Good story in the Alaska Journal of Commerce on the state of king salmon fishing on the Yukon River.
Here’s Dj Summers with more:
Yukon River chinook stocks are on the upswing, according to a season summary, though not everybody is fishing for the surplus.
Holly Carroll, the area management biologist for the Yukon River section of the Alaska Department of Fish and Game, said the painful restrictions on subsistence harvests have paid off. “We wouldn’t have made escapement goals at all if we hadn’t restricted harvest,” Carroll said. “We have to restrict the harvest just to meet the bare minimum for sustaining the run. The restrictions in the subsistence fishery have helped to build the numbers back up.”
With 176,895 fish past the sonar counter at Pilot Station, the 2016 chinook run has nosed back up to the most recent 20-year average of 178,000.
Along with total run numbers, the amount of chinook into Canada is improving. However, First Nations communities and Canada fisheries managers have different ideas than Alaska, and much of the run sent over the border went unharvested.
A major goal of ADFG Yukon River management aims to send between 42,500 and 55,000 chinook salmon over the Canadian border at Eagle as per the Pacific Salmon Treaty.
The story also cites some interesting numbers on how much fishing pressure has declined on the Canada side of the Yukon River. Worth a read.