Category Archives: Fishing

No end to legal battle aver Nevada forest road and fish

Journalist Scott Sonner has been writing about conservation and fish and wildlife for a lot of years. I remember seeing his byline on stories moving on the Associated Press wire during my tenure at a Pennsylvania daily newspaper. In any case, the battle he writes about in this article has been going on just as long and it highlights what a road can do to fish and wildlife habitat.

Sportsmen welcome EPA’s open and transparent process for the Bristol Bay watershed assessment

Continue to demand swift action to protect fishery, jobs, and economy after release of peer review report
Anchorage – Trout Unlimited supports the continued open and transparent process the EPA has conducted in its watershed assessment for Bristol Bay, Alaska. Today, the EPA released its peer review report of the assessment.
“With the release of today’s report, the EPA is showing its continued commitment to a thorough, transparent, independent, and science-based process for protecting Bristol Bay,” said Tim Bristol, TU Alaska Program Director. “The peer review report underscores what we’ve known all along:  mining on the scope and scale of Pebble simply cannot coexist with Bristol Bay’s fish. We call on President Obama to implement necessary protections for this sportsman’s paradise.”
Many of the respected scientists on the peer review panel found that the EPA actually understated the risks of Pebble. One reviewer said that many consequences were “likely” rather than “uncertain” when it comes to Pebble, and another confirmed that EPA evaluated a “realistic” scenario based on Pebble’s extensive filings with the SEC and the Canadian government.  One scientist’s assessment couldn’t be any more clear, “…make no mistake, we cannot have both mining and productive salmon stocks in the Bristol Bay watershed…”
“Bristol Bay is not simply a national treasure; it’s the economic lifeblood for the entire region,” said Brian Kraft, owner of Alaska Sportsman’s and Alaska Sportsman’s Bear Trail Lodges in Bristol Bay.  “The EPA’s assessment and peer review report recognize how Bristol Bay’s sport and commercial fishing economy are wholly dependent on clean water and high quality habitat – the exact things Pebble could destroy. The bottom line is small, renewable resource-based businesses like mine cannot coexist with the Pebble Mine.”
The watershed assessment also concluded that:
  • Bristol Bay’s wild salmon fishery and other natural resources provide at least 14,000 jobs and are valued at about $500 million annually.
  • The average annual run of sockeye salmon is about 37.5 million fish.
  • Even at its minimum size, mining the Pebble deposit would eliminate or block 55 to 87 miles of salmon streams and at least 2500 acres of wetlands – key habitat for sockeye and other fishes.
“As Pebble’s backers have done throughout, they will attack the process and the EPA rather than looking at the facts,” said former Republican Alaska State Senator Rick Halford. “But the fact is, the Pebble Mine is a bad deal for Alaska. Pebble will never be able to account for the many risks associated with the mine, and the peer review report makes these risks abundantly clear. The time to protect Bristol Bay is now.”
The EPA began its watershed assessment in 2011 at the request of Bristol Bay-based Alaska Native tribal governments, commercial fishermen, and sport fishing businesses and organizations.  The 339-page assessment recognizes Bristol Bay as a singular, unmatched global fishery for sockeye salmon and highlights the imminent threats from the proposed Pebble mine.
With the release of the peer review report, Trout Unlimited hopes that EPA will finalize its Bristol Bay Watershed Assessment soon and issue commonsense restrictions to protect Bristol Bay.

Billfish Conservation Act passes, goes to Obama

After four years of work, recreational anglers and ocean conservationists can celebrate a rare feat: the Billfish Conservation Act passed the Senate and is now headed to President Obama’s desk for signature. Read all about it here.

Isac churned up leftovers from the BP spill in Gulf of Mexico

The area that was among the hardest hit by the BP spill has led to Louisiana state wildlife officials announcing the emergency closing of some coastal waters to commercial fishing. It’s the gift that, you know, keeps on . . . Read more.

Give everyone, not just license buyers, a chance to fund conservation

That’s the theme of my latest newspaper column. You can read it here.

Time well spent on an Outer Banks pier

I know this spot on the Outer Banks and the photo at the top of this article, courtesy of he EPA, was the visual clue. It is a nice place.

Global warming’s twin threatens West Coast fisheries

Of course the problem is hardly limited to the West Coast. It’s ocean acidification and this article, while focusing on Pacific waters, explains it well. Will the politicians eact? Huh?

Why wild nature always wins in the end

Tell that maxim to certain politicians and you’re greeted by a grin of absolute ignorance.And don’t even try to convince the pol that our natural heritage should be preserved, not mined as a “natural resource.” Read more right here.

Two-headed trout turn up in Idaho creeks; selenium blamed

And the selenium originates at a phosphate mine that’s operated by the Simplot business. What’s next? How about building another fish hatchery? That’ll do the trick. Don’t worry about the habitat. We have to sell licenses in order to get the revenue so that I get my paycheck on time. Sort of like the on-air fundraisers which public radio stations are infamous for. Her’s a report – from public radio in Boise! – about the two-headed mongrels.

Please help us wipe out the resource we depend on

This is really sad. No, I take that back. It’s sorrowful. Read about the debacle here.