NEETS BAY's FISHERIES Hotline Information is available... call 228-4399 UPDATED 9/12
Seiner F/V Barbara B. ties up to a Ketchikan harbor while waiting for Thursday's District 102 opening.
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Recent Spawning News:
Neets Bay SHA update: The Neets Bay SHA is closed. It will remain closed until the fall chum egg take goal is secure with eggs in the building and the remaining needed broodstock in the raceways. We are currently trying to collect fall chum broodstock in the worst possible case: a small return of fall chum with a large return of coho. Coho are aggressive and come quickly to the area of the barrier where broodstock is collected. Fall chum are not aggressive and with the recent period of high pressure are not particularly interested in coming to the barrier where they can be captured for broodstock. And, there are a lot of coho returning to Neets Bay this summer. Because of this situation we are forced to place almost every seine set in a net pen, pump all the fish across a sorting table, and put the chum across the barrier seine and coho in a tender. We are not doing any cost recovery fishing…only making sets for broodstock and sorting the coho out of those sets to get them out of the water.
Regardless that the SSRAA revenue goal has been met, we cannot open the SHA to rotational fisheries until fall chum egg take goals are met. The major problem with a fall fishery has always been meeting the fall chum egg take goal, not the need for cost recovery. We are moving the fall chum broodstock to Burnett Inlet Hatchery specifically to change this situation, but it will be three more years before the move is effective.
It is unlikely the SHA will be open before the usual opening date of approximately the 25th of September. There will be sufficient coho to supply several rotations after that date.
Due to a near collapse of Alaska’s commercial salmon industry in the early 1970’s from consecutive years of low salmon abundance, commercial fishermen in partnership with the state of Alaska drafted legislation that allowed the formation of Regional Aquaculture Associations. The regional associations were allowed to levy an assessment on commercial fishermen’s sale of salmon harvested within the association’s fishing districts to help support and pay off debt on loans for needed infrastructure. Hatcheries were necessary to hatch and raise juvenile salmon for release to the open ocean. This partnership between private not-for-profit corporations and a public entity was unique to Alaska, and success of this ocean ranching program was not assured.
Southern Southeast Regional Aquaculture Association (SSRAA) is one of the five original associations incorporated in 1976. In the beginning small groups of committed fishermen joined by a few dedicated citizens kept the vision of SSRAA alive and nurtured the fledgling corporation through the initial “trial years”. Over three decades have now gone by and Alaska’s salmon enhancement program, made up of regional associations as well as other private non-profit hatcheries, collectively brings hundreds of millions of dollars in revenue to the state’s economy. As part of Alaska’s Enhancement Program, SSRAA continues to succeed in producing a greater abundance of salmon to the common property waters of southeast Alaska for the economic and social benefit of all its user groups..