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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 25, 2014

Southeast Alaska

Troll Fishery
Trollers have harvested approximately 338,000 coho salmon since the summer fishery began on July 1. Regionwide catch rates have been average to above average all summer, with an average catch/boat/day of 137 for the current week. The highest catch rates occurred in the Central Outside, followed by the Northern Outside area. Coho average weights have remained relatively stable throughout the summer fishery, averaging 5.8 lbs, though recent reports indicate larger fish being harvested over the past few days. The average price for coho salmon is currently $1.24/lb, with an average summer price of $1.28/lb. 

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 198,695 fish by 820 permits, an average weight of 11.6 lbs and average price of $3.55/lb. Catch rates remained high throughout the duration of the fishery. Aerial vessel count surveys indicated effort appeared to be higher than that last July and ticket data indicates that approximately 100 additional permits fished. 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, along with information on a coho closure.

A 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 approximately 62,000 chum since early July. Effort has declined during the current week, with 50-60 trollers fishing in the area on July 21. Trollers have an average chum catch/landing of 100-150 fish, at an average weight of just over 11 pounds and average price of $0.64.

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 sixth week. During statistical week 30, fishing occurred on July 20 and there is a mid-week seine opening on July 24.

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. Current cumulative purse seine harvest estimates compiled Thursday, July 24 are around 2.2 million pink and 1.1 million chum salmon.

Seine effort during the July 20 period included 63 boats in District 4, 61 in District 1, 33 in District 7, and 17 in District 2 and also in Section 13-B. Sixteen boats were present at Deep Inlet terminal hatchery area and eight boats were reported at the Point Augusta index fishery. The largest harvests occurred in District 4 with 523,000 salmon harvested, District 1 with 411,000, District 2 with 160,000, and District 7 with 158,000 salmon harvested. Pink salmon harvest per boat was highest in Districts 2 and 4 with 7,300 fish, District 1 with 6,200 fish, Point Augusta with 5,100 fish, Section 13-B with 4,500 fish, and District 7 with 4,200 fish per boat. Chum salmon harvest per boat was highest in District 2 with 1,800 and in District 7 with 500 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 20, 2014. The effort level was above average with 48 vessels participating.  The harvest was below average for sockeye and coho salmon, above average for pink salmon, and average for chum salmon. Total estimate for the weekly harvest is 30 Chinook, 4,000 sockeye, 1,000 coho, 70,000 pink, and 30,000 chum salmon. The current Hugh Smith sockeye weir count of 2,895 sockeye projects out to a final escapement of 8,900, which is above the minimum escapement goal of 8,000. Beginning on July 27, the Tree Point drift gillnet fishery be managed according to the District One pink salmon management plan (5AAC 33.360).  The District 1 purse seine fishery will get at least three days in statistical week 31, so the Tree Point gillnet fishery will be open for five days, beginning at 12:01 p.m., Sunday, July 27, 2014.

The following information about the Nakat Inlet, Neets Bay, and Kendrick Bay terminal harvest areas (THA) is estimated through Statistical Week 29. For further information and updates on SSRAA contributions and updates visit their website at http://www.ssraa.org/  

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 20. On the grounds surveys of the gillnet fleet indicated near average catch rates in both districts with below average effort and sockeye harvest in District 8. A 48-hour mid-week opening occurred in District 8 to harvest surplus Stikine River sockeye salmon. The most recent 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 27.

Taku-Snettisham/Section 11-B
The District 11 salmon drift gillnet fishery was open for three days this week.  80 gillnetters participated, with half the boats still fishing at the closure.  Sockeye catch rates were near average, chum catch rates were below average, and coho catch rates were above average. Pink catch rates continue to be very poor.

In-river indicators from the Canyon Island fish wheels and the Canadian in-river fishery were weak in the aftermath of last week’s Tulsequah glacial outburst flood, but have significantly improved in recent days.  The Taku River sockeye run projection declined some from the previous week, but continues to project an escapement within the goal range.

Thermal-marked otolith reads indicate enhanced Snettisham sockeye are contributing significantly to the catch. Aerial surveys of Speel and Crescent Lakes this week indicate that wild Port Snettisham sockeye have begun to arrive at their lakes.  When escapement to these systems is sufficient, opportunity to target enhanced fish inside Port Snettisham may become available.

Section 11-B will again open for three days, with the six-inch minimum mesh restriction south of Circle Point in place to protect wild Port Snettisham sockeye. 

Lynn Canal/District 15
The week 30, 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.  An estimated 64,000 chum salmon and 26,000 sockeye salmon were harvested this week.  Harvests of chum salmon were below average and above average for sockeye salmon.   A total of over 125 boats participated in the District this week.  Harvest of pink salmon was very small and below average for this time while harvests of Chinook and coho salmon were near average.

Sockeye salmon escapement to Chilkat Lake is currently above average for this time.  The cumulative DIDSON count of over 25,000 sockeye is 1.25 times the previous ten year average and projects a final escapement within the goal range.  Chilkoot weir counts are currently above the ten year average and much better than expected.  The current weir count of over 50,000 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 move northward to the latitude of the northernmost tip of Kochu Island.  The eastern side of Section 15-A will open south of the Tanini Point to Taiya Point line 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 will open until further notice.

Yakutat Area Setnet Fishery
In the Alsek River, ten permits harvested 6,900 sockeye salmon. Sockeye salmon catch per unit effort was more than double the recent average and fishing time was extended to three days. The total sockeye salmon harvest of approximately 29,000 sockeye salmon for the Alsek River is more than double the recent average for the river.  In Yakutat Bay, 25 permits harvested 1,200 sockeye salmon. In the Situk-Ahrnklin Inlet, 41 permits harvested 6,300 sockeye salmon. The East, Akwe, and Dangerous rivers were each fished by three permits, and the sockeye salmon harvest for those three systems contributed small numbers of fish to the overall harvest. The Manby Shore outside waters were fished by fewer than three permits, and harvest information for those waters 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 79,000 sockeye and 450 large Chinook salmon have passed through the Situk River weir. The biological escapement goal (BEG) has been attained for both species, with 79,000 fish being over the top of the range for sockeye salmon, while 450 fish is the very bottom of the range for Chinook salmon. 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. The preseason projection for Alsek River Chinook and sockeye salmon indicates that the BEG for both species will be attained. The coho salmon return to Yakutat this year is 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 42,000 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, 52,000 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 6,800 king salmon and 6,500 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 20, 16 seiners harvested approximately 30 Chinook salmon and 7,600 chum salmon.  During the period July 21-23, nineteen gillnetters harvested approximately 80 Chinook salmon and 20,000 chum salmon. To date, gillnetters have harvested a total of 3,180 Chinook salmon and 162,000 chum salmon, and seiners have harvested 1,100 Chinook salmon and 331,000 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 and will reopen to common property harvest on July 24. NSRAA needs 180,000 chum salmon for broodstock and to date 130,000 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 on Monday, July 21, and Thursday, July 24. The Unakwik District was also open to commercial fishing on Monday and Thursday.

Port Valdez was opened to commercial fishing on Sunday, July 20, Tuesday July 22, Wednesday, July 23, and Thursday, July 24. The remainder of the Eastern and Southeastern districts were opened to commercial fishing on Monday and Thursday.

Aerial surveys of the Eastern district indicate that pink and chum salmon stream escapements are slightly less than average, although well within escapement goals. Pink and chum salmon escapements elsewhere in PWS are at or near anticipated levels for the date.

VFDA began its cost recovery sales program on Monday, June 23, and completed its goal on Sunday, July 13. VFDA reports 300,000 to 400,000 pink salmon at the head of Port Valdez. VFDA’s broodstock needs are approximately 346,000 pink salmon. PWSAC began its pink salmon cost recovery program on Wednesday, and reports good progress for the date.

Cumulative pink salmon harvest totals for Prince William Sound through July 24 include approximately 1.53 million VFDA cost recovery fish, approximately 269,000 PWSAC cost recovery fish, and an estimated 22.7 million CPF fish. This harvest is well above average for the date, and less than a record cumulative pink salmon harvest of 27.5 million harvested by this date in 2013.

Gillnet
The Copper River District was opened to commercial fishing for a 36-hour fishing period on July 17 and 21. These were the nineteenth and twentieth fishing periods of the 2014 season. The next opening for the Copper River District will be 36 hours duration starting at 7:00 am Thursday, July 24. 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 36-hour period on Thursday, July 17. The Eshamy District was open to commercial drift gillnet harvest for a 48-hour period on Thursday, July 17 and Monday, July 21.  The Eshamy District is open for a 36-hour period on Thursday, July 24. The Unakwik District was open on July 17 for a 36-hour period and on July 21 for a 24-hour period, and is now closed for the season.

Escapement monitoring at Miles Lake Sonar for sockeye and Chinook salmon returns to the Copper started on May 7. To date, 1.17 million salmon have been enumerated at the sonar site. The minimum anticipated cumulative passage to date is 660,000 fish. For the week ending July 26, the actual Copper River delta aerial survey count was 33,050 sockeye salmon versus an anticipated range of 32,059–75,775.  

A total of 1.64 million chum salmon are forecast to return to Wally Noerenberg Hatchery. 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 19,433 sockeye salmon have been enumerated at the weir.

Currently there are an estimated 400 drift gillnet and 26 set gillnet permits participating in CR/PWS gillnet fisheries. There are no processing capacity problems to report. Gillnet fishing effort will likely continue to decline 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 17 36-hour Copper River District period was 42,600 sockeye and 146 coho salmon. The harvest estimate from the Monday, July 21 36-hour period was 23,050 sockeye and 173 coho salmon. The anticipated sockeye salmon harvest for these openings was 39,300 and 41,800 fish respectively. The cumulative Copper River District harvest to date is 2.02 million sockeye salmon. Hatchery contributions from the period that closed on July 15 were 37% Gulkana Hatchery and 3% Main Bay Hatchery. Coghill District chum salmon harvest is below anticipated harvest levels and Eshamy District sockeye salmon harvest is near anticipated.

Harvest in the Copper River district and sonar passage continues to be above expected.

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Bristol Bay

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
The last day of operations on the Naknek River Tower was July 17 and cumulative escapement was 1,474,000 sockeye, which is slightly above the escapement goal range of 800,000 to 1.4 million. The last day of operations on the Kvichak River Tower was July 18 and cumulative escapement was 4,459,000 sockeye, which is above the minimum escapement goal of 3.5 million. Harvest in the Naknek-Kvichak District during stat week 30 was 43,000 sockeye for a cumulative harvest of 13,718,000. The District was open to continuous fishing from the morning of July 17 through the morning of July 21. The fall schedule of 9:00 a.m. Monday through 9:00 a.m. Friday began on July 21.

Nushagak District
Pink and coho management has been begun. We are fishing 12 hours a day for now. The harvest is slow but increasing.

Coho and pink escapement are ahead of expectations at this time.

The first day of pink and coho fishing was July 23, there were 25 drift deliveries and 43 set net deliveries.

Sockeye harvest exceeded 6.2 million fish. For now pink and coho harvest is confidential.

Pink and coho salmon management began July 23.

Togiak District
All sections in Togiak District followed regular weekly schedules for the week of July 21-26.

Cumulative escapement to the Togiak River is 101,000 sockeye salmon through 6:00 a.m. July 24.  After a week of strong escapement, the run is on track to meet the lower end of the escapement goal of 120,000.

Harvest picked up dramatically this week, with above average catches Monday through Wednesday of 42,000, 31,000, and 29,000 respectively.  Cumulative harvest in Togiak District is now 297,000 sockeye salmon, a little more than half of the harvest forecast of 540,000.  However, the run appears to be several days late and possibly below forecast.

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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 very little 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 is closed until further notice
  • 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 24, the cumulative sockeye salmon passage in the Kasilof River is approximately 376,000 fish. 

The Kenai River sockeye salmon enumeration project began on July 1.  Through July 24, the cumulative sockeye salmon passage was 614,000 fish.

In order to reduce the harvest of late-run Kenai River king salmon by the commercial set gillnet fishery, and to comply with the Kenai River Late-Run King Salmon Management Plan, closure of the Upper Subdistrict set gillnet fishery is warranted.

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 25,500 sockeye salmon and 93 king salmon.

The Western Subdistrict Set Gillnet fishery opened on Monday, June 16.  Approximately 77 king salmon and 28,000 sockeye salmon have been harvested since the opening period.

The Central District Drift Gillnet Fishery opened on Thursday, June 19.  Harvest is estimated at 1,389,000 sockeye salmon and 271 king salmon. This includes 6,500 sockeye salmon and 4 king salmon from the Kasilof River Special Harvest Area

Upper Subdistrict Set Gillnet fishery has harvested and estimated at 612,500 sockeye salmon and 1,622 king salmon as of July 15. This includes 125,000 sockeye salmon and 306 king salmon from the Kasilof River Special Harvest Area.

Kalgin Island Subdistrict Set Gillnet fishery has harvested an estimated 18,500 sockeye salmon and 5 king salmon.

Emergency order 36 closed set gillnetting in the Kenai, Kasilof, and East Foreland Sections of the Upper Subdistrict until further notice.  In addition, the drift gillnet fishery in the Central District of Upper Cook Inlet is closed within one mile of the Kenai Peninsula shoreline north of the Kenai River and within one and one-half miles of the Kenai Peninsula shoreline south of the Kenai River until further notice.

The sustainable escapement goal (SEG) for Kenai River late-run king salmon is 15,000 to 30,000 fish.  As of July 23, the cumulative estimate of king salmon passage into the Kenai River was 8,023 fish.  The projected sport harvest and catch and release mortality of king salmon in the Kenai River upstream of the sonar through the end of the season, as estimated by an in-season creel survey, is approximately 645 fish.  Based on average run-timing models, the projected spawning escapement will be 13,500 to 14,000 fish, indicating the SEG will not be achieved.

As directed by 5 AAC 21.359(d) Kenai River Late-Run King Salmon Management Plan, if the projected escapement of Kenai River late-run king salmon is less than 15,000 fish the department shall 1) close the sport fisheries in the Kenai River and in the salt waters of Cook Inlet north of the latitude of Bluff Point to the taking of king salmon, 2) close the commercial drift gillnet fishery in the Central District within one mile of the Kenai Peninsula  shoreline north of the Kenai River and within one and one-half miles of the Kenai Peninsula shoreline south of the Kenai River; and 3) close the commercial set gillnet fishery in the Upper Subdistrict of the Central District.

In order to reduce the harvest of late-run Kenai River king salmon by the commercial set gillnet fishery, and to comply with the Kenai River Late-Run King Salmon Management Plan, closure of the Upper Subdistrict set gillnet fishery is warranted.

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 (SHA) 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 fifteen fishing periods combined is 30,629 sockeye, 295 Chinook and 5,132 Chum salmon.  This compares to last year’s harvest of 37,997 sockeye, 234 Chinook and 2,676 chum salmon for the first fifteen fishing periods. The ten year average for the first fifteen fishing periods combined is 31,133 sockeye, 722 Chinook, and 3,019 chum salmon. Portions of the Southern District outside of SHAs 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.

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 Izhut Bay Section of the Afognak District will open to commercial salmon fishing at noon Thursday, July 24 and will remain open until further notice.

The Cape Alitak, Alitak Bay, Moser Bay, Olga Bay, and Dog Salmon Flats sections of the Alitak District and The Inner Ugak Bay Section of the Eastside Kodiak District will be extended till July 27.

The Humpy-Deadman Section of the Alitak District, Outer Ayakulik, Halibut Bay, and Outer Karluk sections of the Southwest Kodiak District, Northwest Kodiak District, Afognak District (except the Inner Kitoi Bay and Outer Kitoi Bay sections remain closed, the Izhut Bay Section opens on Thursday, and the Duck Bay Section is open until further notice), Eastside Kodiak District (except the Inner Ugak Bay Section) and Northeast Kodiak District will close as previously announced on July 24.

Closed waters are increased in Pasagshak Bay to those waters of Pasagshak Bay north of a line from a point at 57°26.04' N lat., 152°31.13' W long., to a point at 57°25.44' N lat., 152°29.39' W long., until further notice for both commercial and subsistence fishing.

Karluk River sockeye salmon escapement is strong with approximately 253,907 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 215,421 fish counted through the weir to date. However, Ayakulik Chinook are weak.

In Alitak, sockeye salmon escapement into Upper Station is weak with 37,327 sockeye salmon counted to date. Sockeye salmon escapement through Dog Salmon weir is strong with 183,467 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 1,585,604 fish which is average to date.  1,497,326 pink salmon have been harvested to date which is also average.

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Alaska Peninsula

North Peninsula
Weekly scheduled fishing periods are occurring in the Nelson Lagoon, Port Moller Bight, Bear River and Three Hills sections from Monday, July 21 until Thursday, July 24. The Ilnik Section was also open to commercial salmon fishing from Monday, July 21 until Thursday, July 24. The Outer Port Heiden sections was open for a weekly fishing period of Monday through Wednesday.

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 224,800 sockeye salmon through the weir as of July 23. The July 25 interim escapement objective is 160,000-270,000 sockeye salmon. The Sandy River weir was removed for the season as scheduled on July 21 with over 54,000 sockeye salmon, meeting the season ending escapement goal of 34,000-74,000 fish. Nelson River has passed 237,400 sockeye salmon and met the season ending goal of 97,000-219,000 fish by July 25.

Fishing effort is occurring in the Nelson Lagoon Section. The Nelson Lagoon commercial fishery harvests have been fair for this date with about 183,000 sockeye salmon harvested for the season to date. The Outer Port Heiden Section had a 2.5 day fishing period this week and catches decreased from last week with an average of about 3,000 sockeye salmon harvested per day. About 13,000 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 approximately 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 fourth commercial salmon fishing period of the July schedule began at 6:00 AM Friday, July 18 and closed at 6:00 PM Saturday, July 19. The fifth commercial salmon fishing period of the July schedule began at 6:00 AM Tuesday, July 22 and closed at 6:00 PM Wednesday, July 23.  The sixth commercial salmon fishing period of the July schedule will begin at 6:00 AM Saturday, July 26 and will close at 6:00 PM Sunday, July 27.

The escapement through the Orzinski Lake weir was 9,522 sockeye salmon as of midnight, July 23. This is below the recent 5-year average of 13,594.

The escapement through the McLees Lake weir was 12,331 sockeye salmon as of midnight, July 23.  This is below the recent 5-year average of 21,431.

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 BOF 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, 4,407 Chinook, 616,304 sockeye, 216,223 pink, 190,421 coho, and 88,135 chum salmon were harvested in the South Peninsula.

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Chignik

The current commercial salmon fishing period in the Chignik Bay, Central, Eastern, Western, and Perryville districts began on Monday, July 21 at 5:00 pm and is scheduled to remain open until 11:59 p.m. Sunday, July 27.

For the past week, sockeye salmon escapement into the Chignik River averaged 8,000 fish per day. Through July 23, 532,450 sockeye salmon have passed the weir and the estimated early-run and late-run escapements are 360,017 and 172,433 late-run fish, respectively. The July 30 interim escapement objectives are 350,000–450,000 fish for the early run and 151,000–284,000 fish for the late run.

The genetic stock composition estimate for sockeye salmon passing the Chignik River weir on July 18 was 14.3% early run.

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 17 through July 23, approximately 2,061 Chinook, 133,909 sockeye, 20,493 coho, 42,051 pink, and 11,807 chum salmon were harvested. The majority of fishing effort occurred in the Chignik Bay, Central and Western districts.

A total of 294,066 sockeye salmon have been harvested in the CMA this season.

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Arctic-Yukon-Kuskokwim

Yukon River
The Lower Yukon summer season commercial fishery is over in District 1 and District 2. The preliminary summer chum commercial harvest for the Lower Yukon is approximately 426,600 summer chum salmon with 5,440 Chinook salmon caught and released and 440 Chinook salmon reported caught but not sold. Additionally 54,800 pink salmon were sold in the commercial fishery. 

This has been the highest summer chum salmon commercial harvest in the lower Yukon districts since 1989.

The summer season commercial fishery continues in Subdistrict 4-A and District 6.

Thirty-five 24-hour commercial fishing periods have been scheduled in Subdistrict 4-A. The cumulative harvest in Subdistrict 4-A through July 21 is approximately 91,300 summer chum salmon with a reported 295 Chinook salmon released.

Additionally, a summer chum directed commercial fishery with fish wheel only began on July 11 in District 6.  There have been four commercial periods as of July 23. The total cumulative harvest as of July 23 is approximately 3,100 summer chum salmon with 180 Chinook salmon reported as caught and released.

The Lower Yukon Districts are now under fall season management. Based on the 2014 summer chum salmon run, the projected fall chum salmon run size is greater than 850,000 fish. This level of abundance should be adequate to meet escapement and subsistence priorities and provide for commercial harvest.

There have been two fall commercial periods in District 1. The preliminary cumulative commercial harvest in District 1 through July 21 is approximately 21,000 fall chum salmon and 140 Coho salmon.

One fall commercial period has occurred in District 2. The preliminary cumulative commercial harvest in District 2 through July 20 is approximately 13,000 fall chum salmon and 9 Coho salmon.

Kuskokwim Area
District W-1B, Lower Kuskokwim River, opened to a commercial salmon fishing period July 18 and 21 for 6 hours. District W-4 (Quinhagak) opened to commercial salmon fishing July 18, 21,and 23. Commercial salmon fishing occurred in District W-5 (Goodnews Bay) July 18 and 2.

Kuskokwim River weir escapements of king, sockeye, and chum salmon are below recent 5 year averages. Kuskokwim Bay weir escapements of king and chum salmon are below 5 year averages and 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 has declined over the last week. Participation during the district W-1B salmon fishing period was below average with 154 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
Greetings from a rainy windy Norton Sound. The commercial chum and pink salmon fisheries are winding down. The department has allowed commercial fishing to be open continuously in Subdistricts 2–6 since July 17 because of hazardous surf conditions. The buyer has been setting fishing times during this super period based on tendering logistics and weather. To date, an estimated 271 Chinook, 288 Sockeye, 162,347 Pink, 78,247 Chum, and 1,477 Cohos have been harvested. The chum salmon harvest is projected to range between 85,000–90,000 fish. The pink salmon harvest will fall short of the lower end of the projected harvest range of 250,000 fish.

Coho salmon harvests are beginning to increase slowly. There are probably two more directed chum salmon periods left this season before the department switches to coho salmon management at the end of the month. Have a great week.

Kotzebue
Kotzebue Sound commercial harvest of chum salmon is 145,000 fish by 60 permit holders. The projected harvest is expected to reach or exceed 300,000 fish this season based on current catch rates.

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Chignik Salmon | Kodiak Salmon

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