For centuries, marine species have moved around either by hitching ride on the hulls of ships or as stowaways in ballast water. In many instances, species have been deliberately introduced for aquaculture or other commercial purposes.
Around the state, biologists are unsure of what led to the lowest pink salmon harvest since the 1970s in a season that led Gov. Bill Walker to seek a disaster declaration from the federal government to bail out beleaguered pink fishermen. “We caught 39 million pinks this year,” said Forrest Bowers, the Commercial Fisheries Division director for the Alaska Department of Fish and Game. The department forecasted a harvest of 90 million fish between. Bowers said he had to comb records back to 1977 to find a year that bad.
Saltwater fishery officials are reporting a resurgence of a mysterious condition that's bound to turn the stomachs of anglers -- mushy halibut syndrome. Alaska Department of Fish and Game's Barbi Failor said the department is receiving more reports of mushy fish caught by sport fishermen all over Cook Inlet.
Fishing for pinks has been really up and down the last few years. In 2014 the catch was really low, and then 2015 it was amazing with more than we had ever seen before. This year's pink salmon return again, was really bad.
Smelt caught on the Kugkaktlik River were found to have dark spots on the skin. Photo examination suggests that the cause is the same black fungus found in saffron cod in Norton Sound. Continued surveillance for this condition in fish is requested by LEO Network members.