Clam declines mean lower bag limit
Littleneck and butter clam bag and possession limits in Cook Inlet and Resurrection Bay, sport, personal-use, and subsistence fisheries are reduced from 1,000 littleneck clams and 700 butter clams to a combined limit of 80 clams effective at 12:01 a.m. today.
A department survey data for Jakolof Bay show littleneck clam density declined from 21 clams per square meter in 2001 to three clams per square meter in 2010. Similarly, Jakolof Bay butter clam density declined from three clams per square meter to one clam per square meter over the same time period. Survey data for the upper and lower islands in China Poot Bay show littleneck clam density declined from 44 and 27 clams per square meter in 2000 to three clams and one clam in 2009. Butter clam abundance at China Poot Bay remains stable. A shorter time series of data from other surveyed sites within Kachemak Bay also indicate declines. The cause of these declines in clam abundance is unknown.
Seaton’s youth protection bill moves
Rep. Paul Seaton’s work to close a loophole that could make it possible for underage Alaskans to purchase products containing nicotine moved forward. Tobacco companies are testing out products like mints, toothpicks, hand sanitizing gels and water that all contain nicotine, Seaton told a House committee last week. He said nicotine itself is not captured by federal laws regulating use of tobacco and tobacco cessation products.
Alaska is one of four states to ban the sale of tobacco products to anyone younger than 19, and Seaton’s proposal in HB224 is to put the same restriction on products containing nicotine. The bill passed the House last year and was unanimously moved through committee Wednesday. The last hurdle before a floor vote is the Senate Judiciary Committee.
First Saturday birders meet
The Kachemak Bay Birders’ First Saturday birding trip will be April 7 at the mouth of the Anchor River. Meet at 9 a.m. at Islands and Ocean Visitor Center to carpool or at the parking lot near the boat launch at the Anchor River at 9:45 a.m.
Woman faces fraud on initiative petition
A Fairbanks woman has been charged with submitting fraudulent signatures for the Alaska Coastal Management Program citizen initiative petition, and four other misdemeanor and felony charges.Deborah A. Carroll was hired by the Alaska Sea Party to obtain signatures for the initiative petition. When the petition booklet was submitted to the initiative committee, there were suspicions of fraudulent signatures. The committee did not submit the booklet to the Division of Elections with their petition application, but instead turned it in to the Department of Law.Carroll admitted to taking names out of the phone book and signing the petition booklet, based on statements she gave to police.The prosecution and discovered fraud does not affect the proper filing of the initiative petition. Sufficient qualified signatures were submitted.One of the petition’s sponsors, Juneau Mayor Bruce Botelho, brought this fraudulent activity to the attention Lt. Gov. Mead Treadwell office.
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