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SitNews - Stories In The News - Ketchikan, Alaska
August 30, 2010

Front Page Photo by JIM LEWIS

Ward Creek: Black Bear
A bear walking along the upper edge of a waterfall with its fish..
Front Page Photo by JIM LEWIS

Alaska: Suspect in killing of Hoonah officers arrested By KYLE HOPKINS - A man who troopers say shot and killed two police officers in the Southeast village of Hoonah was captured after leaving his house shortly after 9:30 a.m. - - Read this Anchorage Daily News article
Monday - August 30, 2010


Fish Factor: Salmon catch blows past pre-season predictions By LAINE WELCH - Alaska's salmon catch has blown past pre-season predictions and there is still a lot of fishing left to go. The 2010 statewide harvest was pegged at 137 million salmon, down by 15% from last year due to anticipated low returns of pinks.

But the Alaska catch has topped 157 million salmon so far, and the humpy haul is approaching 99 million fish. Managers had predicted a catch closer to 69 million pinks.

Most of the fish was coming from Prince William Sound - 65 million so far, toppling the record of 63.5 million pink salmon set in 2007. The fleet of 164 seiners hauled in a mind boggling 20.3 million pinks during one week in early August. The take could have been much bigger, but the huge catches exceeded processing capacity and boats were put on limits. Southeast Alaska fishermen also were seeing strong pink salmon catches so far approaching 22 million fish.

Prices for Alaska's 'bread and butter' fish also have increased to 35 cents a pound, compared to an average of 22-24 cents last year.

In fact, prices for pinks in their various product forms have trended upwards in the past few years. According to market tracker Ken Talley, the wholesale price for frozen pinks was holding steady at 93-cents a pound in 2009 and 2008, up from 77 cents the previous year. Fresh pinks jumped from 84-cents in 2008 to $1.42 in 2009. Frozen pink fillets were wholesaling at $1.16 a pound last year.

And get this: most of Alaska's pink salmon still end up in cans and cases of canned talls were fetching $118.88 per case, up from $59.11 in 2008! Also favoring Alaska - competing pink salmon catches from Russia are expected to be down by half from a year ago.

Price check

A higher harvest and higher prices mean the value of Alaska's 2010 salmon fishery will dwarf last year's dockside value of $370 million, which took a big hit from the global recession.

Sockeye salmon account for two-thirds of Alaska's total salmon value and prices to fishermen this year have soared. At Kodiak, reds fetched a base price of $1.49 per pound, up from $1.11 last year. Prices at Prince William Sound were $2.25, compared to $1.72. For Southeast, sockeye prices were reported at $2.00, an increase of 75 cents per pound. - More...
Monday - August 30, 2010

Alaska: Dead whale near Tenakee Springs likely killed by vessel strike; Vessel strikes with whales in Alaska appear to be increasing - A deceased humpback whale sighted near Tenakee Springs this month likely died as a result of injuries from a vessel strike, say NOAA Fisheries scientists who performed a necropsy on the carcass recently.

Dead whale near Tenakee Springs likely killed by vessel strike; Vessel strikes with whales in Alaska appear to be increasing

NOAA Fisheries scientists conducting a necropsy of a humpback whale near Tenakee Springs, Alaska
Photo courtesy NOAA

The humpback whale was first reported floating near Tenakee Springs early the morning of August 19th. NOAA's National Marine Fisheries Service authorized volunteers in the Marine Mammal Stranding Network to tow the carcass away from town to a beach appropriate for a necropsy.

"This 30-foot long male had marked internal injuries, bruising and hemorrhage indicative of death by high impact, blunt force trauma" said Dr. Kate Savage, a veterinarian with NOAA who led the necropsy.

Researchers will try to identify the whale by comparing markings on its tail fluke to photos in Southeast Alaska humpback whale catalogues. They also collected one of the whale's eyes, which can be used to determine the whale's age. - More...
Monday - August 30, 2010

Alaska: Bering Sea pollock fishers have new Chinook salmon bycatch program for 2011 - Fishers trawling for pollock in the Bering Sea will have new guidelines beginning next year to minimize the accidental catch-or "bycatch"-of Chinook salmon in their nets.

OAA's National Marine Fisheries Service today published in the Federal Register the final rule to implement the Chinook salmon bycatch management program for the 2011 pollock fishery. The program:

  • Sets a limit on the amount of Chinook salmon that may be caught and shuts down the fishery if that limit is reached;
  • Sets up a structure for the pollock fishing fleet to develop incentive plans encouraging each vessel to avoid Chinook salmon at all times while fishing for pollock, not just when bycatch numbers are high;
  • Uses a performance standard to ensure that the incentive plan is effective and that bycatch remains below the limit;
  • Increases observer coverage for pollock catcher vessels to count every Chinook salmon caught in the pollock fishery.

The North Pacific Fishery Management Council recommended the plan as Amendment 91 to the Fishery Management Plan for Groundfish of the Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands Management Area. NOAA Fisheries wrote the final rule based on the Council's plan and taking into consideration public review and comments on the amendment and proposed rule. - More...
Monday - August 30, 2010


Alaska Science: A friend remembers Ted Stevens' advocacy for Alaska science By NED ROZELL - When Syun-Ichi Akasofu first approached Ted Stevens, the Japanese-American leader of the University of Alaska Fairbanks' Geophysical Institute was desperate - the institute's rocket range had no money to maintain or improve its structures and equipment.

 A friend remembers Ted Stevens' advocacy for Alaska science

The late U.S. Senator Ted Stevens with Syun-Ichi Akasofu, founder of
the International Arctic Research Center.
Photo courtesy of Syun-Ichi Akasofu

Akasofu traveled to Washington, D.C., to meet the powerhouse Alaska senator. When Akasofu reached Stevens' office, the senator informed him that he needed to head to Capitol Hill.

"Can I come with you?" Akasofu asked.

"I don't see why not," Stevens said.

On the brief train ride, Akasofu pled his case for funds that would allow improvements to the rocket range his institute and the university had no money for. Stevens listened to him and deemed Akasofu's cause important enough to turn around.

"Let's go back to the office right now," Stevens said.

The men caught a train going the other way. Stevens assembled his staff and brainstormed until they found a way to fund a $20 million upgrade to Poker Flat Research Range. - More...
Monday - August 30, 2010


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Ketchikan: "Dive Into Reading" ends - The 2010 Summer Reading Club "Dive Into Reading" ended Saturday, August 21st with a swim party for over 40 patrons at the Mike Smithers Pool. With 409 participants and hundreds of reading hours logged, grand prize winners were drawn at random from readers coupons and given prize packages containing books, craft kits, gift certificates and electronics appropriate to their age. The winners were Kayden Lent, Anna Schweppe, Ingrid Anzueto, Maury Meiresonne, Micah Briola, Emilio Torres, Nena Jones, Natasha Bolshakoff, Michael Greer and Kevin Fast.

Teen Advisory Board coordinator Kelly Johnson reports that 44 teens participated in the "Making Waves @ The Library" teen reading club which rewarded teens for checking out library items and filling out comment cards. - More...
Monday - August 30, 2010

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Questions, please contact the editor at or call 617-9696.

letter Road Construction By Al Johnson - Sitting in the traffic during our North Tongass Highwasy re-construction reminded me that I wanted and am now, writing to say how much I appreciate the work ethic of the Secon construction company, crew and subcontractors is during this construction effort. The professionalism of the equipment operators is fascinating to watch, the daily dispatch of road debris is outstanding.Daily progress reflects rapacity towards the job completion. - More...
Monday PM - August 30, 2010

letterGaanax adi Lands Are Not Yours By Aan Kadax Tseen aka Don Hoff Jr. - I was born and raised in Ketchikan; I have sat on the City Council/Vice Mayor, O.S.H.A. Review Board member/Chairman, I.R.A. Councils, etc. I have been writing opinion letters on Land Claims for Ketchikan. - More...
Monday PM - August 30, 2010

letterMiller is DEPLORABLE By Stacey Stone - Miller had a campaign full of lies and now he is likening a United States Senator to a prostitute. Who is this man and who in the heck in their right mind can consciously vote for him? - More...
Monday PM - august 30, 2010

letterWrong By Susan Round - Perhaps Mr. Edward's attitude toward libraries and literacy, and those who share it, have much to do with children not meeting "standards". Ever consider that? I wholeheartedly and enthusiasticly support the new library. I raised two children in this community. They spent a considerable amount of their childhood in the public library and they both exceeded the "standards" by any measure. - More...
Monday PM - august 30, 2010

letterThank you voters By Diane Naab - The members of ABC: A Better Choice are pleased with the voter turnout concerning the library site location. We thank those in the community who took the time to vote. - More...
Monday PM - August 30, 2010

letterRaven's Way program thanks Sitka merchants for their support By Rebecca Howe - Over the course of the year, the SouthEast Alaska Regional Health Consortium (SEARHC) Yéil Jeeyáx Raven's Way adolescent residential substance abuse treatment center receives support from several organizations in Sitka. Raven's Way would like to thank five Sitka businesses for their support. - More...
Monday PM - April 30, 2010

letterIn response to Library By Aprill Gass - This is the first time I have written to Sitnews, I was happy to see Mr. Edwardson point out the lack of educational progress we have seen in this community and the new library. I agree that we have many important issues facing us, the library seems to be one we could put on hold for the time being given the economic climate of our town. - More...
Monday PM - April 30, 2010

letterVoting Haida Corp. By Frances C. Natkong - If anyone on Haida Corporation Board of Directors approaches you asking you to vote for ANYONE please give me a call at 907-209-9447. Board members are not supposed to be campaigning, it is against policy. - More...
Monday PM - April 30, 2010

letterAppreciation for Volunteers By Judith Green - KUDOS to all those who volunteer to sit at the polling places. - More...
Monday PM - April 30, 2010

letterEconomy By Robert Freedland - Our economy is of great concern to me. We have 9.5% unemployed and many other who have lost hope about finding a job, and we do not have a unified approach to dealing with this problem. - More...
Monday PM - April 30, 2010

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Ketchikan, Alaska

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