The following press releases are courtesy of the Alaska Department of Fish and Game:
Situk River Closed to Retention of Sockeye Salmon
(Yakutat) – In order to reduce mortality of Situk River sockeye salmon, the retention of sockeye salmon is prohibited in the Situk River drainage beginning at 12:01 a.m. Sunday, July 1, 2018.
The Situk River drainage is managed for a biological escapement goal (BEG) of 30,000 to 70,000 sockeye salmon. As of June 28, 2018, 1,678 sockeye salmon have been counted through the Situk River weir. Average run timing data for sockeye salmon on the Situk River indicates that approximately 23% of the run should be in the river by June 28. Given the low numbers of sockeye salmon returning to the Situk River the BEG is not expected to be achieved. This action is warranted to conserve Situk River sockeye salmon.
ADF&G staff will continue to closely monitor sockeye salmon returns and take additional management actions as necessary.
(Fairbanks) – To ensure that king salmon spawning escapements are met in 2018, an annual limit for king salmon, 20 inches and greater in length, of one fish is established in the Tanana River sport fishery. When a king salmon is harvested you must record your harvest on the back of your sport fishing license or on a harvest record card, if you are not required to have a license. In addition, the use of bait is prohibited in the flowing waters of all tributaries of the Tanana River. The use of bait is still permitted in the mainstem portion of the Tanana River to allow fishing for other species such as burbot. These restrictions will be in effect from 12:01 a.m. Monday, July 2 through 11:59 p.m. Wednesday, August 15, 2018.
The estimated king salmon passage at the Pilot Station sonar is below average for years with normal run timing. This indicates that the run may come in below the lower end of the preseason projection range of 173,000 to 251,000 king salmon. The magnitude of the 2018 run should be sufficient to ensure king salmon escapements goals are met in the Tanana River drainage due to conservative management practices implemented in the Yukon and Tanana river commercial, subsistence, and sport fisheries.
Counting towers on the Chena and Salcha rivers were operational on June 26 and no king salmon have been counted to date. The department will monitor these returns closely and projected escapements to these rivers will be used when considering additional regulatory actions.