Board of Fish considers Yukon commercial dipnet changes

by Ben Matheson on March 20, 2014

Yukon commercial fisherman may be using larger dipnets this summer during periods of king salmon closures. The Board of Fish voted Wednesday to allow non-circular nets as large as six feet by three feet, that’s up from the 5-foot limit last year. All circular dipnets can be up to 5 feet across.

After that vote, the Alaska Journal reports that board member Fritz Johnson made a motion for reconsideration and wanted to bring more information forward. The issue appeared to be that the language could be more restrictive than the personal use dip net fishery and not allow for more harvest, as the board in intended. The board will take up the issue again this morning.

The board did not pass a proposal to create a purse seine fishery.

Last year, Yukon commercial fisherman brought in nearly 200,000 chums with dipnets, but many harvestable chums were missed, over, 1.6 million. Only 29 percent of the district 1 and 2 allocations were harvested. A third of the harvest in district one came from dipnets, nearly 70 percent of district’s 2’s harvest was with the new geartype.

The board of fish is also considering allowing dipnets for subsistence users on the Kuskokwim river this summer. They heard testimony Monday but have taken no action.

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