Board Of Fisheries Maintains Southeast King Sport Bag Limits, But Concerns Remain

Photo by Katrina Mueller/USFWS

Southeast Alaska sport anglers will maintain announced bag limits for king salmon as part of an Alaska Board of Fisheries’ compromise amid disagreements between sport and commercial fishing interests. Here’s more from KTOO radio via Petersburg’s KFSK:

At issue is a new provision of the 2019 Pacific Salmon Treaty agreement that requires Alaska to pay back the following year when the commercial and sport fleets catch more king salmon than they’ve been allocated. The Department of Fish and Game has used in-season management to stay below that number, and that’s meant reducing the resident bag limit on sport-caught kings over the summer or even prohibiting non-residents from catching them at all.

Charter and lodge operators said clients book trips well in advance and want to be able to keep a king salmon. Many, like Ketchikan charter fishing captain Jeff Wedekind, asked the board for a new approach to keeping Alaska’s harvest on target.

“If we have an allocation that doesn’t even allow us to fish or closes us down in the middle, then we can’t run our businesses, people aren’t going to come,” Wedekind said.

Lodge and charter businesses said their packages are based on a minimum of three days of fishing, with the opportunity to catch a king on all three days.