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2015 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 Friday, August 28, 2015

Southeast Alaska

Troll Fishery
Regional power troll coho salmon catch rates for the current week (week 35) are 60/day, which is below the 20-year average of 79.  The highest catch rates for week 35 are in the Southern Outside and Central Inside areas. Effort has declined during the month of August, with a record low 122 permits targeting coho during the week of August 16.  Through August 26, the seasonal average weight of coho is 5.7 lbs, which is below the 2014 average of 6.0, and the 5-year and 10-year averages of 5.8.  The average price is currently $.89/lb and the cumulative catch since July 1 is just over 800,000. 

Trollers have been targeting chum salmon returning to the Medvejie hatchery and Deep Inlet THA in the Sitka Sound area during the month of August.  Through August 27, a total of 197,000 chum have been harvested by 149 permits.  Both harvest and effort have recently declined, with current weekly totals confidential.  The average weight for Sitka Sound chum is 7.2 lbs, and fish tickets received to date indicate an average price of $0.55 per lb.

Trollers are also targeting fall chum salmon returning to the Neets Bay hatchery in West Behm Canal.  A report on August 27 indicated 10-15 vessels are fishing the area, however no harvest, weight, or price information is available for the current week.  The current fish ticket report indicates a harvest of approximately 124,000 chum since early July. Trollers had an average chum catch/landing of 125-150 for the summer run, at an average weight of 10.6 pounds and average price of $0.54.

The 2015 Summer Troll Management Plans can be found on the Southeast Summer Troll webpage. Inseason catch and effort data for summer is available on the same site.

Purse Seine Fishery
Regional cumulative harvest estimates for purse seine gear as of August 28 are 28.9 million pink and 5.0 million chum salmon. During statistical week 35, fishing occurred on August 23–24 with an estimated harvest of 1.8 million salmon including 1.5 million pink and 284,000 chum salmon. A mid-week opening occurred on August 27–28.

Seine effort during the August 23–24 fishing period included 73 boats in Deep Inlet THA, 30 in District 4, 28 in District 12, and 25 boats in District 3. The largest harvests occurred in District 12 with 425,000 salmon harvested, District 3 with 323,000, District 4 with 246,000, and Deep Inlet THA with 244,000 salmon harvested. Pink salmon harvest per boat was highest in District 12 with 14,500 fish, Section 13-A with 13,900 fish, Section 9-B with 12,500, and District 3 with 12,000 fish per boat. Chum salmon harvest per boat was highest in Deep Inlet THA with 3,100 fish, Districts 2 and 3 each with 500 fish, and District 12 and Section 13-B each with 400 fish per boat.

Drift Gillnet Fishery
Traditional Southeast 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 four days starting at 12:01 p.m., Sunday, August 23, 2015. The effort level of 30 was close to the 10-year average of 31 vessels. The total harvest was above average for chum salmon, and below average for all other salmon species. Total estimate for weekly harvest is 700 sockeye, 3,000 coho, 10,000 pink, and 30,000 chum salmon. The Tree Point drift gillnet fishery is currently being managed based on the strength of fall coho and chum salmon returns. The current harvest of chum salmon is strong and while the harvest of coho is below average the coho return to Hugh Smith is on target to meet escapement goals. Therefore the Tree Point gillnet fishery will be open for four days, beginning at 12:01 p.m., Sunday, August 30, 2015.

The following information about the Nakat Inlet, Neets Bay, and Kendrick Bay terminal harvest areas (THA) is estimated through Statistical Week 34. For further information and updates on SSRAA contributions and updates visit the SSRAA website.

Stikine and Prince of Wales/Districts 6 and 8
Management focus of the Districts 6 and 8 gillnet fishery for the opener on August 23 was based on pink salmon abundance. Both districts were opened to commercial gillnet fishing for a 48-hour period with a reported below average number of participants. Pink salmon catch rates were near average in both districts. Pink salmon escapements in District 8 have met the goal, while escapements to portions of District 6 are behind. Management emphasis will transition from pink salmon management to coho salmon abundance starting September 6. Both districts will open for a 48-hour period beginning Sunday, August 30.

The most recent Stikine River sockeye run size estimate is 219,600 fish, above the 171,200 fish forecast. Final inseason estimates of Stikine River king salmon made on July 10 indicated a terminal run of 29,333 fish; resulting in an escapement within the goal range of 14,000 to 28,000 fish.  

Taku-Snettisham/Section 11-B
District 11 saw yet another week of well below-average effort with approximately 35 boats participating in the fishery. The waters of Port Snettisham, including the Speel Arm Special Harvest Area, attracted the most attention with enhanced sockeye salmon still making their way through to the hatchery. With the lower end of the escapement goal range for Speel Lake sockeye salmon tantalizingly close to being in the bag, Port Snettisham was extended for an additional 48 hours resulting in five total days of fishing there for the week. The remainder of District 11 closed at noon on Wednesday for a total of three days of fishing.

The most current Taku River coho salmon inriver run estimate edged up by a couple-thousand fish from last week's version, and it appears the run may be slightly delayed as was the case with Taku River sockeye salmon. Sockeye salmon inriver harvests by Canadian fishermen and inriver fish wheel catches are at record numbers for this time in the season and it seems after getting off to a shaky start, Taku  River reds are finishing up strong. 

The Speel Arm will be opened until further notice starting next week to provide opportunity for late-arriving enhanced sockeye salmon. If those fish follow the trend of their Taku River counterparts, perhaps a gillnetter or two will have a big score. Section 11-C will close for the season as pink salmon abundance outside the streams of this area has tapered off significantly. The remainder of Section 11-B will open for four days of fishing and perhaps will provide some opportunity to more definitively gauge the strength of the Taku River coho salmon returns.

Lynn Canal/District 15
Harvests in week 34 included 15,400 sockeye, 1,200 coho, 15,200 pink and 5,200 chum salmon.  Harvests of sockeye and pink salmon were above average and below average for coho and chum salmon although harvest rates for chum salmon were above average.  The estimated 40 boats that participated in the fishery is below average.  The majority of the harvest occurred in Section 15-A within Chilkoot and Lutak Inlets.

The current Chilkoot Lake sockeye salmon weir count is approximately 63,000 fish. This count is near the recent 10-year average of 60,000 fish. Based on normal run timing, with approximately 90% of the escapement through the weir, final escapement is projected to be well within the escapement goal range of 38,000 to 86,000 fish. Fish wheel catches of sockeye salmon continue to be at record levels for this time. Stock compositions are indicating that Chilkat Lake sockeye salmon are dominating the fish wheel catch at this time.  The current escapement into Chilkat Lake of 54,000 fish is above the long and near term historical averages.  With approximately 43% of the run through the weir, projections for final escapement are within the escapement goal range of 70,000 to 150,000 fish. With escapement for Chilkoot Lake sockeye salmon escapement within goal ranges, and continued high Chilkat River fish wheel catches for sockeye salmon, Section 15-A will start with three days in all areas with the exception of an area north of Kochu Island within Chilkat Inlet. All of 15-C will also start for 3-days in the District to harvest Chilkat River and Chilkoot Lake sockeye salmon.

Yakutat Area Set Gillnet Fishery
For about 15 years now, economic factors have affected the distribution of effort in Yakutat area coho salmon fisheries.  Outlying areas that were historically fished for coho salmon now receive little or no effort due to the cost of flying those fish to available markets.  The coho salmon fishery this week collapsed in on the two fisheries closest to the market, the Situk-Ahrnklin Inlet and Yakutat Bay.  All other fisheries in Yakutat, with the exception of the Tsiu River, were open this week, but not fished.  In the Situk-Ahrnklin Inlet, 52 permits harvested 350 sockeye, 9,500 coho, and 2,500 pink salmon. In Yakutat Bay, seven permits harvested very small numbers of sockeye, coho and pink salmon. Yakutat Bay is not a major coho salmon producer, and effort levels there will probably remain low throughout the season.  The Tsiu River remains closed, but may open on short notice when some coho salmon escapement has been observed. The Italio River systems may open by emergency order when escapement counts have been observed. 

Over 95,000 sockeye and 75,000 pink salmon passed through the Situk River weir, and the biological escapement goal (BEG) for both species was attained. Only 175 large Chinook salmon passed through the weir and the Chinook salmon BEG was not attained.  The BEG for Chinook salmon at the Klukshu River weir in Canada has been attained.  Over 3,000 sockeye salmon have now passed through the weir, and it is projected that the sockeye salmon BEG will also be attained.  Coho salmon escapement surveys of the Situk River, the Tsiu River, and Tawah Creek have revealed very few early fish in those systems.  Indications are that the coho salmon return to the Yakutat area is about one week late.  

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.

 The following information about the Nakat Inlet, Neets Bay, and Kendrick Bay terminal harvest areas (THA) is estimated through Statistical Week 32. For further information and updates on Southern Southeast Regional Aquaculture Association  (SSRAA) contributions and updates visit the SSRAA website.

Nakat Inlet THA
The forecasted return of Nakat Inlet summer chum salmon is 220,000 and for fall chum salmon is 75,000. Nakat Inlet opened to the harvest of salmon by drift gillnet and troll gear on Monday, June 1, 2015. The current harvest for Nakat Inlet chum salmon is approximately 416,000, or 141% of the combined summer and fall forecast, for all gear groups. The total includes 51,000 chum salmon harvested by purse seine gear and 140,000 chum salmon harvested by drift gillnet gear in the traditional fishery in addition to the 225,000 chum salmon harvested in the THA.

Neets Bay THA
The Neets Bay forecasted return for summer chum salmon is 1,180,000, for fall chum salmon is 210,000, for Chinook salmon is 21,500, and for coho salmon is 340,000. Neets Bay opened to the harvest of salmon by Drift Gillnet and Purse Seine on Friday, May 1, and closed on Wednesday, July 1, 2015 for the purpose of cost recovery. It reopened for rotational fisheries on Tuesday, August 4 and is currently closed again for collection of fall broodstock. The current harvest for Neets Bay salmon is approximately 1,957,000 chum salmon and 9,500 Chinook salmon. The total includes 274,000 chum salmon harvested by purse seine gear, 180,000 chum salmon harvested by drift gillnet gear and 115,000 chum salmon harvested by the troll fleet in the traditional fishery.  Inside the Neets Bay THA, 42,000 chum salmon were harvested by gillnet gear, 514,000 chum salmon were harvested by purse seine gear, and 85,000 chum salmon were harvested by troll gear inside the Neets Bay THA.  Additionally, 520,000 chum salmon have been harvested for cost-recovery and 227,000 secured for broodstock by SSRAA.  

Kendrick Bay THA
The forecasted return for Kendrick Bay summer chum salmon is 745,000. Kendrick Bay opened to the harvest of salmon by purse seine gear on Monday, June 15, 2014. The current harvest for Kendrick Bay chum salmon is approximately 1,023,000, or 137% of the forecast, for all gear groups. The total includes 690,000 chum salmon harvested by purse seine gear and 96,000 chum salmon harvested by drift gillnet gear in the traditional fishery in addition to the 237,000 chum salmon harvested in the THA.

Anita Bay THA
Anita Bay forecast includes 370,000 summer chum and 47,000 coho salmon for 2015 with a reported harvest of 161,000 chum, 9,000 king, and 400 coho salmon to date. For further information and updates on SSRAA contributions and updates visit the SSRAA website.

Deep Inlet THA
The Deep Inlet THA rotational fisheries began May 31.  Forecast returns for Deep Inlet THA and Medvejie Hatchery includes 1,336,000 chum salmon, 27,500 king salmon, and 18,000 coho salmon.  This season NSRAA does not anticipate closing the Deep Inlet rotational fishery for cost recovery harvest. On August 23, 73 seiners harvested approximately 230,000 chum salmon.  On August 24-25, 80 gillnetters harvested approximately 50,000 chum salmon.  To date, 1,617,000 chum salmon have been harvested in the Deep Inlet THA fisheries.

Hidden Falls THA
No cost recovery will occur at Hidden Falls this season. The first common property purse seine opening in the Hidden Falls THA occurred on June 21 with 15-hour openings expected to occur Sundays and Thursdays of each week during the early season.  Forecast returns for Hidden Falls THA includes 1,031,000 chum salmon, 5,400 king salmon, and 187,000 coho salmon.  The return of chum salmon came in well below expectations and on June 28, the Hidden Falls THA closed. On August 11-12 The Hidden Falls THA reopened. The THA opened again on August 15-16, and no harvest occurred. The Hidden Falls THA is now closed and will likely remain closed for the remainder of the season.  NSRAA needs approximately 180,000 chum salmon for broodstock. Seiners harvested approximately 35,000 chum salmon during common property openings.

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Prince William Sound (PWS)

Copper River and PWS Drift Gillnet
The Copper River District was opened to commercial fishing for a 24-hour fishing period on August 24. This was fishing period 30 of the 2015 season. The next opening for the Copper River District is anticipated to occur on Monday, August 31. The Coghill District opened to commercial drift gillnet harvest for 14-hour periods on August 20-26. The Eshamy District opened to commercial gillnet harvest for a 36-hour period starting on Thursday, August 20 and a 36-hour period starting on Monday, August 24.

Escapement monitoring at the Miles Lake Sonar Station for sockeye and Chinook salmon returns to the Copper started on May 8 and ended on July 28. A total of 1.35 million salmon were enumerated at the sonar site this year. Escapement monitoring at the Coghill River weir started on June 10 and ended on July 26. A total of 13,584 sockeye salmon were enumerated at the weir versus an sustainable escapement goal (SEG) lower bound of 20,000 fish. Eshamy River video weir counted approximately 2,554 sockeye salmon between July 11 and August 12 versus a minimum anticipated count of 5,118 fish.

Currently there are an estimated 200 drift gillnet permits participating in the Copper River District fishery. There are estimated to be 10 drift gillnet boats fishing in the Coghill District fishery and no drift or set gillnet permits participating in the Eshamy District fishery. Processing capacity and market demand have resulted in limited markets for gillnet caught salmon in western PWS.

The Copper River District harvest estimate from the Monday, August 24 24-hour period was 2,200 sockeye and 13,000 coho salmon. The anticipated harvest for this opening was 1,400 sockeye salmon. To date, the cumulative Copper River District harvest is 1.56 million sockeye, 80,400 pink, 29,500 coho, and 22,800 Chinook salmon. The 5-year cumulative harvest averages for the August 24 harvest dates are 1.83 million sockeye salmon and 56,000 coho salmon. Commercial gillnet harvest in the Eshamy, Montague, and Coghill districts is currently below historical cumulative average harvest.

There are no processors participating in the Eshamy District drift and set gillnet fishery due in part to high volume pink salmon fisheries elsewhere in PWS.

Prince William Sound Purse Seine
The majority of Prince William Sound has been opened to daily commercial fishing periods since Sunday, August 9.

Aerial surveys throughout PWS indicate that wild pink salmon returns are greater than anticipated; chum salmon escapements are within anticipated ranges.

Valdez Fisheries Development Association (VFDA) began its cost recovery sales program on Tuesday, June 30, and reached its cost recovery goal on July 24.  VFDA reports that pink salmon eggtakes are complete at Solomon Gulch Hatchery (SGH), as of Saturday, Aug 22.

Prince William Sound Aquaculture Corporation (PWSAC) began its pink salmon cost recovery program on July 25, and reached its cost recovery goal on August 10.  PWSAC reports a hatchery escapement estimate of 1,013,000–1,225,000 pink salmon at AFK, CCH, and WNH on August 26.

The 2015 WNH pink salmon egg take began on August 24; egg takes began at AFK on August 25. Egg takes at CCH will likely begin later this week.

PWS purse seine fishery participation is decreasing by the day. It is estimated that fewer than 50 purse seine permit holders are currently participating in the PWS purse seine fishery.

The preliminary cumulative PWS pink salmon harvest estimate through August 25 is 90.3 million CPF and 5 million cost recovery fish (VFDA and PWSAC), for a total of 95.3 million fish. This is the largest cumulative harvest total on record for PWS, exceeding the 2013 harvest of 92.6 million pink salmon.

The cumulative PWS pink salmon harvest through August 20 is estimated at 84.7 million CPF and 5 million cost recovery fish (VFDA and PWSAC), for a total of 89.7 million fish; this is a record cumulative total for the date.

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Bristol Bay

Nushagak
Fishing continuously but effort down to maybe one direct marketer. Escapement counting is done. A couple folks have expressed interest in direct marketing coho but so far there has only been one reported delivery. Fishing is essentially over for 2015. Harvest is 5.4  million sockeye salmon. Fishing is open but there is no market at this time. There is minimal interest in coho fishing. That is unlikely to change. This is the last report for the Nushagak District in 2015. The Bristol Bay season summary should be out by mid-September.

Last update for season was on August 21st.

Togiak
All sections followed regular weekly schedules this week.  Final escapement to the Togiak River was 218,700 sockeye salmon, within the escapement goal range.

Cumulative harvest is 353,000 sockeye salmon. A small effort has continued this week. Sockeye has effectively disappeared from catches while coho salmon catches have been strong for a second week, bringing the cumulative harvest to 17,000 coho salmon.

The total run will likely end up slightly below the preseason sockeye forecast of 610,000 fish.

Egegik
In Egegik- through July 23-cumulative harvest is 8.2 million sockeye, cumulative escapement is 2.09 million sockeye and slightly above the escapement goal range. The commercial fishery is being managed to allow for the harvest of fish surplus to escapement needs.

Last update for season was on July 24th.

Ugashik
In Ugashik- through July 23- cumulative harvest is 5.2 million sockeye, cumulative escapement is 1.3 million sockeye and within the escapement goal range. The commercial fishery is being managed to allow for harvest of fish surplus to escapement needs.

Last update for season was on July 24th.

Naknek-Kvichak
In the Naknek-Kvichak District, the last day of tower operations on the Naknek River was July 22. The final cumulative escapement was 1.92 million sockeye. The Kvichak River tower will operate through July 25. The cumulative escapement through July 23 was 7.23 million sockeye salmon. Escapements on both river systems are within their respective escapement goal ranges. Cumulative harvest was 15.7 million fish. Since July 17, both drift and set gillnet fishing has been open to continuous fishing and will remain so until 9:00 a.m. Monday, July 27 when the fall fishing schedule of 9:00 a.m. Mondays to 9:00 a.m. Fridays goes into effect.

Last update for season was on July 24th.

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Cook Inlet:

Upper Cook Inlet (UCI)
Currently in Upper Cook Inlet there are multiple commercial fisheries underway

  1. Northern District set gillnet fishery: Mondays and Thursdays– 12 hour periods.
  2. Upper Subdistrict set gillnet fishery: Closed for the 2015 season.
  3. Western, Kustatan, and Kalgin Island Subdistrict set gillnet fisheries: Mondays and Thursdays –12 hour periods.
  4. Central District drift gillnet fishery: Mondays and Thursdays– 12 hour periods.  Restricted to Drift Gillnet Areas 3 and 4. Drift gillnetting is open in Chinitna Bay for 12 hour periods on Tuesdays and Fridays.

The Kasilof River sockeye salmon enumeration project began on June 15 and ended on August 14.  The final cumulative sockeye salmon passage through August 14 was 470,410 fish. This level of passage exceeded the biological escapement goal (BEG) of 160,000–340,000 fish.

The Kenai River sockeye salmon enumeration project began on July 1 and ended on August 26.  The final cumulative sockeye salmon passage through August 26 was 1,703,000 fish. This level of passage exceeded the inriver goal (1,000,000–1,200,000 fish).

Participation in the commercial fisheries that are open in Upper Cook Inlet is about normal.  Participation in the fisheries has declined significantly, this is especially true for the drift gillnet fishery and the Kalgin Island set gillnet fishery.

In the Western Subdistrict, approximately 170 king salmon and 34,552 sockeye salmon have been harvested since the June 18 opening.

Harvest in the Kalgin Island and Kustatan Subdistricts since the 25 June season opening is approximately 54,800 sockeye salmon and 35 king salmon. There has been no harvest in this fishery since August 17.

Since the June 25 regular season opening, harvest in the Northern District has totaled approximately 53,122 sockeye salmon and 309 king salmon.

The Central District drift gillnet fishery has harvested 512 king salmon and 991,149 sockeye salmon since the season opener on June 22. This includes 81 king salmon and 26,665 sockeye salmon harvested from the Kasilof River Special Harvest Area (KRSHA).

Harvest in the Upper Subdistrict set gillnet fishery for the 2015 season is 7,031 king salmon and 1,454,775 sockeye salmon. This includes 371 king salmon and 97,689 sockeye salmon harvested from the KRSHA.

Lower Cook Inlet (LCI)
The Lower Cook Inlet purse seine fleet is on a regular schedule of commercial fishing periods in 3 of the 4 districts in this area. Commercial seine harvest in the Southern District is on a Monday-Friday schedule of 16-hour fishing periods targeting both wild stock as well as enhanced returns to Cook Inlet Aquaculture Association release sites. Commercial set gillnet is on a schedule of Monday and Thursday 48-hour fishing periods. Purse seine fishing harvest opportunity was increased beginning August 15 to a seven day per week schedule of 6:00 AM to 10:00 PM fishing periods in portions of the Outer District with closed waters in many areas suspended. In Kamishak Bay, all districts with the exception of the Paint and McNeil districts and the Kirschner Lake special harvest area are open seven days a week.

Escapement levels of sockeye salmon to systems in Lower Cook Inlet has been modest to fair with returns to the English Bay River generally remaining in the lower end of the sustainable escapement goal (SEG) with no directed commercial fishing pressure on this stock. Aerial surveys of sockeye salmon escapement to Delight and Desire lakes have been conducted with only modest success due to poor flying conditions. Chum salmon escapement across lower Cook Inlet have generally been very good to excellent with directed harvests occurring at several locations, as well as steady harvests by set gillnet permit holders that are more than triple the previous 5-year harvest average. Pink salmon escapement has been robust; generally tracking levels observed in the parent year, 2013 which was a record year for commercial harvest in the Outer District with 2.0 million pink salmon delivered to processors.

Participation levels for lower Cook Inlet commercial set gillnet and purse seine fisheries are anticipated to remain similar to recent years.

In general harvest levels of all salmon species with the exception of sockeye are above recent 5-year harvest averages. Sockeye salmon runs to both hatchery release sites, as well as wild spawning systems appear to be generally fair to modest. While there is a significant harvestable surplus of pink and chum salmon in the Outer District, harvest in the Outer District (and Kamishak Bay) is currently limited by tender availability. The Outer District pink salmon harvest is anticipated to exceed that of the record 2013 parent year for that species which was 2.1 million fish. The current harvest as of August 26  is 3.3 million pink salmon.

Several hundred chum salmon have been observed in the Paint River system above the Paint River fish ladder. These are wild fish that have swam up the fish ladder. Since the ladders construction in the early 1990s, pink and sockeye salmon juveniles have been released in the Paint River system above the ladder. However, adult returns from these releases never warranted opening the ladder to returning adults. Beginning in 2011, the ladder was opened seasonally to allow natural colonization by salmon of this watershed. Earlier this year 980,000 pink salmon fry collected in 2014 from neighboring Bruin River and incubated by Cook Inlet Aquaculture Association at the Tutka bay facility were released into the Paint River system. Next year (2016) approximately 10,000 pink salmon are anticipated to return to the Paint River system from this release.

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Kodiak

Kodiak
The Izhut Bay Section of the Afognak District opened until further notice on August 27.

The Duck Bay Section of the Afognak District opened until further notice on August 24.

There was a 96-hour extension in the Inner Karluk Section of the Southwest Kodiak District on August 22. This section was extended another 96 hours on August 26.

The Northeast Kodiak District, the Northwest Kodiak District, the Eastside Kodiak District, the Mainland District, the Humpy-Deadman Section of the Alitak District, and the Outer Karluk, Sturgeon, and Halibut Bay sections of the Southwest Kodiak District remain open until further notice.

Cost recovery fisheries have ended in the Kitoi Bay Special Harvest Area.

The cumulative Karluk River sockeye salmon escapement through August 27 is approximately 397,000 fish, which is within the desired escapement range for this date. Karluk River Chinook salmon escapement is below average and non-retention of Chinook salmon has been imposed on the commercial seine fleet.

The cumulative Ayakulik River sockeye salmon escapement through August 27 is approximately 326,000 fish, which is within the desired escapement range for this date.  Ayakulik River Chinook salmon escapement is below average.

In the Alitak District, sockeye salmon escapement to Upper Station is approximately 94,000 fish through August 27, which is within the desired escapement range for this date.  Sockeye salmon escapement into Dog Salmon ended strong with over 236,000 fish counted to date.

Afognak River sockeye salmon runs finished within the desired escapement range with approximately 38,000 fish counted. 

Buskin River sockeye salmon escapement is tracking within the desired escapement range with 8,578 counted through the

The Saltery Creek sockeye salmon run finished within the desired escapement range with 42,468 fish counted. 

There is little or no early information on sockeye runs at Kaflia, Swikshak, Uganik, Little River, Long Lagoon, Thorsheim, Pauls, Perenosa Bay, and other minor sockeye systems.

Both purse seine and gillnet participation are normal for this date when compared to recent years.

Kodiak Management Area sockeye salmon harvests are near the recent 10 and 5-year averages with 2,583,900 fish harvested to date.  Pink salmon harvests are above average with 27,871,541 harvested to date.

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Alaska Peninsula

North Peninsula
Weekly fishing periods are occurring in the Nelson Lagoon, Port Moller Bight, Bear River, Three Hills, and Ilnik sections. The Nelson lagoon Section has shifted to coho salmon management. Fishing is currently open in the Port Moller Bight, Bear River, and Three Hills section until further notice. The Ilnik Section is open to commercial salmon fishing three days this week. After August 15 the Ilnik Section is managed on the basis of the coho salmon. The Outer Port Heiden Section closed to commercial salmon fishing by regulation on July 31. 

The late run at Bear River starts August 1. The weir was removed as planned on August 25. A total of over 171,000 sockeye salmon passed the weir site since August 1 and counts were strong even the day prior to weir removal with over 8,500 fish for the day. The season escapement of 473,000 sockeye salmon through August 24 and met the August 25 escapement goal. Post-weir estimates will be made as there is an escapement objective of 30,000 sockeye salmon that still needs to be met.

The Nelson Lagoon commercial coho salmon harvests are increasing with roughly 12 permit holders participating. No harvests have occurred in the Black Hills Section this week and none are expected for the remainder of the season. The total North Alaska Peninsula harvest is about 2.6 million sockeye salmon and the preseason forecast was 2.0 million harvested through mid September and has been exceeded.

Harvest levels for this date are decreasing as expected in the Nelson Lagoon Section with a total sockeye salmon harvest of 314,000 for the season. That run is above forecast. The peak daily harvest occurred in the Bear River, Three Hills, and Outer Port Heiden sections combined with 155,000 sockeye salmon on July 8. About 898,000 sockeye salmon were harvested in the Outer Port Heiden Section.

The largest harvest in August to date occurred on August 24 when 25,000 sockeye salmon were harvested. Strong winds are limiting the ability of the boats to fish on some days this week. About 50 drift gillnet vessels remain in the Bear River, Three Hills, and Ilnik sections.

South Peninsula
Commercial salmon fishing in the South Alaska Peninsula is currently open until further notice in the Unimak, Southwestern, and South Central districts, as well as the Shumagin Islands Section of the Southeastern District.

Commercial salmon fishing occurred in Beaver Bay, Balboa Bay, Southwest Stepovak, Northwest Stepovak, East Stepovak sections of the Southeastern District for 132 Hours from 9:00 AM Saturday, August 22 through 9:00 PM Thursday, August 27. Commercial salmon fishing opens again in Beaver Bay, Balboa Bay, Southwest Stepovak, Northwest Stepovak, East Stepovak sections of the Southeastern District for 132 Hours from 9:00 AM Saturday, August 29 through 9:00 PM Thursday, September 3.

Commercial salmon fishing in Orzinski Bay of the Northwest Stepovak Section was extended until further notice. Closed waters of Orzinski Bay were reduced to the stream mouth beginning at 9:30 AM Tuesday, July 28.

The closed waters of Mino Creek, those waters of Coal Bay north of a line extending from Seal Cape, Settlements Point Creek, Deer Island Section of the Southwestern District, and the Shumagin Islands, Beaver Bay, Balboa Bay, Southwest Stepovak, Northwest Stepovak, and East Stepovak sections of the Southeastern District, except for Red Cove on Popof Island, are reduced to the stream outlet terminus with the ocean shoreline.

The Orzinski Lake weir was removed on August 6 and passed 26,534 sockeye, 6,700 pink, 2 coho, and 13 chum salmon during the 2015 season. The McLees Lake weir was removed on July 27 and passed 20,284 sockeye and 13 pink salmon through the weir during the 2015 season.  

Aerial surveys indicate that upper bound of the area wide aggregate pink salmon goal for odd years (1.6–3.2M) has been exceeded with an area wide escapement of 5.2 million pink salmon. Aerial surveys indicate that the mid-point of the area wide aggregate chum salmon goal has been met. 

Participation in the fishery so far is consistent with participation in previous years.

Harvest so far is above average at this point in the season. As of August 27, 49,764 Chinook, 3,194,063 sockeye, 274,727 coho, 15,257,549 pink, and 632,022 chum salmon have been harvested in the South Peninsula commercial salmon fishery.

Processors have scaled back operations and only allowing small amounts of salmon to be harvested.  

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Chignik

Chignik
The Chignik Bay, Central, Eastern, Western and Perryville districts have been opened to commercial salmon fishing since August 4 and the fishing period has been extended until further notice. No changes to the commercial salmon fishing period have been made during the week of August 21 to August 27.

Through August 26, an estimated 339,026 late-run sockeye salmon have escaped into the Chignik River weir meeting the minimum escapement goal for the season of 250,000 fish.  The late run appears to be coming in later than normal.

Beginning August 21, escapement has been estimated using DIDSON and the Chignik weir has been dismantled for the season. Late August and September escapements may be adjusted after post season analysis of the DIDSON counts.

Final aerial surveys for pink and chum salmon show that escapement is above the most recent 5 odd-year average for pink salmon while chum salmon appear to be similar to the most recent 5 year average.

The remaining processor in the area quit buying after August 20. At this time, no other buyer has expressed interest and therefore there has been no effort by the fleet for the week of August 21 through August 27.

Approximately 1,477,000 sockeye salmon have been harvested in the Chignik Management Area (CMA) this season. The Chignik Management Area sockeye harvest is similar to the most recent 10-year average.

Approximately 1.8 million pink salmon have been harvested in the CMA this season.

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Arctic-Yukon-Kuskokwim

Yukon River
The fall chum salmon commercial fishery started in the lower Yukon River on July 20. There have been ten periods (4 to 9 hours each) in District 1 and ten periods (4 to 6 hours each) in District 2 with gillnets restricted to 6-inch or smaller mesh size. Preliminary commercial harvest in District 1 as of August 23 is 91,223 fall chum salmon and 49,232 coho salmon. Preliminary commercial harvest in District 2 as of August 26 is 58,425 fall chum salmon and 35,636 coho salmon. The combined commercial harvest in District 1 and 2 as of August 26 is 149,648 fall chum salmon and 84,868 coho salmon.

In the upper Yukon River, the fall chum commercial fishery began in Subdistrict 5-B and 5-C on August 11 and in District 6 on August 21. Fishermen may use fish wheels or set gillnets with six-inch or smaller mesh size. In Subdistrict 5-B and 5-C, there have been two 5-day fishing periods. Preliminary commercial harvest in Subdistrict 5-B and 5-C is 1,048 fall chum salmon. In District 6, there have been two 42-hour periods and the preliminary commercial harvest is 494 fall chum salmon and 16 coho salmon.

The summer chum salmon commercial fishery ended in the lower Yukon River on July 18. The combined District 1 and 2 harvest was 354,086 summer chum salmon; 9,513 Chinook salmon caught and released alive; and 3,240 Chinook salmon retained for subsistence use.

The summer chum salmon commercial fishery in District 6 began on July 13 and ended on August 9 thereby ending the commercial fishery for summer chum salmon. The preliminary total harvest in District 6 is 4,770 summer chum salmon, 347 Chinook salmon released alive, and 83 Chinook salmon retained for subsistence use. 

The cumulative commercial harvest of the Yukon Area is 358,856 summer chum salmon, 151,190 fall chum salmon, and 84,884 coho salmon.

Kuskokwim River
Subdistrict W1-B, Kuskokwim River, opened to commercial salmon fishing August 21, 2015 for 8 hours from 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. in the lower section and 6 hours from 12:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. in the upper section.  There will be no more commercial salmon periods in subdistrict W1-B for the 2015 season.

District W-4, Quinhagak, opened to commercial salmon fishing August 21 and August 24, 2015 for 12 hours from 9:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m. There will be no more commercial salmon periods in District W-4 or district W-5 for the 2015 season.

Kuskokwim River escapements of Chinook salmon are improved compared to recent years with multiple escapement monitoring projects achieving established goals. Sockeye salmon escapements appear to average to above average. Chum salmon escapements are below average at all monitoring projects. Bethel Test Fishery indices have indicated that the coho salmon run is below average and is exhibiting late run timing.

Kanektok River weir escapements of Chinook salmon were above average, while sockeye, chum, and coho salmon escapements were below 5-year averages. The final day of operations was August 15, 2015.

Middle Fork Goodnews River weir escapements for Chinook, coho, and chum salmon are below average while escapement of sockeye salmon is above average. Further information on run strength and timing will become available in coming weeks with continued passage at escapement projects. Final day of operations for this project will be August 31, 2015.

Participation in subdistrict W-1B on August 17 was average with 206 permits registered making deliveries.

Participation in district W-4 salmon fishing periods was above average with 83 permits registered making deliveries on August 21 and 68 permits registered making deliveries on August 24.

Subdistrict W-1B preliminary harvest for August 21, 2015 was 2 Chinook, 25 sockeye, 48 chum, and 14,124 coho salmon. Harvest and catch rates for all species were average for this date.

District W-4 preliminary combined harvest for August 21 and August 24, 2015 was 15 Chinook, 75 sockeye, 296 chum, and 15,782 coho salmon. Districts W-4 harvest and catch rates for Chinook and coho salmon were above average for these dates. Harvest and catch rates for sockeye and chum salmon were average for these dates.

Norton Sound
Commercial harvests are 1,050 king, 4,260 sockeye, 64,500 pink, 153,000 chum, and 143,100 coho salmon by 115 permit holders. Week 4 or coho salmon season is nearly in the books. Despite a recent August storm system that kept fishermen on the beach since Monday, the Norton Sound coho salmon harvest is a new record. The high water events resulting from the storm have also rendered escapement monitoring projects non-operational but coho salmon counts surged the day before counting could no longer occur. Latest projections of coho salmon escapement in the Nome Subdistrict indicate escapement needs will be made based on the pre-flood cumulative passage estimates. Coho salmon escapement goals have already been exceeded or are projected to be exceeded in all other subdistricts. The commercial salmon season will close by regulation on August 31 in Subdistricts 2 and 3 and Subdistricts 4, 5, and 6 will close by regulation on Sunday September 6.

Kotzebue
The major buyer finished operations on Friday, August 21. A second buyer bought for one period on Sunday, August 23 and had fishermen gill and gut the salmon before buying. The second buyer was planning to buy this week, but with the stormy weather that buyer has also finished operations. Harvest this year was 306,000 chum salmon and finished at the low end of the department forecast range of 300,000 to 500,000 chum salmon commercial harvest, but the harvest was the third highest in over 25 years and ranked twelfth highest in the 54-year history of the fishery. There were 103 permit holders that fished; the most since 1994. Ex-vessel value was approximately $825,000 and was a big drop from last year's 2.9 million. However, it was the fourth highest in 27 years without adjusting for inflation. Kobuk River test fish completed operations and chum catch index was fourth highest in the 23-year project history.

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