Alaska Digest

Posted: Friday, September 03, 2004

Fish and Game receives $1 million for research

JUNEAU - The Alaska Department of Fish and Game will receive almost $1 million this year in annual federal funds to support the department's research on developing new fisheries in Alaska.

The program was initiated in Southeast Alaska six years ago with federal grants and relies heavily on an annual influx of funds from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration to support new fisheries like geoduck clams and sea cucumbers, said Doug Mecum, Fish and Game's director of Commercial Fisheries.

Because of the program's success in Southeast Alaska, it has been extended throughout the state, Mecum said.

Thirteen projects will be funded this year through the West Coast Fisheries Development Program for Nearshore Marine Research. The projects in Southeast Alaska include:

• Support for regional dive research activities and dive fishery technician position

• Revision of current red king crab stock assessment survey methods to allow a spatial distribution and trend analysis for crab populations

• Support for dive research activities associated with Southeast Alaska sea cucumber fisheries, including funding for six scientific divers and three boat officer positions

• Creation of a single-source Southeast Alaska geoduck clam reconnaissance database from already collected data

• Two-day assessment and evaluation of Southeast Alaska geoduck clam biomass in commercial fishing areas

• Development, evaluation and revision of Southeast Alaska sea cucumber stock assessment methods

Other projects include researching the population of shrimp in the Gulf Alaska and crab stocks in Prince William Sound that appear to be rebounding.

Salmon Creek water back to service

JUNEAU - The Salmon Creek water source is back to a normal supply after being off-line from July 31 to Aug. 16.

"During this period of time, higher than normal levels of coliform bacteria were observed in Salmon Creek's raw water samples," said Public Works Director Joe Buck.

At all times, the bacterial levels were within limits established by drinking water regulations, Buck said.

City staff couldn't identify the source of the higher bacterial levels. The Salmon Creek water system was tested for quality and returned to service once turbidity levels dropped.

Juneau's water system comes from two sources - the Last Chance Basin and Salmon Creek.

The Last Chance Basin well field on Gold Creek is the primary source. The city operates the Salmon Creek water system in conjunction with Alaska Electric Light and Power Company's power generation plant.

"The Salmon Creek water source is an intermittent source because of seasonal turbidity and annual AEL&P power plant maintenance," Buck said.

When both sources are operating, customers north of Hospital Drive are served by water from Salmon Creek. Areas south of Hospital Drive and all of Douglas Island are served by Last Chance Basin water.

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