History of Commercial Fishing in Glacier Bay

Seiners at the Bartlett Cove dock
Troubled Waters
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Part 1: A History of Commercial Fishing in Glacier Bay, Alaska

by Jim Mackovjak

Electronic Version of this booklet

Title Pages
Cover, Dedication, Table of Contents, Foreword, Author's Note, Stylistic Notes

Chapter 1: Early Fishing and Fish Processing in Glacier Bay

  • Physical Setting
  • Native Fishing
  • Industrial Fishing
  • Saltery at Bartlett Cove
  • Bartlett Bay Packing Company
  • Icy Strait Packing Co. Saltery
  • Glacier Bay as a Source of Salmon, Fish Traps, and an Effort at Conservation

Chapter 2: Diversifying the Fisheries

  • King Salmon: The Fish and the Fishery
  • Halibut: The Fish and the Fishery
  • Dungeness Crab: The Crab and the Fishery
dungeness crab

Chapter 3: Jurisdictional Issues: The National Park Service's Role

  • Glacier Bay Proclaimed a National Monument
  • 1939 Expansion of Glacier Bay National Monument
  • The NPS and Its Mandate at Glacier Bay
  • Jurisdiction over Glacier Bay Fisheries
  • Fishery Policy, More Jurisdiction Issues
  • Salmon Trap at Point Gustavus
  • Inquiry by Crab Processing Interests Fosters Serious Discussion

Fish Report #1
Commercial Fishermen, Pelican, King Salmon, Halibut, Crab, Sharks, Gustavus Homesteaders, Harbor Seals, Shrimp

Chapter 4: Custodial Management

  • NPS Establishes a Presence at Glacier Bay
  • Statehood For Alaska Complicates the Jurisdiction Issue
  • The Wilderness Act
  • The 1960s: Commercial Fishing a "non-issue"
  • Bob Howe: Superintendent and Part-time commercial fisherman
  • 1971 Glacier Bay Master Plan
  • 1971 Wilderness Study
Duke Rothwell fished Glacier Bay
Duke Rothwell aboard the Adeline

Fish Report #2
Duke Rothwell, King Crab, Thompson Fish Co., Bull Moose

Chapter 5: Early Groundwork Toward a Glacier Bay Fisheries Policy

  • Tom Ritter Succeeds Bob Howe as Superintendent
  • Superintendent John Chapman
  • The NPS's Policy-Official & De Facto-On Commercial Fishing
  • Alaska National Interest Lands Conservation Act

Fish Report #3
Limited Entry, Magnuson Act Fosters Japanese Market for AK Seafood, Tanner Crab

Fish Report #4
Dan Foley, Tom Traibush, Charlie Clements

Commercial fishing for halibut in a skiff
Skiff fisherman Paul Barnes hauling in a halibut

Chapter 6: Post-ANILCA Accommodation of Commercial Fishing at Glacier Bay

  • The Humpback Whales Must Eat
  • Sea Lions
  • Memorandum of Understanding with ADF&G
  • Documenting Glacier Bay's Fisheries: Taylor Report
  • Perry Report
  • Biosphere Reserve and World Heritage Site
  • NPS Dock at Bartlett Cove

Fish Report #5
King Salmon, Halibut, Crab, Hoonah Cold Storage, Pelican Cold Storage, Point Adolphus Seafoods, Processing in Gustavus, Sea Otters Return, Tenders, Leslie Hillman


Chapter 7: NPS Moves to Curtail Commercial Fishing in Glacier Bay

  • Superintendent Marvin Jensen's Initiative
  • AWA v. Jensen
  • Organized Resistance, More Legislation
  • The 1991 Proposed Rule

Fish Report #6
King Salmon, Halibut, Crab, Pelican Cold Storage Changes Hands again, Cell Phones, Sinking of Westerly, Sinking of Oaxaca

Crab fisherman Charlie Clements
Crab fisherman Charlie Clements

Chapter 8: Steering Toward the "Lesser of Two Evils"

  • Bill Clinton, Bruce Babbit, and George Frampton
  • Political Change in Washington
  • Fisheries Research 1991-2003
  • Superintendent Jim Brady
  • "Pay me NOT to fish in Glacier Bay!"
  • 1997 Proposed Rule and Its Backlash
  • Mission Impossible: Seeking a Broad Concensus
  • The "Resolution"
  • The Deal, The Reaction, and Ramifications

Chapter 9: The NPS Implements the Legislation

  • Implementation
  • Glacier Bay's "Submerged Lands" Issue Resolved
  • Commercial Fisheries Compensation Program
  • Putting a Price on the Losses: An Economic Assessment
  • Senator Murkowski's Final Effort
  • The Compensation Process Begins
  • LAP's and the Future
  • Conclusion and Final Thoughts



A: Commercial Fishing Timeline in Glacier Bay
B: Legislation: Public Law 105-277, and Public Law 106-31
C: Federal Register, Final Rule/Vol. 64, No. 202/10-20-99
D: List of Lifetime Access Permits
E: Breakdown by Community of LAP's
F: Dungeness Crabber Buyouts
G: Commercial Fishing Compensation
H: US Supreme Court Decision


Part 2: Hoonah's "Million Dollar Fleet"

  • Preface
  • Stylistic Note
  • Hoonah's Seine Fleet
  • Endnotes
  • Photogallery
Dory with load of halibut
Dory fishermen with a load of halibut

Last updated: March 14, 2018

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PO Box 140

Gustavus, AK 99826


907 697-2230

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