News Articles

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

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
Research biologists speak of 'jewels' of Bristol Bay
April 13, 2011
The Tundra Drums
Margaret Bauman
From the perspective of veteran University of Washington fisheries biologist Tom Quinn, there is no doubt that the wild red salmon stocks that return in abundance annually to Bristol Bay are "the jewels and crown of wild salmon" And what makes these jewels shine is stock diversity, echoes Daniel Schindler, Quinn's colleague in fisheries research at UW. "If one stream is a bust in one year, the predators will move to another stream and chances are that stream will do better that year," Schindler said. It is the careful balance that stock diversity has created over thousands of years that has returned annually millions of wild salmon to Bristol Bay, a phenomenon that is the source of great concern to Quinn and Schindler, least that diversity be somehow disturbed.
Pebble opponents talk fish with Congress
April 3, 2011
Cordova Times
Margaret Bauman
An eclectic group of opponents of a proposed massive copper and gold mine in Southwest Alaska, led by Bristol Bay residents, converged on Washington D.C. in the last week of March, in defense of the world's last major wild sockeye salmon fishery. The entourage of commercial, sport and subsistence fishermen, including Alaska Natives, plus chefs, jewelers and spokespersons for the environmental movement, delivered a letter to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency from some 200 chefs and restaurant owners, participated in a congressional reception and held a news teleconference in support of the fishery and an EPA study aimed at pinpointing potential risks of the proposed Pebble Mine, at the headwaters of the Bristol Bay watershed. They also met with staff of members of Congress. More than 20 fine dining restaurants in the nation's capital also showcased Bristol Bay salmon on their menus all week. O
State-funded effort to study Bristol Bay mine project stalls
March 15, 2011
Anchorage Daily News
Associated Press
JUNEAU -- Nearly a year after the Legislature allocated $750,000 to study the potential impacts of a large mine on the Bristol Bay region, the money remains unspent. It could revert to the general fund after a panel failed to figure out how best to approach the study. Sen. Linda Menard, who heads the Legislative Council, said if the money goes back, it will be up to the Legislature to decide if it wants to pursue the study and reallocate funds for it. Menard took over as council chair from Rep. John Harris, who didn't seek re-election last year. There had been debate about how to conduct the study. Some lawmakers and others supported contracting with an entity like the National Science Foundation. Others supported a process soliciting requests for proposals.
Economic Fallout from Japanese Quake Touches Alaska
March 14, 2011
Rhonda McBride, Channel 2 News
ANCHORAGE, Alaska — Aftershocks from Japan’s 9.0 earthquake and tsunami are being felt in the Alaskan economy, especially in the seafood industry.    Larry Nelson, an owner of Great Northern Sea Products, says he’s been unable to reach one of his business partners at the Sato Suisan company in Onagawa. “I’ve seen one picture of Onagawa. There’s really nothing left,” Nelson said.   Nelson supplies Sato Suisan with Alaska herring and salmon roe, along with herring milt – fish sperm that’s used in Japanese soups and other delicacies. But Nelson says selling seafood is not the priority right now. He’s spent days trying to make contact with someone from the company. “We don’t know anything until we find out if they’re even alive. We’re praying that everyone’s alive, that they’re just all seeking refuge on higher ground,” Nelson said.    
Norway backs off Lofoten drilling, eyes Barents
March 11, 2011
(Reuters) - Norway's government on Friday decided to study oil drilling in the Barents Sea near the sea boundary with Russia while delaying a formal study of drilling off the Lofoten islands until at least 2013. Despite shelving a formal drilling study off Lofoten, the cabinet will go ahead with informal "information gathering."  Below are comments on what the deal means for the oil industry and for Norwegian politics:
Save Bristol Bay
February 25, 2011
Biologist Jim Martin
A precious renewable resource is once again under threat by a mining project that is mind boggling in scope and dangerous in potential damage to the public interest. Thankfully, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency recently announced it will conduct a scientific assessment of the Bristol Bay watershed in western Alaska. Conservationists believe this review is desperately needed to give an objective view of the risks the Pebble Mine project poses to the vast benefits provided by the public lands and rivers of Alaska's Bristol Bay.
Fishing in Bristol Bay: Past, Present, and Future
February 24, 2011
Anchorage Daily News
Panel Discussion: Tuesday, Mar 15 5:00p to 7:00p at UAA Campus Bookstore, Anchorage, AK Panelists include author Dave Atcheson (Kenai Peninsula College/UAA), Tim Troll, Director of SW Alaska Programs for The Nature Conservancy; Biologist Dr. Carol Ann Woody (US Geological Survey; UAF); and Melvin Brown, Bristol Bay subsistence and commercial fisherman. Everyone is invited to hear about controversial and sensitive issues surrounding Bristol Bay, Alaska.  
Hunters, Anglers, Sportsmen Call on Obama Administration and Federal Environmental Protection Agency to Protect Bristol Bay, Alaska
February 24, 2011
PRNewswire via Yahoo! Finance
Source: Trout Unlimited
WASHINGTON, Feb. 24, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- A united coalition of fishing, hunting and sporting organizations from nearly every U.S. state joined together on Thursday to ask the federal Environmental Protection Agency to use its authority to protect Bristol Bay, Alaska from the dangers of the proposed Pebble Mine. More than 360 organizations, ranging from fly fishing groups to big game hunters, signed a letter to EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson, urging her to use the agency's authority under the Clean Water Act to protect Bristol Bay from large-scale mining and development. Next week, representatives of these groups will meet with legislators and agency members in Washington, D.C. to ask for support.  
OPINION: Scientific assessment of Bristol Bay watershed is encouraging
February 23, 2011
The Bristol Bay Times
Alannah Hurley and Katherine Carscallen
In August, 2010, Environmental Protection Agency administrator Lisa Jackson stood in the same gym where we grew up, winning and losing basketball tournaments, celebrating graduations, and gathering to discuss important issues in our communities. Administrator Jackson heard a unanimous message from our region that day: "Use your power under the Clean Water Act to protect Bristol Bay, our fishery, our water, our people." Six months later, Administrator Jackson and her agency proved that they've heard our message loud and clear. By announcing this week they will conduct a scientific assessment of the Bristol Bay watershed, the EPA has taken a first step in responding to the formal request made by Bristol Bay tribes, commercial fishermen, sportsmen, and residents, to initiate a 404c process to identify and deny, "...potential unacceptable adverse affects from large-scale development, on the Bristol Bay watershed." As happy as we would have been with an immediate action by the EPA to stop Pebble Mine, we are very encouraged by the approach the agency has taken. The EPA views Bristol Bay as important enough to gather all the information necessary to make a smart, informed decision - a decision that will be fact based, and impossible to refute.