Meeting Minutes: Nov. 1, 2023
>> Annual election of Homer Charter Association board members: (Mack Bindas)
- – Avery Ault, President
- – Bill Hayden, Vice President
- – Clay Duda, Treasurer
- – Chelsea Schmitt, Secretary
- – Mack Bindas, board member
- – Eric Lehm, board member
- – Coury DeCook, board member
- – Garrett Lambert, board member
- – Daniel Donich, board member
Voted to hold elections for board members at the first HCA meeting each fall.
>> Updated membership dues: (Bill Hayden)
- – $500 business (more than 1 boat)
- – $200 owner operator
- – $100 hired captain, deckhand, crew, voting member
- – $75 associate membership (non-voting member)
>> Brainstorming ideas to raise more money for HCA: (Bill Hayden)
- – Eric Lehm: Homer Chamber of Commerce sold only 111 tickets for it’s June 2023 halibut derby. Maybe HCA could do something like that to raise money? Either 1 month or do like they used to for the derby: monthly winners, plus a grand prize at the end of summer. Melanie Cox helped run the derby for the Chamber in the past, maybe talk to her.
- — Continue exploring idea, set up a committee.
- — Brian Ritchie to contact Melanie.
- — Chelsea Schmitt to contact George and Ayjan at Buttwhackers.
>> Details on the upcoming Board of Fisheries meeting (Brian Ritchie, Mike Booz)
- – Mike Booz: BOF meeting to be held in Homer Nov. 28-Dec. 1. There are several ways organizations and people can get involved:
- — Written comment online.
- — Online survey to show support, opposition, or support with amendments to proposals. Board members have a matrix they look at showing support, opposition, interest in each proposal. “It is used most certainly, and I think the numbers game kind of wins there.”
- — Go to meeting in person. Designate a person to represent HCA. Public testimony, as individuals or organization.
- — Participate in committee meetings associated with proposals. The board brings them onto the records and asks for input from the public.
- — Board deliberations are open door. You can be in the room and hear the discussion. It’s a 7 member board and needs 4 votes to pass a proposal.
>> HCA proposals to the Board of Fish:
- – Proposal 12 needs to be amended for clarity. Deals with King salmon limits in the North Gulf Coast area.
- – Proposal 23 needs to be revisited. HCA board voted in April to put forward. Would decrease lingcod limit to 1 per angler per day. Circumstances have changed. ADFG analysis says lingcod are being harvested at sustainable levels under current regulations. HCA members voted 5 to 2 to oppose the change, so HCA will now oppose Prop. 23.
- — Booz: Lingcod here reach sexual maturity (~35 inches) in 5-7 years, in Oregon they reach that size in 2 years. The species grows faster the further south you go.
- — Mack Bindas to write comment for HCA opposing Prop 23.
>> Rockfish proposals being considered Board of Fish:
- – Advisory committee has proposed a 3 rockfish limit. HCA and ACA have proposals for 4 rockfish limit. 2023 regulations led to a decrease in take, about 40,000 rockfish harvested (preliminary numbers), near 2018 levels.
- – ADFG has put forward Proposal 18, which would have separate limits for pelagic and non-pelagic rockfish (3 pelagic, 1 non-pelagic).
- — Booz: the goal for ADFG is to come back to the BOF in the next few years with a comprehensive plan for managing black rockfish at sustainable harvest levels.
- — Booz: 50% of black rockfish reach sexual maturity at 17 inches, 95% at 19 inches. But growth rate is slow. It takes 5 years to get from 17 to 19 inches.
- – HCA votes to oppose Prop 18 as written — HCA supports a 4 rockfish limit but opposes separating non-pelagic rockfish because it will lead to an increase in fishing pressure.
- — Clay Duda to write opposition comment.
- — Clay Duda to write opposition comment.
>> King salmon proposals:
- – Booz: Several proposals deal with King salmon. ADFG submitted 2, 1 for Upper Cook Inlet summer fishery, 1 for South of Bluff Point in Lower Cook Inlet summer fishery, and 1 for the winter King salmon fishery:
- — Upper Cook Inlet (Prop 1): This fishery has been restricted by emergency order 12 of the last 15 years. Prop 1 asks the BOF to integrate things into existing management plan.
- — Lower Cook Inlet (Prop 6): Ask BOF to adopt a plan to figure the appropriate harvest level for the fishery. Fishery has the highest king salmon harvest rate. It could be a basic plan where nothing changes or the board could choose a management plan to reduce the bag limit. HCA should provide comment and think about that fishery a little bit.
- — Winter King (Prop 9): Harvest in this fishery has exceeded its GHL for 9 consecutive years. There are no recommendations in the proposal, just asking BOF to look at it and either modify the GHL or come up with a management plan. Winter GHL is over about 10%, 500 fish. GHL = 4,500 fish. What’s to say 5,000 isn’t an appropriate harvest level?
- — HCA voted unanimously to write a comment supporting raising the GHL.
- — Clay Duda to write.
>> NPFMC meets in Anchorage right after the BOF meeting:
- – NPFMC Meets Dec. 4-12, 2023 at the Hilton in Anchorage.
- – Ritchie: That’s where they’ll set ground fish limits (includes trawling), and it’d be good to have halibut fishermen show up and say they want to see abundance based management implemented in 2024.
- – Charter management regulations will be decided. There’s only a 2 day turn around this year when we find out what the area allocation will be and 3A decides what we want as a charter fleet (more day closures, small fish size, etc.)
- – In 2023 the 3A charter fleet was 18% under allocation. 2022 season was similar. We left fish in the water, which means the regulations didn’t really work for us, and we can argue for more liberal regulations. For the charter sector, it didn’t need the 15% cut in allocation last year to stay within harvest levels. It is hard to predict harvest levels, but that is also 18% of business that didn’t happen. That’s a strong case that we should not take as bit of a cut this year, as we’re likely to face more day of the week closures in 2024.
- – Mack Bindas has vying for a seat on the NPFMC Advisory Panel (AP). HCA has written a letter in support.
- – Ritchie supports Eva Burke for the tribal seat on the AP. May arrange a phone call or get a bio to see if HCA wants to endorse.
- – It is likely that the Amendment 80 fleet is doing to sue NIMFS over abundance-based management plan. HCA last year decided to join an intervening lawsuit. Still developing.
- – HCA voted “yes” to send somebody to DC to lobby for funding for IPHC setline surveys, most likely Brian Ritchie or Daniel Donich will go. TBD.