FISHLINK NEWS -10/23/96(1)

Wed, 23 Oct 1996 16:41:55 -0400

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
Library of Congress
Washington, DC 20540-7450
e-mail: <gbuck at>

Mr. Buck also makes the following request: "To further assist me in providing
broad scope of information resources to Congress, I would appreciate being
to any mailing lists of publications, news releases, newsletters, etc.
relevant to
marine mammals and fisheries. Where there is a subscription cost, a sample
would provide a basis for deciding whether or not a subscription could be
Thanks for your assistance in this matter."

Proposed ESA Listing of Steelhead Trout. On Oct. 7, 1996, NMFS
will hold a public hearing in Lewiston, ID, on the proposed Endangered
Species Act (ESA) listing of steelhead trout as threatened. On Oct. 3, 1996,
the Idaho Fish and Game Commission wrote a letter to NMFS opposing the
ESA listing of steelhead trout, contending that listing would not help
recovery and could injure the ID economy. [Assoc Press]
Salmon Assistance. On Oct. 1, 1996, the U.S. Dept. of Labor
announced a grant of $1.55 million to assist 250 dislocated loggers and
salmon fishermen in Clallam, Jefferson, and Kitsap Counties, WA, with
employment search, vocational training, and support services. On Oct. 1,
1996, the Dept. of Commerce awarded the WA Dept. of Fish and Game $3.48
million to repair salmon hatcheries and fish ladders damaged by the February
1996 floods. On Oct. 1, 1996, the Dept. of Commerce awarded the WA Dept.
of Fish and Game $5.2 million to continue a buyout program of commercial
salmon permits. [Assoc Press]
Water Pollution from Grazing Cattle. On Sept. 30, 1996, U.S.
District Judge Ancer Haggerty granted summary judgment in a lawsuit brought
against the U.S. Forest Service by the Oregon Natural Desert Assoc., Oregon
Natural Resources Council, Pacific Rivers Council, Portland Audubon Society,
and Trout Unlimited, and required the Forest Service, before issuing grazing
permits, to obtain state assurance that grazing will not pollute streams and
rivers. Environmental groups sought to require livestock producers to comply
with state Clean Water Act standards. [Assoc Press]
Cook Inlet Salmon Allocation. On Sept. 29, 1996, the Alaska Board
of Fish voted 5-2 to discuss conflicting sport and commercial demands for
Cook Inlet salmon at its Nov. 11-18 meeting in Anchorage. [Assoc Press]
Washington State Draft Salmon and Steelhead Trout Policy. On
Sept. 27, 1996, WA Dept. of Fish and Game officials announced that they
have asked the American Fisheries Society to form an independent scientific
panel to review and critique the state's draft salmon and steelhead trout
"21st Century Wild." [Assoc Press]
Salmon Spill Review. On Sept. 26, 1996, the chairman of Oregon's
Environmental Quality Commission called for a review of water spills at
hydropower dams to assure that more benefit than harm is being done for
salmon. This review responds to concerns following two controversial spills
The Dalles Dam during August and September 1996. [Assoc Press]
Flow Deflectors at John Day Dam. On Sept. 26, 1996, the Army
Corps of Engineers announced that it had awarded a $7.6 million contract for
construction of flow deflectors at John Day Dam on the Columbia River. Flow
deflectors modify dam spillways to help reduce the level of supersaturated
nitrogen gas, thus improving safety for juvenile salmon migrating downstream.

Construction is to be completed by mid-1998. [Assoc Press]
Idaho Steelhead Trout. In late September 1996, the ID Dept. of Fish
and Game announced that the B-run (late) steelhead trout returning to the
Clearwater River were only about half the estimated 15,000 adult return
predicted. After a sharp decline in steelhead passage recorded at Bonneville
Dam, the Dept. expressed concern over treaty gillnet fisheries operating in
lower Columbia River. [Assoc Press]
Record Alaska Chum and Pink Salmon Catch. On Sept. 25, 1996,
Alaska Governor Tony Knowles directed the Alaska Dept. of Fish and Game
to suspend all permits for stripping roe and dumping salmon carcasses by
salmon hatcheries due to concerns for the health of an Earth activist on a
hunger strike over this issue. Gov. Knowles also agreed to hold a summit
meeting of hatchery operators, food banks, charities, and state agencies to
coordinate better ways to fully utilize excess fish. On Sept. 29, 1996, the
Earth activist ended his hunger strike. [Assoc Press]
Marketing Tribal Salmon. On Sept. 21, 1996, an impromptu
dockside market for tribal-caught salmon developed at Marine Park, Cascade
Locks, OR, in response to the low price ($0.30 per pound) offered for fresh
chinook salmon by wholesalers compared to $2.00 per pound paid by
consumers at the dockside market. [Assoc Press]
Environmental Assessment for Salmon Regulation. On Sept. 19,
1996, the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, by a 3-0 vote, overturned a 1994
ruling by U.S. District Judge Malcolm Marsh and declared that the role of
NMFS in authorizing state salmon regulations was a major federal action
requiring preparation of an environmental assessment. The original court
challenge had been filed by Pacific northwest aluminum companies concerned
that state regulations could result in less water available for power
raising electric utility rates. In a related ruling, the appeals court
affirmed that
informal consultation between NMFS and the states was sufficient, and that
the states did not require a formal NMFS permit to issue regulations. [Assoc
Independent Science Group. On Sept. 18, 1996, the chairman of the
Independent Science Group presented a 2-hour summary of the Group's
preliminary findings to the Northwest Power Planning Council, meeting in
Clarkston, WA. ISG recommendations in their 500-page "Return to the River"
report included 1) adopt an integrated approach to salmon recovery based on
an understanding of salmon life cycles rather than a technological approach,
2) protect salmon as natural collections of populations, 3) manage salmon
stocks with a more complete understanding of the limitations that salmon
migratory behavior could place on river operations, 4) reduce sources of fish
mortality throughout the ecosystem, 5) recognize the importance of ocean and
estuary dynamics and make management decisions accordingly, 6) align
future management decisions with the 'normative ecosystem' concept and
evaluate recovery actions against this standard, and 7) designate the
free-flowing Hanford Reach of the Columbia River a 'salmon reserve.' [Assoc
BPA Salmon Funding Agreement. On Sept. 17, 1996, the Clinton
Administration announced the signing of a 6-year memorandum of
understanding (MOU) with Bonneville Power Administration (BPA) limiting
ratepayer costs for fish and wildlife to no more than $435 million annually,
along with creation of a $325 million contingency fund, funded by federal
taxpayers, to pay for additional water spills in low-water years. About $252
million of BPA's annual costs would be for capital improvements, with the
remaining $183 million being lost power-generation revenues. The MOU also
requires 5 federal agencies to consult with 13 Native American tribes and 4
northwest state governments concerning salmon recovery efforts. [Assoc
Press, Greenwire]
Sustainable Fisheries Forum. On Sept. 14-15, 1996, a Forum on
Sustainable Fisheries was held in Seattle, WA. Organized by For the Sake of
the Salmon and the Sustainable Fisheries Foundation, the Forum exchanged
information on the status of salmon and steelhead populations and
salmon-based economies, and identified tasks and priorities for rebuilding
these populations to sustainable levels. [personal communication]
Siltation Accident. On Sept. 13, 1996, WA Dept. of Fish and Game
workers accidentally released silt into the Tucannon River during a habitat
restoration project, destroying at least one endangered Snake River chinook
salmon spawning bed and possibly damaging others. In late September 1996,
the WA Dept. of Fish and Game asked that it be prosecuted in the Columbia
County District Court for the accident to demonstrate that the Dept. must
abide by strict standards to which others are held. [Assoc Press]
Yakama Salmon Habitat Complaint. On Sept. 12, 1996, the
Yakama Indian Nation filed a complaint with the Eastern Washington Growth
Management Hearings Board, requesting that the Board review Klickitat
County for alleged failure to protect salmon habitat as required by
State's Growth Management Act. A hearing date on the petition has not yet
been set. [Assoc Press]
Salmon River Floatboat and Snake River Jet Boat Regulations.
On Sept. 11, 1996, the U.S. Forest Service released a new plan for managing
floatboats, banning jet boast for 7 three-day periods each summer along
portions of the Snake River in Hells Canyon National Recreation Area. [Assoc
PWS Habitat Protection. On Sept. 6, 1996, Vice President Al Gore
announced a $33 million agreement to protect 64,000 acres of privately owned
forest land in eastern Prince William Sound (PWS), Alaska. Funded by the
Exxon Valdez settlement, the agreement will prohibit commercial timber
harvest, protect salmon and cutthroat trout habitat, and protect subsistence
fishing by members of the Tatitlek Native village corporation. [Assoc Press]
Lone Sockeye Returns to Salmon River. On Sept. 5, 1996, a single
wild female sockeye salmon was captured in the Redfish Lake fish trap in the
Snake River, ID, drainage. Two additional adult sockeye have been counted
passing Lower Granite Dam migrating upstream. [Assoc Press]
Upper Adams River Sockeye Salmon Return. In early September
1996, Canadian biologists reported an estimated 30,000 adult sockeye
salmon had returned to the Upper Adams River, BC. Salmon in the drainage
had been decimated by a logging company in 1908, and -- until this year --
insignificant progress had been achieved in restoring salmon after the
company dam was removed in 1945. [Assoc Press]
Snake River Sockeye Release. In September 1996, ID Dept. of Fish
and Game biologists plan to release 120 adult sockeye salmon into Redfish
Lake to spawn naturally. These fish are offspring of 8 wild sockeye adults
returned to spawn in 1993 and were reared in hatcheries. [Assoc Press]
Pacific Salmon Treaty. In early September 1996, Alaska Dept. of
Fish and Game biologists reported that the Yukon River fall chum salmon run
appeared to be about 200,000 fish larger than anticipated and that all
escapement obligations to Canada had been met. On Sept. 14, 1996, British
Columbia Premier Glen Clark released a 6-point proposal to reinvigorate
U.S.-Canada negotiations. The 6 points include 1) an agreement to develop a
common conservation approach; 2) support of a coast-wide solution to equity
concerns that encompasses regional differences; 3) a commitment to arbitrate
any issues not resolved by Dec. 15, 1996; 4) public release of proposals from
the last (Ambassador Beeby's) mediation; 5) an agreement that in the
absence of full resolution of treaty issues, Beeby's proposals will bind the
development of fishery plans; and 6) establishment of a functional
dispute-settlement mechanism. Details of this proposal were sent to state
governors on Sept. 13. On Sept. 25, 1996, Canadian Minister of Fisheries
Fred Mifflin announced that Early Stuart sockeye salmon spawning
escapement (Fraser River drainage) of 88,380 fish exceeded the target of
66,000 fish by about 33%. In late September 1996, Canadian managers
announced that 4.3 million sockeye returned to spawn in the Fraser River
drainage this year, surpassing the 1.5 million to 2.6 million initial
prediction in
response to new policies incorporating risk-averse management. [Assoc
Press, Reuters, Canadian Dept. of Fisheries and Oceans press release]
Sacramento-San Joaquin River Options. On Sept. 3, 1996, a
state/federal task force released details on 3 options for resolving disputes
concerning water and resource use in the Sacramento-San Joaquin
River/Delta, CA, region. Options include construction of new water storage
facilities, extensive habitat restoration, intensified water conservation
additional pollution control, and strengthened earth berms along delta
However, the options vary in terms of scope and cost, with the least
expensive costing $4 billion; the most expensive is $8 billion. After public
hearings, a final choice will be presented to the CA legislature and U.S.
Congress by 1998. [San Diego Union-Tribune, San Jose Mercury, and San
Francisco Examiner via Greenwire]
Oregon Salmon Study Funded. On Sept. 3, 1996, the National
Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's (NOAA's) Coastal Ocean Program
announced that it had awarded a $225,000 grant to the Oregon Dept. of Land
Conservation and Development for design and coordination of a new study of
Pacific salmon -- the Pacific Northwest Coastal Ecosystem Regional Study.
This Study is projected to receive $5 million in funds over 5 years. The
will improve the scientific base for restoration and management of salmon and
other coastal resources and develop ways for coastal managers to predict
ecosystem, economic, and social impacts of proposed restoration and
management strategies. A special focus will be directed to factors affecting
the estuarine survival of salmon. Other participants in the study include
NMFS and the Sea Grant Programs at Oregon State Univ. and the Univ. of
Washington. [NOAA press release]

Umpqua River Searun Cutthroat Trout. On Sept. 8, 1996, a federal ban on all
fishing in the Umpqua River Basin, OR, was to have been implemented to
protect endangered cutthroat trout. OR fishery managers requested that
NMFS issue a special incidental take permit to allow limited fishing to
continue, but a public comment period on the permit application did not end
until Sept. 6. On Sept. 6, 1996, NMFS announced that it would not enforce
regulations that could close fishing on the Umpqua River to protect
endangered cutthroat trout. [Assoc Press]

West Coast Bottomfish Harvest Reduction. On Oct. 21, 1996, the
Pacific Fishery Management Council will meet in San Francisco, CA, to
consider proposals to significantly reduce harvest of four species of
-- yellowtail and canary rockfish, bocaccio, and chilipeppers. Proposals
result in harvest reductions between 25% and 85% beginning Jan. 1, 1997,
with a potential loss to coastal communities of as much as $11.4 million --
equivalent of about 568 jobs. [Assoc Press]
Canadian Fishery Law Proposal. On Oct. 3, 1996, the Canadian
federal government tabled a proposed new Fisheries Act in the Commons,
including provisions allowing the federal government to delegate
for freshwater fish habitat protection to provinces, allowing the fisheries
minister to negotiate with industry for regional fishery management, and
permitting tribunals to be established on each coast to deal with fisheries
violators. [Assoc Press]
Beach Protection for Sea Turtles. On Oct. 2, 1996, a U.S. Fish and
Wildlife official indicated that federal approval was likely for a Volusia
FL, plan to protect nesting sea turtles. The plan does not address beach
lighting, but would prohibit cars from some beaches and extend no-driving
zones. In areas where driving is permitted, buffer zones would be reduced
from 30 feet to 15 feet around sand dunes where turtles nest. [Assoc Press]
Greek Fuel Tax Protest. On Oct. 2, 1996, about 50 fishing vessels
blocked the Greek port of Piraeus in a protest calling for restoration of a
exemption for fishing vessel fuel. [Reuters]
NW Atlantic Research. On Oct. 1, 1996, the Univ. of Massachusetts
announced receipt of $325,000 in federal funds under NOAA's Cooperative
Marine Education and Research Program, for study of the schooling behavior
of bluefin tuna, feeding relationships of fish on Georges Bank, effect of
contaminants on the reproductive success of winter flounder, downstream
movement of Atlantic salmon in the Merrimack River, refined techniques for
detecting trace metals in the marine food chain, detection of irradiated
seafood, possible shifts in NW Atlantic plankton populations, and the
economics of hook, small trawler, and charter boat fisheries. [Assoc Press]
Canadian Pacific Fleet Proposal. On Sept. 30, 1996, a member of
the Canadian Parliament released a copy of a confidential Sept. 2nd report
entitled "Core Fleet Impact Analysis" presenting a worst-case scenario of the
impacts from a proposed consolidation of operations of various elements of
Canada's Pacific fleets of coast guard, fisheries, and science vessels. The
report suggests possible declines in Canada's ability to assert maritime
sovereignty, to support international fishing agreements, and apprehend U.S.
vessels illegally fishing for Fraser River salmon. [Assoc Press]
Limited Entry for Southeast Alaska Shrimp. Sept. 30, 1996, was
the last day for public comment on the proposal by the Alaska Commercial
Fisheries Entry Commission to limit entry in the southeast Alaska shrimp
fishery to 332 permits, based on a point system for past harvest
[Assoc Press]
Soft TEDs Restrictions. On Sept. 30, 1996, the Senate passed H.R.
4278 (Omnibus Consolidated Appropriations), containing language prohibiting
NMFS from decertifying any turtle excluder device (TED) until every effort
made to improve or modify existing TEDs to increase turtle escapement. This
measure also requires NMFS to solicit independent peer review of its sea
turtle conservation efforts. These provisions would delay implementation of
NMFS regulations decertifying soft TEDs. The measure was sent to the
President for consideration. [Assoc Press, Congr. Record]
Portland Oil Spill. On Sept. 27, 1996, the Julie N, a Liberian-flagged
oil tanker with a Korean captain and crew, hit a drawbridge in harbor at
Portland, ME, resulting in a spill of about 170,000 gallons of heating oil
heavier No. 6 fuel oil in the harbor and the Fore River. Lobstering,
fishing, and
shellfish harvesting have been prohibited in the area, with shellfish
prohibited as far east as Harpswell, and the harbor is partially closed. The
tanker's owner, Maritime Overseas Corp., promised to compensate fishermen
for damage to vessels and gear as well as for lost income. [Assoc Press]
Clamming Arrests. On Sept. 27-28, 1996, state and federal officers
arrested 9 men (6 of whom were senior citizens) for harvesting clams from a
contaminated beach, for harvesting more clams than was legally allowed near
Revere, MA, and for transporting illegal harvest across the state border to
Additional arrests of as many as 30 people are anticipated in the poaching
scheme that was believed to have sold as much as 18,000 pounds of
contaminated clams a week to stores and restaurants. [Assoc Press]
Seafood for America. On Sept. 27, 1996 at Fish Expo Seattle, the
commercial fishing industry plans to launch a nationwide public education and
communications campaign, Seafood for America, to call attention to the risks
posed to seafood consumers by groups seeking to eliminate some
commercial fishing activities. [National Fisheries Institute press release]
Right Whale Protection. On Sept. 26, 1996, officials from Canada's
Atlantic maritime provinces and the U.S. New England States adopted a
resolution urging U.S. and Canadian federal agencies to accelerate efforts to
better protect the northern right whale by minimizing ship collisions and
entanglement, reviewing and revising marine safety rules, and encouraging the
sharing of research information. These officials met in Quebec for the
Conference of the New England Governors and Eastern Canadian Premiers.
On Sept. 26, 1996, U.S. District Court Judge Douglas Woodlock found
Massachusetts in violation of the federal Endangered Species Act for issuing
permits for lobster and gillnet gear known to kill right whales. MA was
to prepare a detailed plan of action by Dec. 12, 1996, outlining how
for right whales would be improved by restricting, modifying, or eliminating
use of lobster gear, gillnets, and other damaging fishing gear, or face a
possible ban on certain fishing in state coastal waters. [Greenwire]
AK Sea Urchin Management. In late September 1996, the Alaska
Dept. of Fish and Game's (ADF&G's) Sea Urchin Task Force will meet in
Ketchikan to consider a proposed 4.5 million pound harvest quota and
estimated management costs of $250,000 for the fishery. ADF&G
management costs are to be paid by urchin processors, who would be
reimbursed by urchin harvesters through about a 5.5 cent per pound fee on
urchin deliveries. [Assoc Press]
Fishing and Religious Freedom. On Sept. 25, 1996, a Maryland
waterman and the American Civil Liberties Union filed suit in federal court
asking that the fisherman be allowed to choose his day off so he can fish six
days a week. The waterman is a Seventh Day Adventist and is forbidden by
his religion from working on Saturday, while state law requires watermen to
choose not to crab on either Sunday or Monday each week. [Assoc Press]
Florida Keys Sanctuary Plan. On Sept. 25, 1996, the National
Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration released its finalized plan for
managing the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary. A single
'replenishment reserve' or 'no-take area' was designated after three had been
proposed in the earlier draft plan. [Assoc Press]
Code of Conduct for Responsible Fisheries. Sept. 23, 1996 was the
deadline for comments to NMFS concerning a draft implementation plan for
the United States to meet the standards of the United Nations Code of
Conduct for Responsible Fisheries. [NOAA press release]
Insider Trading Lawsuit. On Sept. 23, 1996, Securities and
Exchange Commission regulators filed suit and announced that the former
chairman of Tyson Foods Inc. and a friend have agreed to pay substantial
penalties as well as repay profits plus interest for allegedly purchasing
in the Arctic Alaska Fisheries Corp. with knowledge of its pending
by Tyson Foods in 1992. The two parties neither admit nor deny the
allegations. Federal District Court Judge Jimm Hendren, Fayetteville, AR,
must accept or reject the settlement. [Assoc Press]
Factory Trawler Ban. On Sept. 21, 1996, NMFS released a 7-page
response to the Aug. 15, 1996 Greenpeace publication calling for a ban on
factory trawlers. [personal communication, NOAA press release]
Coastal Clean-Up Day. On Sept. 21, 1996, the State of California held
its 11th annual statewide coastal clean-up day, as part of an international
effort to eliminate litter and debris from waterways, marshes, and coasts.
[Dow Jones News]
Sea Turtle Nest Looting. On Sept. 20, 1996, Mexican environmental
organizations reported that guerrilla violence in Oaxaca state, Mexico, has
resulted in the looting of more than 10,000 sea turtle nests on Escobilla
near Huatulco this summer, with the loss of as many as 1 million turtle eggs.
Full Bycatch Retention. On Sept. 20, 1996, the North Pacific Fishery
Management Council voted unanimously to recommend that the federal
government require full retention and processing of all pollock and Pacific
taken as bycatch in any Bering Sea groundfish fishery, beginning in January
1998. The Council also approved a 5-year delay in requiring full retention
yellowfin sole and rock sole. [Assoc Press, American Factory Trawler Assoc.
press release]
Oil Spill Compensation Protest. On Sept. 20, 1996, more than 300
fishing vessels gathered near the Chinese Petroleum's offshore oil port at
Kaohsiung, Taiwan, to protest slow action to compensate them for damages
from an August 1996 oil spill. Chinese Petroleum had negotiated a T$230
million (US$8.36 million) compensation plan, but fishermen claimed that the
agreed-upon payment schedule was not being met. Chinese Petroleum
responded that it was having problems with the eligibility of some of the
claims filed. [Reuters]
Delaware River Estuary Plan. On Sept. 19, 1996, the governors of
Delaware, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania along with U.S. Environmental
Protection Agency officials endorsed a comprehensive blueprint for protecting
and enhancing the Delaware River estuary. The blueprint contains 77
recommendations, including calling on states to reduce the toxics dumped
into the estuary and identifying sources of PCBs that have led to fishery
advisories. EPA officials stated that implementing the recommendations
would likely cost hundreds of millions of dollars. [Newark Star-Ledger via
Invasive Species Hearing. On Sept. 19, 1996, the Senate Committee
on Environment and Public Work's Subcommittee on Drinking Water,
Fisheries, and Wildlife held a hearing on S. 1660, the National Invasive
Species Act of 1996. This measure seeks to prevent further introduction of
non-native aquatic species into U.S. waters. [personal communication]
Citizens Against Government Waste Report. On Sept. 19, 1996,
Citizens Against Government Waste (CAGW) released a report identifying
what the group considers to be examples of pork-barrel projects included in
fiscal year 1997 appropriations bills. Several marine fisheries programs
specifically identified. [CAGW press release]