All posts by kayhikylesmith

Future Of Halibut

A halibut being caught. Photo taken by Carter Thomas

Carter Thomas
Staff Writer

Two anglers decided to rent a boat and go halibut fishing. After the long day of reeling in their limits, they headed back to the dock. They pulled up right next to Rick Collins’ boat, packed with four out-of-state fishermen. They watched as they unloaded 4 halibut averaging 25-30 lbs each (all under the legal limit of 38” each). Then, his clientes watched the 2 fisherman, mouths drooling, as the two of them heaved and pulled out 4 big ones, averaging 60 pounds a fish. Under the current system and regulations, this happens constantly, leaving guided fisherman and their captains unhappy. Some aim to balance the playing field and even up the regulations between the two sectors.

New Regulations

Since the implementation of the catch sharing plan in Jan of 2014, there seems to have been an increase in the number of rental boats. New legislation has been proposed to register all rental boats, and align the rental fleet’s catch limit with the charter fleet. Initial discussions on this legislation will be discussed during the North Pacific Fisheries Management Council’s (North Council) next meeting in October. Because halibut is a federally regulated fish, the State of Alaska cannot discriminate between resident and non-resident. Instead, new regulation must target means and methods of fishing. Jeff Wedekine, a board member on the Alaska Charter Association and owner of Chinook Shores Lodge in Ketchikan, supports the registry as long as it isn’t too time consuming or cost prohibitive.

“There is a proposal to identify how many rental boats there are by making them register, and then within that proposal was also a secondary proposal to align the rental boat catch limits with the charter boat catch limit,” said Wedekine. “I’m all for them wanting to register the boats as long as they can do it in a manner that’s not going to cost us a ton of time and a ton of money unnecessarily.”

Although Wedekine supports the registery, he does not agree with the alignment of the charter and rental catch because of the lack of data on the issue.

“I am not for aligning our catch with the charter boats because we have no idea how many fish we are actually catching.”

Andy Mezirow, a charter representative on the North Council, said that even though he doesn’t have hard proof, he believes a registration and limiting entry is vital to fixing the issue.

“We need to at least create a registration and probably are going to need to limit entry to the existing participants so that there isn’t a continued growth in that sector,” said Mezirow. “There has been a large growth of rental boats since the catch sharing plan was put into place. We have to figure out how many of them there are.”

Each year an annual catch limit is established for each management area.  Estimated harvest by subsistence and recreational anglers is taken out before the remaining quota is divided between guided recreational and commercial fishermen as outlined in the catch sharing plan.  Forest Braden, a charter operator and the executive director at Southeast Alaska Guides Organization (SEAGO), believes subsistence might not be a legitimate way of living nowadays.

“I think in times of low abundance, there should be regulation for everyone using the resource. I’m not sure subsistence is truly subsistence in southeast right now,” said Braden. “The way I hear some people using it, it seems to me like everyone needs to be careful (with the resource) in times of low abundance.”

No Data

One issue many have with the proposal to decrease the rental fleet catch is that there is little-to-no data on how much fish they are catching or how big the fleet is. Mezirow said that the fleet is rapidly growing in the eyes of local alaskans.

““That’s just my hunch, and I don’t have facts to back that up, but when I talk to people in Southeast Alaska there are a lot of new rental boats.”

Wedekine said that he believes the North Council may be making up an issue to reduce the catch.

“They are scared that people are using the rental boats as a way to circumvent the charter rules,” said Wedekine. “I think they are making up an issue that doesn’t really exist in an effort to reduce our catch.”

Wedekine also said the reason rental boat business owners are so upset is because of the lack of data. It seems to them the North Council is targeting their fleet.

“There is absolutely no data or proof that people in rental boats catch any more fish than people that are just fishing in there own boat or a borrowed boat,” said Wedekine. “It sounds like they are creating a lot of concern without any data. That’s where a lot of the rental boat guys are having heartburn.”        

Local Businesses Effected

Alaska businesses have already felt the negative impacts of lower fish regulations. Some guided fishing business owners have started offering some non-guided options to retain clients who were looking for more opportunity.  Braden, Wedekine, and many other business owners in this sector believe the proposal would hurt their business further.

“As a charter operator, I have lost clients to non-guided operations because the limits matter to them. It has hurt my business severly,” said Braden. “I’ve lost people to non-guided operations and i’ve just plain lost people because the regulations are too strict.”  Operators like Braden are worried that these additional regulations on non-guided boats will further impact their businesses.

Jeff Wedekine takes it even a step further.

“If they aligned the catches, many people will have to throw back the only halibut they catch all week. The charter boats have an edge because they know where the small fish are, and run 30 miles to do it. Most of the rental boat guys have no idea where to find these fish,” said Wedekine. “I think it would be a disaster for our clientele. People would get very frustrated and possibly not return.”

Other Alternatives

There are other alternatives that may be more attractive to some Alaskans. Mezirow would like to see a different approach for the rental fleet, like lowering the limit over time instead of aligning the bag catch with the charter fisherman immediately.

““There are a broad range of alternatives from no action to creating a registration and aligning the bag limit with charters, which I think is probably a harsh way to go about it,” said Mezirow. “ I’d like to see a softer landing for the rental boats, like lowering the bag limit incrementally over time.”     

Mezirow also said that he would like if the council took a broader view and encapsulated more fisherman, such as yachts and condos into the proposal.

“I think what they need to do is create a regulation that takes a broader look at it, because it’s not just rental boats,” said Mezirow. “There are also Yachts that come up and operate as time shares or condos. There are all these variations of businesses that profit from retaining halibut.”

Some Alaskans think that a “one fish for all” recipe would be the most beneficial outcome. Wedekine said that he is all for conservation and sharing, but that the rental fleet shouldn’t be targeted.

“ If the halibut population is that bad, maybe they should go one fish for everybody, whether they are renting a boat or not,” said Wedekine. “I understand sharing and conservation, but I don’t understand targeting a specific group and making them the bad guy.”

Mezirow and the other 10 voting board members on the North Council will discuss and potentially vote on these issues in October.

Banner Year For Kayhi

Kayhi has won state championships in basketball, cheerleading and NOSB so far this year

Wyatt Barajas
Staff Writer

Anytime you have students winning multiple state titles in the same year, you know it’s been a solid year that will be memorable for the rest of your life. Junior Laura Sherill is one of those students. On top of being part of the state title NOSB team, Sherill was also apart of the state title Kayhi cheer team.

“Winning state for NOSB was unreal,” said junior Laura Sherill. “It was so much fun. Definitely the highlight of my year.”

What made the experience even more unique was the service to the community. The topic was monitoring bacteria levels on our local beaches.

“People don’t know about our waters and that was the topic for the research paper,” said Sherill.

History was also made on the basketball court, senior Marcus Lee said the success in basketball is by far his favorite memory.

“Hands down, winning state for basketball,” said Lee. “It’s something we did as a team that was primarily seniors, and it adds to all our memories of playing over the years, plus made the community proud and that makes it that much sweeter.”

Senior Donald Rayner said the connection to your life long friends for the last time is his favorite part of the year.

“The best part of senior year has definitely been this last quarter,” said Rayner. “It’s been great to look back and see how much I’ve grown and changed. It’s a good time to reflect on the memories that have been made and to appreciate the friends you have made along the way.”

Rayner said things like prom, skip day, painting the road, and the paper toss add to the senior experience.

Vice principal Cole Maxwell said he was amazed at how well our clubs and sports teams did on the state level.

“2019 class can take a decent amount of credit,” said Maxwell. “Not all the credit, for the number of state qualifiers. The amount of kids in choir, band, ACDC, NOSB, football, both basketball teams making it to state tournament. Plus we still have to see what the five active sports can do, the track kids, baseball and softball, even the soccer teams. It seems that every activity has made an impact at state competitions, this whole year has been like holy crud, 2019 put Kayhi on the map.”

Alumni Update: Cheyenne Mathews

Cheyenne and her dad at graduation on Sunday

Kyle Smith
Staff Writer

Cheyenne Mathews (Kayhi class of 2016) graduated from the University of Alaska Anchorage Sunday.

Mathews loved UAA where she was the managing editor for the school newspaper, The Northern Light, and said she is thankful for all of the new things she has experienced while attending.

“It’s certainly a tumultuous time to be attending a University of Alaska institution, but I’ve loved getting to know a different part of Alaska,” she said. “I’ve gotten to try everything from skiing to dog mushing.”

Staying in Alaska for college is a nightmare for some, but Cheyenne has found positivity in her decision to do so.

“Staying in Alaska has also allowed me to really understand what it’s like to live in urban Alaska while getting my degree at an affordable price,” said Mathews.  “I can say I am graduating without debt, and that’s a statement that seems to be uncommon these days.”

While helping The Northern Light earn 11 journalism awards in 2018, Mathews also placed second in the print-large category for a story she wrote during her internship at the Anchorage Daily News.

“I’m very proud of what TNL has accomplished and I look forward to seeing what they do in the future,” Said Mathews. “I was only at UAA for three years but I did everything I set out to do, and I’m just excited to move on to bigger and better things.”

Mathews is excited to see what her future holds, and has big plans when she finishes her career at UAA.

I look forward to being done with student life for the first time,” said Mathews.  “I have accepted a position with Peace Corps China, and following graduation, I will move to China to teach English at the university level.”

Track Wins at home

Carter Thomas
Staff Writer

Track took first place in their first home meet of the season. Beating Juneau Douglas by 68 points (228-160), the Kings have now taken first in 2 of their 3 meets. The Kings also had eight 1st placers in their individual events.

Senior Cristopher Carlson said that he is confident for the regional tournament, but they need to remember that Thunder mountain was handicapped this meet.

“I’m feeling really confident for regions, we have been crushing it,” said Carlson. “But we have to give ourselves a reality check. TM only brought 15 student athletes, and when we go to Juneau they will have about 40.”  

Carlson entered the season attempting to shave 2 seconds off of his hurdle time. Along with shaving off 1 ½ seconds, he PR’ed in every event he competed in.

“I PR’ed in every event this meet,” said Carlson. “I’m really impressed with my times this year and how I’ve been improving, and it feels great to be so close to my goal.”

The Kings next meet will be in Sitka this weekend. Because of prom, upperclassmen have the option to stay.

Girls Face Homer, then to juneau

Crist Carlson
Staff Writer

The Lady Kings soccer team plays Homer on Thursday at 5:15 p.m. at Esther Shea Field. This will be the 3rd time Kayhi has faced off against Homer in the past two years (2-0) and is hoping to further that streak. Senior Jessilynn Sivertsen is excited to play Homer and is feeling confident that they can perform well before heading to Juneau.

“We have a good chance of beating Homer,” said Sivertsen. “The team has been improving and executing the past week. This game will warm us up for this weekend.”

The Lady Kings will be leaving Friday morning after the game to travel to Juneau where they will play both JD and Thunder Mountain. This will be the first game against Thunder Mountain this year and the second series against JD, Kayhi is 0-2 against JD.

Senior Captain Olivia Kinunen spoke on how the team has refined their skills since their last game against JD. “We have definitely grown as a team after seeing the way that we competed with JD at home,” said Kinunen. “So I’m hoping it helps our confidence when we compete in Juneau.”

Kinunen also talked about their chances of beating Thunder Mountain while in Juneau.

“We definitely have a better chance against Thunder Mountain, we are all excited to play them. When we play JD we play defense the whole game so we are looking forward to getting some action on offense going forward against Thunder Mountain.”

Different, but not really

Madison Rose
Staff Writer

Picture a 2013 Honda Odyssey EX-L minivan, and a Boeing 737 southwest airplane and try to compare the two as the same thing. One takes flight, while the other makes distance on land. Both require gas but different type of fuel. It’s kind of a big stretch since they are two completely different pieces of machinery, but at the same time they both resemblance transportation.  

Basketball and Choir can be looked at the same way as well, although they have nothing to do with each other. Any person can disagree and say that basketball is strictly a sport, but for me from many years of experience I know basketball entails a certain amount of creativity, a little free will, and a motive to inspire the effort.

Choir is similar in the aspect that it demands much practice and work. As a team player, you must participate and show up to each event. Because if one person is missing from their section or is off their game, then it disrupts the whole performance.

I find it interesting how few people attend choir concerts and festivals compared to basketball games and tournaments. Both represent the school and both invest in fundraising and competing. Yet there is still an abundance of support that is more preferred towards basketball and their success.

By being a participant in each activity I am able to see the differences in necessary work and of entertainment. I experience the same amount of stress, chaos and mental strain that takes all my capacity and time to dedicate myself to each show.

I am needed in particular areas to excel and do my job correctly, that way the art of performing doesn’t deteriorate and the people watching can enjoy themselves. To a certain extent we performers do it for ourselves, but also for the audience. We strive and prepare for the big moments in front of all the fans and enthusiasts.

As an individual I look at these two activities, that I admire deeply and realize the performing arts and sport should be appreciated, equally. If people were to watch the concerts as much as a games, they would soon understand the beauty of success and the grace needed to understand mistakes.

Unfortunately these thoughts in my head I must leave unfinished due to my Music Fest responsibilities.

It’s game time, I mean, the show must go on.   

Pep club wins showdown, donates $700

SBA and Pep Club battled in the first ever Pep Club vs SBA competition for $700 for the charity of choice at Fridays pep assembly. Pep Club won all 4 events and the $700. They donated that money to the Homeless Shelter.

SBA raises money mainly through dances. It spends this money on various projects throughout the year with the Student Life and Service committees.

This year, SBA President Brendan Roof decided to make a charitable donation rather than roll those funds over to next year.