Fisheries committee talks roadside fishing

CBJ commitee advises Juneau set aside public land for future fishers

A local group working to promote Southeast fisheries met Monday to agree on recommendations to improve roadside fishing access among other issues.

The City and Borough of Juneau’s Fisheries Development Committee is a seven-member advisory committee to the Assembly. It was created by resolution in 1989. Members are appointed and serve three-year terms. The committee works on sport and commercial fisheries issues such as access, cold storage, salmon stream enhancement, aquaculture and others.

In an effort to maintain, if possible, expand roadside access to fishing areas around Juneau the committee drafted a letter to Mayor Merrill Sanford asking the city to consider setting aside city land for access to Gastineau Channel fishing spots by car.

“Roadside fishing opportunities remain an important and healthy activity in Juneau,” according to the letter. “It provides our youth with an excellent opportunity to enjoy Alaska’s wonderful marine resources.”

Committee Chair Jim Becker said the group started work on the issue of access in 2009.

“It’s a long time coming,” Becker said.

In late 2009, Becker invited Brian Glynn, area management biologist for the Department of Natural Resources Sport Fishing Division, to talk about options for expanded public fishing access at the Channel Marina cul-de-sac.

Glynn said Juneau’s Gastineau shoreline is dominated by privately held land. Access is limited to a few areas. And not all people can afford a boat, he said.

“There is great opportunity for public fishing,” Glynn said. “But no public lands. So we have a lot of water and not a lot of access to it. And it’s only going to get worse.”

He said the fishing dock near the Douglas Island Pink and Chum Inc. hatchery is good. However, “it would be nice if people could spread out a little bit,” Glynn said. Currently snagging is prohibited on the dock for safety reasons, he said.

Juneau’s Fisheries Development Committee meets the first Monday of each month. The public is invited to attend.

• Contact reporter Russell Stigall at 523-2276 or at russell.stigall@juneauempire.com.

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