Joe Viechnicki, KFSK - Petersburg
Joe Viechnicki is a reporter at KFSK in Petersburg.
King Salmon are expected to be plentiful in parts of Southeast Alaska this summer.
The Alaska Department of Fish and Game this month announced a king salmon harvest quota allowed under the Pacific Salmon Treaty and based on the forecasts of Chinook returning to rivers and streams on the Pacific coast of the U.S. and Canada.
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service will review whether or not Southeast Alaska wolves should be listed for protection under the Endangered Species Act. The federal agency this month announced what’s called a “positive 90-day finding” on a petition to list the Alexander Archipelago wolf.
Plans are starting to gear up for timber sales on state and university owned lands in the area of the Tongass National Forest.
The record setting pink salmon catch in Alaska last year has left seafood processing companies with several year’s worth of inventory of canned product, although not all of the pink salmon winds up in a can. In fact, industry in recent years has been freezing and reprocessing around half of Alaska’s pink catch. Analysts say that move has helped weather the boom and bust cycles of salmon returns.
Southeast Alaska’s commercial halibut catch limit is going up. The International Pacific Halibut Commission concluded its annual meeting Friday in Seattle and approved catch limits for Alaska, British Columbia, and the West Coast of the U.S.
Southeast Alaska’s Dungeness crab fleet has exceeded expectations for the season, thanks to a strong catch during October and November.
Petersburg’s mayor is pleased with the court decision in favor of the state’s latest redistricting plan. The legislative boundary map will put Petersburg in a district with Sitka and 22 other small Southeast communities.
Commercial fishing boats landed 52 million pounds of seafood worth 50 million dollars in Petersburg last year. Those landings rank the volume of Petersburg’s catch at 24th among fishing ports in the nation for 2012. By value of catch, Petersburg ranked 20th.
The former maintenance director of the Petersburg School District appeared in a Juneau courtroom Wednesday after being charged with distribution and possession of child pornography.
Congress has passed a one-year extension of a program that pays out millions of dollars to communities in Alaska near national forest land, like Petersburg. The extension of the Secure Rural Schools and Community Self Determination Act of 2000 was approved by the house and senate this week.
Should parents pay for a state required physical exam for new students entering a public school in Alaska? That was the question raised by a member of Petersburg’s School Board this summer.
An adult female humpback whale was found dead near the Southeast community of Kake earlier this month. Kate Savage, a marine mammal specialist with the NOAA Fisheries protected resources division in Juneau, says the dead whale was first reported around Sept. 1 in Keku Strait near Kake. It was later floated to an island outside of Kake and Savage led a team performing a necropsy on the animal on Sept. 11.
A Petersburg Republican plans to run for House District 35 in hopes of unseating a freshman Democratic representative from Sitka. Legislative districts for next year have not cleared a legal challenge but at least two people intend to run for the new district that includes Sitka, Petersburg, Craig and other communities on the northern half of Prince of Wales Island.
Petersburg officials are seeking answers about the future of Coast Guard ships in the community. Borough Mayor Mark Jensen sent a letter to Senator Mark Begich this month voicing concern that the cutter Anacapa could be replaced by larger vessels planned for other Southeast ports.
A huge and record-setting run of pink salmon is hitting Southeast Alaska this summer. The region’s purse seine fleet has been netting around 8 million pinks per opening in late July and early August. The overall catch for all of last season was around 21 million.
Over a thousand hatchery king salmon died at Blind River rapids sometime last week. The Chinook were returning to the Crystal Lake Hatchery on southern Mitkof Island, south of Petersburg. Warm water temperatures appear to be the culprit.
A trailer fire early Saturday morning claimed the life of an elderly Petersburg man. Frank Neidiffer was found dead once volunteer fire fighters were able to get in.
The National Transportation Safety Board has released its preliminary report on last week’s fatal crash of a floatplane near Petersburg. The report summarizes the circumstances in the June 4th accident but does not yet include a probable cause for that fatal crash.