ADFG Announces Southeast Chinook Restrictions (Updated To Other Areas)

Photo by ADFG

The following press release is courtesy of the Alaska Department of Fish and Game:

Chinook (king) salmon fisheries in Southeast Alaska are facing restrictions in 2018 as fisheries managers work to increase escapement and rebuild stocks affected by several years of poor marine survival. The restrictions — to be shared by commercial, sport, personal-use, and subsistence fisheries — are needed as forecasts project record-low Chinook returns for regional and transboundary drainages.

“Southeast Alaska and transboundary-river Chinook stocks are experiencing a period of very low productivity,” said Deputy Commissioner Charlie Swanton. “Escapement objectives are not being met, so we’re calling for an all-out conservation effort on behalf of Alaskans and our Canadian neighbors alike.”

Planning for 2018’s Chinook conservative management actions began at the Alaska Board of Fisheries meeting in Sitka in January. With input from stakeholders, the board considered and approved action plans for three stocks of concern: Chilkat River, King Salmon River, and Unuk River stocks. While other Southeast Alaska and transboundary river Chinook salmon stocks are not officially designated stocks of concern, given recent run data and the outlook for record low runs in 2018, additional conservative management actions are being implemented to protect all of these stocks.

Commercial restrictions include the recent closure of the winter troll fishery on March 15, while the May-June spring troll fishery will open only in select terminal harvest areas and a few defined areas on the outside coast to target hatchery Chinook and conserve wild stocks.

Throughout Southeast’s inside waters, the sport fishery will be restricted to non-retention of Chinook salmon. If surplus hatchery Chinook salmon are present, an opportunity to harvest those fish will be provided in designated terminal harvest areas and announced at a later date.

In personal use and subsistence fisheries, area-specific actions detailed in the board’s action plans will be applied along with measures to protect transboundary Taku and Stikine Chinook salmon stocks.

As a result of meetings between Alaska and Canada Pacific Salmon Commissioners, Canada has agreed to share the Chinook conservation burden. Reductions in Canada could include time, area, bag limit, and gear restrictions to sport and commercial fisheries. An allowable catch reduction and nonretention are also being considered.

The department will issue details about Southeast Alaska’s restrictions and closures early next week. Fisheries stakeholders are encouraged to check regulations announcements, news releases, and emergency orders at http://www.adfg.alaska.gov/index.cfm?adfg=newsreleases.main.

To view the Southeast Alaska Chinook salmon action plans, visit the following links:

Update: More restrictions announced for 2018 Chinook fishing:

SPORT FISHING FOR KING SALMON RESTRICTED IN THE JUNEAU AREA

The Alaska Department of Fish and Game, Division of Sport Fish announced today king salmon restrictions for the marine waters near Juneau. They are as follows:

  • In the majority of marine waters in the Juneau Area (the northern portion of District 9, District 10, Sections 11-A, 11-B, 11-C, District 12, southeast portion of Section 13-C, Sections 14-B and 14-C, and District 15 south of the latitude of Sherman Rock; see attached map), the retention of king salmon is prohibited, any king salmon caught must be released immediately from April 1 through June 14, 2018.
  • The waters of Seymour Canal near King Salmon River (Section 11-D) (see attached map), are closed to king salmon fishing from April 1 through June 30, 2018.

Taku River king salmon production is low at this time. The 2018 preseason forecast for Taku River king salmon is 4,700. This forecast indicates the escapement goal range (19,000-36,000) will not be met. In addition, forecasts for other Southeast Alaska wild king salmon stocks are also below goal as the majority of the Southeast Alaska wild king salmon stocks continue to experience poor productivity. At the Alaska Board of Fisheries January 2018 meeting in Sitka, the board adopted the Chilkat River and King Salmon River King Salmon Stock Status and Action Plan which specifies how the department will manage fisheries to reduce harvest of these two wild king salmon stocks. These actions are being taken as part of a regionwide effort to reduce harvest of Southeast Alaska wild king salmon and increase spawning escapement for future production. Management actions are being taken across all Southeast Alaska fisheries, including sport, commercial, personal use, and subsistence, to reduce harvest of wild king salmon. Anglers fishing north of the Juneau area should review the news release announcing sport fishery restrictions for the Haines/Skagway area. Anglers fishing south of the Juneau area should review the news releases announcing sport fishery restrictions for the Petersburg/Wrangell and Ketchikan areas.

A separate news release will be issued for the Juneau area in early June regarding hatchery-produced king salmon. If surplus hatchery king salmon are present, an opportunity to harvest those fish will be provided in a designated sport harvest area.

Regional king salmon resident and nonresident regulations scheduled to be released in April will not supersede these king salmon regulations.

For more information please call the Division of Sport Fish Region 1 office at 465- 4270.

SPORT FISHING FOR KING SALMON RESTRICTED IN THE JUNEAU AREA

SPORT FISHING FOR KING SALMON RESTRICTED IN THE KETCHIKAN AREA

The Alaska Department of Fish and Game announced today king salmon sport fishing restrictions for the marine waters of the Ketchikan area. They are as follows:

North and Northeast Behm Canal

Salmon fishing is closed year-round in Behm Canal and the contiguous bays enclosed to the north by a line from the western entrance of Bailey Bay to the northern tip of Hassler Island and a line from Fin Point to Dress Point to a line from Cactus Point to Point Eva (see attached map).

West Behm Canal, Southeast Behm Canal and Southern Revillagigedo Channel

April 1 to August 14, king salmon retention is prohibited, king salmon may not be retained or possessed; any king salmon caught must be released immediately and returned to the water unharmed:

  • In West Behm Canal and the contiguous bays enclosed to the north by a line from the western entrance of Bailey Bay to the northern tip of Hassler Island and a line from Fin Point to Dress Point and to the south by a line from Indian Point to Mike Point.
  • In the waters of southern Revillagigedo Channel enclosed from a line from Lucky Point to Middy Point, continuing to the latitude of Beaver Point and from Point Rosen to Quadra Point and in southeast Behm Canal from Cactus Point to Eva Point (see attached map).

All remaining waters of District 1 and District 2

April 1 to June 14, king salmon retention is prohibited, king salmon may not be retained or possessed; any king salmon caught must be released immediately and returned to the water unharmed (see attached map).

A separate news release will be issued at a later date announcing king salmon regulations for locations where Alaska hatchery-produced king salmon are expected to return.

The 2018 preseason forecast for Unuk River king salmon is 860 fish. This forecast indicates the escapement goal (1,800 – 3,800) will not be met. At the Alaska Board of Fisheries January 2018 meeting in Sitka, the board adopted the Unuk River King Salmon Stock Status and Action Plan which specifies how the department will manage fisheries to reduce harvest of the Unuk River stock until this stock recovers. In addition to the Unuk River, forecasts for other Southeast Alaska wild king salmon stocks are below goal as the majority of the Southeast Alaska wild king salmon stocks continue to experience poor productivity. These actions are being taken as part of a regionwide effort to reduce harvest of Southeast Alaska wild king salmon and increase spawning escapement for future production. Management actions are being taken across all Southeast Alaska fisheries, including sport, commercial, personal use, and subsistence, to reduce harvest of wild king salmon. Anglers fishing north of the Ketchikan area should review the news releases announcing sport fishery restrictions for the Petersburg/WrangellJuneau, and Haines/Skagway area.

Regional king salmon resident and nonresident regulations scheduled to be released in April will not supersede these king salmon regulations.

For further information concerning this announcement please contact Ketchikan Area Management Biologist, Kelly Reppert at (907) 225-2859.

SPORT FISHING FOR KING SALMON RESTRICTED IN THE KETCHIKAN AREA

SPORT FISHING FOR KING SALMON RESTRICTED IN THE HAINES/SKAGWAY AREA

The Alaska Department of Fish and Game, Division of Sport Fish announced today king salmon restrictions for the marine waters near Haines and Skagway. They are as follows:

  • The waters of Chilkat Inlet, north of the ADF&G regulatory marker immediately north of Seduction Point will be closed to king salmon sport fishing from April 1 through June 30 (see attached map).
  • In Section 15-A, the waters of Lynn Canal north of the latitude of Sherman Rock the retention of king salmon is prohibited, king salmon may not be retained or possessed; any king salmon caught must be released immediately and returned to the water unharmed from April 1 through December 31 (see attached map).

The 2018 projected Chilkat River inriver run is fewer than 1,000 large king salmon, which is below the lower end of the goal range (1,850 to 3,600 large fish). When the run forecast is below the goal range, the Lynn Canal and Chilkat River King Salmon Management Plan prescribes closing Chilkat Inlet to king salmon sport fishing through June 30.

Poor marine survival rates of Chilkat River king salmon in recent years warrant additional fishery restrictions to reduce harvest and increase escapement. At the Alaska Board of Fisheries January 2018 meeting in Sitka, the board adopted the Chilkat River and King Salmon River King Salmon Stock Status and Action Plan, which specifies how the department will manage fisheries to reduce harvest of these two wild king salmon stocks until the stocks recover. These actions are being taken as part of a regionwide effort to conserve Southeast Alaska wild king salmon and to comply with provisions of the Pacific Salmon Treaty. Management actions are being taken across all Southeast Alaska fisheries, including sport, commercial, personal use, and subsistence, to reduce harvest of wild king salmon. Anglers fishing south of the Haines/Skagway area should review the news releases announcing sport fishery restrictions for the JuneauPetersburg/Wrangell and Ketchikan areas.

Regional king salmon resident and nonresident regulations scheduled to be released in April will not supersede these king salmon restrictions.

For further information concerning this announcement, please contact Haines/Skagway Area Management Biologist, Richard Chapell at (907) 766-3638.

SPORT FISHING FOR KING SALMON RESTRICTED IN THE PETERSBURG AND WRANGELL AREAS

The Alaska Department of Fish and Game announced today king salmon sport fishing restrictions for the marine waters near the communities of Petersburg, Wrangell, and Kake.

  • In the majority of marine waters within the management area (Districts 6, 10 and portions of District 5, District 7, and District 9; see attached map) the retention of king salmon is prohibited, any king salmon caught must be released immediately from April 1 through June 14, 2018.
  • In the waters adjacent to the Stikine River (District 8 and a portion of Eastern Passage near Wrangell) the retention of king salmon is prohibited, any king salmon caught must be released immediately from April 1 through July 14, 2018.

A separate news release will be issued at a later date announcing king salmon regulations for locations where Alaska hatchery-produced king salmon are expected to return. Fishing opportunity in the Anita Bay terminal harvest area, Blind Slough terminal harvest area and City Creek release site will open June 1, 2018.

The 2018 preseason forecast for Stikine River king salmon is 6,900. This forecast indicates the escapement goal range (14,000-28,000) will not be met. Forecasts for other Southeast Alaska wild king salmon stocks are below goal as Southeast Alaska wild king salmon stocks are continuing to experience poor productivity. These actions are being taken as part of a regionwide effort to reduce harvest of Southeast Alaska wild king salmon and increase spawning escapement for future production. Management actions are being taken across all Southeast Alaska fisheries, including sport, commercial, personal use, and subsistence, to reduce harvest of wild king salmon. Anglers fishing north of the Petersburg/Wrangell area should review the news release announcing restrictions for the Juneau and Haines/Skagwayareas. Anglers fishing south of the Petersburg/Wrangell area should review the news release announcing restrictions for the Ketchikan area.

Regional king salmon resident and nonresident regulations scheduled to be released in April will not supersede these king salmon restrictions.

For further information concerning this announcement please contact Petersburg/Wrangell Area Management Biologist, Patrick Fowler at (907) 772-5231.

SPORT FISHING FOR KING SALMON RESTRICTED IN THE PETERSBURG AND WRANGELL AREAS

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