• Forecast
  • News Tip
  • Categories
Temperature Precipitation
Estimated read time
1m 36s

Setnet ban: Judge lets ballot initiative process move forward

By Rhonda McBride 11:18 PM July 23, 2014
ANCHORAGE –

It looks like the Cook Inlet fish wars will soon ramp up to a new level. Voters may have a chance to decide whether to ban setnets in urban areas.

The Alaska Fisheries Conservation Alliance (AFCA), which represents sport fishermen, has scored a major court victory.

Alaska Superior Court Judge Catherine Easter ruled favorably on the alliance’s petition to ban setnetting on Wednesday.

Although the petition doesn’t specifically name Cook Inlet setnetters, the language of the petition appears to target them.

The setnetters fish for sockeyes, but catch kings incidentally. AFCA wants to stop them from fishing completely. While this might help protect the endangered king salmon, it would also make more Cook Inlet salmon available for sport fishermen and dipnetters.

The judge said Lt. Governor Mead Treadwell was wrong to block the petition.

Treadwell based his decision on an opinion from the Alaska Department of Law, which said the petition violates provisions in the Alaska constitution — which treats fish and game resources as a state asset.

Treadwell said the proposed initiative, if passed, would have the effect of allocating fish between user groups. The Department’s opinion also said the passage of the initiative could set a bad precedent — that the state might face future petition drives seeking to outlaw other gear types.

Opponents of the petition have decried it as “ballot box biology,” and said fishery allocation decisions should be made by the Alaska Board of Fisheries.

“Alaskans have a long history of using ballot initiatives to protect fish and game,” said the AFCA’s attorney Matt Singer in a prepared statement.

The next step for the alliance is to collect 35,000 signatures — the required number to put the measure on the ballot.

The AFCA aims to put the initiative before voters in 2016.

Click here to see the judge’s order.

Latest Stories

  • News

    Municipality to make big parking changes along Delaney Park Strip

    by Shannon Ballard on Aug 30, 19:05

    The Municipality of Anchorage is creating its first “bicycle boulevard” on a stretch of 10th Avenue along the Delaney Park Strip. Bicycle boulevards are streets with low motorized traffic volumes and speeds, designed to make bicycle travel a priority, according to the municipality’s non-motorized transportation coordinator Lori Schanche. “Tenth Avenue will be the street that […]

  • Lifestyle

    Harvesting Alaska: So you want to be a judge of food entries at the fair?

    by Jessica Stugelmayer on Aug 30, 16:56

    High up on a plain white wall, the skinny hand of a clock ticked away the seconds, counting down the moments competitors had left to enter their creations. When the time came, the door was shut to the dark and stormy night outside and a small group of 12 judges were assigned to stations around […]

  • News

    Man dead following officer-involved shooting in Fairbanks

    by Associated Press on Aug 30, 16:55

    A man is dead following a police officer-involved shooting in Fairbanks. Yumi McCulloch with the Fairbanks Police Department said police received a call Tuesday afternoon stating an armed man had entered a motel room pointing a gun. She says a struggle ensued and the man fled on foot. She says the man, who was being […]

  • Lifestyle

    How did Listeria get into recalled veggies?

    by Rachel Rettner / Livescience.com on Aug 30, 16:50

    About 30,000 cases of precut vegetables are being recalled in many Southeastern states because they could be contaminated with Listeria. But how, exactly, do these bacteria get into veggies? This week, the food manufacturer Country Fresh announced a recall of several of its vegetable products — including precut onions, mushrooms and peppers — after one of […]

  • Lifestyle

    Great Pumpkin Weigh-Off sets a new state record

    by Lauren Maxwell on Aug 30, 15:54

    An  Anchorage man has taken top prize for his record-setting pumpkin at the State Fair in Palmer. Dale Marshal’s pumpkin tipped the scales at 1,469 pounds, beating the old state record by more than 180 pounds. Marshal said he’s been pursuing the record for the last five years and had a good feeling about today’s winning […]

  • News

    Alaska Native elder and leader dies at age 77

    by Associated Press on Aug 30, 15:19

    ANCHORAGE — John Schaeffer Jr., an Inupiat Eskimo elder and tribal leader in northwest Alaska, has died. He was 77. Schaeffer was the first president and CEO of the NANA Regional Corp. NANA Chief Operating Officer Lori Henry says Schaeffer died Aug. 25 in Kotzebue, his hometown. He will be buried in Kotzebue on Wednesday […]

  • DayBreak

    Alaskans line up by the dozens for first taste of Krispy Kreme

    by Sierra Starks on Aug 30, 13:31

    Alaskans lined up by the dozens for their first taste of Krispy Kreme Tuesday. Doors opened at 5 a.m., but eager customers camped out overnight in anticipation of the “Hot Now” light to be turned on. “There were so many people here,” said Krispy Kreme Alaska franchise owner Jack Lewis of the crowd that gathered […]

  • Politics

    ‘I made a mistake’: Juneau lawmaker withdraws letters supporting convicted child abusers

    by Liz Raines on Aug 30, 12:53

    Juneau Rep. Cathy Munoz has withdrawn two letters she wrote in support of sentencing review for two convicted child abusers after receiving criticism from child advocacy groups, who said the move would discourage victims from coming forward. “The two letters I wrote in support of sentencing review unintentionally caused pain to victims of sexual abuse […]