The following press release is courtesy of the Alaska Department of Fish and Game:
Juneau – The Alaska Department of Fish and Game is announcing the reopening of the Southeast Alaska and Yakutat sport fishery for king salmon. The following regulations will be effective 12:01 a.m. Sunday, October 1, 2017through 11:59 p.m. Saturday, March 31, 2018. The regulations are:
- The resident bag and possession limit is two king salmon, 28 inches or greater in length.
- The nonresident bag and possession limit is one king salmon, 28 inches or greater in length;
- The nonresident annual limit is three king salmon, 28 inches or greater in length. Nonresident anglers shall immediately record, in ink, all king salmon harvested either on the back of their sport fishing license or on a nontransferable harvest record.
From October 1, 2017 through March 31, 2018; resident sport anglers may use two rods when fishing for king salmon. Resident anglers using two rods may only retain king salmon.
Southeast Alaska wild king salmon stocks are experiencing a period of low productivity and production. In 2016, postseason escapement estimates from the king salmon stock assessment program in Southeast Alaska indicated 9 of the 11 king salmon index systems missed the lower bound of spawning escapement goals. This trend of low Southeast Alaska wild king salmon productivity and abundance was expected to continue and in 2017 conservative management actions began in April to reduce Southeast Alaska wild king salmon harvest in the Yakutat, Haines/Skagway, Juneau, Petersburg/Wrangell and Ketchikan sport fisheries. Then in early August, initial escapement surveys of Southeast Alaska king salmon index systems indicated that Southeast Alaska wild king salmon productivity and production was lower than anticipated and the decision was made to prohibit the retention of king salmon in all Southeast Alaska fisheries August 10 through September 30, 2017. Given that effort and the subsequent harvest of king salmon in the sport fishery from October through the end March is low; the Southeast Alaska king salmon sport fishery is being reopened under the management prescriptions outlined in general regulation and the Southeast Alaska King Salmon Management Plan.
The Southeast Alaska King Salmon Management Plan prescribes management measures based upon the preseason abundance index determined by the Chinook Technical Committee of the Pacific Salmon Commission. The preseason abundance index for the 2017 season is 1.27. At this abundance index level, the plan specifies a resident bag limit of two king salmon, 28 inches or greater in length; a nonresident bag limit of one king salmon, 28 inches or greater in length; a nonresident annual limit of three king salmon, 28 inches or greater in length; and the opportunity for resident anglers to use two rods from October through March.
Conservative king salmon regulations for the Haines, Skagway, announced on March 6, 2017, are still in effect in order to protect wild Alaska king salmon stocks until December 31, 2017.
For further information regarding sport fisheries in Southeast Alaska, contact the nearest ADF&G office or visit: www.adfg.alaska.gov/index.cfm?adfg=fishingSportFishingInfo.eonr