Following a record harvest of Bristol Bay sockeye salmon in 2022, the Alaska Board of Fish will be pondering future regulations in the region for next year, most specifically how to manage the critical Nushagak River king fishery. Here are some details from Alaska Public Media:
The Nushagak River is the last Bristol Bay river where the state still counts king escapement. Its king salmon runs have dropped sharply in recent years, even as sockeye salmon runs have hit record highs. In five of the last six years, the Nushagak kings have failed to meet the minimum goal for sustainability and are now a stock of concern.
Among the proposals this cycle, three address the Nushagak-Mulchatna King Salmon Management Plan, which is meant to ensure a sustainable king run and has informed the fishery’s management for the past 30 years.
The Nushagak-Mulchatna King Salmon Committee is recommending eight objectives in proposal 11, most of which are changes to that plan.
One recommendation is to change management of large sockeye runs to minimize incidental king harvest during the commercial fishery. Another is to adjust the triggers to opening the commercial sockeye fishery.
You can view the Nushagak-Mulchatna King Salmon Management Plan here.