FISHLINK NEWS-7/12/96(1)

Fri, 12 Jul 1996 16:07:01 -0400

>>>> FISHLINK NEWS-7/12/96(1) <<<<
(Vol. 7, No 8)

Fisheries and Conservation News
from the Pacific Coast Federation of Fishermen's Associations
and the Insititute for Fisheries Resources
This is Volume One of Two



"Democracy is where you can say what you think even if you don't think."
-- Anonymous

"I've always thought that underpopulated countries in Africa are vastly
-- Lawrence Summers, chief economist of the World Bank,
explaining why we should export toxic wastes to Third World countries.

"Sure, it's going to kill a lot of people, but they may be dying of
something else anyway."
-- Othal Brand, member of a Texas pesticide
review board, on chlordane.

"The strategy against the American radical left should be the same as
General Douglas MacArthur employed against the Japanese in the Pacific . . .
bypass their strongholds, then surround them, isolate them, bombard them,
then blast the individuals out of their power bunkers with hand-to-hand
combat.The battle for Iwo Jima was not pleasant, but our troops won it.
The battle to regain the soul of America won't be pleasant either, but we
will win it."
-- Pat Robertson, in "Pat Robertson's Perspective," April - May 1992

"Learning their lesson from Jackson, the Whig politicians outdid him in
democratic professions. They had discovered that business has little to fear
from a skilfully guided electorate; that quite the safest way, indeed, to
reach into the public purse is to do it in the sacred name of the majority
--Vernon Louis Parrington (1871-1929), American historian and
educator in "Main Currents in American Thought", 1927-1931.

"Thank God, they cannot cut down the clouds!"
-- Henry David Thoreau



>From the Editor: The Congressional Research Service provides members of
Congress with summaries of all significant news stories or news items about
fishing and marine resources. These excellent summaries are produced by
CRS's Analyst Gene Buck weekly and then compiled into monthly summaries.
Here are the most recent summaries of the previous month's news
items. These monthly summaries will be carried as a regular feature of
this newsletter. We regret any cross postings.

Archived copies of the longer monthly summaries for
February 1994 through the present are now available at
"" . Comments or
corrections should be addressed to:

Gene Buck, Senior Analyst
Congressional Research Service
e-mail: <gbuck at>


{Mitchell Act Hearing. The House Resource Committee's
Subcommittee on Fisheries, Wildlife, and Oceans has indefinitely postponed
an oversight hearing on Mitchell Act hatcheries in the Columbia River basin,
which had been tentatively scheduled for July 16, 1996.} [personal
Plum Creek Habitat Conservation Plan. On June 27, 1996, the Plum
Creek Timber Co. signed a 50-year habitat conservation plan with the U.S.
Fish and Wildlife Service and the National Marine Fisheries Service, for
management of 170,000 acres of timber in Washington State's Cascade
Mountains. In exchange for new management initiatives (e.g., large buffer
areas along streams and wetlands protection), Plum Creek will be able to log
areas previously restricted for endangered species protection. However,
environmental groups have voiced concerns about the inability to respond to
changing conditions under this plan. [Assoc Press, Plum Creek Timber Co.
press release]
Salmon Price-Fixing Suit. On July 12, 1996, Alaska Superior Court
Judge John Reese has scheduled a hearing on whether to certify as a class
action the $720 million lawsuit alleging 26 seafood processors and 10
Japanese trading companies with conspiring since 1989 to fix the price of
Bristol Bay sockeye salmon. [Assoc Press]
Nez Perce Logging OK. On June 24, 1996, the 9th U.S. Circuit Court
of Appeals unanimously upheld Dec. 1994 lower court ruling that logging on
three large U.S. Forest Service timber sales in the Cove and Mallard
in Idaho's Nez Perce National Forest would not harm salmon, saying the
Forest Service adequately studied possible effects on Snake River chinook
salmon. [Assoc Press]
Klamath Salmon Case. On June 24, 1996, the U.S. Supreme Court
upheld a lower court decision that offshore commercial and sport salmon
fishing had to be limited to protect the fishing rights of Yurok and Hoopa
Valley Tribes to Klamath River salmon in California. The challenge was based
on the contention that the tribes lacked fishing rights since their
were created by executive order, rather than by treaty. [Assoc Press]
Supplementation Hatchery Groundbreaking. On June 19, 1996,
ground-breaking ceremonies were held for the first large-scale
supplementation hatchery for spring chinook salmon on the Yakima River near
Cle Elum, WA. Bonneville Power Administration (BPA) provided $14 million
for hatchery construction. The hatchery is expected to be operating by April
1997. [Dow Jones News, BPA press release]
Sport Canning of Salmon. In mid-June 1996, Alaska's Attorney
General issued an opinion that barter of sport-caught salmon is illegal. The
opinion outlined three criteria for identifying illegal barter, which can
when sport fish are canned by non-professional processors. [Assoc Press]
Outfitters' Appeal. On June 17, 1996, four Salmon River, ID, outfitters
were to have filed an appeal of U.S. Forest Service restrictions limiting
on sections of the Salmon River during salmon spawning season. [Assoc
Sacramento River Spring Chinook Lawsuit. On June 17, 1996, CA
State Senator Tom Hayden announced that he had joined the Natural
Resources Defense Council and Environmental Protection Information Center
in filing a lawsuit on June 12th in San Francisco Superior Court seeking a
court order to compel the CA Fish and Game Commission to begin the
process of placing the Sacramento/San Joaquin River spring chinook salmon
on the CA state endangered species list. The lawsuit seeks a reduction in
pumping of water from the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta and other protective
measures during the time the spring chinook are migrating through these
waters. [Assoc Press, Sacramento Bee via Greenwire]
Oregon Budget Cuts. On June 12, 1996, officials of the Oregon
Dept.of Fish and Wildlife announced a 4% budget cut in response to a
projected $6.8 million shortfall in revenues, primarily due to severely
salmon sport fishing license revenues. About 40 employees will be released
in addition to 11 OR State Police fish and game officers. [Assoc Press]
Salmon Recovery Plan Injunction. On June 12, 1996, a coalition of
10 fishing and environmental groups filed a motion for preliminary injunction
U.S. District Court, Portland, OR, accusing NMFS, the Army Corps of
Engineers, and the Bureau of Reclamation of failing to implement water flow
guidelines detailed in the March 1994 biological opinion on Snake River
salmon. In mid-June 1996, the State of Oregon joined this lawsuit as a
of the court. [Assoc Press]
Salmon and Steelhead Recovery Hearing. On June 11, 1996, the
Senate Environment and Public Works' Subcommittee on Drinking Water,
Fisheries, and Wildlife held a hearing on implementation of Pacific Northwest
salmon and recovery measures, including installation of the surface collector
at Lower Granite Dam. [Congr. Record, Assoc Press]
ESA Salmon and Steelhead Listings. On June 7, 1996, a coalition of
20 conservation and fishing groups filed a challenge in U.S. District Court
San Francisco to NMFS's court-ordered timetable for listing steelhead trout
submitted on May 28. The coalition seeks to minimize any further delay in
listing. On June 14, 1996, NMFS announced the following schedule for ESA
listing decisions on additional species: chum salmon (Feb. 1997), sockeye
salmon (Sept. 1997), chinook salmon (Dec. 1997), and cutthroat trout (Jan.
1998). On June 26, 1996, U.S. District Judge Susan Illston made public an
order, {in response to the June 7, 1996 lawsuit, that NMFS decide by July 31,
1996,} whether it will list Pacific coast steelhead trout under the
Species Act. [Seattle Post-Intelligencer via Greenwire, Assoc Press]
Pacific Salmon Treaty. On June 13, 1996, AK Dept. of Fish and
Game announced that sport catch of chinook salmon in southeast Alaska
would be reduced on June 15 to one fish 28 inches or longer per day to better
conserve chinook salmon spawning in BC waters. On June 20, 1996,
Canadian DFO officials announced an estimated BC harvest of 7.325 million
salmon, with no fishing on the Fraser River except for a possible October
chum salmon opening. The anticipated 1996 harvest is about one-quarter of
the average annual catch of 27 million salmon. On June 24, 1996, the three
U.S. Commissioners to the Pacific Salmon Commission representing the
States of Alaska, Washington and Oregon, and the Northwest Tribes signed a
multi-year agreement on chinook salmon harvest quotas and restoration of
damaged salmon habitat. The 1996 Southeast Alaska troll chinook salmon
catch will be set between 140,000 and 155,000 fish, excluding Alaska
hatchery production. The 1995 limit was 230,000 fish, but the fishery was
halted by court action after a catch of about 175,000 chinook. The agreement
among U.S. parties relies on in-season salmon abundance (Alaska's method)
rather than preseason forecasts (the method used by Canada, Washington,
and Oregon) as the basis for determining harvest quotas, and will be reviewed
in 2003 to determine if renegotiation is necessary. Canadian officials have
requested that the 1996 Southeast Alaska chinook harvest be limited to
60,000 fish. [Assoc Press, Reuters]

{Cochetopa Fish Kill. On June 27, 1996, a tanker truck crashed and
spilled between 5,000 and 7,500 gallons of liquid ammonium nitrate fertilizer
into Cochetopa Creek southwest of Gunnison, CO, killing thousands of brown
and rainbow trout.} [Assoc Press]
{Nonindigenous Species Hearing. On July 11, 1996, the House
Resource Committee's Subcommittee on Fisheries, Wildlife, and Oceans has
tentatively scheduled an oversight hearing on nonindigenous species
concerns.} [personal communication]
{Lake Erie Commercial Fishing. On July 1, 1996, the 6th U.S. Circuit
Court of Appeals upheld a Sept. 1994 lower court decision and ruled that
Ohio's restrictions on commercial fishing in Lake Erie are valid. Commercial
fishers had challenged Ohio's regulations as too restrictive and favoring
sport anglers.} [Assoc Press]
{Bull Trout. On July 1, 1996, Idaho Governor Phil Batt released his
administration's recovery plan for bull trout, focusing on development of
separate recovery plans for each of 59 key watersheds by watershed advisory
groups assisted by technical advisory teams by the end of 1998.} [Assoc
Fisheries Communication Conference. On June 27-29, 1996, the
American Fisheries Society held a conference in Bozeman, MT, on how
fisheries professionals might improve communication with the public. [Assoc
San Juan River Lawsuit. On June 27, 1996, the attorney for the San
Juan Fly Fishing Federation was planning to file a motion in U.S. District
Court (Albuquerque, NM) requesting that their lawsuit against the U.S. Bureau

of Reclamation be reopened. The lawsuit contends the Bureau is not complying
with environmental regulations in water tests at Navajo Reservoir and that a
planned four-month test beginning in November 1996 could harm trout
populations in waters below the reservoir. The Federation had agreed to
dismiss the lawsuit in return for information from a two-week test in
January. The agreement also provided that the lawsuit could be reopened
by July 15, 1996. [Assoc Press]
Loans of Sport Fishing Gear. In early June 1996, the Houston County
(GA) Public Library System began a program allowing adult library
card-holders to check out donated sport fishing equipment -- rod, reel,
hooks, line, sinker, and bobber -- for two week periods. [Assoc Press]
Great Lakes Tribal Fishing. On June 19, 1996, state and federal
officials failed to reach agreement with tribal leaders on designating areas
of Lake Michigan and Lake Huron where tribal members can fish for salmon.
The issue will now likely be decided by a ruling from the U.S. District Court
of Western Michigan. [Assoc Press]
Clyde River Dam Removal. On June 19, 1996, Federal Energy
Regulatory Commission (FERC) staff released a draft environmental impact
statement indicating FERC would likely order Citizens Utilities Co. to remove
what remains of the Newport 11 dam on the Clyde River, VT. The dam limited
habitat for Atlantic salmon and was heavily damaged by floodwaters in 1994.
If removal is ordered, this would be the first time FERC has ordered removal
during a relicensing review. FERC could issue a final ruling within a month.
[Assoc Press]
Town Clerk Protest. In mid-June 1996, the MA Town Clerk
Association voted to suspend fishing license sales after July 1, 1996, in a
dispute with the MA Division of Fisheries and Wildlife over the local share
of license revenues. [Assoc Press]
Gila Trout. On June 13, 1996, Gila National Forest (NM) officials
captured 30 endangered Gila trout from the portion of Sacaton Creek choked
with ash from a forest fire for holding at the Mescalero fish hatchery as a
precaution. {In late June 1996, the Grant County (NM) Commission voted to
permit the U.S. Forest Service to use antimycin to kill non-native fish
(primarily brown and rainbow trout) in 4 miles of Mogollon Creek to increase
the likelihood of re-establishing endangered Gila trout.} [Assoc Press]
Fish Consumption Advisories. On June 11, 1996, the U.S.
Environmental Protection Agency released an assessment of fish
consumption advisories for 45 chemical contaminants, noting that the number
of such advisories increased by 14% in 1995 with mercury (1,308 advisories)
and PCB being most numerous. A total of 1,740 waterbodies were covered by
advisories in 47 States were in effect in 1995, covering 15% of the nation's
lake acreage and 4% of total river miles. Better state monitoring is thought
to have produced the large increase in advisories between 1994 and 1995.
[EPA press release, Washington Post]
Edwards Aquifer. On June 10, 1996, the Sierra Club filed suit in U.S.
District Court (Midland, TX) seeking emergency limits on pumping from the
Edwards Aquifer, TX, to better protect endangered fish and amphibians during
ongoing drought conditions. [Greenwire]
Alaska Subsistence Fishing. On June 10, 1996, the U.S. Supreme
Court declined to review a 1995 Alaska Supreme Court ruling, in the case of
Totemoff v. Alaska, that the State of Alaska has regulatory authority over
subsistence hunting and fishing on navigable waters. [Assoc Press]
Sport Fishing and Crown Grants. On June 4, 1996, the Virginia
Supreme Court heard arguments in a case where a lower court had barred a
sport fishing guide from a section of the Jackson River, where centuries-old
crown grants from the King of England are alleged to have given landowners
full control of property including waters. Lawyers argued that permissible
navigation is different from fishing, since fishing "takes" property (fish).
[Assoc Press]
National Fishing Week. In conjunction with National Fishing Week
(June 3-9, 1996), various jurisdictions announced "free fishing" events. For
example, Wisconsin residents fished without licenses or permits the weekend
of June 1-2, while Florida, West Virginia, and Michigan residents fished free
in freshwater lakes and rivers on June 8-9. [Assoc Press, FL Game & Fresh
Water Fish Commission press release]

{New England Groundfish. On July 1, 1996, the Associated Fisheries
of Maine filed an amended complaint in U.S. District Court, challenging the
legality of Magnuson Act regulations aimed at restoring depleted haddock,
cod, and yellowtail flounder. The group claims the regulations seriously
disadvantage the industry while providing little conservation benefit.}
[Assoc Press]
{Italian Driftnets. On July 1, 1996, EU Fisheries Commissioner Emma
Bonino told Italy to respect international regulations on large-scale
driftnets or
face possible U.S. trade sanctions on Italian fishery products. Bonino
reported that EU fishery enforcement patrols during June found that 15 of 16
Italian vessels inspected were using driftnets averaging twice the allowable
length.} [Reuters]
{Atlantic Salmon Treaty Quotas. In late June 1996, Denmark was the
only nation opposed to stringent limits on Greenland's harvest of Atlantic
salmon at the annual meeting of the North Atlantic Salmon Conservation
Organization, thus allowing Greenland to establish a potentially higher
The International Council for the Exploration of the Sea had recommended a
complete moratorium on harvest, based on improved stock assessment
calculations that formerly may have grossly inflated fish abundance.} [Bangor
Daily News via Greenwire]
Fishing Moratorium. On June 27, 1996, Chinese Ministry of
Agriculture officials announced that all offshore fishing will be prohibited
for the
months of July and August in areas of the southern Yellow and northern East
China Seas to protect fish stocks, especially hairtail. A similar ban was
imposed in 1995. [Assoc Press, Reuters]
Seafood Deception Lawsuit. On June 27, 1996, the South Dakota
Supreme Court affirmed a lower court decision and unanimously ruled that a
seafood salesperson could legally sue their employer for deceit and deceptive
trade practices. The seafood dealer had been found guilty of mislabeling by
substituting cheaper grades of fish and overstating the weight of lobster.
salesperson claimed that their reputation had been marred by the employer's
dishonest actions. [Assoc Press]
Straddling Stocks Agreement. On June 26, 1996, the Senate
Committee on Foreign Relations approved and ordered favorably reported the
Agreement for the Implementation of the Provisions of the United Nations
Convention on the Law of the Sea of 10 December 1982 Relating to the
Conservation and Management of Straddling Fish Stocks and Highly Migratory
Fish Stocks, with one declaration, for Senate floor action on advice and
consent concerning ratification. [Congr. Rec.]
Mercury in Fish. In mid-June 1996, Thai government officials
announced that elevated levels of mercury had been detected in fish sampled
near natural gas platforms in the Gulf of Thailand. [Jour. of Commerce via
Fishery Issues Stall EU-Canada Cooperation Accord. On June 26,
1996, Canada and the European Union were unable to conclude a broad
cooperation accord due to difficulties with provisions condemning
extra-territorialism, which Canada perceives as admitting its action during a
1995 dispute over turbot was illegal. Later this year, the International
Court of
Justice is to rule on the legality of Canada's actions during the turbot
[Dow Jones News, Reuters]
Seabird Deaths. In mid-June 1996, mortalities of as many as 10,000
seabirds (e.g., common murres) offshore of the central Oregon coast raised
concerns about changing oceanic conditions. Warmer ocean conditions are
believed to have depressed normal upwelling and changed nearshore
production patterns, resulting in starvation of the seabirds. Murres have
abandoned usual nesting colonies. [Assoc Press]
MA Fish Promotion. On June 25, 1996, the MA Governor's Seafood
Task Force in cooperation with 125 MA retailers and restauranteurs began
their "Making a Splash" promotion featuring mackerel, dogfish (cape shark),
whiting, red hake, and herring to encourage development and use of less
utilized species. [Assoc Press]
Kodiak Cold Storage. In mid-June 1996, the Kodiak Chamber of
Commerce's Economic Development Committee received an optimistic
consultant's report on the feasibility of constructing a cold storage
facility in
Kodiak, AK, to mitigate problems of large fluctuations in seasonal
unemployment. [Assoc Press]
Rhode Island Oil Spill. On June 25, 1996, NMFS approved the
reopening for lobstering of a 15-square mile area off southern Rhode Island,
the last remaining area closed after the Jan. 19, 1996 North Cape oil spill.
adjacent area had been opened to lobstering on June 19, 1996. Organoleptic
tests completed on June 18 found no traces of oil in 101 lobsters. [Assoc