• Alaskans Own™ community supported fisheries program announces season subscriptions for Sitka and Juneau

Sitka-based Alaskans Own seafood recently announced its subscription prices for its 2012 Community Supported Fisheries (CSF) program in Sitka and Juneau. Alaskans Own was the first CSF program in the state, modeling its program after the successful Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) programs that let customers deal directly with harvesters so they can buy subscription shares to the year’s crop/catch.

This is the third year of the Alaskans Own CSF program, and this year there are four-month and six-month subscriptions. The six-month subscriptions are new this year, and they will allow people to keep receiving freshly caught seafood through October instead of August. Half-subscriptions also are available. Subscriptions include a mix of locally caught black cod (sablefish), halibut, king salmon, coho salmon, lingcod and miscellaneous rockfish, depending on the commercial fishing season.

In Sitka, pick-ups take place on the fourth Wednesday of the month (May through August for four-month subscriptions, May through October for six-month subscriptions) at the Mill Building at the Sitka Sound Science Center. A pick-up location for Juneau will be announced at a later date. Registration for 2012 subscriptions opened on April 13, and the first pick-up is scheduled for Wednesday, May 23. Subscriptions are limited, so sign up early. For those who miss out on subscriptions, Alaskans Own frequently has a booth at the Sitka Farmers Markets.

The four-month summer subscription price (May through August) is $430 plus tax for 40 pounds of seafood total, while the half-subscription price is $230 plus tax for 20 pounds. The four-month share will have two pounds of blackcod and 10 pounds of miscellaneous rockfish in May, eight pounds of lingcod and four pounds of halibut in June, six pounds of king salmon in July and 10 pounds of coho salmon in August. The half-subscription has half shares of each fish species.

The six-month summer subscription price (May through October) is $635 plus tax for 60 pounds of seafood, while the half-subscription price is $335 plus tax for 30 pounds of seafood. The six-month share will be the same as the four-month share for May through August, with September adding one pound of blackcod, five pounds of miscellaneous rockfish and four pounds of lingcod, and October including two pounds of halibut, three pounds of king salmon and five pounds of coho salmon. The half-subscription matches the four-month half-subscription through August, then adds one pound of black cod, three pounds of miscellaneous rockfish and two pounds of lingcod in September, and one pound of halibut, one pound of king salmon and two pounds of coho salmon in October.

The mix outlined is subject to change, as Alaskans Own bases its costs on estimated dock prices that can fluctuate throughout the season. For example, if July king salmon prices are higher than expected, you’ll receive a little bit less of that species and get additional pounds of coho salmon. The bottom line is you get the best mix of seafood possible for the subscription price.

For more information, go to the CSF page on the Alaskans Own website, or call 738-3360 in Sitka. You can contact Alaskans Own by e-mail in Sitka at info@alaskansown.com or in Juneau at alaskansown@gmail.com.

• Alaskans Own seafood to start community supported fisheries (CSF) program in Sitka

The Alaskans Own seafood company is starting a community supported fisheries (CSF) program in Sitka this summer. The CSF program will be modeled after the community supported agriculture (CSA) subscription programs used by small farms around the country.

Alaskans Own is a group of independent fishermen in Sitka whose commitment to conservation is supported by the Alaska Sustainable Fisheries Trust. “For us, it’s not just about catching fish, it’s about caring for the fisheries. It’s our passion, our future. Our commitment to the resource comes through in the quality of Alaskans Own seafood — it’s the best, and we’re proud of that,” says Jeff Farvour of the F/V Christi-Rob and an occasional vendor at the Sitka Farmers Market.

The Alaskans Own CSF program features a three-month subscription that lasts from June through August. During these three months, subscribers will receive a total of 40 pounds of fresh, locally caught wild seafood (20 pounds for the half-subscription option) that features a selection of king and coho (silver) salmon, rockfish and ling cod, halibut and black cod (sablefish), plus some free black cod tips.

Subscribers will receive their fish during twice-monthly pick-ups (dates and times TBA) at the Mill Building, 836 Lincoln St., next to the Sitka Sound Science Center. All seafood is flash frozen at its freshest, portioned and commercially vacuum-packed.

Only 15 subscriptions are available this year, and the cost is $380 for a full subscription and $190 for a half-subscription. For more information, contact Beth Short at 738-3360, or e-mail her at info@alaskansown.com to register. Payment is by check for now, but credit cards soon. Proceeds benefit the Fisheries Conservation Network and the Sitka fishing community.

2010 Community Supported Fisheries information sheet

• Alaska Department of Fish and Game releases first fishing report of 2010 season

Sockeye salmon hang in a smoker in preparation for the 2009 ANSWER Camp program

Sockeye salmon hang in a smoker in preparation for the 2009 ANSWER Camp program

The Alaska Department of Fish and Game has released its first sport fishing report for the 2010 season.

The Sport Harvest Rates for the Week of April 26-May 2, 2010, includes a sampling of marine boat creel surveys from the ports of Ketchikan, Wrangell, Petersburg, Sitka, Juneau and Yakutat. The current report looks at chinook (king) salmon and halibut harvest rates for the past week, including how long it typically took an angler to catch a fish.

Fishing was going well for chinook salmon in Sitka, with seven rod hours per salmon harvested. This is better than last year’s 25 rod hours for the same week and the 33 rod hours for the same week in 2008. It also was better than the five-year average (2005-09) of 13 rod hours per salmon. Chinook salmon fishing was better than average in Petersburg and Wrangell, but slower than normal in Juneau and Yakutat, with Ketchikan yet to report a fish.

Sitka, Wrangell and Yakutat were the only harbors to report sport catches of halibut last week, and all reported five rod hours per halibut. That is somewhat better in Sitka than the five-year average of eight rod hours per fish for the same week. No coho (silver), pink (humpy) or chum (dog) salmon were counted during the creel surveys.

The report also listed salmon derbies this spring and summer in Southeast Alaska.

The Alaska Department of Fish and Game website still needs to remove last year’s reports and add this year’s, but that should happen in the near future. Future fishing reports should be updated every week through the summer, and they will be found at this link once the site is updated. News releases and emergency orders issued for the 2010 sport fisheries in Southeast Alaska can be viewed at this link.

Sport Harvest Rates for the Week of April 26-May 2, 2010