Commercial fishing in Igushik again closed due to fuel spill from F/V Pacific Knight

Jul 29, 2018

At 4 p.m. the Alaska Department of Fish and Game recieved reports that people in Igushik could see and smell fuel on the water. In response, the Igushik Section of the Nushagak District will close to commercial fishing at 6 p.m. 

The F/V Pacific Knight sank Wednesday near Clark's Point. Photo taken July 25, 2018.
Credit Mike Jones

Fuel from the wreckage of the F/V Pacific Knight has reached the Igushik Section of the Nushagak commercial fishing district. That’s according to reports the Alaska Department of Fish and Game received today at 4 p.m. that people in the area smelled fuel and saw a sheen on the water.

After the entire Nushagak District was closed in response to the fuel spill on Thursday, the Igushik Section only was reopened Friday. The Igushik Section will now close again at 6 p.m. today.

“We’ll fly a survey [on Monday] and see what we can see,” said area management biologist Tim Sands. But I can’t imagine opening the fishery for a couple days because it will take a while for whatever fuel is out there to dissipate. And if it’s got all the way over to Igushik, I believe it could basically be anywhere in the bay — more likely on the west side of the bay because of the wind. But with the tide sucking and swirling around, who knows where it could end up.”

Fish and Game is advising subsistence users that there is potential for fuel to float to Dillingham beaches and to “be aware of that possibility.”

It is unclear how much fuel has spilled. When the 58-foot tender sank on Wednesday it was carrying 1100 gallons of diesel and hydraulic fuel. 

Contact the author at avery@kdlg.org or 907-842-5281.