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Fish Factor: 2018 Alaska Salmon Season Preliminary Wrap Up By LAINE WELCH - Alaska salmon fishermen harvested 114.5 million fish during the 2018 season for a payout of $595 million at the docks. That’s down 13 percent from the value of last year’s salmon catch. 

A preliminary wrap up of the 2018 salmon season by the Alaska Dept. of Fish and Game provides summaries for every fishing region across the state.

It shows that sockeye salmon accounted for nearly 60 percent of the total value and 44 percent of the statewide salmon harvest. A catch of 50 million sockeyes added up to nearly $350 million for Alaska fishermen. 

Chums were the second most valuable catch at $125 million and made up 18 percent of the statewide catch at just over 20 million fish. Pinks accounted for 36 percent of the harvest and 12 percent of the value at nearly $70 million. Coho salmon comprised just three percent of the catch at 3.6 million fish valued at $35.5 million.

The Chinook salmon harvest of 234,614 fish was the lowest since limited entry began in 1975, with a value of $16.3 million. 

Salmon prices paid to fishermen  increased across the board this year. 

Chinook salmon averaged $5.98 a pound, compared to $5.86 last year. Sockeyes averaged $1.33, up 20 cents. 

Coho prices at $1.34 increased 15 cents a pound. Pinks averaged 45 cents, an increase of 13 cents over last season; chum prices at 78 cents were up 12 cents a pound. 

The dock prices don’t include post season bonuses and adjustments and the salmon harvests and values will change as fish tickets are finalized. 

Forecasts for the 2019 salmon season already are trickling in. 

At Bristol Bay, a run of just over 40 million sockeye salmon is projected next summer which would allow for a catch of 26.6 million fish -- 26.11 million at Bristol Bay and 1.49 million in the South Peninsula fisheries.

ADF&G said more salmon forecasts for the 2019 season “will roll out in coming weeks.”  - More...
Friday PM - November 09, 2018

Alaska: Sockeye carcasses tossed on shore over two decades spur tree growth - Hansen Creek, a small stream in southwest Alaska, is hard to pick out on a map. It's just over a mile long and about 4 inches deep. Crossing from one bank to the other takes about five big steps.

Yet this stream is home to one of the most dense sockeye salmon runs in Alaska's Bristol Bay region. Each summer, about 11,000 fish on average return to this stream, furiously beating their way up the shallow creek to spawn and eventually die.

For the past 20 years, dozens of University of Washington researchers have walked this creek every day during spawning season, counting live salmon and recording information about the fish that died -- for a salmon, death is inevitable here, either after spawning or in the paws of a brown bear. After counting a dead fish, researchers throw it on shore to remove the carcass and not double-count it the next day. The data collection is part of a long-term study looking at how bear predation affects sockeye salmon in this region.

When this effort began in the mid-1990s, Tom Quinn, a professor in the UW School of Aquatic and Fishery Sciences, decided that everyone should throw sockeye carcasses to the left side of the stream -- facing downstream. They might as well be consistent, he thought, and who knows -- maybe someday they could see whether the tossed carcasses had an effect on that side of the stream.

Twenty years later, Quinn and colleagues have found that two decades of carcasses -- nearly 600,000 pounds of fish -- tossed to the left side of Hansen Creek did have a noticeable effect: White spruce trees on that side of the stream grew faster than their counterparts on the other side. What's more, nitrogen derived from salmon was found in high concentration in the needles of the spruce trees on the side of the tossed carcasses.

Essentially, as they report in a paper published October 23 in the journal Ecology, the sockeye carcasses were fertilizing the trees.

"Tossing the carcasses to the left side started out just as a convenience to keep from counting the same fish twice. I thought at some point in the future, it would be kind of cool to see it if had an effect," said Quinn, the paper's lead author who has taught and led research projects in the UW's Alaska Salmon Program for 25 years.  - More....
Friday PM - November 09, 2018

 

Alaska: Ancient child’s tooth reveals picture of Alaska’s early inhabitants By JEFF RICHARDSON - Research on a newly rediscovered 9,000-year-old child's tooth has reshaped our understanding of Alaska's ancient people, their genetic background and their diets.

The tooth is only the third known remnant of a population of early migrants known as Ancient Beringians. Combined with previous University of Alaska Fairbanks research, the find indicates that Ancient Beringians remained in Alaska for thousands of years after first migrating across the Bering Land Bridge that connected eastern Asia and Alaska.

Investigation of the tooth, conducted by researchers at UAF and the National Park Service in Alaska, was part of a larger paper published Nov. 8 in the journal Science. That research included genetic analysis of 15 diverse bone samples from sites across North and South America, revealing a broad picture of how the Americas were populated by its earliest peoples.

The Alaska tooth had been largely forgotten since it was excavated in 1949 by Danish archaeologists from the Trail Creek Caves site on Alaska's Seward Peninsula. For almost 70 years it remained in storage in Copenhagen, Denmark, until it was found in 2016 by Jeff Rasic, a Fairbanks-based NPS archaeologist who was conducting new analyses of this old collection.

Radiocarbon dating determined the tooth, which belonged to a 1½-year-old child, is by far the oldest human specimen in the North American Arctic -- more than twice as old as the next oldest remains. Genomic testing connected the tooth to the Ancient Beringian lineage. The first traces of that population were discovered in 2013 by a team led by UAF professor Ben Potter at a site in Alaska's Interior.

"This one small tooth is a treasure trove of information about Alaska's early populations, not only their genetic affinities but also their movements, interactions with other people and diet," said Rasic.

When looked at together, those two sites -- separated by about 400 miles and 2,500 years -- show that Ancient Beringians were present across the vast expanse of Alaska for millennia. - More...
Friday PM - November 09, 2018


 
Alaska Science: Alaska chickadees are brainy birds By NED ROZELL - Alaska chickadees have proven themselves brainier than Colorado chickadees.

A researcher at the University of California, Davis once compared black-capped chickadees from Anchorage to chickadees from Windsor, Colorado, and found that the Alaska birds cached more sunflower seeds and found the seeds quicker when they later searched for them. The Alaska chickadees also had brains that contained more neurons than Colorado chickadees.

Vladimir Pravosudov of UC Davis’ Department of Psychology performed the study to test the notion that northern birds would be better at hiding and finding seeds than birds in a more moderate climate.

He chose to capture birds in Anchorage, which has a day length of about 5 hours, 30 minutes on Dec. 22, and compare them to birds he captured near Windsor, Colorado, about 50 miles north of Denver, where the Dec. 22 day length is about 9 hours, 15 minutes.

With the help of biologist Colleen Handel of the U.S. Geological Survey in Anchorage, Pravosudov captured 15 black-capped chickadees using a mist net at bird feeders around Anchorage in fall 2000. He later captured 12 black-capped chickadees near Windsor, Colorado.

All the birds returned to his lab at UC Davis, where he gave the birds the same food and amount of daylight for 45 days. After 45 days he tested eight birds from Alaska and eight from Colorado in a room with 70 caching holes drilled in wooden blocks and trees.

In late summer through fall, black-capped chickadees gather and hide seeds, insects and other foods to retrieve later, when they have fewer hours of daylight to feed and less food is available. Though black-capped chickadees live their entire lives within a few square acres, the species ranges from as far north as Anaktuvuk Pass to as far south as New Mexico. - More...
Friday PM - November 09, 2018

Alaska: Two Alaska Men Sentenced for Harassing, Killing Steller Sea Lions and Obstructing the Investigation – U.S. Attorney Bryan Schroder announced this week that two Alaska men were sentenced Tuesday in federal court for harassing and killing Steller sea lions with shotguns, and obstructing the government’s investigation into their criminal activities. 

Jon Nichols, 31, of Cordova, was sentenced Tuesday by U.S. Magistrate Judge Deborah M. Smith, to serve five years of probation, three months of home incarceration, 400 hours of community service, and pay a $20,000 fine.  Nichols is also required to publish a public apology in a national magazine covering commercial fishing.  Theodore “Teddy” Turgeon, 21, of Wasilla, was sentenced to serve four years of probation, one month of home incarceration, 40 hours of community work service, and pay a $5,000 fine. 

In June 2018, Nichols and Turgeon each pleaded guilty to one count of Marine Mammal Protection Act – Illegal Take.  Nichols also pleaded guilty to one count of Obstruction of a Marine Mammal Protection Act Investigation. - More...
Friday PM - November 09, 2018

Alaska: Child Psychologist Sentenced for Possession of Child Pornography - Russell Cherry, 51, of Anchorage, was sentenced today by U.S. District Judge Sharon L. Gleason, to serve four years in federal prison, followed by 15 years of supervised release, after previously pleading guilty to one count of possession of child pornography.  Cherry worked as a neuropsychologist treating children in Anchorage until he was indicted in June 2018.  

According to court documents, in the summer of 2017, Cherry had been using a file-sharing network to download images and videos depicting child sexual exploitation.  Cherry became the subject of a federal investigation after APD detectives observed activity from an IP address that had distributed through the file-sharing network, a 4-minute video depicting the sexual assault of two children between eight and 10 years old.  The investigation determined that the IP address was associated with Cherry’s residence.

On Aug. 29, 2017, APD and FBI executed a search warrant on Cherry’s residence, where several hundred images depicting child pornography were found on a number of different devices belonging to Cherry.  During a statement to law enforcement at the time of the search, Cherry admitted to searching for and downloading images depicting child sexual exploitation for his own “curiosity.” - More...
Friday PM - November 09, 2018


 
COLUMNS/COMMENTARY

jpg MARY LYNNE DAHL

MONEY MATTERS: STOCK OR BONDS? HOW DO YOUR DECIDE? By MARY LYNNE DAHL, CFP® - For years the accepted norm for investment of a portfolio was to allocate more to stocks and less to bonds at younger ages and then gradually reverse the percentages as one got older. Generally, a person in his/her twenties or thirties would be told to have 70% to 80% in stocks and 30% to 20% in bonds. The reason for this percentage mix was that stocks offer more potential for growth while bonds offer more potential for income. In addition, stocks were viewed as riskier than bonds. Usually, older investors seek income to replace earnings when they retire, so the gradual switch from stocks to bonds, targeting a mix of 30%-20% in stocks and 70% - 80% in bonds made sense for many people.

There was a lot of truth in these assumptions, such as stocks having more growth potential than bonds, but particularly that bonds offered more income and were less risky than stocks, but today, that has been shown not to be the case. Today, bonds have as much and sometimes more risk attached to them than many stocks and frequently pay less in interest income than stocks pay in dividend income. Why is this true? What has changed? - More...
Friday PM - November 09, 2018

jpg JEFF LUND

JEFF LUND: The thought doesn't count - So, I’ve got the unit, tag I’ll need and area all set for a moose hunt next Fall. I’m stoked, maybe even a little exhausted. 

However, the truth is, plans stink. 

Sure, everything starts with an idea, and a plan, but I get the feeling that sometimes I feel so good about an idea, or declaration, or a cause, or a plan, that I forget to show up. 

I remember how deep it cut to be told that I “mean well” which seems like a euphemism for someone who doesn’t follow through. The thought is only the beginning of what counts. When has a thought solved any problem? Am I there for someone, or am I not? Am I engaged or am I not? That’s what matters in that moment. The thought, like a great plan, is nothing without action. 

I think about this sort of thing sometimes, not to berate myself in fits of low self-esteem, but as a way to hold myself accountable. In fact, I don’t want my ego stroked, or to get showered with reassuring posts because that only validates where I currently am, and if I want to get more out of life, I can’t be stagnant. - More...
Friday PM - November 09, 2018


jpg Political Cartoon: Veterans Day Nov. 11, 2018

Political Cartoon: Veterans Day Nov. 11, 2018
By Rick McKee ©2018, The Augusta Chronicle, GA
Distributed to paid subscribers for publication by Cagle Cartoons, Inc.

      

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In observance of Veterans' Day By Rep. Dan Ortiz - This year marks the 100th year since the end of World War I. The guns fell silent on the Western Front in Europe, and the armistice with Germany had come into effect. Over nine million soldiers were killed in World War I, and an additional twenty-one million were wounded. After more than four years of warfare marked the highest casualty counts in modern warfare, the fighting stopped.

Armistice Day later became known as Veteran’s Day, when Americans take time to reflect on the myriad of sacrifices made by our soldiers. As we celebrate the long weekend, let us remember what we are observing: Veteran’s Day. It is a time for Americans to remember the sacrifices made by those who have served our great country in the United States Armed Forces. - More...
Friday PM - November 09, 2018

jpg Letter / Opinion

Proposed Distillery at The Old Firehouse By Shauna Lee - Finally, after a long period of stagnation, I’ve seen the spark of change here in Ketchikan and it’s made me feel quite optimistic about our future. Businesses like Nibliks, SoHo Coho, Chinook and Company and Ketchikan Dry Goods have brought new life into the downtown core with their updated design aesthetic and merchandise that encourages our local dollars to stay local. Venues like the New York Café, the Bawden Street Brewery and the Fish House have brought us new menu offerings and the opportunity to eat, drink and be merry right here in our hometown. It’s an exciting time for the First City and I feel like we are on the precipice of a new era where we leave old outdated ideas behind and embrace what our future could be. So how do we keep this momentum going?

As a business person I have learned over the years that I am more successful when I reach out to other local businesses and organizations. Working with my fellow colleagues rather than against them, has been a recipe for success. I want to help other companies become successful because when their boat rises, I get to ride the same high tide. That is why I want to encourage the City of Ketchikan to support the proposed distillery at the old Ketchikan Fire Department location. - More...
Friday PM - November 09, 2018

jpg Letter / Opinion

The Lone Independent By Austin Otos - With the 2018 state elections coming to a close, the Alaska State House District 36 chose, yet again, an unaffiliated candidate to represent them in the state congress. For three consecutive terms, Dan Ortiz has inched out his opponents ranging from a well-connected political staffer, to a longstanding Ketchikan city council member, and finally our districts local republican chairman. Going into the 2018 Alaska state house, Ortiz will be the only unaffiliated representative in a sea of red and a pond of blue. The Republican running on restoring a full permanent fund dividend and reforming local property tax contributions to the state wasn’t enough to persuade voters of District 36. What mattered to voters more were the candidate’s actions such as door-to-door engagement, one-on-one personal communication, and community outreach.

Our brand of independence is an anomaly distinctly found amongst the residents who inhabit southeast Alaska. Being geographically isolated to islands and limited in resources, residents of southeast must work creatively together in order to accomplish community goals. I truly believe that partisan politics and blind party affiliation disrupts representation, siphoning individuals into two polarized groups. - More...
Friday PM - November 09, 2018

jpg Letter / Opinion

100 Years After WWI Ended By Donald and Elizabeth Moskowitz - WWI ended on November 11, 1918. In commemoration of the 100 year anniversary of the end of WWI my wife, Elizabeth Ann (Jones) Moskowitz, and myself, wish to acknowledge the service of WWI marines Alton Christmas Jones (wife's father) and William Howard Jones (wife's uncle) who fought in France and Belgium during September 1918 to November 1918.  

They fought in many WWI battles, including Belleau Wood, the Verdun operations, Aisne-Marne Offensive, Meuse-Argonne Offensive, St. Mihiel Offensive, and the Battle of Blanc Mont Ridge. William Howard received the French Croix de Guerre and the U.S. Silver Star for his service at Blanc Mont Ridge, France on October 3, 1918. The Silver Star award stated "by lying down in the middle of the road using his automatic pistol so effective that he staid the enemy counter attack until remainder of group could get in line." - More...
Friday PM - November 09, 2018

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