Personal-use dipnet fishery opens today
The Kenai River personal-use dipnet fishery will open July 10-31. Retention of king salmon in the Kenai River personal use fishery will be prohibited in 2013. Any king salmon caught may not be removed from the water and must be released immediately unharmed.
Based upon preseason forecast, the 2013 Kenai River king salmon run is expected to be below average. Based upon the poor performance of king salmon stocks in Cook Inlet and other areas of the state, it is likely the Kenai River late-run king salmon stock will also experience poor performance.
The 2013 late-run king salmon sport fishery was restricted from using bait in the Kenai River. Initial indicators of late-run strength are below average, with a cumulative sonar count of 694 kings through July 4. Therefore, the personal-use fishery will be managed to conserve king salmon in an effort to avoid additional restrictions or closure to the sport fishery.
Based on the preseason forecast, the 2013 sockeye salmon run to the Kenai River is expected to be above average. The personal-use fishery will be open from 6 a.m. to 11 p.m. each day, from July 10-31. A permit is required to participate and are available at local vendors and ADF&G offices.
For more information, visit www.adfg.alaska.gov/sf/ FishCounts/index.cfm?ADFG=main.home.
SB 21 Referendum effort in home stretch
Alaskans concerned about a controversial oil tax bill have less than a week to sign a petition to give all Alaskans the chance to vote on the issue, according to the group Vote Yes! Repeal the Oil Giveaway.
The group’s coordinator, Pat Lavin, said anyone wanting to sign must do so before Saturday. Lavin noted that the oil tax bill will reduce funding available for schools, roads, public safety and a host of critical state and local services. It will create massive state budget deficits and force legislators to spend Alaska’s hard-fought savings. For more information, call 231-7925.
Gas prices rise
Average retail gasoline prices in Alaska have risen 0.7 cents per gallon in the past week, averaging $4.00/g yesterday, according to a daily survey of 398 gas outlets in Alaska. This compares with the national average that has fallen 0.5 cents per gallon in the last week to $3.49/g, according to GasBuddy.com.
Including the change in gas prices in Alaska during the past week, prices yesterday were 4.1 cents per gallon lower than the same day one year ago and are 2.7 cents per gallon lower than a month ago. The national average has decreased 14.4 cents per gallon during the last month and stands 7.8 cents per gallon higher than this day one year ago.
Murkowski asks for Pebble’s mining plan
U.S. Sen. Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, released a letter on Monday calling on the companies involved in the Pebble Limited Partnership to detail their proposed plans for development in Southwest Alaska.
In the letter, Murkowski said the partnership’s delay in describing the project and submitting permit applications has caused confusion and anxiety among Alaskans about the proposed mine, and has allowed federal regulators to muddy the waters further with several hypothetical mine scenarios.
The letter was sent to John Shivley, CEO of the Pebble Limited Partnership, Mark Cutifani, CEO of Anglo American and Ron Thiessen, CEO of Northern Dynasty Minerals. It calls on the companies to establish a firm timeline for releasing a formal description of the project and submitting permit applications.
Murkowski is the senior senator for Alaska and the ranking Republican on the Energy and Natural Resources Committee.
Law enforcement tweaks Fourth patrols
The Alaska State Troopers and local law enforcement agencies conducted enhanced efforts to ensure the safety of Alaskans over the Independence Day holiday and weekend. This focused enforcement was intended to prevent fatality crashes via enhanced DUI enforcement.
Stats for the July 3-7 effort showed:
• 18 misdemeanor and two felony DUI arrests
• 16 charged with driving with suspended or revoked license.
• 132 additional REDDI report drivers who were ultimately determined not to be DUI
• 19 damage-only crashes, seven injury crashes and one fatal collision
• Of the 632 citations issued, 427 were for speeding and 19 were for seatbelt or other restraint violations
Funding for the focused enforcement and media campaign were provided in part by grant sources distributed through the Alaska Highway Safety Office.
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