Fishing the line at Bristol Bay












Seven people have applied for a seat on the Commercial Fisheries Entry Commission

“There are just some extremely qualified experienced folks, from background either with CFEC, Department of Fish and Game, or with fisheries. You know, it’s just been very impressive.”

Shirley Marquardt  is Director of state  Boards and Commission.The CFEC was created by the Alaska Legislature in 1972, mostly as a means to control entry into salmon fisheries. It now regulates 68 fisheries including herring, crab, state water sablefish, shrimp and dive fisheries.

The CFEC, which oversees a staff of about 20, also issues and transfers annual fishing permits and licenses, rules on any appeals and collects commercial fishing data.

Five of the applicants are from Juneau, including previous CFEC employee Yvonne Fink, and two Department of Fish and Game Juneau employees – Carol Petrabourg and Jeff Kasper.  Also, Dale Kelley, longtime director of the Alaska Trollers Association and marine surveyor Jim Sepal.

Two from Anchorage include Eric Olson,  a former chair of the North Pacific Fishery Management Council and earth science service professional Werner Dunham.  

The new Commissioner will join one other –  Fate Putman, a Juneau  attorney and  lobbyist. Stepping down in March is current CFEC chairman Bruce Twomley who’s served for 35 years. He calls the commission “vital.’

“Without Commissioners here, being able to pay attention and respond to emergency situations, fishing time is going to be lost for sure. “ This remains a demanding job. And it’s all about getting fishermen in the water.”

Governor Walker will make a selection in coming weeks. It must then be approved by the Alaska legislature.

Thanks to the assist from KHNS in Haines.