The Kachemak Bay State Park Comprehensive Management Plan is being finalized and commercial fishermen are seeking to expand the reach into the park of the Tutka Bay hatchery. Currently the hatchery is permitted to release up to 125 million hatchery pink salmon fry in Tutka Bay Lagoon. The waters of the lagoon have been degraded from the nutrient loading of food pellets, fish waste, and returning adult carcasses.
The push is now on to move outside that area and allow the use of anchored net pens in the headwaters of the Tutka Bay, home to a rare and fragile coastal fjord ecosystem that acts as a nursing area for crab, shrimp and other juvenile life forms. Water in the upper reaches of the fjord, trapped behind submerged terminal moraines, mix much less from tidal changes than elsewhere.
Wastage from housing anchored net pens for up to 125 million hatchery pink salmon fry each spring for up to 3 months poses a long-term irreversible threat. Without normal water flows, the buildup of nutrients creates the conditions for an underwater “dead zone” to form, where oxygen once depleted never returns to normal levels.
What can you do to prevent this from happening? Take action by Signing the Petition to oppose the expansion of the Tutka Bay hatchery in Kachemak Bay State Park.
Follow up with a simple letter you can also customize – send a message that Kachemak Bay State Park is a crown jewel in the Alaska State Park system. It is vital to protect the integrity of the ecosystem.