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Fairbanks fishing guide lands on fisheries board

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Posted: Friday, February 8, 2013 12:20 am | Updated: 12:25 am, Fri Feb 8, 2013.

FAIRBANKS — An Arctic grayling fishing guide from Fairbanks has landed a spot on the Alaska Board of Fisheries.

Reed Morisky was named to the seven-member board by Gov. Sean Parnell. Morisky will replace Bill Brown of Juneau, who resigned in January with 18 months left on his three-year term.

Morisky is a 55-year-old construction project manager for the University of Alaska Fairbanks who operates a sport fish guiding business, Wilderness Fishing Inc., on the side. He specializes in fishing for Arctic grayling.

Morisky’s appointment, which must be confirmed by the Alaska Legislature, is effective immediately and expires June 30, 2014.

The Board of Fisheries sets seasons, bag limits, methods and means for the state’s subsistence, commercial, sport, guided sport, and personal use fisheries. The board also sets policy and direction for the management of the state’s fishery resources. The board makes allocation decisions and the Alaska Department of Fish and Game manages the state’s fish resources based on those decisions.

Even though he’s a sport fishing guide from Fairbanks, Morisky said he won’t favor one user group or area of the state over another.

“All I promised is I’ll look at every proposal and evaluate each one and vote on what I think is best for the fishery overall,” he said.

Morisky did, however, say he would be “very responsive to the Interior’s needs,” citing low king salmon returns on the Yukon River as one of those needs.

“We fish the drainages north of Denali Park; I’ve seen the runs go up and down and stay down,” he said. “The fact of the matter is these anadromous fish are born here and we have to make sure we have escapement.”

At the same time, Morisky said the needs of commercial, subsistence and sport fishermen have to be considered.

“There’s so many users in these fisheries,” he said. “We have these groups that need and want their fish.”

The last Fairbanks representative on the fish board was Mike Smith, subsistence resource director for the Tanana Chiefs Conference. His term expired in June 2012.

Morisky has been angling for a seat on the board for a few years now, having submitted his application twice previously only to be passed over. He hopes to bring “a collaborative nature” to the panel.

“I’ve been following the board process for years and I wanted to  more involved in managing fisheries around the state,” he said.

 Morisky said he has a lot of work to do to get up to speed on those fisheries, but he’s ready to wade into it.

“I’m looking forward to getting into issues and concerns people have over the fisheries,” he said.

Morisky, who is married, is a member of the Fairbanks Convention and Visitors Bureau, Trout Unlimited, Alaska Outdoor Council, and the National Rifle Association.

Contact staff writer Tim Mowry at 459-7587. Follow him on Twitter: @FDNMoutdoors.

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