The following is courtesy of the Alaska Department of Fish and Game:
(Dillingham) – In favor of protecting returning king salmon and ensuring fishing opportunities in the future, the Alaska Department of Fish and Game (ADF&G) is implementing the following sport fishing restriction in the Nushagak-Mulchatna River drainage. The daily bag, possession, and annual limits for king salmon, 20 inches or greater in length, in the Nushagak-Mulchatna River drainage are reduced to a bag and possession limit of one fish, 20 inches or greater in length, with an annual limit of two fish. The bag and possession limit for king salmon less than 20 inches remains at five fish, with no annual limit. These regulatory restrictions are effective 12:01 a.m. Friday, July 10, 2020.
Up to two king salmon recorded before Friday, July 10, 2020, on the harvest portion of an Alaska sport fishing license or harvest record card do not count against the reduced annual limit of two king salmon, 20 inches or greater in length, that may be harvested on or after July 10. If you have already harvested four king salmon, 20 inches or greater in length, prior to July 10, you cannot harvest any additional king salmon from the Nushagak-Mulchatna River drainage.
Counts of king salmon at the sonar near Portage Creek are currently below desired levels. Uncertainty associated with the sonar count of king salmon, as well as a recent trend of later than average king salmon runs both in Bristol Bay and statewide make it difficult to accurately assess the run at this time. These uncertainties coupled with low run indicators justify a conservative management approach in which the Nushagak River drainage sport harvest of king salmon is reduced.
“This year’s run has fallen behind on the projection curve,” stated Area Management Biologist Lee Borden. “With the possibility of a low run becoming more likely, we are taking a conservative approach with this restriction to slow down inriver sport harvest”.
ADF&G will continue to monitor the king salmon escapement and may relax this restriction or further restrict the sport fishery as specified in the management plan.
For additional information, please contact Area Management Biologist Lee Borden at (907) 842-2427, or the Dillingham Sport Fish regulation recorder (907) 842-REGS (842-7347).