The following press release is courtesy of the Alaska Department of Fish and Game:
(Dillingham) – In an effort to harvest surplus sockeye salmon returning to the Alagnak River, the Alaska Department of Fish and Game (ADF&G) is increasing the bag and possession limit for sockeye salmon to ten fish per day and ten fish in possession in all waters of the Alagnak River drainage effective 12:01 p.m. (noon) Tuesday, July 16 through 11:59 p.m. Tuesday, December 31, 2019. However, the bag and possession limit for other salmon, except king, coho, and sockeye salmon, remains at five fish per day and five in possession. These limits are in combination with the more liberal limits for sockeye salmon.
“An estimated 125,670 sockeye salmon passed the Alagnak River tower over the weekend bringing the season total to approximately 343,000 sockeye salmon through July 14,” stated Assistant Area Management Biologist Lee Borden. “This number exceeds the minimum escapement goal of 210,000 fish. It is a great opportunity for anglers to harvest surplus sockeye salmon in the Alagnak River drainage.”
For additional information, please contact Dillingham Assistant Area Management Biologist Lee Borden at (907) 842-2427 or the Dillingham Sport Fish regulation recorder at (907) 842-7347.
Effective 12:01 a.m. Wednesday, July 17, 2019 the king salmon sport fishery in all flowing waters of the Tanana River drainage will be restricted to catch-and-release. King salmon caught may not be removed from the water and must be released immediately. In addition, the use of bait is prohibited in all tributaries of the Tanana River drainage (including the Chena, Salcha, Chatanika, Nenana, and Goodpaster rivers).
The Tanana River drainage king salmon sport fisheries are managed under the provisions set forth in 5 AAC 74.060 Chena and Salcha River King Salmon Sport Harvest Management Plan using inseason estimated run abundance and escapement information from the Tanana River and its major king salmon spawning tributaries, the Chena and Salcha Rivers. The plan states that the fisheries will be managed to achieve escapements in the Chena and Salcha rivers that fall within the BEG ranges. The king salmon BEG range for the Chena River is 2,800 – 5,700 fish, and the BEG range for the Salcha River is 3,300 – 6,500.
Through Sunday, July 14, the cumulative passage of king salmon was 552 fish in the Chena River and 666 fish in the Salcha River. Based on historical run timing, the projected king salmon escapements in the Chena and Salcha rivers will fall below their respective biological escapement goal (BEG) lower bounds. Projected escapements based on current run strength indicate that the Tanana River drainage cannot support a sport harvest at this time. Restricting the king salmon sport fishery to catch-and-release in the Tanana River drainage is warranted to conserve Tanana River king salmon stocks.
The department will continue to evaluate escapements on the Chena and Salcha rivers. If escapements are projected to be met, restrictions to the king salmon sports fisheries will be relaxed.
For additional information contact Heather Scannell, Tanana River Area Management Biologist, 907-459-7357.