The following press release is courtesy of the Alaska Department of Fish and Game:
(Kodiak) – In an effort to achieve escapement goals, the Alaska Department of Fish and Game (ADF&G) is closing the Ayakulik River drainage to sport fishing for king salmon effective 12:01 a.m. Wednesday, June 26 through 11:59 p.m. Thursday, July 25, 2019. Sport fishing for king salmon on the Ayakulik River is closed and any king salmon caught incidentally while fishing for other species may not be removed from the water and must be released immediately. In addition, the use of bait is prohibited and only one, single hook, artificial lure may be used on the Ayakulik River to reduce incidental hooking mortality.
As of June 23, 2019, only 1,198 king salmon have passed the Ayakulik River weir. The escapement goal for king salmon into the Ayakulik River is 4,800 to 8,400 fish. Based on historical run timing, more than 50% of the run has occurred and ADF&G does not expect the final weir count to meet the escapement goal for this stock. Therefore, it is warranted to close the king salmon sport fishery in an attempt to meet escapement objectives.
“The Ayakulik River king salmon stock has failed to meet the escapement goal for several years now,” stated Area Management Biologist Tyler Polum. “As long as we’re in this period of low productivity, we need to manage conservatively to get king salmon upriver to spawn.”
For additional information, please contact the Division of Sport Fish Kodiak Office at (907) 486-1880.
(Palmer) – The Alaska Department of Fish and Game is implementing the following sport fishing regulation by reopening the Little Susitna River drainage to sport fishing for king salmon, seven days per week, from its mouth upstream to the Parks Highway effective 6:00 a.m. Wednesday, June 26 through the remainder of the king salmon sport fishing season, which closes 11:00 p.m. Saturday, July 13, 2019. The bag and possession limit for king salmon, 20 inches or greater, is one per day, one in possession. Only unbaited, artificial lures are allowed. Anglers are reminded a king salmon stamp is required in addition to their Alaska sport fishing license to fish for king salmon.
As of June 24, 2019, 2,615 king salmon have passed the Little Susitna weir and the sustainable escapement goal (SEG) of 2,300 – 3,900 king salmon has been achieved. The run is still shaping up to be below average, but strong enough to allow the sport fishery to proceed by regulation. Historically approximately 60% of the run has passed upstream of the weir by this date and over 75% of the harvest. An anticipated harvest of 350 fish upstream of the weir due to this action is not expected to reduce the spawning escapement below the SEG.
“This year’s run has taken an unexpected, but pleasant turn for the better, with a jump in counts over this past weekend,” stated Area Management Biologist Sam Ivey. “With the goal achieved we can relax restrictions on the Little Su and provide another opportunity for anglers to go catch a king salmon”.
For additional information, please contact Area Management Biologist Sam Ivey at (907) 746-6300.