast is allocated to sport, commercial troll, and commercial net fisheries under management plans specified by the Alaska Board of Fisheries.

The Alaska Department of Fish and Game announced Thursday that under Chinook salmon management provisions of the Pacific Salmon Treaty (PST), the 2013 abundance index (AI) for Southeast Alaska has been calculated to be 1.20, which results in the all-gear harvest quota of 176,000 treaty Chinook salmon. This all-gear abundance-based quota represents a decrease of 90,800 fish when compared with last year’s preseason estimate of 266,800 fish at an abundance index (AI) of 1.52. - More....
Monday PM - April 08, 2013

Fish Factor: Push back by halibut buyers; Sitka spawns out; Kings sink in Southeast & more... By LAINE WELCH - Absent from supermarket fliers this spring have been ads featuring the year’s first fresh halibut, reflecting the anticipated push back by buyers to the high priced fish.  “No ads in the papers. No excitement this year,” said more than one major buyer.

In recent years, dwindling supplies of halibut helped push up dock prices to more than $7/lb at major ports, and halibut fillets topped $20/lb at retail. That’s not the case this year.

The fishery opened March 23 and the prices for first deliveries at Kodiak were reported at $5.25 - $5.75/lb with a 20 pound split, then after the first week, prices dropped to $4.50 - $4.75/lb.  Southeast’s first halibut prices were reported at $5.25 to $5.50, also well below last year.   Lots of halibut is in the freezers and “everyone is holding fish” said a Southeast processor. “”We’re still not moving a lot of fish even at the lower prices, so it’s a wait and see situation.”

At 10th and M Seafoods in Anchorage, there was “not a lot of enthusiasm” for the season’s first halibut, which was was fetching $10.95/lb for H&G and $17.95 for fillets. “We’re selling lots more cod fish,” said owner Rob Winfrey.

 Just over one million pounds of Alaska halibut was landed by 172 deliveries through April 5 with about 21 million pounds left to go.  

Lots of buyers are also still holding onto high priced sablefish (black cod), and those prices also took a 40% dive at the start of the season. Starting prices in Southeast ranged from around $5 to $3/lb the first week, compared to $8- $4 a pound last year. Most of Alaska’s sablefish goes to Japan, where the yen value is down 20%.  For sablefish, 1.5 million pounds was landed by 87 deliveries out of the 28 million pound quota.  

Sitka spawns out

Japan also buys all of Alaska’s herring roe, but they will get less than expected from Sitka. State managers closed the fishery on April 4, leaving more than half of the herring unharvested.  In all, the fleet took 5,600 tons of the 11,600 ton quota.  This is the second year in a row that spawning has out-paced the commercial harvest at Sitka Sound, dramatically reducing the numbers of unspawned females, whose egg skeins are the money-making product of the sac roe fishery. No word yet on herring price. Kodiak’s roe herring fishery opens April 15 with a 5,410 ton harvest quota.  Alaska’s largest roe herring fishery is at Togiak in Bristol Bay in early May. A catch of 30,000 tons is expected to come out of that fishery.

Kings sink in Southeast

The Chinook salmon all gear salmon harvest of 176,000 treaty Chinook salmon, is a decrease of 90,800 fish from 2012. . The commercial troll preseason Chinook salmon harvest for 2013 of 129,862 fish, is a decrease of 67,410 kings, down 34%. The numbers are derived from agreements with Canada under the Pacific Salmon Treaty. - More...
Monday PM - April 08, 2013

Alaska Science: Hybrid grizzly-polar bear a curiosity By NED ROZELL- When he heard the news of a grizzly-polar bear hybrid shot in Canada’s Arctic, Tom Seaton thought back to an unusual polar bear hide he’d once seen at Nelson Walker’s home in Kotzebue.

Hybrid grizzly-polar bear a curiosity

American hunter Jim Martell, left, is seen with a hybrid bear he shot while on a hunting expedition on Banks Island, Northwest Territory, Canada, in April 2006. Genetic tests showed the bear had a polar bear for a mother and a grizzly bear for a father. Roger Kuptana, center, right, was the guide on the expedition. The other men are unidentified. (Photo courtesy Canadian Wildlife Service).

“He had two polar bear rugs in his house - one was a huge one, and the other was special; it had lots of brown in it,” Seaton said. “It looked like a regular polar bear, but for every square inch of hide, 5 to 20 percent of the hairs were brown instead of white.”

Walker, who has since passed on, was a polar bear hunting guide in the village; Seaton was then a teenage hunter who loved to listen to Walker’s stories. He’s now a biologist with the Alaska Department of Fish and Game in Fairbanks. Because he had heard that polar bears and brown bears had bred successfully in a zoo, Seaton was pretty sure Walker’s white-and-brown hide was from the mating of a polar bear and a brown bear.

That combination of large bears is so rare that DNA testing of the hybrid bear shot in 2006 off Banks Island in Canada’s high Arctic proved for the first time that a wild bear had a polar bear as its mother and a grizzly as its father. An Associated Press reporter wrote that the bear had brown patches on its white coat, long claws, and the humped back of a grizzly.

Biologists say the merger is unlikely because the two species don’t interact very much - barren-ground grizzlies of the Arctic hibernate during much of the time polar bears have access to land. Polar bears are often far out on the sea ice when they’re ready to breed, but people sometimes see them on land in summer, as was the case in 1990 when oil exploration workers saw a polar bear 50 miles inland from the Beaufort Sea coast. - More...
Monday PM - April 08, 2013

Ketchikan: Annual Sourdough Stampede Results - Seventy four runners and walkers raced the clock and the weather at Saturday’s Remax Sourdough Stampede in Ketchikan.  This annual foot race features a one mile and 5K (3.1 mile) events. 

Alex Nelson was the top male runner in the one mile with a time of 6:24. Morgan Elerding was the top female runner in the one mile. Ten-year old Elerding crushing her last year's time with a 7:15 effort.  Joel Jackson led the pack in the 5K race with a 21:13.  First place female was Hilary Robbins at 22:10. 

The Stampede kicks off the Ketchikan Running Club's season and race director, Fred Jorgensen said; “We had many new talented runners and walkers in this first race.  It looks like we are in for a strong running year in Ketchikan.“  - More...
Monday PM - April 08, 2013


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letter All drugs are not safe for all people! By Teri J Wilson - Once again Ketchikan is experiencing "cookie cutter" doctoring.  The three favorite drugs, at his time, no matter what you have are:  Cymbalta, Gagapentin, and Lyrica.  Here are the facts:  Cymbalta is an anti-depressant, did you know that?  SOME patients experience a reduction in various pains, but then again, people taking  placebos also experience benefits.  The FDA has decided it's OK to label this drug as a pain reliever, but it's not.  Since it alters brain chemistry, should you be taking it for pain?!? - More...
Thursday PM - April 04, 2013

letter An American First By Alan R. McGillvray - I say this because of Obama's race war, that he is doing everything he can to separate us into various ethnic groups. e.g. Black Americans, Native Americans, White Americans, Japanese Americans, Chinese Americans... He is trying to promulgate this war by ethnicizing everyone in the country by calling out their ethnicity before calling them AMERICANS. - More...
Thursday PM - April 04, 2013

letter A New Regional Enviro Group By Joe Mehrkens - Every so often a team comes together that really clicks. Where agreed goals are readily reached, where differing opinions are sincerely heard and where a synergy fosters motivation. Hopefully this will be an enduring core of the new, volunteer-run, regional conservation group -- the Greater Southeast Alaska Conservation Community (GSACC), formed a year ago. Our primary focus will be on habitat protection for fisheries and wildlife but within the greater context of pressing issues such as climate change, ocean acidification, and carbon sequestration. - More...
Thursday PM - April 04, 2013

letter Throw out the current tax code By James R. Donnell - Time magazine reported this week that the estimated tax gap - the amount of money the IRS fails to collect due to misfiling or tax cheaters - is an estimated $600 billion dollars. The fact that this money goes uncollected ultimately increases the tax rates and the amount of money that you and I pay. - More...
Thursday PM - April 04, 2013

letter About that ammo hording By A. M. Johnson - Relating to retired U.S. Custom - Immigration officer, Mike Harpold's response (March 30) to my inquiry of Representative Young on the hording of ammo by various Federal agencies. Thank you Mike for your service. - More...
Thursday PM - April 04, 2013

letter FairTax By Glen E. Terrell - Have you completed your 2012 income tax form(s) yet? How long did you spend gathering all your receipts needed to prepare your income tax return? If you prepared your own tax return how much more time was required? If you engaged a professional tax preparer, how much did it cost you? Just complying with the income tax is a real burden. Doesn't this bother you just a little bit? - More...
Thursday PM - April 04, 2013

letter RE: Ammo hording By Jeremy Myers - Just a couple corrections. At least 4 times a year per agent, more than double the number of rounds he said each qualification day. - More...
Thurday PM - April 04, 2013

letter RE: Federal government ammo hording By Mike Harpold - Al, for once I agree with Don Young; given training requirements, 590 rounds per officer is pretty reasonable. As you know, I am retired after a 35-year federal law enforcement career, and my wife is still on the job with DHS's Office of Customs and Border Protection. She has to qualify with her firearm on a quarterly basis. - More...
Saturday AM - March 30, 2013

letter Education Funding: Borough Reserves By Agnes Moran - A recurring theme during my terms on the Borough Assembly has been the misguided notion that the Borough's General Fund Reserves were built at the expense of school funding. The implication being that reserves are not necessary and that reserves grew by cutting local funding to our schools. Neither assertion is correct. - More...
Saturday AM - March 30, 2013

letter School Funding By Amanda Mitchell - A ‘budget’ is a wish list without factual numbers. Plus, giving money to an administration for a general fund does not guarantee that a class which needs the funds will get it later. However, raising taxes and taking funds away from the citizens and businesses guarantees a decrease in quality of life in a community. This affects everyone including the students if not directly then indirectly. I am sure that many students don’t want to go to school so that they may one day have someone taking their earnings for ‘predictions’ and ‘wish lists.’ - More...
Saturday AM - March 30, 2013

letter STATE OF “ECONOMIC” EMERGENCY By David G. Hanger - The first adult step to civil war in this country has been taken by the most fascist state governor in the history of the United States, Rick Snyder of Michigan, a cretin who despises and is out to destroy representative democracy in this country.  It just isn’t efficient enough. - More...
Saturday AM - March 30, 2013

letter A dissenting view on wars with false causes By Alfred Ray Waddell - Looking back on the ten year anniversary of the Iraq war, many of us can remember the silence in the media before this war started; this was a disservice to those Americans who were willing to stand up and say that they wanted their sons and daughters that are taught to fight to be put in the right fights and the right causes. These voices were smothered out by the neocons that believed the Bush administration was right to invade Iraq.  No real challenge came from the News media against going into Iraq before the attack. In fact, the neocons were given a free hand; and the faint voices that spoke out against the war were kept off the front pages and judged by many as unpatriotic. - More...
Saturday AM - March 30, 2013

letter Media Has Loose Lips By Donald A. Moskowitz - On March 27, 2013 the ABC-TV Nightly News broadcast information concerning the new head of the CIA clandestine unit. - More...
Saturday AM - March 30, 2013

letter Taxation By Anthony Gasbarro - It is not a Democratic or Republican, liberal or conservative type issue.  Federal taxation is an issue that all Americans deal with daily.   There is a bill in Congress, HR25, the FairTax bill that eliminates taxes on income and replaces it with a tax on consumption of new goods and services. - More...
Saturday AM - March 30, 2013

letter Mind Control II by Ken Bylund - Another concerned American here, not shocked; puzzled, certainly. About the motive of that small minority of smart people using Schopenhauer's - Art of Controversy, to Interrupt, Break, Divert attention away from American's instinct to continue as the longest surviving nation of productive, imaginative, and well mannered people in history? Look to the reason why we are respected by them who would like us 'heads on stakes' dead. Could it be because we have a standing army of a hundred million armed citizens, who are not criminals, respecting legitimate law, and have the means to defend themselves? The main complaint by wanna-be aristocracy, at home or abroad, seems to be that we the people are not willing to embrace the European model of ever increasing dependency on and acceptance of Government Control. - More...
Wednesday PM - March 27, 2013

letter Open Letter: Federal government ammo hording By A.M. Johnson - The following response is made to Representative Don Young to a response he made to me requiring the vastly large ammo purchases by various Federal agencies. As reported by various news outlets, the amounts of weapons and ammunition purchased by our leading Federal agencies other than military, have been viewed as exceeding normal requirements. In one report several Iraq wars ammo consumption would be required to consume the amounts purchased and on order in 2012-13 alone. This is a disconcerting development heightened by the decreasing trust of our Federal Government and its actions promoted by the current administration. To that degree, I submitted a letter of this concern to Representative Don Young. Excerpts from his response begged for the return response to his attention. - More...
Wednesday PM - March 27, 2013

letter “Createmonth” By Bob Pickrell - This is a notice to my family, friends, and the rest of the world.  This year I will celebrate my “Createmonth” in December.  My September birth days are gone forever! - More...
Monday PM - March 25, 2013

letter Kayhi Needs a Tlingit Class By Peter Stanton - I would like to make a serious, concrete suggestion for Ketchikan High School: Get a Tlingit class. It could be just one period, but Kayhi needs a class teaching the Tlingit language. - More...
Monday PM - March 25, 2013

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