The charter vessel will transport supplies upriver to the Chignik weir.
The Alaska Department of Fish and Game is soliciting bids for a vessel and crew to transport materials and supplies from Chignik Bay upriver to the Chignik weir. The assignment will likely take several days. The charter could begin its first trip as early as May 14, and the assignment ends May 31.
“We’re just looking for an insured boat that has knowledge of the Chignik River so that they know how to navigate up and down safely, with an experienced crew," said Dawn Wilburn, area management biologist for ADF&G’s Chignik office.
ADF&G's Chignik management team is based in Kodiak during the winter. In the summer, they relocate to the field office upriver from Chignik Lagoon.
“We get all of our supplies that we need for the summer, and we have our boat – the Resolution – bring out the supplies to Chignik," Wilburn said.
But the R/V Resolution is too large to ship the supplies up the river. So ADF&G charters a vessel to complete the last leg of the trip. The vessel must be at least 30 feet long and be able to offload all materials and pilings.
Supplies include everything from food and fuel to timber for the department’s camp, which is set up alongside the 350-foot weir that stretches across the Chignik River. There, technicians count fish every hour. They also maintain the weir.
“It takes a crew of about four to clean it, which means throwing debris over the weir when it washes downriver, and just maintaining the structure," Wilburn explained. "Snorkeling and looking for erosion around the weir. And they also sample fish.”
That data informs management decisions throughout the season.
The charter vessel bidding process must be completed by 5:00 p.m. on April 15. For more information contact ADF&G at 907-486-1806.