February 21, 2013 | Volume 43, No. 7

Lunchtime meeting on Dungeness on Friday

A marine fisheries supervisor for the Alaska Department of Fish and Game will attend Friday’s Upper Lynn Canal Fish and Game Advisory Committee meeting to address concerns about overharvesting of Dungeness crab in the area.

The meeting starts 12:30 p.m. Friday, Feb. 22 in the asembly chambers.

Forrest Bowers, who made a presentation to the Haines Borough in October, will return to answer questions from residents concerned that commercial crabbers are over-harvesting to the detriment of subsistence users.

Advisory committee chair Tim McDonough said Bowers won’t repeat the presentation, but will be present to answer questions from citizens who did not attend the assembly meeting.

“The presentation he gave the borough was not attended by a lot of people who are affected by it. And they need to hear from him how the state does it, and they have to express their desire if they want to see something change,” McDonough said.

Bowers reported to the assembly that commercial Dungeness harvest in Chilkoot Inlet increased to 90,000 pounds last summer, about three times the average annual harvest from the previous four years.

Also on the docket for discussion at the Feb. 22 meeting is the reciprocal fishing license agreement, which allows Canadians and Alaskans to buy fishing licenses in one another’s countries for the same prices as locals.

“There’s a feeling among some people that it’s a totally lopsided situation. The user group from Whitehorse comes down and with that fishing license they harvest crab, salmon and all kinds of things. And there’s a feeling from some that it’s abused and lopsided. People don’t like to see all those resources going away with Yukoners who have just paid a local fishing license fee,” McDonough said.

Other discussion items include advisory committee election procedures, user-group conflict in the bald eagle preserve, and statewide fin fish proposals.

Fish and Game area biologists Stephanie Sell and Ryan Scott will discuss bear and moose hunts.