Sockeye Salmon swimming in river. Via Watershed_Watch/Flickr
The Alaska Department of Fish and Game Division of Commercial Fisheries issued a news release Monday announcing that it will open the salmon fishing period today at noon. Assistant Area Management Biologist, Todd Anderson, says the start of the season is largely dictated by the sockeye salmon escapements throughout the island.
“This year’s forecast for many of the systems are at or a little bit about average, so it looks like it’ll [be], at least forecast-wise, a decent outlook to the season for Sockeye,” says Anderson. “We’ve had our first set of escapement data from Karluk and Ayakulik weirs and both of those weirs are a little bit ahead. They’re doing well right now, which has largely dictated this initial opener for the area.”
Anderson says, as determined by the Alaska Board of Fisheries, King Salmon over 28 inches must be returned to the water by purse seine gear until further notice.
“Generally state-wide, the King Salmon returns have been depressed and it was within the board’s mandate and their own action to implement a non-retention fishery on King Salmon stocks that are likely not bound for Kodiak Island themselves, especially this early in the season,” says Anderson.
For more salmon fishery information, you can call the Department’s 24-hour record-a-phone at 486-4559 or go to the Fish and Game website.