Thursday, February 2nd, 2023
Thursday, February 2nd, 2023

Breaking News for

Sportsmen Since 1967

AK: Illegally Discarded Fish Waste May Draw Bears, Fines for Violators

(Anchorage) – As the summer fishing season peaks in Southcentral
Alaska, anglers and dip netters are reminded not to dispose of fish
waste in Anchorage area streams, lakes and neighborhoods.
Discarding fish waste on public or private property is against
state and municipal law and can draw bears into areas frequented by
the public. Violators may be subject to fines ranging from $300 to

The Divisions of Sport Fish and Wildlife Conservation have
recently received numerous reports of salmon waste dumped into
Anchorage creeks, lakes and neighborhood areas. This illegal
activity is a serious public safety concern; fish waste can draw
bears to an area from more than a mile away.

“People may not realize they are putting other people in danger
when they illegally dump fish or fish carcasses, but this is a
serious public safety issue,” said Jessy Coltrane, area biologist
for the Division of Wildlife Conservation. “Fish carcasses attract
bears, and bears may defend these food sources if people
accidentally come near.”

Moving fish carcasses from drainage to drainage also has the
potential to introduce fish pathogens into stream systems,
endangering local salmonids, said Dan Bosch, area biologist for the
Division of Sport Fish.

To properly dispose of unwanted fish or fish carcasses in a safe
manner, please follow these recommendations:

If fish is not spoiled and is well packaged, it can be donated
to Bean’s Café, which serves meals to the homeless (1101 E. 3rd Ave
between 7 a.m. and 5 p.m.)

The Alaska Zoo, Bird Treatment and Learning Center, and the Alaska
Wildlife Conservation Center will usually accept fish donations for
wildlife. Fish cannot be spoiled, smoked, flavored or badly
freezer-burned. Call each facility prior to donating to learn about
hours and specific needs (Bird Treatment and Learning Center,
562-4852; Alaska Zoo, 346-3242; Alaska Wildlife Conservation
Center, 783-2025).

Filleted carcasses and other fish waste should be taken directly to
a waste transfer station or to the landfill. Another option is to
freeze fish waste to eliminate odors and then place it out with
garbage on the morning of trash pickup. Do not put waste out the
night before trash pickup.


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