August 29, 2013 | Vol. 39, No. 35

Yesterday's News

August 31, 1983 – Construction of the new harbor office will be subsidized with $60,000 from the Phase III construction funds for the new boat harbor, according to Harbormaster Jim Stromdahl.

Harbormaster Stromdahl said the New Harbor project will not be hurt if the $60,000 is removed.

The additional funds became necessary when the low bid came in at $122, 990 over the architect's estimate of $238,240.

The difference was made up by the state Department of Transportation transferring $60,000 of the $1.9 million set aside for Phase III of the South Boat Harbor.

At a special council meeting Aug. 25, Stromdahl said that the Harbor Advisory Board recommended that a new launching ramp and an elevated launching ramp dock to replace the current one be excluded. The two items were estimated to cost $788,140.

“Their consensus was that we don't need a launching ramp that costs $788,000...if we just take $20,000 or $30,000 and fix up what we've got,” Stromdahl said.

Without the new ramp, there would be enough money to complete Phase III, repair the launching ramp and still have $60,000 to transfer to the Harbormaster Building.

The Harbor Advisory Board is also contributing $24,000 for the building from the Harbor Fund. The operating fund will still have a three month operating reserve, Stromdahl said.

August 26, 1993 – The Southeast pink salmon season, coming in with a bang last week, is already slowing down and could be over in a few more days.

And fishermen are looking forward to the fall halibut opener Sept. 8 to 10.

Some salmon tenders were reported pulling out last week and heading for other grounds.

There is a noticeable decrease in seine boats in the harbor, the Harbormaster's office said this week.

And some more seine fishermen could head south this weekend for other fishing opportunities nearer Seattle, where they are homeported, said William Bergmann, area management biologist for the Alaska Department of Fish & Game.

Bergmann said about 5 million pinks were harvested during the last opener Saturday and Sunday, bringing to about 40 million the number of fish landed so far this season.

ADF&G had made pre-season estimates of a 50 to 60 million harvest, and later downgraded it by almost half when the fish didn't show up on schedule.

However Bergmann said the run was merely late rather than weak, and officials are now reassessing estimates.

“At this rate we should get 50 to 55 million,” he said.

September 4, 2003 – Halibut prices have been unusually high this year, but some in the industry worry the bottom could suddenly fall out of the market.

Halibut fishermen landed 630,170 pounds on Monday, the largest deliveries since late May and landed more than 1.5 million pounds this week statewide. Seventy-six percent of the 59 million pound quota had been taken to date.

Despite the influx of fish, prices in Kodiak continued to hover between $2.90 and $3.30 per pound, while Homer prices were slightly higher at $3.15 to $3.40 per pound.

“These are some of the highest prices we've ever seen,” said Jessica Stack of the Auction Block in Homer.

Kodiak and Homer processors attribute this year's elevated prices to higher demand for the flaky white fish in the Lower 48 and more competition from Dutch Harbor and Sand Point processors.

The high prices are an unexpected bonus for boat owners and crews this year, but industry insiders remain apprehensive that prices could plummet.

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