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Thread: In-stream "mixing zones"

  1. #1
    Member fishNphysician's Avatar
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    Default In-stream "mixing zones"

    Anyone care to share an update on where this issue is going?

    It was a hot button topic a few months back when tons of folks signed an on-line petition. What eventually came of the proposed regs?
    "Let every angler who loves to fish think what it would mean to him to find the fish were gone." Zane Grey
    http://www.piscatorialpursuits.com/uploads/UP12710.jpg
    The KeenEye MD

  2. #2
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    Default Hold yer breath alevin

    Mixing zones are now allowable in spawning areas by regulation. Prior to the regulation changes in 2006, MZ were not authorized in spawning areas, period. However, it turns out that a number of them in interior Alaska were being issued, associated with small scale mining endeavors.

    What we have now is a ban of MZ for Salmon Spawning areas, but only at the time they are spawning (again this is to accomodate mining interests) - if they aren't spawning it would be allowable under certain conditions. For less valuable species, like trout, it is allowable to authorize a MZ in their spawning areas without regard to timing.

    There was a classic Murkowski press release with this that stated something like: I've heard the comments of the public and we are responding with a regulation that will protect our salmon stocks.

    Exact before and after language below
    ____

    Previously 18 AAC 70 stated

    (h) For streams, rivers, or other flowing fresh
    waters subject to (e)(3) of this section, a
    mixing zone will not be authorized in an area
    of
    (1) anadromous fish spawning; or
    (2) resident fish spawning redds for
    Arctic grayling, northern pike, rainbow trout,
    lake trout, brook trout, cutthroat trout,
    whitefish, sheefish, Arctic char (Dolly
    Varden), burbot, and landlocked coho, king,
    and sockeye salmon.

    ------------------
    Now we have

    40
    (e) In lakes, streams, rivers, or other flowing fresh waters, a mixing zone will not be
    (1) authorized in a spawning area of any of the five species of anadromous
    Pacific salmon found in the state; or

    (2) allowed to adversely affect the present and future capability of an area to support spawning, incubation, or rearing of any of the five species of anadromous Pacific salmon found in the state.

    (f) In lakes, streams, rivers, or other flowing fresh waters, except as provided in (g) of this section, a mixing zone will not be authorized in a spawning area for

    (1) Arctic grayling;
    (2) northern pike;
    (3) lake trout;
    (4) brook trout;
    (5) sheefish;
    (6) burbot;
    (7) landlocked coho salmon, chinook salmon, or sockeye salmon; or
    (8) anadromous or resident rainbow trout, Arctic char, Dolly Varden, whitefish, or cutthroat trout.

    (g) The department may authorize a mixing zone in a spawning area of a lake, stream, river, or other flowing fresh water for the species listed in (f) of this section if

    (1) after consultation with the Department of Natural Resources, or with the Department of Fish and Game if the spawning area is within a special area, the department finds that the applicant has demonstrated that the discharge

    (A) does not contain pollutants at concentrations that exceed the criteria
    for growth and propagation of fish, shellfish, other aquatic life, and wildlife established in 18 AAC 70.020(b)(1) - (12); and

    (B) will not adversely affect the capability of the area to support future
    spawning, incubation, and rearing activities;

    (2) the applicant has submitted to the department a mitigation plan approved by
    the Department of Fish and Game under 5 AAC 95.900 if the spawning area is within a special area;

    (3) the applicant has submitted to the department a mitigation plan approved by the Department of Natural Resources under AS 41.14, if the spawning area is within waters included in the Catalog of Waters Important for Spawning, Rearing or Migration of Anadromous Fishes, adopted by reference in 11 AAC 195.010; the department will incorporate the mitigation plan as part of the discharge authorization; or

    (4) the applicant has submitted to the department a mitigation plan approved by the department, after consultation with the Department of Natural Resources, if the spawning area is not within waters described in (2) or (3) of this subsection; the mitigation plan must use measures described in the Catalog of Waters Important for Spawning, Rearing or Migration of Anadromous Fishes, adopted by reference in 11 AAC 195.010; the department will incorporate the mitigation plan as part of the discharge authorization.

    (h) In a mixing zone authorization under (g) of this section, the department may require the applicant to monitor effluent, ambient water quality, and biological conditions to determine whether unanticipated adverse effects on spawning, incubation, and rearing of species identified in (f) of this section are occurring.

    (i) The provisions of (e), (f), and (g) of this section do not apply to the renewal of a mixing zone authorization where spawning was not occurring at the time of the initial authorization, but successful spawning, incubation, and rearing has occurred within the mixing zone after the initial authorization of that mixing zone.

    (j) When determining whether to authorize a mixing zone under (e), (f), or (g) of this section, the department will make that determination

    (1) in conformance with the determination of the Department of Fish and Game, acting under AS 16.20, of the location and time of a spawning area within a special area;

    (2) in conformance with the determination of the Department of Natural
    Resources, acting under AS 41.14, of the location and time of a spawning area within waters included in the Catalog of Waters Important for Spawning, Rearing or Migration of Anadromous Fishes, adopted by reference in 11 AAC 195.010; or

    (3) after consultation with the Department of Natural Resources, as to what the Department of Natural Resources considers the location and time of a spawning area not within waters described in (1) or (2) of this subsection.

  3. #3
    Member fishNphysician's Avatar
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    Default

    That's a bummer!
    "Let every angler who loves to fish think what it would mean to him to find the fish were gone." Zane Grey
    http://www.piscatorialpursuits.com/uploads/UP12710.jpg
    The KeenEye MD

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