at the Kodiak office of the Alaska Department of Fish and Game warn that current
funding levels could cause cut backs in core operations for the commercial
fisheries division. This comes as legislatures in Juneau puts together a budget for the agency.
Supervisor of Commercial Fisheries Steve Honnold says increased personnel costs
coupled with stagnant funding levels has forced cost-cutting of key programs by
reducing operations at fish counting stations on river weirs.
-- weir 1 :38 "Most of the things ... those kinds of
weirs are used to track escapement of salmon that allow area management
biologists to manage Kodiak's salmon fisheries. Last year the period of operations
for weirs had to be shortened and that could happen again this summer. With
less hard escapement data from the weirs, Honnold says biologists are forced to
be more conservative on how often they can open a fishery.
-- weir 2 :25 "Whenever we have some ... aggressive about
in Juneau, the
House Finance Committee is finalizing appropriations for the agency. House
Majority Leader Alan Austerman of Kodiak says
an amendment has been introduced that would fund fish counting weirs to the
tune of about a quarter million dollars.
-- weir3 :20 "At the last public ... but the budget's
funding for the weirs is not a done deal. Legislators in the house have until
the end of the week to bring the matter to a floor vote. Then it goes to the senate.
-- weir4 :23 "Because we got extra ... no later than
commercial fisheries division for the Kodiak region is about $7 million in
general funds with a total of about $12 million including federal grant
funding. But Honnold says commercial fisheries are largely reliant on general
funds from the legislature and have less federal funding support.