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2014 Inseason Alaska Commercial Salmon Summary

This summary provides management, harvest, and escapement information for the Alaska commercial salmon fishing season. This summary will be updated each Friday between mid-May and September. Please note, inseason harvest data published in this summary are preliminary and subject to change. For more information on the Blue Sheet, inseason summaries, and harvest timing charts, please see our Blue Sheet, Inseason Summary, and Harvest Timing Charts Overview page.

Updated Thursday, July 18, 2014

Southeast Alaska

Troll Fishery
Now that the first Chinook salmon retention period has ended, most trollers are turning their attention to coho salmon. The highest catch rates are occurring in the Central Inside and Central Outside areas, followed by the Northern Outside area. Regional catch rates remain high this week, with power troll catch per unit effort currently averaging 118/day, which is well above all historic averages.  Average weights for coho have remained stable for the first three weeks of the summer troll fishery, averaging 5.8 lbs. The average price is currently $1.30/lb and the cumulative catch since July 1 is just over 122,000 fish.

The first Chinook retention period of the summer closed by emergency order on July 7, but final harvest statistics will not be available until later this month. Preliminary totals indicate a harvest of approximately 185,000 fish by 771 permits, an average weight of 11.4 lbs and average price of $3.51. Catch rates remained very good throughout the duration of the fishery. Aerial vessel count surveys indicated effort appeared to be low at the start of the opening, however ticket data to date indicates a similar effort level to recent years. Once the department determines the number of treaty Chinook salmon remaining on the troll allocation, information on a second opening will be announced by news release in early August.

A growing portion of the troll fleet has been targeting chum salmon returning to the Neets Bay hatchery in West Behm Canal. A recent report indicates a harvest of over 28,000 chum since early July, with effort estimated at 65 permits on July 14. Trollers have an average chum catch/landing of 100-200 fish, at an average weight of over 11 pounds.

The 2014 Summer Troll Management Plans can be found on the Southeast troll website. Inseason catch and effort data for summer is available on the same site.

Purse Seine Fishery
The SE Alaska purse seine fishery began the 2014 season in traditional areas on Sunday, June 15 and is now in its fifth week. During statistical week 29, fishing occurred on July 13 and there is a mid-week seine opening on July 17.

The department has forecast a pink salmon harvest of 22 million fish for the season, below the recent 10-year average harvest of 34.5 million fish. Based primarily on combined hatchery chum salmon forecasts, total returns of 9.9 million fish are expected.

Seine effort during the July 13 period included 75 boats in District 4, 40 in District 1, 36 in District 2, 27 in District 1, and 15 in District 7. Twenty-eight boats were present at Deep Inlet terminal harvest area (THA) and 11 boats were reported at the Point Augusta index fishery. The largest harvests occurred in District 4 with 471,000 salmon harvested, District 1 with 238,000 salmon harvested, District 2 with 113,000 salmon harvested, and District 7 with 45,000 salmon harvested. Pink salmon harvest per boat was highest in District 1 with 5,500 fish, District 4 with 5,000 fish, District 7 with 2,500 fish, and District 2 with 1,900 fish per boat. Chum salmon harvest per boat was highest in District 2 with 1,100 and in Deep Inlet THA with 800 fish per boat.

Drift Gillnet Fishery
Traditional area drift gillnet fisheries occur in Districts 1, 6, 8, 11, and 15.

Tree Point/Section 1-B
The Tree Point drift gillnet fishery was open for four days starting at 12:01 p.m., Sunday, July 13, 2014. The effort level was slightly above average with 45 vessels participating.  The harvest was below average for sockeye and coho salmon, and above average for pink and chum salmon. Total estimate for the weekly harvest is 75 Chinook, 5,000 sockeye, 600 coho, 60,000 pinks, and 46,000 chum salmon. The current Hugh Smith sockeye weir count of 2,300 sockeye projects out to a final escapement of 11,600, which is above the minimum escapement goal of 8,000. Beginning on July 20, the Tree Point drift gillnet fishery be managed according to the District One pink salmon management plan (5AAC 33.360).  It is unclear if the purse seine gear group will receive more than one day of fishing time in statistical week 30 so the Tree Point gillnet fishery will be open for two days initially, beginning  at 12:01 p.m., Sunday, July 20, 2014.

Prince of Wales and Stikine/Districts 6 and 8
The District 6 and 8 drift gillnet fishery opened for an initial 72-hour period on Sunday, July 13. On the grounds surveys of the gillnet fleet indicated below average effort and sockeye harvest. A 24-hour mid-week opening occurred in District 8 to harvest surplus Stikine River sockeye salmon. The Stikine River sockeye salmon inseason abundance estimate is 250,000 fish, well above the 152,000 fish forecast. The last inseason assessment for Stikine River king salmon made on June 20 was for a terminal run size of 26,000 fish. Both districts will open for an initial 72 hours beginning Sunday, July 20.

Taku-Snettisham/Section 11-B
The District 11 salmon drift gillnet fishery was only open for three days this week after two consecutive weeks of four-day openings.  Sixty gillnetters were observed shortly after the opening on Sunday, and by Wednesday morning approximately half the fleet remained.  Those targeting the Limestone Inlet enhanced chum return were disappointed as chum catch rates were well below the recent ten-year average.  The sockeye and coho catch rates were near average, while the pink catch rates were well below average.

The annual Tulsequah River flood, originating just upstream from the US/Canada border, brought Taku River water levels up to record highs during the middle of the opening.  Not only does this flooding event hamper data collection inriver, it also can push a lot of fish downstream (especially a large flood like this one) making them susceptible to the marine fishery again.  With the Taku River sockeye run projection falling by 20,000 fish from the week before (based on data pre-flood) and fish potentially being redistributed back into Taku Inlet, no extension was granted this week.

Sockeye catch rates in the southern portion of the district, aerial observations of jumping sockeye inside Port Snettisham, and inseason thermal-marked otolith reads suggest enhanced fish are around in abundance.  However, no wild sockeye have passed through the Speel Lake weir or have been observed in Crescent Lake to date.  When escapement to these systems is sufficient, opportunity to target enhanced fish inside Port Snettisham may become available.

The six-inch minimum mesh restriction south of Circle Point, to protect wild Port Snettisham sockeye, will remain in place next week and Section 11-B will again open for three days.  Perhaps a bona fide sockeye fishery will occur next week.       

Lynn Canal/District 15
The week 29, 2014 Lynn Canal (District 15) commercial drift gillnet salmon fishery opened for three days beginning Sunday, July 13 in Sections 15-A and 15-C. Time and area adjustments to the District 15 commercial salmon drift gillnet fishery is designed to harvest Chilkat Lake and Chilkoot Lake sockeye salmon while minimizing harvest of Chilkat River Chinook salmon as well as harvesting expected large returns of hatchery chum salmon in southern 15-C. A one day extension was granted to harvest the large return of Chilkoot sockeye salmon. An estimated 166,000 chum salmon and 22,000 sockeye salmon were harvested this week. Harvests of chum salmon were near average and above average for sockeye salmon. Catch per unit effort was below average for chum salmon and above average for sockeye salmon. A total of over 150 boats participated in the District this week. Harvest of Chinook, coho and pink salmon were very small and below average for this time.

Sockeye salmon escapement to Chilkat Lake is currently above average for this time. The cumulative DIDSON count of over 19,000 sockeye is 1.25 times the previous ten year average and projects a final escapement above the goal range. Chilkoot weir counts are currently above the ten year average and much better than expected. The current weir count of 30,000 fish projects a final escapement near the upper end of the escapement goal range.

With no concerns over Chilkat and Chilkoot Lake sockeye salmon, 3 days of time will be granted with Section 15-A opening south of the latitude of Seduction Point. The northern line in western Section 15-A will remain at the Glacier Point-Twin Coves line to harvest Chilkat Lake sockeye salmon while conserving Chilkat River king salmon. The eastern side of Section 15-A will open south of the latitude of Mud Bay Point to harvest Chilkoot Lake sockeye salmon. Section 15-C will be open south of Point Bridget on the western shoreline and south of Danger Point on the eastern shoreline. Section 15-B (Berners Bay) and the St. Mary’s shoreline will remain closed until further notice. The Boat Harbor Terminal Harvest area is open until further notice.

Yakutat Area Setnet Fishery
In the Alsek River, eight permits harvested 1,100 sockeye salmon. Sockeye salmon Catch per unit effort was again below the recent average and fishing time was not extended beyond one day.  In Yakutat Bay, 26 permits harvested 2,500 sockeye salmon. In the Situk-Ahrnklin Inlet, 44 permits harvested 6,600 sockeye salmon. Three permits fished the Akwe River and three more permits fished the Dangerous River, and the sockeye salmon harvest for those two systems contributed small numbers of fish to the overall harvest. The East River and the Manby Shore outside waters were each fished by fewer than three permits, and harvest information for those systems remains confidential.  All Yakutat Area fisheries that open by regulation are now open for the season with the exception of the Italio River systems.  The Italio River systems will open by emergency order when escapement counts have been observed.

Approximately 53,000 sockeye and 380 large Chinook salmon have passed through the Situk River weir. Inseason forecasts for both species right now indicate the biological escapement goal for each will be attained. The Canadian weir on the Klukshu River, a tributary of the Alsek River, is now operational and both sockeye and Chinook salmon have just started to show at that weir. Early counts for both species are slightly above average for this time of year. Salmon returns to the Yakutat area in 2014 are expected to be average to slightly above average. The 2014 preseason projection of a total return of 826 Chinook salmon to the Situk River is almost double the projection for the 2013 return. It is still indicative of a below average return, and subsistence, sport, and commercial fisheries are now closed for Situk River Chinook salmon. These fisheries will reopen when the projection indicates the biological escapement goal (BEG) will be attained. The preseason projection for Alsek River Chinook and sockeye salmon indicates that the BEG for both species will be attained. The coho salmon return this year is also expected to be average to slightly above average.

Terminal Harvest Area Fisheries
Terminal Harvest Area (THA) gillnet fisheries occur in Nakat Inlet, Neets Bay, Anita Bay, Deep Inlet, and Boat Harbor.  THA seine fisheries occur in Neets Bay, Kendrick Bay, Anita Bay, Deep Inlet, and Hidden Falls. 

Nakat Inlet THA
The forecasted return of Nakat Inlet summer chum salmon is 280,000 and for fall chum salmon is 10,000. Nakat Inlet opened to the harvest of salmon by drift gillnet and troll gear on Sunday, June 1, 2014. Currently 19,000 chum salmon have been harvested in the Nakat Inlet THA.

Neets Bay THA
The Neets Bay forecasted return for summer chum salmon is 1,800,000, for fall chum salmon is 140,000, for Chinook salmon is 18,100, and for coho salmon is 296,000. Neets Bay opened to the harvest of salmon by all gear groups on Thursday, May 1, 2014. Approximately 6,100 Chinook salmon and 3,300 chum salmon have been harvested by purse seine and 3,200 Chinook salmon and 900 chum salmon have been harvested by gillnet.  

Kendrick Bay THA
The forecasted return for Kendrick Bay summer chum salmon is 700,000. Kendrick Bay opened to the harvest of salmon by purse seine gear on Sunday, June 15, 2014. Currently, 20,000 chum salmon have been harvested in the Kendrick Bay THA

Anita Bay THA
In 2014, approximately 501,000 summer chum, 15,400 king, and 15,500 coho salmon are expected to return. The cumulative gillnet harvest to date is 6,500 king salmon and 3,500 chum salmon. Beginning June 13, the Anita Bay THA opened on a rotational schedule for purse seine/drift gillnet fisheries.

Deep Inlet THA
The Deep Inlet THA rotational fishing schedule for seine and gillnet began on June 1.  Forecast returns for the Deep Inlet THA and Medvejie Hatchery includes 1,170,000 chum salmon, 36,200 Chinook salmon, and 10,000 coho salmon.  This season NSRAA does not anticipate closing the Deep Inlet rotational fishery for cost recovery harvest. On July 13, 27 seiners harvested approximately 100 Chinook salmon and 24,000 chum salmon.  During the period July 14-16, twenty three gillnetters harvested approximately 100 Chinook salmon and 25,000 chum salmon. To date, gillnetters have harvested a total of 3,100 Chinook salmon and 142,000 chum salmon, and seiners have harvested 1,000 Chinook salmon and 249,000 chum salmon.

Hidden Falls THA
No cost recovery will occur at Hidden Falls this season. Forecast returns for Hidden Falls THA includes 1,072,000 chum salmon, 6,100 king salmon, and 188,000 coho salmon.  The first common property purse seine opening occurred on June 15.  Hidden Falls THA closed on June 29 because of broodstock concerns. The seine fishery will remain closed until it is clear broodstock goals will be met. NSRAA needs 180,000 chum salmon for broodstock and to date 90,000 fish have been passed over the barrier net into the broodstock containment area. The total chum salmon harvest for the season is 220,000. 

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Prince William Sound

Purse Seine
In the Montague District, the Port Chalmers Subdistrict was open to commercial fishing for much of the week. In the Southwestern District, the Armin F. Koernig (AFK) Hatchery terminal harvest area (THA) and special harvest area (SHA) was open to commercial fishing for much of the week. These fisheries target remote releases of enhanced chum salmon.

The Unakwik District was open to commercial fishing for 36-hour fishing periods on Monday, July 14, and Thursday, July 17.

The Eastern and Southeastern districts were opened to commercial fishing for 14-hour fishing periods on Friday, July 11, Saturday, July 12, and Thursday, July 17.

Aerial surveys of the Eastern and Northern districts to date have indicated that early wild chum salmon returns to Port Gravina and Sheep Bay are greater than anticipated for this date. However, early wild pink salmon returns appear to be less than average for the date.

VFDA began its cost recovery sales program on Monday, June 23, and completed its goal on Sunday, July 13.

Cumulative pink salmon harvest totals for Prince William Sound through July 15 include approximately 1.53 million VFDA cost recovery fish, and an estimated 18 million common property fishery fish. This harvest is well above average for the date, and slightly less than a record cumulative pink salmon harvest of 21 million harvested by this date in 2013.

Gillnet
The Copper River District was opened to commercial fishing for a 48-hour and 36-hour fishing period on July 10 and 14, respectively. These were the seventeenth and eighteenth fishing periods of the 2014 season. The next opening for the Copper River District is scheduled for 36 hours starting at 7:00 am Thursday, July 17. The Bering River District was open on the same schedule as the Copper River District. The Coghill District was open to commercial drift gillnet harvest for a 48-hour period on Thursday, July 10 and a 36-hour period on Monday, July 14. The Eshamy District was open to commercial drift gillnet harvest for a 48-hour period on Thursday, July 10 and a 36-hour period on Monday, July 14.  Both the Coghill and Eshamy Districts are scheduled to open for 48-hour fishing periods on Thursday, July 17. The Unakwik District was open on July 10 and 14 for 36-hour fishing periods.

Escapement monitoring at the Miles Lake Sonar Station for sockeye and Chinook salmon returns to the Copper River started on May 7. To date, 1.07 million salmon have been enumerated at the sonar site. The anticipated cumulative passage to date is 602,000 fish. For the week ending July 19, the actual Copper River delta aerial survey count was 29,545 sockeye salmon versus an anticipated range of 31,424–74,276.  An aerial survey of the Copper River delta is anticipated to be flown next week.

A total of 1.64 million chum salmon are forecast to return to WNH. The run timing for these chum salmon is from June 1 – July 27. A total of 168,000 sockeye salmon are forecast to return to the Coghill River, with 138,000 fish anticipated to be available for common property harvest. The harvest timing for these sockeye salmon is from June 1 – August 1. The Coghill weir was fish tight on June 8 and to date 15,800 sockeye salmon have been enumerated at the weir.

Currently there are an estimated 480 drift gillnet and 26 set gillnet permits participating in CR/PWS gillnet fisheries. Deep gear was permitted in the Coghill, Eshamy, and Unakwik districts starting on Thursday, July 3. There are no processing capacity problems to report at this point. Waters of the Chinook salmon closure area as defined in 5AAC 24.350(1)(A) were open during the fishing periods on July 10 and 14. Gillnet fishing effort on Thursday, July 17 is expected to be lower than the previous two periods due to continued reduction in gillnet harvest as sockeye and chum salmon run entry continues to slow towards the end of their respective runs.

The harvest estimate from the Thursday, July 10 48-hour Copper River District period was 7,500 sockeye and 0 Chinook salmon. The harvest estimate from the Monday, July 14 36-hour period was 35,700 sockeye and 25 Chinook salmon. The anticipated harvest for these openings was 55,300 and 72,900 sockeye salmon and 24 and 24 Chinook salmon, respectively. The cumulative Copper River District harvest to date is 1.95 million sockeye and 9,580 Chinook salmon. Hatchery contributions from the period that closed on July 8 were 45% Gulkana Hatchery. Coghill District chum salmon harvest is below anticipated harvest levels and Eshamy District sockeye salmon harvest is above anticipated.

Weather reduced fishing effort and harvest efficiency during the July 14 fishing periods in all gillnet districts. Break-up of the Copper River is complete and river water levels are near average.

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Ugashik District
In Ugashik: Through July 16 cumulative escapement is 517,000 and within the escapement goal range of 500,000 to 1.2 million. Cumulative catch is 1.3 million. The counting tower will remain operational until July 27 and the inriver test fishery will end on July 17. Commercial fishing will be permitted on a continuous basis until 9:00 a.m. Monday July 28 when the fall schedule will take effect.

Egegik District
In Egegik: Through July 16 cumulative escapement is 1.38 million, within the escapement goal range of 800,000 to 1.4 million. Cumulative harvest is 6.69 million. All assessment projects are coming in from the field on July 17. Commercial fishing will be permitted based on a continuous basis until 9:00 am on Monday July 28 when the fall schedule of 9:00 a.m. Monday to 9:00 am Friday will take effect.

Naknek-Kvichak District
In the Naknek/Kvichak District set gillnet fishing has been open continuously during stat week 29. Drift gillnet fishing has been open during each high tide. Harvest this week was approximately 2 million sockeye. Daily catch has been steadily decreasing over the last four days as the run is nearing the end. The cumulative catch through July 15 is approximately 13.6 million. Naknek River escapement is 1.46 million and Kvichak River escapement is 4.39 million.

Nushagak District
The sockeye run is basically over. Fishing is open but harvest is decreasing daily. The harvest yesterday was less than 25,000 sockeye. We will switch to pink and coho management on July 23.

Wood River has exceeded goal. Nushagak Sockeye and Igushik sockeye salmon escapements are in the upper end of the escapement goal ranges Nushagak King salmon escapement is in the lower end of the escapement goal range.

The boat yard is filling up as boats pull out for the year. There are no longer district registration requirements.

Harvest hit 6.17 million through yesterday.

Pink and coho salmon management begins July 23.

Togiak District
Weekly fishing schedules were reduced for the week of July 14-19 due to low escapement to the Togiak River. Togiak River Section was open from 9:00 a.m. Monday to 9:00 a.m. Tuesday and from 9:00 a.m. Wednesday to 9:00 a.m. Thursday. Kulukak Section closed for the week at 9:00 a.m. Wednesday.

The enumeration project on Togiak River began July 3. Cumulative escapement is 36,000 sockeye salmon through 6:00 a.m. July 17, far behind expectations for this date.

Daily catches also remain below average for this point of the season. Cumulative harvest is 142,000 sockeye salmon. The run is late and appears to be below preseason forecast expectations at this time.  Increased escapement rates on July 16 provided some optimism that passage may get back on track to meet the escapement goal.

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Cook Inlet:

Upper Cook Inlet (UCI)
Currently there are seven commercial fisheries underway in Upper Cook Inlet. Participation in the commercial fisheries that are open so far in Upper Cook Inlet is about normal (Chinitna Bay and Kustatan Subdistricts have received no participation since their opening).

  • Central District Drift Gillnet fishery: Mondays and Thursdays – 12 hour periods
  • Western Subdistrict Set Gillnet fishery: Mondays and Thursdays – 12 hours; south of Redoubt Point Mondays, Wednesdays, and Saturdays from 6am to 10pm
  • Northern District Set Gillnet fishery: Mondays and Thursdays – 12 hour periods
  • Upper Subdistrict Set Gillnet fishery: Kasilof and Kenai/E. Forelands sections open for 36 hours per week
  • Kalgin Island Subdistrict Set Gillnet fishery: Mondays and Thursdays – 12 hour periods.

The Kasilof River sockeye salmon enumeration project began on June 15.  Through July 17, the cumulative sockeye salmon passage in the Kasilof River is approximately 290,000 fish. 

The Kenai River sockeye salmon enumeration project began on July 1.  Through July 17, the cumulative sockeye salmon passage was 340,000 fish.

Participation in the four commercial fisheries that are open so far in Upper Cook Inlet is about normal. 

The Northern District Set Gillnet fishery regular season opened on June 26.  Harvest since the June 26 opening is approximately 15,000 sockeye salmon and 90 king salmon.

The Western Subdistrict Set Gillnet fishery opened on Monday, June 16.  Approximately 67 king salmon and 15,000 sockeye salmon have been harvested since the opening period.

The Central District Drift Gillnet Fishery opened on Thursday, June 19.  Harvest is estimated at 827,000 sockeye salmon and 200 king salmon.

Upper Subdistrict Set Gillnet fishery has harvested and estimated at 302,000 sockeye salmon and 786 king salmon as of July 15.

Kalgin Island Subdistrict Set Gillnet fishery has harvested an estimated 12,000 sockeye salmon and 2 king salmon.

Lower Cook Inlet (LCI)
Eastern District- Portions of the Eastern District opened to common property harvest targeting returning hatchery produced sockeye in Resurrection Bay on Tuesday, June 24 for daily Monday - Friday 16-hour fishing periods. Reported common property harvest is approximately 5,000 fish. Cost recovery harvest from this location by Cook Inlet Aquaculture Association (CIAA) through Tuesday, July 1 is approximately 124,000 sockeye salmon (538,000 pounds). These fish are valued at approximately 50% of the 2014 CIAA cost recovery goal of $2.9 million dollars. The balance of this goal will be harvested from other Special Harvest Areas in Lower Cook Inlet.

Southern District- The Southern District remain open to commercial set gillnet harvest on a schedule of regular 48-hour Monday and Thursday fishing periods. Total harvest from the first thirteen fishing periods combined is 26,190 sockeye, 293 Chinook and 4,332 Chum salmon.  This compares to last year’s harvest of 35,376 sockeye, 230 Chinook and 1,967 chum salmon for the first thirteen fishing periods. The ten year average for the first thirteen fishing periods combined is 27,043 sockeye, 706 Chinook, and 2,468 chum salmon. Portions of the Southern District outside of special harvest areas opened to commercial common property seine harvest on June 23 on a Monday and Thursday, 6:00 AM to 10:00 PM fishing schedule this increased to a Monday Wednesday and Friday schedule beginning on July 14. Harvest from the 7/14 period was 1,645 sockeye and 357 pink salmon. Harvest from the 7/16 period was 2,493 sockeye and 1,398 pink salmon.

Kamishak Bay District- Portions of the Kamishak Bay District opened to purse seine harvest on June 1 for 7 day periods.

Outer District- Aerial surveys conducted on 7/2 – 7/4 identified early and significant returns of pink and chum salmon to Port Dick and surrounding areas. Portions of the Outer District have opened to common property purse seine harvest on a Monday, Wednesday, Friday schedule of daily 6:00 AM to 10:00 PM openings that began on Monday, July 14. Aerial surveys of this district are ongoing as weather permits.

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Kodiak

The Seaward Zones of the Dakavak Bay, Outer Kukak Bay, Hallo Bay, and Big River sections of the Mainland District and the Seaward Zones of the Northwest Afognak and Shuyak Island sections of the Afognak District closed to commercial salmon fishing Tuesday, July 8.

The Mainland District closed to commercial salmon fishing on Tuesday July 15, (except the Wide Bay and Cape Igvak sections remained closed).

The following areas will close on Thursday July 17, the Outer Karluk, Outer Ayakulik, and Halibut Bay sections of the Southwest Kodiak District, the Northwest Kodiak District, the Afognak District (except the Inner Kitoi Bay, Outer Kitoi Bay, and Izhut Bay sections which remain closed), the Eastside Kodiak District, the Northeast Kodiak District, and the Cape Alitak, Humpy-Deadman, Alitak Bay, Moser Bay and Olga Bay sections of the Alitak District.

The next weekly pink salmon fishing period for most of the Kodiak Area will begin on Sunday, July 20.

Karluk River sockeye salmon escapement is strong with approximately 238,641 fish to date.   The Karluk River Chinook salmon return appears to be below average and non-retention of Chinook salmon has been imposed on the seine fleet.

Ayakulik River sockeye salmon appears average with approximately 210,073 fish counted through the weir to date. However, Ayakulik Chinook are weak.

In Alitak, sockeye salmon escapement into Upper Station is weak with 36,905 sockeye salmon counted to date. Sockeye salmon escapement through Dog Salmon weir is strong with 167,008 fish counted to date.

The Buskin, Afognak, Saltery, and  Pauls river sockeye salmon runs are tracking above or within the desired escapement range for this date.  There is little or no early information sockeye runs at Kaflia, Swikshak, Uganik, Little River, Long Lagoon, Thorsheim, Perenosa Bay, and other minor sockeye systems.

Purse seine participation is up from previous years however gillnet participation about normal.

The current Kodiak Management Area (KMA) sockeye salmon commercial harvest is 1,269,105 fish which is below average to date.  485,161 pink salmon have been harvested to date which is also below average.

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North Peninsula
Weekly scheduled fishing periods are occurring in the Nelson Lagoon Section. The Port Moller Bight, Bear River, and Three Hills sections reopened to commercial salmon fishing on Monday, July 14. The Ilnik and Outer Port Heiden sections were open for a weekly fishing period of Monday through Wednesday with some extra fishing time in the Port Moller Bight, Bear River, Three Hills, and Ilnik sections at the end of the week.

Ilnik River weir was pulled for the season as scheduled on July 11 with over 58,000 sockeye salmon through the weir for the season, meeting the escapement goal of 40,000-60,000 fish.  Bear River has passed a total of 204,000 sockeye salmon through the weir as of July 16. The July 15 interim escapement objective is 130,000-230,000 sockeye salmon. The Sandy River escapement is 50,200 sockeye salmon through July 16 and has met the July 15 escapement objective of 29,000-67,000 fish. Nelson River has passed 219,600 sockeye salmon and the season ending goal of 97,000-219,000 fish by July 25. Extra fishing time has been occurring and is expected in the Nelson Lagoon Section during the remaining portion of the sockeye salmon run.

Fishing effort is occurring in the Nelson Lagoon Section. The Nelson Lagoon commercial fishery harvests have been fair for this date with about 167,000 sockeye salmon harvested for the season to date. The Outer Port Heiden Section had a 2.5 day fishing period this week and catches increased from last week with an average of about 15,000 sockeye salmon harvested per day. About 20,000 sockeye salmon per day are being harvested in the Bear River, Three Hills, and Ilnik sections combined this week. Catches are slowing up as early sockeye salmon runs are ending. The Inner Port Heiden and Cinder River sections are open for the weekly fishing periods, however, no effort has occurred in either section this week. The entire North Peninsula sockeye salmon harvest is approaching 1.5 million fish.

Harvest levels for this date are about average or less than average in most areas but better than recent years when runs were low. Escapements are stronger in most locations for this date than in recent years.

The Ocean River, a tributary of the Ilnik River, is flowing directly into the Ilnik Lagoon this year. Aerial surveys are occurring on river systems that do not have weirs.

South Peninsula
The second commercial salmon fishing period of the July schedule occurred from 6:00 AM Thursday, July 10 through 6:00 PM Friday, July 11.  The third commercial salmon fishing period of the July schedule began at 6:00 AM Monday, July 14 and closed at 6:00 PM Tuesday, July 15. The fourth commercial salmon fishing period of the July schedule will begin at 6:00 AM Friday, July 18 and will close at 6:00 PM Saturday, July 19.

The Urilia Bay Section of the Northwestern District opened to commercial salmon fishing from 6:00 a.m. Saturday, July 12 until 6:00 p.m. Tuesday, July 15. It will reopen to commercial salmon fishing from 6:00 a.m. Saturday, July 19 until 6:00 p.m. Tuesday, July 22.

The escapement through the Orzinski Lake weir was 7,579 sockeye salmon as of midnight, July 16. This is below the recent 5-year average of 11,203.

The escapement through the McLees Lake weir was 11,857 sockeye salmon as of midnight, July 16.  This is below the recent 5-year average of 19,207.

The seventh South Peninsula aerial survey of the season was conducted on July 16 to assess the escapement of salmon into Northwestern District systems.  The survey indicated that escapement into those systems is building, and is in quantities sufficient to justify a third commercial fishing period in the Urilia Bay Section.

Several aerial surveys have been conducted in the Southwestern, South Central, and Southeastern districts over the past week, no significant buildup of pink or chum salmon have been seen in any of these systems at this point in the season.

This season participation in the Post-June fisheries is consistent with previous years.

Direct comparisons to past seasons are difficult as the July scheduled was modified at the 2013 Board of Fish  meeting, but area wide post-June harvest of sockeye salmon appears to be greater than previous year's average harvest and all other salmon species harvest seems to be in line with previous years.  So far during the Post June schedule, 2,932 Chinook, 426,556 sockeye, 111,570 pink, and 59,562 chum salmon were harvested in the South Peninsula.

No significant developments occurred during the last week.

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Chignik

The first commercial salmon fishing period in the Chignik Bay, Central, Eastern, Western, and Perryville districts began on Saturday, July 12 at 5:00 pm is scheduled to remain open until 11:59 p.m. Friday, July 18.

For the past week, sockeye salmon escapement into the Chignik River averaged 9,000 fish per day. Through July 17, 477,697 sockeye salmon have passed the weir and the estimated early-run and late-run escapements are 355,468 and 122,229 late-run fish, respectively, through July 17. The July 18 interim escapement objectives are 347,000–446,000 fish for the early run and 88,000–168,000 fish for the late run.

The genetic stock composition estimate for sockeye salmon passing the Chignik River weir on July 14 was 22.0% early run. Results of the 6th genetic stock composition sample date on July 18 should be available no later than July 21.

Early reports indicate that approximately 65 permits participated during the first week of commercial salmon fishing.

From June 1 until July 25 sockeye salmon harvested in areas adjacent to the Chignik Management Area (CMA) are considered bound for Chignik. Through July 17, there has been no harvest in the Cape Igvak Section of Area K or the Southeastern District Mainland (SEDM) of Area M.

For the week of July 11 through July 17, approximately 1,957 Chinook, 181,653 sockeye, 7,352 coho, 23,200 pink, and 8,117 chum salmon were harvested. The majority of fishing effort occurred in the Chignik Bay and Western Districts with harvests also occurring in the Central and Eastern Districts.

A total of 181,653 sockeye salmon have been harvested in the CMA this season.

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Arctic-Yukon-Kuskokwim

Yukon River
The Lower Yukon summer chum directed commercial fishery began on June 9. There have been twenty-one commercial periods in District 1 and twenty-three in District 2 with beach seine and dip net gear only. The preliminary commercial harvest with these gear types for District 1 is approximately 111,000 summer chum salmon with 1,935 Chinook salmon reported caught and released. The preliminary cumulative commercial beach seine and dip net harvest for District 2 is approximately 161,900 summer chum salmon with 3,515 Chinook salmon reported as caught and released. 

The six inch mesh or less gillnet commercial fishery began on July 3 in District 1 and July 6 in District 2. The preliminary cumulative commercial gillnet harvest is approximately 86,600 summer chum salmon in District 1 with a reported 125 Chinook salmon caught but not sold.  The preliminary cumulative commercial gillnet harvest is approximately 67,300 summer chum salmon in District 2 with a reported 318 Chinook salmon caught but not sold.

The preliminary commercial harvest of pink salmon through July 16 in District 1 is approximately 49,200 fish and approximately 5,500 fish in District 2.

A summer chum directed commercial fishery with fish wheel only began on June 23 in Subdistrict 4-A.  There have been twenty-four commercial periods as of July 16.  The total cumulative harvest as of July 16 is approximately 82,200 summer chum salmon with 234 Chinook salmon reported as caught and released.

Additionally, a summer chum directed commercial fishery with fish wheel only began on July 11 in District 6.  There have been two commercial periods as of July 16.  The total cumulative harvest as of July 16 is approximately 1,600 summer chum salmon with 140 Chinook salmon reported as caught and released.

Kuskokwim Area
District W-1B, Lower Kuskokwim River, opened to a commercial salmon fishing period July 14 for 4 hours in the upper section and 6 hours in the lower section.  A commercial salmon fishing period has been announced in District W-1B for July 18. District W-4 (Quinhagak) and District W-5 (Goodnews Bay) opened to commercial salmon fishing July 11, 14, and 16. A commercial salmon fishing period has been announced in districts W-4 and W-5 for July 18 and 21.

Kuskokwim River weir escapements of king and chum salmon are above recent 5 year averages. Weir escapements of sockeye salmon are slightly below 5-year averages. Kuskokwim Bay weir escapements of king and chum salmon are below 5 year averages. Weir escapements of sockeye salmon are above 5-year averages. Middle Fork Goodnews River Weir has reached the lower end of the sockeye salmon escapement goal range. Further information on run strength and timing will become available in coming weeks with continued passage at escapement projects. 

Participation in district W-4 and W-5 salmon fishing periods has been average with 141 permits registered making deliveries in District W-4 and 32 permits registered making deliveries in District W-5. Participation during the district W-1B salmon fishing period was below average with 142 permits registered making deliveries.

District W-1B harvest and catch rates for king, chum, and sockeye salmon were below average. Districts W-4 and W-5 harvest and catch rates for king and chum salmon were below average while harvest and catch rates of sockeye salmon were above average.

Norton Sound
As of July 16, the Norton Sound commercial salmon harvest by species is 260 Chinook, 229 sockeye, 139,272 pink, 65,582 chum, and 68 coho salmon. The pink salmon harvest will fall well short of the harvest forecast range of 250,000–500,000 pink salmon, but the chum salmon harvest is projected to fall within the forecast range of 80,000–110,000 chum salmon.

Severe weather has hampered fishing effort since Monday and will do so through the coming weekend. The department has reopened the commercial salmon fishery for one week straight beginning 6 p.m. Thursday, July 17 in Subdistricts 2-6. The major salmon buyer in Norton Sound will be setting fishing times within this period based on tendering logistics, processing capacity, weather, and other factors. After this week, the summer chum salmon run will be nearly over with only one week left.

Kotzebue
Kotzebue has had the best chum salmon catch and fishing effort since the 1990s for the first week of fishing. Since 2002 there have no buyers or only one major buyer. This year there are three major buyers. Last year the average price was 27 cents a pound for chum salmon. This year it started at 42 cents and has now hit 75 cents a pound in the three scrum between the buyers.

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