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NOAA Fisheries taking comments on Gulf Rationalization. What do you think?
 

The LegHead Report

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Fish Radio with Laine Welch

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 Weekdays at 12:20 p.m.
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Jul 16 2015
Pinks Double Up Reds as Harvest Exceeds 3-Million
Thursday, 16 July 2015
Jay Barrett/KMXT
The Kodiak area pink salmon harvest doubled the sockeye catch when Wednesday's deliveries were counted. With nearly 250,000 humpies harvested, the season total for the little salmon reached 1,871,780 fish caught. The day's total harvest of all five species amounted to a little over 350,000.

There were just over 76,000 sockeye caught on Wednesday, bumping the season harvest ever closer to the million mark for reds. The catch now stands at 921,489.

Delivered yesterday were 17,740 chum salmon, as were about 7,000 silvers and 151 kings. The season totals, respectively are now 245,000 chum, 100,000 coho and 5,000 chinook.

All-species harvest to-date is 3,143,616 salmon. 
 
Jul 16 2015
Tregarthen Represents Team USA at World Games
Thursday, 16 July 2015
special_olympics_officer_athlete_community_director.jpg
Brittany Tregarthen, center, with coach Dan Canavan and Special Olympics supporter Lt. DJ Clumpner. Tregarthen will represent America in the World Games later this month. Kayla Desroches/KMXT photo 
 
Jay Barrett/KMXT
A young Kodiak woman will be representing Alaska at the 2015 Special Olympics World Summer Games in Los Angeles at the end of the month. Brittany Tregarthen, a power-lifter won her class at the state summer games in Anchorage last month.

During those games, she benched 99 pounds, squatted 143 and reached 137 in the deadlift for a combination weight score of 380 pounds.

She'll be joined by fellow Alaskans CJ Umbs and Christine Quick, who will be competing in aquatics and Garrett Stortz, who will competing in golf. The four are among 491 members of the US Special Olympics Team who will compete against 176 other nations in 25 different sports. 

The Special Olympics World Summer Games run from July 25th to August 2nd.

Special Olympics in Alaska serves more than 2,000 athletes in 10 communities around the state through local community training programs. 
 
Jul 16 2015
52-Year-Old With Stroke Symptoms Hoisted from Cargo Ship South of Kodiak
Thursday, 16 July 2015
Jay Barrett/KMXT
An Air Station Kodiak helicopter crew medevac'd a 52-year-old man from a 600-foot cargo vessel, approximately 150 miles south of Kodiak on Tuesday.

The MH-60 Jayhawk crew safely hoisted the man from the Elsa and transported him to Kodiak Providence Medical Center for further care.

Watchstanders from Coast Guard District 17 command center received a report Monday evening from the crew of the Elsa that the crewmember was suffering from symptoms of a stroke. Watchstanders conferred with the duty flight surgeon who recommended 4-hour scheduled communications with the vessel to monitor the crewmember’s condition. 

Tuesday afternoon the crew reported to watchstanders that the crewmember was suffering from convulsions. The on-duty flight surgeon then recommended an immediate medevac.

Weather on scene was reported as 15–mph winds and 8-foot seas. 
 
Jul 15 2015
KEA Switches Away from Payment by Phone
Wednesday, 15 July 2015
Kayla Desroches/KMXT

The Kodiak Electric Association has streamlined its payment approach. It’s turned away from pay-by-phone and will rely on online, mail, and in-person options from now on. Dan Menth works in the finance department and says mandates from the Payment Card Industry are the driving force behind that decision.

“If we take credit card information over the phone, you have to have an isolated terminal in order to take the payment information. Your phone lines can’t be recorded,” he says. “There’s just different security measures that they want to see in place in order to do that.”

Menth says, for customer service reasons, they decided not to opt into industry voice recognition technology. And he says KEA is meeting PCI standards.

“The burden of responsibility if there was some kind of fraudulent activity, as long as we are PCI compliant, Visa and Mastercard will help us out. If for some reason we weren’t compliant, they could come back and make us responsible for any of the damages.”

He says they’ve been using online payment options for a few years and just signed up with SmartHub.

“It was kind of an improvement over our old e-bill system, but it also added the ability to make one-time payments,” he says. “The new SmartHub website has a lot more information as far as your usage, your billing. It even goes as far as throwing in average daily temperatures so you can track and see if your electric usage goes up or down with temperature.”

Menth says there is also an app for customers with smart phones. And for those patrons who enjoy the face-to-face interaction, KEA still accepts payment at its office location.
 
Jul 15 2015
Marine Debris Barge Arrives in Kodiak
Wednesday, 15 July 2015
marine_debris_barge.jpgBarge in Kodiak, without bags. Photo by Candice Bressler

Kayla Desroches/KMXT

Today, a massive barge docked in Kodiak in its first stop to transport hundreds of tons of marine debris to the lower 48. Its arrival is part a bigger project covering coastlines in Alaska and British Columbia with a mission to remove marine debris and head to Seattle to recycle and process it. 

3.28 MB | Download MP3 | Open in popup

A percentage of marine debris on Alaska shorelines is from the 2011 Japanese earthquake and tsunami.

Janna Stewart is the Tsunami Marine Debris Coordinator for Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation, one of the organizers of the event, and says it’s hard to determine how much of the debris is from that tsunami. However, they’ve seen things like fishing gear and dock fragments.

“…Foam that’s used in a lock of construction, tanks, household items. As time has gone on, some of the heavier debris been coming in that’s been moving in the currents rather than bouncing up, driven by the wind,” says Stewart. “So, they’ve seen a change in the nature of the debris that’s come in. For example, they weren’t seeing dimensional lumbar from Japan until a couple of years after the tsunami and now they’ve starting to see that.”

Stewart says nonprofits and other groups have been collecting marine debris for years and many of those collection sites are remote, like Gore Point and Montague. 

“At a lot of those sites, the debris can’t be removed even by smaller vessels because the shorelines are rocky, they’re high energy beaches with a lot of surges. So, the debris once it’s been collected and stored on the shoreline, for many of these locations, the only practical way and the safest way to get the debris of the shorelines is to get it airlifted onto the barge.”

The Japanese government is largely funding the project with $900,000 from the $2.5 million dollars it granted Alaska. Stewart says Japan donated a total of $5 million dollars to coastal states and says she’s met with other state recipients at conferences. She says not only did Alaska get hit harder than other states, but it also faces unique challenges.

“The story I always tell is, when they were doing the presentation on the pickup of this dock that came in, I think it was in Oregon, they talked about they had to drive a quarter of a mile on a logging road to get to the beach. And I said ‘You have a road?’”

It’s an issue that the Kodiak Archipelago can relate to.

Tom Pogson is Director of Education, Outreach, and Marine Programs of Island Trails Network, a nonprofit that has been working to remove marine debris from Kodiak shorelines since 2013. 

Pogson says ITN has accumulated 180,000 pounds of marine debris in its storage yard and volunteers spent the weekend preparing it for transport. He says ITN started to make plans with other organizations for the debris removal in February and those plans fell into place over the last couple of weeks. 

“We’ve been talking about this for a couple of years, but the specifics of getting the contracts finalized and getting a plan and finding appropriate vessels and getting all the mechanics of this particular large-scale removal from this large stretch of coastline set-up has been very complicated,” says Pogson.

And he says that’s the nature of the beast.

“It’s a bit like riding your bike in the dark on a road without any lights. You basically know you’re on the road, you can sorta get a feel for where you’re going, and you know there’s lots of other people that are going there with you. And you kinda just close your eyes and go.”

A Kick-Off Event will take place Thursday in Kodiak to celebrate the barge launch and the month-long debris removal along the coast. The public is invited to hear speakers including DEC Commissioner, NOAA Marine Debris Program Regional Coordinator, and the Director of Alaska Keeper, a major nonprofit involved in organizing the event. The Kick-off will be at 2pm at Koniag on Near Island.
 

 
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