The Alaska Department of Fish and Game is making its 2019 salmon run forecasts, and the numbers don’t look good for two Southeast Rivers. Here’s the ADFG release on the Stikine and Taku Rivers:
The Alaska Department of Fish and Game announced today the following information concerning the preseason forecasts for Chinook salmon returning to the Stikine and Taku rivers in 2019.
The 2019 preseason terminal run forecast for Stikine River large Chinook salmon is 8,250 fish.
A terminal run forecast of this size does not provide an Allowable Catch (AC) for either the U.S. or Canada as the forecast is below the lower end of the Escapement Goal Range (EGR) of 14,000 to 28,000 fish.The 2019 preseason terminal run forecast for Taku River large Chinook salmon is 9,050 fish. A terminal run forecast of this size does not provide an AC for either the U.S. or Canada as the forecast is below the lower end of the EGR of 19,000 to 36,000 fish.
Due to the very low forecasts and recent poor runs to these transboundary rivers, all salmon fisheries in Districts 8 and 11 will have extensive conservation measures in effect through the duration of the Chinook salmon runs in 2019.
Here’s a little more detail from the Homer News:
“It’s been trending down for quite awhile,” said David Harris, area management biologist for Juneau for the Alaska Department of Fish and Game commercial fishers division. “Hopefully things start to improve.” …
… While the numbers are lower than usual, they are an increase from last year’s predictions, which forecast some of the lowest figures since the mid-1970s. In 2018, ADF&G expected only 4,700 chinook will spawn on the Taku River and only 6,900 chinook were expected.
“The forecasts are much improved from last year, but they’re still among the worst,” Harris said. “They’re probably the second worst ever.”