The Alaska Department of Fish and Game is asking anglers to comment on its statewide fish stocking plan, in which 7 million salmon and trout are released into state waters to the boon of sports fishermen.
Thousands of chinook salmon, coho salmon, and rainbow trout are meant for the freshwater bodies of Kodiak, per the stocking plan. Tyler Polum, the Kodiak sportfish biologist for the area, says that Kodiak has a relatively small presence in the state plan, which features 800,000 more fish statewide than the last year.
“Most of the time, people just call me up on the phone or talk to me, here at the office or out on the rivers when I run into folks. And most of that has to do with our king salmon stocking program. And just folks are wondering how the returns are doing or what we think for the upcoming year,” Polum said.
Polum says that Kodiak has 17 lakes that get some fish stocking on the road system- which is just about every lake that ADF&G could stock there. He says that the most popular topic of public comments are king salmon returns, which- as with the rest of the west coast kings- are in decline.
Fish amounts for Kodiak have been largely unchanged in Kodiak year over year, with the exception of adding Dolgoi Lake as a stocking lake. 80,000 king salmon smolt are stocked in American River, Olds River, and Salonie Creek. 100,000 coho salmon smolt are to be stocked in Monashka Creek and Pillar Creek this year. 71,000 rainbow trout fingerlings are to be stocked in lakes around the road system.
“Any time of the year, anybody can get a hold of us too, and talk about these things as well as providing comments, if they want to, for the statewide stocking plan,” Polum said.
Those interested in making public comments can do so by reaching out to the local Fish and Game office; in Kodiak, that number is 907-486-1825.