Tutka Bay Lagoon Hatchery

Vance Takes Heat Over Tutka Bay Hatchery Plan

Apr 30, 2021
KBBI

A bill to save the Tutka Bay Lagoon Hatchery from closing got a hearing this week in the House Fisheries Committee. HB52, sponsored by Homer Rep. Sarah Vance and co-sponsored by the peninsula’s other two house members, would declare the hatchery a “compatible use” in Kachemak Bay State Park.
    State Parks is seeking to force the hatchery to close, as outlined in its most recent management plan.
    But Wednesday night, Vance held a virtual town hall meeting where she said she’s been having conversations on what it would take to save the hatchery.

AK State Legislature

Alaska House District 31 Representative Sarah Vance, a Homer republican, has pre-filed a bill that would declare the Tutka Bay Lagoon Hatchery to be an allowed activity in Kachemak Bay State Park.
    A new management plan that is set for adoption soon by the Dunleavy Administration removes permission for the hatchery to operate, something it’s done for decades, first under the the Alaska Department of Fish and Game, and more recently the Cook Inlet Aquaculture Association.
    Vance discussed her plans with the Homer City Council at a recent work session.

Park plan comments accepted through Jan. 22

Jan 6, 2021
Alaska Division of Parks

The Alaska Division of Parks held a second round of hearings on its proposed new management plan for Kachemak Bay State Park. Called the “Intend to Adopt” version, the plan is essentially complete.
    Parks held a pair of two-hour online hearings Tuesday, a follow up to a pair held in December.

Cook Inlet Aquaculture Association

If the executive director of the Cook Inlet Aquaculture Association could pick any day he wanted to make one of his regular reports to the Homer City Council, he could have done much worse than Monday.
    Earlier in the day the Alaska Division of Parks began taking public comment on the new draft of the Kachemak Bay State Park Management Plan, which happens to include shutting down the organization’s Tutka Bay Lagoon Hatchery. Quite a bit of the audio conference questions and answers concerned the hatchery.

Courtesy of Cook Inlet Aquaculture Association

The first public hearings concerning the Kachemak Bay State Park plan were held Monday, online, by the Alaska Department of Natural Resources. Among other items, the plan calls for the phasing out of the Tutka Bay Salmon Hatchery.
DNR’s Monica Alvarez said the plan finds that a hatchery is an incompatible use in the park, and that the legal reasons to remove the Tutka Bay Hatchery outweighs all the reasons to have a salmon hatchery in Kachemak Bay.

Aaron Bolton, KBBI News

The Alaska Department of Natural Resources denied a hatchery nonprofit’s request last week to release millions of hatchery pink salmon in a popular area of Kachemak Bay State Park.

Cook Inlet Aquaculture Association asked DNR back in early January to renew its three-year permit for the release of up to 80 million pinks at the head of Tutka Bay, an area of Kachemak Bay State Park known for its recreational opportunities.

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.

Valdez Fisheries Development Association

After some back and forth during an Alaska Board of Fisheries emergency meeting Tuesday, a Prince William Sound pink salmon hatchery will be allowed to move forward with its plans to increase its production by 20 million eggs this summer. 

Hatchery debate wages on as research continues

Jul 11, 2018
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.

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.

Board of Fish re-establishes hatchery committee

Mar 12, 2018
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.

Aaron Bolton, KBBI News

The Alaska Department of Fish and Game has been conducting a limited study on straying hatchery pink salmon around lower Cook Inlet and Kachemak Bay to see whether fish from the Tutka Bay Lagoon and Port Graham hatcheries have been spawning in wild streams, but to its surprise, it discovered Prince William Sound hatchery fish in several local systems. But hatchery pinks from the Sound are also winding up in the commercial harvest.

Aaron Bolton, KBBI News

The Alaska Department of Fish and Game has been trying to find out if hatchery fish from operations in Tutka Bay Lagoon and Port Graham have been straying into wild fish habitat, and over the past four years, they found that very few of those fish are colonizing wild streams. But scientists found that a number of hatchery fish from Prince William Sound are winding up in streams around Kachemak Bay and Cook Inlet. That trend has left scientists and regulators with more questions than answers.

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.