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CATCH Project Hires New Project Director

posted Nov 3, 2011, 1:45 PM by Sherry Flumerfelt   [ updated Nov 16, 2011, 9:29 AM by Sherry F ]

Date: November 2, 2011


Russell Thomas, CATCH Board Chair, (907) 617-3619, 

Richard Yamada, CATCH Project Director, Toll Free 800-959-9327, (907) 723-0008,


The CATCH Project (Catch Accountability Through Compensated Halibut) is pleased to announce the hiring of Richard Yamada as Project Director, following the resignation of Jeff Salzer.  Yamada served as technical advisor to the project prior to taking on the project director role. He brings to the position years of experience in Alaska's recreational fishery. He has been a Southeast Alaska lodge owner for the past 30 years and sits on the boards of the Alaska Charter Association, the Alaska Outdoor Council, and is the President of the Juneau Charter Boat Operators Association. He has also been nominated to sit on the board of the National Association of Charter Boat Operators.


"We are excited about moving this project forward under Richard's direction and developing what we hope to be a long-term solution for sport fisheries across the country that can specifically be used by charter operators in Alaska. Richard Yamada has proven to be a valuable and knowledgeable part of this project team. I believe his new role as the Project Director will yield an exceptional work product that the charter industry in Alaska can use as a template for developing a recreational catch share pool to eventually be considered by the North Pacific Fishery Management Council," said Russell Thomas, CATCH Board Chair. "It is anticipated that the project work will provide workable alternatives not only to halibut allocation in Alaska, but also to other sport fisheries around the country that are in similar circumstances."


In addition to moving Yamada to project director, two new team members have also been hired. Sherry Flumerfelt, who assisted in the writing of the grant which funded the CATCH project, has been hired as the CATCH Project Manager. Flumerfelt is a professional grant writer, project director, and meeting facilitator. Forrest Braden, former interim Executive Director for the Southeast Alaska Guides Organization (SEAGO), has been hired as the Project's Technical Advisor. Braden is a charter operator out of Gustavus and will be responsible for working with Yamada to consider the technical aspects of the project, research alternative solutions to each aspect of the grant, and provide analysis of industry-preferred alternatives.


"I am eager to lead this project team through the challenges that confront our industry. I see this project as an opportunity for Alaska's charter fishing industry to offer realistic solutions to the difficulties we encounter. Along with my team members, Sherry Flumerfelt and Forrest Braden, I am confident that we can complete the necessary research and stakeholder outreach to provide a workable plan," said Yamada.


The project team anticipates most of the project work will be completed by July of 2012.