I am part of the MATSU AC and this was my first opportunity to listen about the commercial fishing issues we have in Alaska. I have read many articals and have talked with many people but it is nothing like being at one of these meetings.
To me it sounds like Sport Fishing has been signing the same tune to deaf ears for years and will continue to do so until we put pressure on our governor to hire someone other then commercial fisherman into positions of power in the Department of Commercial Fish and Human Management (ADCF&HM). They keep saying we don’t have enough data to determine if commercial fishing is hurting sport fishing. It is the pike that is causing your problems, it the weirs not counting right, it is high water, it is low water etc… I doubt they want such data. Many people pointed out when commercial nets are in the water, we get no fish, when commercial fishing is stopped we get fish. I do not have the background, nor do I think one is needed to determine that sport fishing is getting screwed!!!!
In both the Anchorage Daily News and the Frontiersman Friday papers have articles about this meeting. It was a heated meeting, but I think all concerns were going on deaf ears. Jeff Fox mentioned he has been working on these issues for 17 years and he tries something new every year and this is a complicated issue and more studies are needed before he can determine why fish are not making to the MATSU valley.
Bottom line is until the Sports fishing groups get more $$$ and better organized we will continue to get chit on. If you can please take the time and try to attend one of these meeting and you will end up being as pissed off as I am.