Southeast commercial Chinook trolling fishery threatened by environmental lawsuit


February 2, 2023

Jenny Winters / Petersburg Pilot

Trollers anchored near Sitka Sound.

This summer's commercial Chinook trolling fishery is in jeopardy following the recent release of a judge's recommendation to suspend the fishery as part of an ongoing lawsuit, leaving Southeast trollers in uncertain waters.

Western District of Washington Magistrate Judge Michelle Peterson's report, released in December 2022, concludes that the National Marine Fishery Service (NMFS), also known as NOAA Fisheries, violated the Endangered Species Act (ESA) and the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) when creating its 2019 Southeast Alaska Biological Opinion (Bi-Op).

Based on the court's f...

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