Category Archives: Featured Content

Northern Norton Sound Pink Salmon Limits Increased

 

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

The Division of Sport Fish is increasing the bag and possession limit for pink salmon in Northern Norton Sound, which includes all flowing waters draining into Norton Sound from Cape Darby to Cape Prince of Wales (including the Sinuk, Snake, Nome, Solomon, Bonanza, Flambeau, Eldorado, and Fish river drainages), and the Unalakleet River drainage to 20 fish, effective 12:01 a.m. Saturday, July 21, 2018.

Daily escapement counts of pink salmon at enumeration projects throughout Norton Sound are much higher than average and in drainages where there are escapement goals for pink salmon, all goals have been exceeded. In the Nome River, over 750,000 pink salmon have been counted as of July 17. The sustainable escapement goal (SEG) for pink salmon in the Nome River is 13,000 fish. Likewise, in the North River, a tributary of the Unalakleet River which has an SEG of 25,000 pink salmon, over 350,000 pink salmon have been counted as of July 17. Other nearby drainages, while not having escapement goals or enumeration projects, track similarly to the Nome and Unalakleet rivers and are showing large returns of pink salmon as well. Due to the high escapement of pink salmon in the Nome and Unalakleet river drainages as well as continued high returns of pink salmon in other drainages within Norton Sound, an increase in the bag and possession limit for pink salmon from 10 to 20 fish is warranted.

DNA Says Bears Euthanized Near Eagle River Attack Did Not Kill Hiker

An already tragic story continues to get worse. When an Eagle River hiker was fatally attacked by a bear last month. authorities set out  to euthanize the animal(s) responsible for the fatality and an ensuing attack that injured one of the search-and-rescue members. The Alaska Department of Fish and Game did euthanize three brown bears in the area believed to be the ones that killed Michael Soltis, but on Thursday officials announced that DNA tests proved the bears were not responsible for the attack.

Here’s the Anchorage Daily News with more:

State wildlife biologists shot and killed the three bears from a helicopter July 13, nearly a month after a bear killed Michael Soltis, 44, and later injured volunteer searcher Paul Vasquez, 51.

Hair and tissue samples taken from the bears killed were compared to hair, blood and saliva collected at the mauling sites. They did not match. 

Tests have indicated the same brown bear sow was responsible for both attacks.

 

 

 

King Salmon Fishing Opening In Unalakleet River Drainage

Unalakleet River photo by Bureau of Land Management

 

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

The Division of Sport Fish is opening all waters of the Unalakleet River drainage to sport fishing for king salmon effective 12:01 a.m. Thursday, July 19, 2018. In addition, the use of bait is allowed in these waters.

Sport fishing for king salmon is open in all waters of the Unalakleet River drainage with a bag and possession limit of one fish, with no size limit, and an annual harvest limit of two fish.

Daily escapement counts of king salmon at the North River tower on the Unalakleet River have increased recently, and the midpoint of the Sustainable Escapement Goal (SEG) of 1,900 fish is projected to be exceeded. According to the Subdistricts 5 and 6 of the Norton Sound District and the Unalakleet River King Salmon Management Plan, when the subsistence fishery in the Unalakleet River drainage is opened to at least two 36-hour periods per week, or the subsistence fishery in the marine waters of Subdistricts 5 and 6 is opened to at least two 48-hour periods per week, the sport fish bag and possession limit for king salmon in the Unalakleet River drainage is one fish, with no size limit, and an annual harvest limit of two fish.

Inseason stock assessment information for the Shaktoolik and Inglutalik river drainages indicate that king salmon escapements there are below average and will remain closed to sport fishing for king salmon and to the use of bait. In addition, all other freshwaters of southern Norton Sound that do not have inseason escapement information including the Koyuk, Ungalik, and Golsovia river drainages will remain closed and the use of bait is prohibited in these waters.

For additional information contact Brendan Scanlon, Northwest and North Slope Area Management Biologist, 907-459-7268.

Herring Bay Area Sportfishing Shut Down

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

Beginning Friday, July 20, 2018 the Herring Bay area will be closed to sport fishing. This closure includes the waters of Herring Bay west of a line from the southernmost entrance of Hole-In-The-Wall harbor at 55°19.11’ N. lat., 131°31.19’ W. long. to ADF&G markers located ½ mile north of Whitman Creek (signed and painted rocks) at 55°20.13’ N. lat., 131°30.13’ W long., to the fresh/salt water boundary signs located at the mouth of Herring Cove Creek (see map below).

Summer coho salmon returning to the Whitman Lake Hatchery are not expected to meet broodstock goals in 2018 due to expected harvest and marine survival. To date approximately 300 coho salmon have returned to the hatchery, while 3,000 are needed for broodstock. With additional harvest expected, this closure is necessary to provide sufficient numbers of coho salmon to meet broodstock needs. Once broodstock needs are met the department will reopen this area to sport fishing.

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

Sport Fishing Closed In Herring Bay Area

Kasilof, Kenai River Kings Must Be Released

Kasilof River photo by user Beeblebrox /Wikimedia

The following press releases are courtesy of the Alaska Department of Fish and Game:

Kasilof River King Salmon Limited to Catch-and-Release

(Soldotna) – To ensure healthy returns of king salmon to Alaska’s rivers, the Alaska Department of Fish and Game (ADF&G) is implementing the following sport fishing regulation restriction on the Kasilof River effective 12:01 a.m.Wednesday, July 18 through 11:59 p.m. Tuesday, July 31, 2018. The retention of king salmon is prohibited while sport fishing on the Kasilof River downstream of the Sterling Highway Bridge. In addition, only one unbaited, single-hook, artificial lure may be used when fishing for king salmon in these waters. King salmon may not be retained or possessed, may not be removed from the water, and must be released immediately.

“King salmon fishery closures are being felt throughout Alaska. The 2018 Cook Inlet king salmon runs have consistently and significantly underperformed preseason expectations,” stated Cook Inlet Management Coordinator Matt Miller. “Regulation restrictions and closures have been issued for the Kenai River king salmon sport fishery during July. These emergency orders will likely result in an increase in the sport fishing effort and catch of king salmon in the Kasilof River during July. Therefore, to minimize the effects of conservation actions for the Kenai River, it is warranted to prohibit bait and multiple hooks on the Kasilof River to ensure adequate escapement of Kasilof River late-run king salmon.

In conjunction with this restriction, a sport fishing regulation restriction was issued prohibiting the retention of king salmon while sport fishing on the Kenai River from its mouth upstream to an ADF&G regulatory marker located approximately 300 yards downstream from the mouth of Slikok Creek. In addition, only one unbaited, single-hook, artificial lure may be used when sport fishing in these waters.

Kenai River King Salmon Limited to Catch-and-Release Only

(Soldotna) – In favor of protecting returning king salmon and increased fishing opportunities in the future, the Alaska Department of Fish and Game (ADF&G) is implementing the following sport fishing regulation restriction on the Kenai River drainage effective 12:01 a.m. Wednesday, July 18 through 11:59 p.m. Tuesday, July 31, 2018. The retention of king salmon is prohibited while sport fishing on the Kenai River from its mouth upstream to an ADF&G regulatory marker located approximately 300 yards downstream from the mouth of Slikok Creek. In addition, only one unbaited, single-hook, artificial lure may be used when sport fishing in these waters. King salmon may not be retained or possessed, may not be removed from the water, and must be released immediately.

Sport fishing for king salmon remains closed in waters of the Kenai River drainage from an ADF&G regulatory marker located approximately 300 yards downstream from the mouth of Slikok Creek, upstream to an ADF&G marker located at the outlet of Skilak Lake.

This sport fishing regulation restriction supersedes the closure issued on June 18, 2018, which closed waters of the Kenai River drainage from an ADF&G regulatory marker located approximately 300 yards downstream from the mouth of Slikok Creek, upstream to an ADF&G marker located at the outlet of Skilak Lake.

This sport fishing regulation restriction also supersedes the restriction issued on June 21, 2018, which prohibited the use of bait while sport fishing in the Kenai River from its mouth upstream to an ADF&G regulatory marker located approximately 300 yards downstream from the mouth of Slikok Creek

“The 2018 king salmon runs throughout Cook Inlet have consistently and significantly underperformed preseason expectations resulting in restrictions and closures of inriver and marine sport fisheries,” stated Cook Inlet Management Coordinator Matt Miller. “As of July 14, 2018, approximately 2,770 king salmon 75 cm (29.53 inches) mid-eye to tail fork and longer, have passed the river mile 13.7 king salmon sonar. Historically the quarter point of the late run arrives around July 17. Without further restrictions to harvest, the goal for Kenai River late-run king salmon is not expected to be achieved.”

ADF&G staff will be closely monitoring this fishery as the season progresses and additional actions may be taken if necessary.

In conjunction with this restriction, a sport fishing regulation restriction was issued prohibiting the retention of king salmon while sport fishing on the Kasilof River downstream of the Sterling Highway Bridge. In addition, only one unbaited, single-hook, artificial lure may be used when fishing for king salmon in these waters.

 

Nushagak/Mulchatna Drainage Sockeye Limits Increasing

Nushagak River photo by Alaska Trekker/Wikimedia

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

(Dillingham) – With the recent increase of sockeye salmon passing the Portage Creek sonar, the Alaska Department of Fish and Game (ADF&G) is implementing the following sport fishing regulation liberalization by increasing the bag and possession limit for sockeye salmon to ten fish in all waters of the Nushagak-Mulchatna River drainage, excluding the Wood River drainage, effective 12:01 a.m. Tuesday, July 17, 2018. The bag and possession limit for other salmon, except king and sockeye salmon, remains at five fish. These limits are in combination with the more liberal limits for sockeye salmon.

“Nearly 970,000 sockeye salmon have been counted at the Portage Creek sonar,” stated Area Management Biologist Jason Dye. “The passage of sockeye salmon has exceeded the escapement goal for the Nushagak River drainage. Therefore, it is warranted to increase the bag and possession limit and allow sport anglers an opportunity to harvest the surplus sockeye salmon in the Nushagak-Mulchatna River sport fishery.

Rotting Fish Discovered Near Wasilla

KTUU (in the video above) reported Sunday night about rotting fish dumped on the side of a hill near Wasilla. Here’s a little more information:

The discarded fish, that appear to be salmon, are lying just off a hiking trail near mile 14.5 of Knik Goose Bay Road. The overpowering stench would suggest the fish have been there for a while.

“Discarding fish waste on public or private property or along roads, pull-offs, and trails can attract bears into residential areas and result in fines ranging from $300 to $1,000” wrote Ken Marsh, a public information officer with the Alaska Department of Fish and Game, in a press release sent out Sunday afternoon.

That’s not only a waste of meat but also disgusting and gross.

 

 

 

 

Halibut Still Biting, Kid’s Salmon Contest Looming In Valdez

Bernie Gregory caught this 165-pounder at the Valdez Halibut Derby. (VALDEZFISHDERBIES.COM)

The following press release is courtesy of Valdez Fish Derbies:

VALDEZ, Alaska – Pink salmon are jumping in Port Valdez and young anglers will have a chance to catch them and win prizes this Saturday, July 21st in the Valdez Kids Pink Salmon Derby.

Doug Cranor of Valdez is still leading the Valdez Halibut Derby with the 239.0 pound fish he caught June 23rd aboard the Redhead. Russell Young of Fairbanks is currently holding onto 2nd place in the overall standings with a 226.0 pound halibut he caught June 23rd aboard the Dan Orion and Tim Ingraham of North Pole is currently in 3rd place overall with a 214.2 pound halibut he caught July 7th aboard the Jaime Lynn.

In addition to the Valdez Halibut Derby Grand prize of $10,000 cash, a 2nd place prize of $3,000 and 3rd place prize of $1,500 cash, there are weekly 1st and 2nd place prizes. Some of the prize packages include charters, overnight stays, glacier tours and Valdez Fish Derbies apparel in addition to gift certificates.

The Chitina dip net fishery had been closed but Alaska Department of Fish and Game held an 84 hour opener last Thursday at noon through Sunday atmidnight. ADF&G said the 2018 Copper River sockeye salmon run had improved, allowing the opening. The 2018 Copper River sockeye salmon run has required the department to modify management strategies to compensate for low sockeye salmon wild stock abundance, a stronger than projected hatchery stock run, and management of Copper River Delta sockeye salmon wild stock escapement in order to provide harvest opportunity and still achieve the wild sockeye salmon sustainable escapement goal. The personal use fishery will continue to be managed weekly through the end of August with any potential fishing opportunity dependent upon sonar passage and further adjustments needed to ensure wild sockeye salmon escapement.

The Valdez Silver Salmon Derby starts this Saturday and anglers are already bringing silvers to Port. The Valdez Kids Pink Salmon Derby is also this Saturday, July 21st. The Kids Derby is open to children age 5 to 16 and there is no fee to enter. Kids just need to weigh-in a pink salmon at the Valdez Fish Derbies weigh-in station Saturday, July 21st to get a t-shirt and have a chance of winning one of the top three spots in their age division. A free family barbeque and awards will follow the day of fishing. The first 300 kids to stop by the weigh-in will get a free t-shirt. Valdez Fish Derbies dates, prizes, rules, winners, pictures and more can be found at www.valdezfishderbies.com.

Halibut Derby – Overall Leaders

1st       Doug Cranor               Valdez, AK                 239.0 lbs.         June 23            Redhead

2nd      Russel Young              Fairbanks, AK             226.0 lbs.         June 23            Dan Orion

3rd       Tim Ingraham              North Pole, AK           214.2 lbs.         July 7               Jaime Lynn

Halibut Derby – Weekly Winners – July 9th through July 15th

1st        Bernie Gregory           Kimball, MN               165.0 lbs.         July 13             Bold Eagle

2nd        Stephon Thompson     Bingham Farms, MI    140.4lbs.          July 9               Jaime Lynn

For more information on the Valdez Derbies, visit: www.valdezfishderbies.com

Skagway-Area Fishery Open For Kings

Photo by ADFG

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

The Alaska Department of Fish and Game (ADF&G) announced today that Pullen Creek and Pullen Pond, in Skagway, are open to sport fishing for king salmon effective 12:01 a.m. Tuesday, July 17, 2018. In all fresh waters of Pullen Creek, including Pullen Pond, bait may be used, the bag and possession limit for all anglers (Alaska residents and nonresidents) is four king salmon of any size, and king salmon harvested in this area do not count toward the nonresident annual limit. This regulation will remain in effect through 11:59 p.m. Friday, September 14, 2018. This additional opportunity is being provided to allow harvest of hatchery-produced king salmon that have returned to Pullen Creek.

Anglers are reminded that all salt waters in the Skagway and Haines area remain closed to king salmon retention through the end of 2018 due to Chilkat River king salmon conservation concerns.

Anglers sport fishing for king salmon are required to purchase a 2018 king salmon stamp in addition to a 2018 sport fishing license. Exceptions to this requirement are listed on pages 4 – 5 of the Southeast Alaska Sport Fishing Regulations Summary. Sport fishing licenses and king salmon stamps can be obtained online at www.adfg.alaska.gov/store/.

ADFG Removes Kvichak River/Lake Iliamna Sockeye Restrictions

ADFG photo

 

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

(Dillingham) – With the recent increase of sockeye salmon passing through the counting tower near Igiugig, the Alaska Department of Fish and Game (ADF&G) is restoring the bag and possession limit for sockeye salmon in the Kvichak River/Lake Iliamna drainage from two fish to five fish. In addition, the four areas previously closed to sport fishing for sockeye salmon are being reopened. These provisions are effective 12:01 a.m. Saturday, July 14, 2018.

“An earlier projection indicated the lower end of the escapement goal of 2 million fish for the Kvichak River drainage would not be achieved,” stated Area Management Biologist Jason Dye. “However, as of 6:00 a.m. July 13, 2018, an estimated 1,513,848 sockeye salmon have been counted at the counting tower near Igiugig. With this increase in sockeye salmon, the escapement of will likely exceed 2 million fish; therefore, the reduction of the bag and possession limit and closed areas in place for the sport fishery are no longer warranted.”