Cook Inlet Aquaculture Association

Aaron Bolton, KBBI News

About a month ago, former Alaska Department of Natural Resources Commissioner Andy Mack abruptly signed off on a draft management plan for Kachemak Bay State Park. After Mack left the job and a new governor was sworn in, DNR rescinded the plan. It said it will release the next version of the plan for public comment before it’s officially adopted.

DNR’s handling of the process under a new governor could revive a long-running debate over a commercial salmon hatchery’s operations in the park.

Aaron Bolton, KBBI News

A conflict is intensifying over hatcheries in Prince William Sound.

For the second time this year, Alaska’s Board of Fisheries is weighing an emergency petition to block a hatchery from increasing its production. This is the latest skirmish in a battle over whether pink salmon hatcheries are causing more harm than good.

Aaron Bolton, KBBI News

The Homer City Council is set to consider whether or not it wants to wade into an ongoing battle between salmon hatcheries and their critics during a special meeting Monday.

Council members Heath Smith and Shelly Erickson are sponsoring a resolution asking the Alaska Board of Fisheries to delay its consideration of an emergency petition in July.

Cook Inlet Aquaculture Association

After the Alaska Department of Natural Resources ordered the Cook Inlet Aquaculture Association to move its Tutka Bay release site either to the location it specified in its permit or back to its Tutka Bay Lagoon hatchery, mother nature seemed to make the decision for the hatchery association.

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Cook Inlet Aquaculture Executive Director Gary Fandrei said strong winds blew the pens about three miles west of where they were initially anchored. 

Courtesy of the Alaska Department of Natural Resources

A contentious release site for hatchery pink salmon near Homer is being forced to move after it was put in the wrong place. Cook Inlet Aquaculture Association installed two net pens in late April near the head of Tutka Bay as part of its plan to move a portion of its nearby Tutka Bay Lagoon operation.

Courtesy of Cook Inlet Aquaculture Association

A controversial plan to move part of a hatchery operation to the head of Tutka Bay near Homer is complete. Cook Inlet Aquaculture Association placed two net pens at the head of the bay on April 26.

The hatchery association is in the process of moving fish into the pens. Cook Inlet Aquaculture Association Executive Director Gary Fandrei said the pens will be removed once the 20 million pink salmon it plans to raise at the site can be released.

Courtesy of Cook Inlet Aquaculture Association

The Alaska Board of Fisheries re-established a committee on hatchery operations Friday at its meeting in Anchorage. The board took up the issue after an emergency petition was filed in December calling for a committee to look into issues of straying hatchery fish and the impact on wild stocks.

Courtesy of Cook Inlet Aquaculture Association

The Cook Inlet Aquaculture Association walked back a contentious plan to move most of a hatchery operation to the head of Tutka Bay near Homer Saturday. The association currently operates the Tutka Bay Hatchery in a lagoon connected to the bay, and the facility is permitted to release up to 100 million pink salmon at the new site.

Hatchery sockeye numbers low, but pinks come in strong

Aug 28, 2017
Cook Inlet Aquaculture Association

At the tail end of the 2017 fishing season, Cook Inlet Aquaculture Association is tallying up their numbers. Gary Fandrei, Executive Director, describes the season as a mixed bag with some species of salmon doing better than others.

“We don’t have final numbers at this point, but it looks to be that we came in at about 40 percent, 45 percent of what we were projecting,” Fandrei said, regarding sockeye salmon near Seward. “We were projecting 125,000 fish to come back there.”

Cook Inlet Aquaculture Association

The Cook Inlet Aquaculture Association has been trying to move a majority of its net pens in the Tutka Bay Lagoon to the head of Tutka Bay for about four years. The hotly debated issue has led to packed community meetings and questions about the impact of raising fish in the area.

Due to the controversy, the hatchery association has contracted the Kachemak Bay National Estuary Research Reserve to study the bay’s food supply and potential impacts of the net pens.

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