After being turned aside in May, the Kenai River Sportsfishing Association has won another audience before the Alaska Board of Fisheries regarding problems the lobbying group has with hatchery pink salmon production in Prince William Sound.
In May, the Board punted the issue to Alaska Department of Fish and Game Commissioner Sam Cotton. Last week Cotton sent a letter to KRSA Executive Director Ricky Gease saying he did not find that an emergency existed and denied the petition.
However, the Board of Fish nevertheless slated the July 17 special meeting in Anchorage to consider whether an emergency exists under state law and may consider whether to adopt emergency regulations to amend permit terms for the Solomon Gulch Hatchery.
The emergency, as KRSA states it in its petition to the Board, is that there may be potential harm to other fish stocks if an additional 20 million pink salmon eggs are allowed to be taken, incubated and released.
The KRSA petition claims that stray Prince William Sound humpies have already been finding their way into Lower Cook Inlet, where they could endanger native salmon runs.
The Board of Fisheries will not take spoken or written testimony at the July 17 meeting, so any comments must be submitted by July 9. You can submit a link here: www.boardoffisheries.adfg.alaska.gov