Recreational Boating Access Projects
In 1998, the Alaska Department of Fish and Game (ADF&G), Division of Sport Fish (DSF) Access Program provided the City of Whittier (City) with four fish cleaning tables that were installed on the mooring floats in the harbor. The tables were constructed to provide sport anglers facilities for cleaning their catch and to discourage the practice of cleaning fish directly on the harbor mooring floats. Unfortunately, the existing tables proved too small to accommodate halibut or other large species of fish and did not include carcass barges or other means for disposing of fish waste. Additionally, the tables were not plumbed resulting in messy tables that impeded those anglers wanting to use them. Sport anglers were seen cleaning fish on the harbor docks, loading ramps, banks and private vessels, resulting in a significant increase in the number of carcasses and fish waste deposited in and around the harbor area. Boat owners lodged complaints with the harbormaster concerning anglers cleaning fish on the docks alongside their vessels and on their vessels swim platforms. This project provided new fish cleaning and fish waste disposal facilities in Whittier Harbor in order to address current and growing angler needs.
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The objective of this project was to design, construct, and install three plumbed fish cleaning tables, two floating docks, and five carcass barges at key locations on the boat mooring docks in Whittier Harbor.
The project was completed in May of 2002. Two of the tables were mounted on the new docks; the other one was mounted on an existing dock. The two additional barges were constructed to eliminate down time at the tables when the full barges were being emptied. The cleaning tables were used heavily during the first season of operation. The tables and barges not only provide sport anglers with the convenience of cleaning their catch in the harbor, but also have greatly improved fish waste disposal procedures resulting in a cleaner harbor. An additional benefit has been to streamline collection of data from groundfish carcasses by ADF&G technicians as needed for the ADF&G, DFS Halibut and Groundfish Harvest Assessment Program research project. This assessment program is a critical component in assessing and managing the fisheries in western Prince William Sound.