Joe Viechnicki, KFSK - Petersburg
Sixth graders were in Petersburg’s Middle Harbor Thursday morning checking for an invasive species that has shown up on the waterfront not too far away in Sitka. So far there’s no sign yet of the tunicate called D Vex here.
People who use the Alaska Marine Highway System ferries will have longer travel times and less service next year under a proposed summer schedule released by the state this week. The Marine Highway is proposing to keep the state’s two fast catamarans tied up next year along with two other, older vessels. That will mean fewer stops in some coastal communities. Download Audio
A new independent ferry service in Southeast Alaska is delaying the start-up of service that was planned for this weekend.
Southeast Alaska’s commercial salmon trollers are heading back into port now that the winter season has closed. Thanks to strong catches of king salmon on the outer coast near Sitka. Download Audio
The International Pacific Halibut Commission Friday voted to recommend a 1.7-million pound increase in the coast-wide catch of halibut. The joint U.S. and Canadian body oversees management of the highly prized bottom fish from California to Alaska. The commission held its annual meeting in Vancouver, British Columbia this week.
It was a relatively quick season for Southeast Alaska sea cucumber divers. The season closed in mid-November after the fleet landed a little more than a million pounds of the seafood delicacy. Meanwhile, it looks like diving for geoduck clams might not be over so quickly. Download Audio
The federal government has agreed to a deadline of the end of next year for an endangered species review for wolves in Southeast Alaska. Listen now:
The state of Alaska is requesting to be involved with Canadian approval of a proposed copper and gold mine across the border in British Columbia. State commissioners of three departments submitted comments on Seabridge Gold’s Kerr-Sulphurets-Mitchell or KSM mine this month. Download Audio:
A large soil clean-up project at a former Cold War mountaintop radio site near Petersburg is underway this summer. A contractor for the U.S. Air Force is removing soil contaminated by fuel and building debris left at the site after it’s decommissioning almost three decades ago. Download Audio
The first returns of hatchery chum salmon are showing up in fishing nets in Southeast Alaska this month. Summer chums play an important part in the early season for net fishing fleets and the troll fleet as well. Hatchery officials are forecasting runs close to last year’s.
A hatchery in the Southeast community of Kake is closing its doors this month and has released its final chum, pink and coho salmon. There’s still some hope that a larger regional hatchery organization can figure out a way to restart the salmon enhancement program there.
Conservation groups are asking for endangered species protection for yellow cedar trees in Alaska. The trees have been dying off in portions of Southeast over the past century. Scientists say it’s likely due to a warming climate and lack of snow cover for vulnerable roots. Download Audio
A 51-year-old Idaho man working on a timber sale near Banana Point south of Petersburg died Thursday after a tree top fell on him.
It’s a topic talked about often around Petersburg – what kind of jobs are most needed for the fishing fleets and boats of this coastal community and how to fill those jobs. A new plan released by state this spring identifies the highest work force needs around Alaska for seafood harvesting, processing, fishery management as well as ship operations and repair. The plan also lists steps forward to fill those jobs.
The state ferry Columbia will not be returning to service in Southeast Alaska this week as expected. A problem with one of the newly-installed engines on the 418-foot ship means the Columbia will remain in Bellingham awaiting a replacement part.