Last Dance

Sitka Fine Arts Camp elementary age campers dance with instructor Brendan Jones in their final day of camp today at the Sheldon Jackson College Campus. Middle School Camp, for grades seven thru nine, begins Monday. Registration is still open at 907-747-3085. (Sentinel Photo by Klas Stolpe)

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Daily Sitka Sentinel

Justice Dept. Joins SE Salmon Lawsuit


Sentinel Staff Writer

The National Marine Fisheries Service filed a notice of appeal this week of a court decision aimed at protecting the Southern Resident killer whale, but threatening to close the Southeast king salmon troll fishery.

The notice of appeal of U.S. District Court Judge Richard A. Jones’s decision was filed Tuesday by the U.S. Department of Justice, on behalf of the Department of Commerce and the National Marine Fisheries Service.

The appeal is related to Jones’ decision on May 2 to uphold a December 13, 2022, recommendation by a federal magistrate judge to require NMFS to vacate and redo the biological opinion (BiOp) and the incidental take statement (ITS) that allows for the take of king salmon by the Southeast Alaska troll fleet.

The Wild Fish Conservancy filed its lawsuit in 2019 claiming NMFS’ incidental take statement unduly restricts the number of Chinook allowed to return to their native waters as prey for the endangered Southern Resident killer whales that spend part of the year in Puget Sound. 

The State of Alaska and Alaska Trollers Association are defendant- joiners of the lawsuit against the National Marine Fisheries Service.

ATA Board President Matt Donohoe said in Sitka today he’s pleased to see the federal government weigh in on the issue. 

“I think it’s a good thing,” Donohoe said. “The federal government is joining with the state of Alaska and ATA to appeal some part of the Jones decision. We certainly hope the court grants a stay of the order that would allow us to fish king salmon July 1.”

Fellow ATA board member Jeff Farvour commented today that he was pleased with the news as well.

“We thank our congressional delegation so much as well as the state of Alaska, the Alaska Legislature and all the communities, fishing organizations, tribes and conservation organizations, for the resolutions and letters of support that have asked for this,” he said, speaking from Washington, D.C. “At the moment a group of trollers from Alaska, Washington and Oregon, and a representative from Seafood Producers Cooperative, are meeting with congressional delegations and NOAA to advocate on behalf of trollers and communities.”

Donohoe has been communicating with the 450 members of ATA about what the Jones ruling will mean, both for fishing for Chinook as well as coho.

The state on May 8 filed a motion in Western District Court, with ATA signing on as well May 9, to stay the order that shuts down troll king fishing. ATA said getting a stay would allow trollers to fish Chinook for the season. ATA on its website said the judge has until May 26 to grant the stay or not.

Donohoe said if the judge doesn’t grant the stay, the state, federal government and ATA will appeal to the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals.






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June 2004 

Advertisement: Mt. Edgecumbe Hospital Caring Employee of the month! Franklin Thomas Hospital Nutrition Services.


June 1974

Edna Revard is enjoying a much-deserved vacation: she and youngest son Joe are in Italy visiting her older son, Jack, his wife and child. Jack is with the military, stationed in Italy. Edna will be gone a month, the crew at Revard’s Restaurant says.


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