Cook Inlet Aquaculture Association

The state is ending a Kenai Peninsula hatchery’s decades-old practice of dumping dead salmon in a glacial fjord inside Kachemak Bay State Park.

Cook Inlet Aquaculture Association Executive Director Dean Day said the Tutka Bay Lagoon Hatchery has historically dumped hundreds of thousands of pink salmon carcasses harvested for their roe.

Aaron Bolton, KBBI News

When Gov. Mike Dunleavy unveiled his budget proposal back in February, he also issued a directive asking departments to seek out state-owned properties that could be sold in an effort to save money.

The Alaska Department of Fish and Game considered selling state-owned hatchery facilities to the aquaculture groups that operate them, but received no interest in the idea.

Alaska Department of Fish and Game

Scientists know surprisingly little about a salmon’s life outside of their freshwater and nearshore habitats, but an ambitious study is attempting to change that. The International Year of the Salmon put together an expedition with 21 international scientists in the Gulf of Alaska, all in the hopes of understanding more about the mysterious lives salmon lead in the open ocean.

The International Year of the Salmon is a quasi-international organization aimed at bringing attention to all five species of Pacific salmon as warming ocean temperatures affect their survival at sea.

Aaron Bolton, KBBI News

What happens when wild salmon interbreed with hatchery fish?

A study by the Alaska Department of Fish and Game looking at chum and pink salmon runs in Southeast and Prince William Sound is expanding to help biologists understand the interplay between wild runs and hatchery strays. There is concern that hatchery fish could alter the genetics of wild populations, posing a threat to their survival.

Aaron Bolton, KBBI News

The Alaska Department of Fish and Game says its massive hatchery-wild research study will inform the conversations surrounding the rates at which hatchery pink and chum salmon stray into wild streams and whether they’re less productive than their wild counterparts.

Aaron Bolton, KBBI News

The Alaska Board of Fisheries will host a committee meeting Friday on Alaska’s salmon hatchery program. The gathering is meant to be a forum to discuss the latest research and developments in the hatchery industry.

That information is supposed to inform stakeholders, board members and department staffs’ understanding of the issues surrounding salmon hatcheries. But the conversation is about more than just science and statistics. 

The Children's Museum of Indianapolis via Wikimedia Commons

Some researchers want to adopt a model similar to what salmon hatcheries use in an effort to revitalize crab and other shellfish stocks around the state. Researches are still hammering out the logistics for how shellfish hatcheries could work. State law is limiting the scale of that research. But a senate bill may change that.

Heather McCarty is co-chair of the Alaska King Crab Research, Rehabilitation and Biology Program, which is working with several organizations to research how shellfish hatcheries could replenish red and blue king crab stocks.

Aaron Bolton, KBBI News

After about five years of work, the Alaska Department of Fish and Game’s hatchery-wild study is beginning to answer crucial questions: do hatchery pink salmon produce fewer offspring compared to their wild counterparts and do they affect the productivity of the wild stocks they spawn with?

Aaron Bolton, KBBI News

The Alaska Board of Fisheries’ agenda was packed with hatchery issues Tuesday.

Board members considered putting some issues on future agendas, but they also held a public forum on the broader state of hatcheries following a lengthy report from Alaska Department of Fish and Game staff.

Some board members expressed interest in taking a wait-and-see approach when it comes to increasing hatchery production.

Aaron Bolton, KBBI News

The Alaska Board of Fisheries will kick off its annual work session in Anchorage Monday and salmon hatcheries will once again be a prominent topic of discussion. The board will consider whether to add issues surrounding production levels to future agendas and it will kick off a broader discussion on the hatchery industry Tuesday.

Disagreements over salmon hatcheries have been roiling over the past few years, and those arguments have played out at Board of Fish meetings.