Articles written by Laine Welch

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 By Laine Welch    Dockside    September 3, 2015 

Fish Factor: West coast warm water blob impacting marine food chain

Fish deaths, drought in California, tropical creatures appearing in cold waters – those freakish happenings and more are being blamed on a giant splotch of warm water that for two years has been pushing against coastlines on the West Coast, Canada...

 
 By Laine Welch    Dockside    August 27, 2015

Fish Factor: King salmon decline research program slashed by budget cuts

One of the casualties of this year’s budget cuts was funds for a program aimed at discovering why Alaska’s Chinook salmon stocks have been declining since 2007. A five year, $30 million Chinook Salmon Research Initiative launched in 2013 included...

 
 By Laine Welch    Dockside    August 20, 2015

Fish Factor: Salmon season unlikely to reach forecasted harvest

Alaska’s salmon season so far has been characterized by ups and downs, and it will be a stretch for the total catch to make the forecasted 221 million fish. “It just depends on how these late returning pink salmon at Prince William Sound...

 
 By Laine Welch    Dockside    August 13, 2015

Fish Factor: Crucial salmon stream water rights decisions coming up

Two hearings this month could change the face of Alaska’s salmon fisheries forever. On August 21, the Department of Natural Resources will hear both sides on competing claims to water rights for salmon streams at Upper Cook Inlet’s Chuitna River...

 
 By Laine Welch    Dockside    August 6, 2015

Fish Factor: First seagoing electric passenger vessel in the U.S. to launch in Juneau

The first seagoing electric powered passenger vessel in the U.S. is set to launch next summer in Juneau. The E/V Tongass Rain is a 50 foot, 47 passenger catamaran designed for eco-education and whale watching tours. Its primary fuel source will be...

 
 By Laine Welch    Dockside    July 30, 2015

Fish Factor: Bristol Bay sockeye prices plunge to 50 cents a pound

Shock and dismay were heard from Bristol Bay fishermen when they finally got word last week that major buyers would pay 50 cents a pound for their sockeye salmon.  That’s a throwback to the dock prices paid from 2002 through 2004, and compares to...

 
 By Laine Welch    Dockside    July 23, 2015

Fish Factor, Record breaking catches during last week of sockeye run

The world’s biggest sockeye salmon run at Bristol Bay went from “bust” to “unbelievable” in one week. Landings last week broke records every day for five days for that time frame, bringing the total sockeye catch to nearly 28 million fish...

 
 By Laine Welch    Dockside    July 16, 2015

Fish Factor, Massive debris cleanup effort begins this week

Kodiak volunteers were scrambling with front end loaders and dump trucks to ready 200,000 pounds of super sacks for the first pick up of a massive marine debris removal project that begins in Alaska this week. The month long cleanup, which is backed...

 
 By Laine Welch    Dockside    July 9, 2015

Fish Factor: Juneau-based company begins manufacturing salmon leather

“Upcycling” seafood byproducts is the business model for Tidal Vision, a Juneau-based company of five entrepreneurs who are making waves with their line of aquatic leather and performance textiles. The start-up is making wallets, belts and other...

 
 By Laine Welch    Dockside    June 25, 2015

Fish Factor, High value of the dollar making overseas seafood buyers wary

As Alaska’s salmon season heads into high gear, a few bright spots are surfacing in an otherwise bleak global sales market. Sales and prices for all salmon (especially sockeye) have been in a slump all year. And amidst an overall glut of wild and...

 
 By Laine Welch    Dockside    June 18, 2015

Fish Factor: Petition puts salmon set net ban on the ballot

A one handed clap best describes the reaction to the 43,000 signature drop off by anti-salmon setnet advocates at the Division of Elections last week. It means enough signatures were gathered to include the question on the 2016 primary election...

 
 By Laine Welch    Dockside    June 11, 2015

Fish Factor: Salmon forecast for this season totals 221 million fish

Salmon fisheries are opening up this month from one end of Alaska to the other. Total catches so far of mostly sockeye, were under one million fish, but will add up fast from here on. A total haul for all Alaska salmon this season is pegged at 221...

 
 By Laine Welch    Dockside    June 4, 2015

Fish Factor: State budget failure means layoffs for Alaska's salmon managers this summer

Alaska’s salmon industry is ready to get corked by the inability of state lawmakers to pass a budget. More than 20,000 state workers are bracing for 30 day layoff notices, meaning they’ll be off the job when the new fiscal year starts on July 1....

 
 By Laine Welch    Dockside    May 28, 2015

Fish Factor

Alaskans will have to wait until fall to learn if salmon habitat prevails over a coal mine proposed at Upper Cook Inlet. A decision due earlier this month by the state Department of Natural Resources has been delayed until after a public hearing...

 
 By Laine Welch    Dockside    May 21, 2015

Fish Factor: Fishery managers deciding to cut halibut bycatch by 50 percent

Nowhere in the world do people have as much opportunity to speak their minds to fish policy makers as they do in Alaska. As decision day approaches, a groundswell of Alaska voices is demanding that fishery overseers say bye-bye to halibut bycatch in...

 
 By Laine Welch    Dockside    May 14, 2015

Fish Factor Study looks at health issues common in commercial fishing industry

How much are fishermen affected by long term health problems like hearing loss, lack of sleep and high blood pressure?  A pilot study aims to find out and researchers are using the 500-plus members of the Copper River salmon driftnet fleet as test...

 
 By Laine Welch    Dockside    May 7, 2015

Salmon producers scoff at claim that more pinks means fewer sockeye

Alaskan salmon producers are not buying the presumption that growing numbers of pinks are eating too much food in the ocean, causing sockeye salmon to grow slower and smaller. That’s the claim of a new study by Seattle and British Columbia...

 
 By Laine Welch    Dockside    April 30, 2015

Fish Factor: Wild brood hatchery salmon account for a third of state's total salmon harvest

Each year more than one third of all the salmon caught in Alaska begin their lives in a hatchery. There are 31 hatchery facilities in Alaska: 15 privately owned, 11 state owned, two federal research facilities, one tribal hatchery at Metlakatla, and...

 
 By Laine Welch    Dockside    April 23, 2015

Fish Factor: The latest rumors about Icicle Seafood sale

Of all the global fish news sites, London-based Undercur-rent News has risen to the top when it comes to scoops on sales of Alaska seafood companies. The latest - Icicle Seafood owners Paine and Partners of San Francisco are having a tough go...

 
 By Laine Welch    Dockside    April 16, 2015

Fish Factor: Bill proposes to allow subsistence harvests to be donated to schools, hospitals for resale

Caribou instead of corn dogs…salmon instead of Trout Treasures… seal meat in place of spaghetti – all could soon be available to more Alaskans if traction continues on a new bipartisan bill before the Alaska legislature. The bill - HB 179 -...

 
 By Laine Welch    Dockside    April 9, 2015

Fish Factor, Bumper year means salmon will be harder to sell

File this fish story under the “can there be too much of a good thing” category. Alaska is expecting another bumper run of salmon this year– state managers announced last Friday a projected total catch of 221 million salmon, 39 percent higher...

 
 By Laine Welch    Dockside    April 2, 2015

Fish Factor

Volunteers are needed to help craft new safety rules that are being written for older boats – which includes the bulk of Alaska’s fishing vessels. Called the Alternate Compliance Safety Program (ACSP), it is part of the 2010 US Coast Guard...

 
 By Laine Welch    Dockside    March 26, 2015

Fish Factor: Personal use prioritization gains momentum

Seven times is the charm for building some momentum on a measure that aims to give personal use (PU) fisheries a priority over commercial and sport users. As it stands now, the three fisheries all are on equal footing in the eyes and actions of...

 
 By Laine Welch    Dockside    March 19, 2015

Fish Factor

Print your licenses at home and go fishing. The Alaska Dept. of Fish and Game’s revamped Online Store is the go to place for all fishing (and hunting) licenses and it now offers two new features. “Fishermen, both sport and commercial, can now...

 
 By Laine Welch    Dockside    March 12, 2015

Fish Factor: Legislators look to cut $12 million from Fish and Game

A nearly $12 million cut in state funds is on tap for the Alaska Dept. of Fish and Game if state policy makers have their way. That was one early outcome of legislative House finance subcommittee meetings last week, as they wrapped up the first step...

 

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