News Articles

Following is a selection of recent news articles about Bristol Bay. Click into any news story to read the full article.

Bristol Bay: The Heart of the Watershed and Its People
July 7, 2011
Official Blog of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
Dennis McLerran
Last week my colleague Nancy Stoner wrote about our recent visit to Bristol Bay, Alaska. I would also like to share my perspective about this incredibly valuable trip and our ongoing Watershed Assessment to examine the potential impacts of large-scale development – particularly mining. On our first stop, tribal leaders and community residents from Iliamna, Newhalen and Nondalton, shared their perspectives about their subsistence way of life, the fishery, and the proposed mining activities in the area north of Iliamna Lake. We met with Pebble Partnership executives for an update on environmental studies and mine planning, and flew to the prospect site to see the exploration activities firsthand...
Statewide wild salmon harvest nears 20 million fish
July 5, 2011
The Arctic Sounder
Margaret Bauman
While most of America celebrated Independence Day with parades, picnics and fireworks, Bristol Bay fishermen cast their nets out under overcast skies for more wild sockeye salmon, the bulk of a 2011 statewide harvest of nearly 20 million fish to date. Through July 1, the commercial fleet statewide harvested nearly 20 million salmon of all species, including 9.5 million Bristol Bay sockeyes and crews aboard nearly 1,400 boats in Bristol Bay were determined to bring in a lot more.   Indeed, by July 3, the daily run summary from Bristol Bay alone showed a cumulative catch of 13.7 million salmon, including 5.1 million in the Naknek-Kvichak district, 3.9 million in Egegik district, 3.2 million in the Nushgak district, 1.3 million in Ugashik district and 92,487 in the Togiak district...
Oil and gas spills in North Sea every week, papers reveal
July 5, 2011
Guardian
Rob Evans, Richard Cookson and Terry Macalister
This article details documents that list companies who caused more than 100 potentially lethal  and largely unpublicised  leaks in 2009 and 2010.  Shell is highlighted as one of the top offenders, who has plans to drill in the Arctic waters of the Beaufort and Chukchi seas, as well as offsore oil and gas development in Bristol Bay. 
One that didn't get a weigh estimated at 466 pounds
July 2, 2011
Anchorage Daily News
Jeremy Peters
Kent Carmichael of Kansas has made fishing trips to Alaska with his dad and his brother for more than a decade before this summer but had yet to catch the big one. "The big joke has always been: I'm the one that never caught the 100-pound halibut," Carmichael said. The joking will have to stop from now on, because the 62-year-old hardware store owner from Ulysses, Kan., blew past the century mark -- and then some -- Tuesday, when he caught a 466-pound halibut in the Gulf of Alaska. Read more: http://www.adn.com/2011/07/01/1947569/one-that-didnt-get-a-weigh.html#ixzz1RCN1hLTp
Alaskans maintain strong links to salmon, poll finds
July 2, 2011
Anchorage Daily News
Laine Welch
Alaskans have a strong personal connection to salmon. We believe the fish is essential to the Alaska way of life and our economy. Furthermore, we rate the health and abundance of salmon as a top concern, on a par with the federal budget deficit and higher than concerns about jobs. Those are the primary results of a new survey of 500 Alaska voters by Public Opinion Strategies for the Alaska chapter of The Nature Conservancy. (The survey also conducted additional interviews to reach 200 respondents in the Mat-Su area and 200 in Southeast Alaska.) According to an executive summary, the strong connection to salmon extends across all ages, ethnicities, demographic and partisan sub-groups, with Alaska Natives and voters in Southeast showing the strongest personal connections. Ninety-six percent of Alaskans said salmon are essential to the Alaska way of life...
Alaska mine would threaten more jobs than it creates
June 17, 2011
The Hill
Rick Halford
Recently, Rick Manning of Americans for Limited Government used this space to reference the proposed Pebble Mine in Alaska as an example of job-killing government regulation run amok. His analysis shows that he has been badly misled about this prospect and the tension that it puts on all reasonable mining in Alaska. Before you write me off as some tree-hugging environmentalist, a few words about me. For 24 years, I was a Republican in the Alaska Legislature, devoted to creating jobs through the wise use of Alaska’s natural resources. I served multiple terms as Senate president, Senate majority leader and Resources Committee chairman. I made a living as a commercial pilot and guide, often flying mining-industry clients. I also own a small saw mill. I cut up trees; I don’t hug them. I know mining can do a lot of good things. But this particular project, by size, location and type of ore, totally defies reason and history. Mr. Manning conveniently ignores the thousands of jobs that the mine would put at risk.
Wild Alaska salmon harvest tops 4 million fish
June 17, 2011
Bristol Bay Times
Margaret Bauman
What a difference a week makes! Preliminary harvest summaries released today by the Alaska Department of Fish and Game put the commercial catch at 3,130,000 sockeye salmon, 862,000 chums, 55,000 kings, 44,000 pinks and 3,000 cohos, a total of 4,094,000 wild Alaska salmon. A week earlier the totals were 1,050,000 reds, 694,000 chums, 17,000 kings and fewer than 1,000 each coho and pink salmon, a statewide total of 1,761,000 salmon. State fisheries officials haven't said so officially yet, but for some areas of the state, the season is getting a busy one already.
First-ever king cap placed on Gulf of Alaska pollock fishery
June 13, 2011
The Arctic Sounder
Margaret Bauman
Federal fishery managers responding to the record incidental catch of 51,000 king salmon in the 2010 Gulf of Alaska groundfish fishery have voted to set a first-ever bycatch limit of 25,000 chinook salmon in the Gulf of Alaska Pollock fishery. The action came late on June 12 during the meeting of the North Pacific Fishery Management Council in Nome. While a limit on chinook bycatch was established for the Bering Sea pollock fishery in 2009, this will be the first salmon bycatch restriction in the Gulf of Alaska pollock fishery.
Rural Providers Conference comes to Dillingham
May 3, 2011
The Arctic Sounder
Margaret Bauman
For the first time in its 28 year history, the Rural Providers Conference is coming to Dillingham, and the Southwest Alaska community of some 2,400 residents is ready to show an estimated 300 participants some real hospitality, Bristol Bay style. The conference attracts service providers, youth, elders and family members there to share and gain information and training in how to address substance abuse issues in culturally significant ways. This year's theme is "Wellness: The Circle of Life." The 2011 conference, running from May 30 through June 3, is jointly sponsored by the Rural Alaska Community Action Program and the Bristol Bay Native Association.
Salmon documented in streams on top of Pebble prospect
April 27, 2011
Bristol Bay Times
Margaret Bauman
A new fisheries research report documents the presence of wild salmon in streams on top of a major Southwest Alaska mine prospect and calls for further studies into potential impacts groundwater contamination could have on salmon populations. "Combined stream survey data for 2008-2010 indicated salmon presence in 3 of every 4 headwater steams of less than 10 percent gradient draining to an anadromous river, including streams on top of the Pebble prospect, said authors Carol Ann Woody, a fisheries research scientist in Anchorage, and Sarah O'Neal, a biologist with the Wild Salmon Center in Portland, Ore. "Rearing salmon were documented above dry stream reaches and in waters disconnected from rivers