Sockeye fishing in Yakutat and the Situk River has been shut down. According to the Department of Fish and Game, there are closures for kings and other salmon in Juneau, Sitka, Ketchikan, Haines, Skagway, Petersburg, Wrangell, Mat-Su rivers, the Kenai, Anchor River, Kasilof and Deep Creek.
On the November ballot will be an initiative put forth by the people of Alaska to update Title 16 statutes. The short title for this initiative is "Fish/wildlife habitat protection; permits," also known as "Stand for Salmon."
In November, we will have the opportunity to not make the mistakes of the Lower 48 when it comes to managing our fish. The Stand for Salmon initiative does not speak to sports fishing, commercial fishing, dip net, fish wheels, nets, trawlers, processors or quotas. It speaks to salmon habitat definition; provides for a 30-day public comment period and moves the cost of determining stream designation from the taxpayer to the permit applicant.
If you read the initiative (it's quick), you'll read that: A project that does not need a permit now will not need a permit with the passage of the initiative. A project that needs a permit now will need a permit with the passage of the initiative. The changes are a reduction in permit application cost to you and I, an opportunity to publicly speak on projects, and a clear, concise, definition of what "quality salmon habitat" is. Let's not make the mistakes of Washington, Oregon, California and others in losing our fish. If you don't think it can get worse, trust me, it can. Vote "yes" for the Stand for Salmon initiative. Protect your salmon habitat.
— Barbara Reilly
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