Bristol Bay ecosystem    Credit: Apay’uq Art  


The call is out for nominees to fill one open seat on the state Board of Fisheries.

The opening stems from the Alaska Legislature’s giving a thumbs down to Governor Dunleavy’s appointment of Abe Williams, a longtime regional affairs director for the Pebble Mine.

Williams was rejected during a marathon six hour session on May 13 in what Representative Bryce Edgmon of Dillingham called a “drubbing” and added that Williams was “a polarizing figure that did not have the trust of people in the Bristol Bay region.”

Nearly 1,000 Alaskans spoke out against Williams’ appointment.

According to Alaska statutes, Dunleavy was required to name a replacement within 30 days but that time frame has come and gone.

Jeff Turner, Deputy Director of Communications, said in an email that “The Governor is taking additional time to receive input from all stakeholders before making a selection” and that “he has committed to filling the seat before the next Board of Fish meeting in October.”

By this past March, the Fish Board was scheduled to have finished up 275 proposals for Southeast Alaska, Prince William Sound and statewide shellfish. But the normal meeting cycle was disrupted by the Covid pandemic.

Boards director Glenn Haight explains the new line up.

“Starting in October of 2021 it will do its work session followed by Prince William Sound meeting in November and December and the Southeast finfish and shellfish meetings in January and then in March do its statewide all shellfish meeting.”

Haight said the Governor’s nominee will serve on the board in the interim until the legislature, in joint session, makes a decision.

Then in October of 2022 the Fish Board’s work session will be followed by a 2 day P-cod meeting and fishery issues for Bristol Bay and Chignik, the Bering Sea, Arctic-Yukon- Kuskokwim and Alaska Peninsula regions.

The Fish Board regulates commercial, sport, subsistence and personal use fisheries in state waters, meaning out to three miles.

Currently, only one of the seven board seats is held by a person from a coastal region – John Jensen of Petersburg.

United Fishermen of Alaska said that Governor Dunleavy “is open to considering applicants from all across Alaska.”

Send applications to Boards and Commissions here