Declining salmon runs have really taken a toll on the community of Chignik and its adjacent river. King salmon fishing on the Chignik was shut down in mid-July through Aug. 9. But early escapement numbers for the Chignik’s sockeye run offers some hope. Here’s more from Alaska Public Media:
The Chignik River has an early and a late sockeye run. The early run’s escapement is now over 420,000 and the late run’s escapement is now over 220,000 as of July 29. It’s the first time the early sockeye run has met its minimum escapement since it collapsed in 2018.
The Alaska Board of Fisheries designated the early run as a stock of management concern in March as part of an agreement between the Chignik Intertribal Coalition and the Area M Seiners Association.
The Chignik Intertribal Coalition originally proposed to indefinitely reduce Area M’s harvest around the Shumagin Islands by about half until the Chignik River passes the early run’s minimum escapement goal.