Fairbanks guide Morisky named to Board of Fisheries
Reed Morisky is the newest member of Alaska’s Board of Fisheries.
Gov. Sean Parnell announced that Morisky was his nomination to the open seat Feb. 6, effective immediately. The appointment is subject to the Legislature’s confirmation.
Morisky is a Fairbanks resident who owns Wilderness Fishing, a sport fishing guide service, and works for the University of Alaska Fairbanks Division of Design and Construction.
He replaces Bill Brown, a Juneau resident, who left the board suddenly in January. If confirmed, Morisky’s term will last until June 2014.
Morisky said he wants to be as effective as possible, and to be part of good management for Alaska’s fisheries.
Morisky said he has followed Alaska’s fisheries for several years.
“I’ve been a sportfish guide for 27 years,” he said. “As far as following the bigger issues, probably back to 20 years ago when they started to go catch and release on the Chena.”
He was part of Sport Fishing Guide Services Task Force, which crafted legislation to create a sportfish guide board. That got him more involved in all of fisheries management, he said. The task force included sport, subsistence and commercial representatives, and they spent a year working on the legislation.
“I enjoyed that,” he said.
Morisky said the Board of Fisheries may be more contentious, but his time on the task force gave him a taste of working with other user groups on fisheries issues.
Although he is a guide, he said he has a brother who commercial fishes in Southeast, and an interest in all fisheries issues.
United Fishermen of Alaska, or UFA, President Bruce Wallace said his organization hasn’t had very much contact with Morisky, but was somewhat concerned that the state chose someone with primarily freshwater experience.
Wallace said UFA generally wants to see a diversity of region and fishery experiences represented on the board, and Morisky is the third member with primarily a freshwater perspective.
Southeast Alaska Guide Association Executive Director Heath Hilyard said his organization was also concerned about the regional representation, but thought Morisky would do a good job.
“While we’re disappointed this seat did not stay with a Southeast sportfishing representative, Reed is known to be a competent operator and we look forward to his representation on the Board,” Hilyard wrote in a statement. “We also very much appreciate the governor’s office engaging SEAGO in the process, particularly the ongoing dialogue we had with Jason Hooley and Stefanie Moreland throughout the entire selection period. We hope we’ll be able to provide a strong candidate to the governor in the future to allow a seat to return to Southeast Alaska.”
The board’s next meeting is Feb. 26- March 3, regarding Alaska Peninsula finfish issues.
Morisky said he has the proposal book, and is getting binders of information from the State of Alaska to learn more about those fisheries issues.
“I’m reading up on the proposals here for Area M,” he said.
Morisky has attended four different Board of Fisheries meetings, and is familiar with the board’s process. His time on a service area board in Fairbanks has also helped familiarize him with how a board works, he said.
According to the state’s announcement, Morisky is a member of the Alaska Outdoor Council and Trout Unlimited.
And, he said, he just likes Alaska’s fish.
“I buy Alaskan seafood wherever I travel,” he said.
Molly Dischner can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.