Southeast Alaska & Yakutat location map

Salmon Fishery Update
Southeast Alaska & Yakutat Commercial Fisheries

Last update for the season, Monday, September 20th, 2021

Troll Fishery

Last Updated: September 17th, 2021

The second Chinook salmon retention period of the Southeast Alaska/Yakutat commercial summer troll season closed on September 3. The department estimates that a total of 60,000 Chinook salmon were taken during the 22-day retention period. The summer troll fishery was extended through September 30 for coho, chum, pink and sockeye salmon; however, the areas of high Chinook salmon abundance remain closed [5 AAC 29.025].

Preliminary fish ticket data reported to date indicate a total of 775 troll permits have landed 132,000 Chinook, 823,000 coho, and 700,000 chum salmon in the summer fishery. Average prices are $6.77/lb for Chinook, $2.94/lb for coho and $1.15/lb for chum salmon. Current seasonal average weights are 11.2 lb for Chinook, 5.3 lb for coho, and 6.3 lb for chum salmon. Chinook salmon average weight is the below the 2020 and 5-year averages by 0.4 lb, while coho salmon average weight is below the 2020 and 5-year averages by 0.5 and 0.8 lb. Chum salmon average weight is down from 2020 by 1.6 lb and the 5-year average weight by 1.9 lb.

The regional power troll coho salmon catch rate for this week (Statistical Week 38) is 38 fish/boat/day, with the highest catch rates in Southern Outside (47 fish/boat/day) and Central Outside (43 fish/boat/day), followed by the Southern Inside (39 fish/boat/day) and Central Inside (28 fish/boat/day) areas.

Troll effort and harvest for vessels targeting hatchery chum salmon returning to the Northern Southeast Regional Aquaculture Association (NSRAA) release sites in Crawfish Inlet and Deep Inlet Terminal Harvest Areas (THA) was high this season with 164 permit holders targeting chum salmon between Statistical Week 31 and 36. No directed chum salmon landings were reported for Statistical Week 37 or 38. The cumulative catch for the Sitka Sound/Deep Inlet area for Statistical Weeks 31–36 was 501,000 chum salmon, with an average catch/landing of 418 fish for the 157 permits participating in this fishery. The West Crawfish Inlet and Crawfish Inlet THA cumulative harvest of 170,000 chum salmon for Statistical Week 31–35 averaged 428 chum salmon/landing for 75 permits.

Average weights for directed chum salmon landings are 6.5 lb for West Crawfish Inlet/ Crawfish THA and 6.2 lb for Sitka Sound. The average price was $1.16/lb for these fisheries.

For more information, please visit the ADF&G website for the Southeast Alaska and Yakutat Management Area.

Purse Seine Fishery

Last Updated: September 17th, 2021

Southeast Alaska directed pink salmon fisheries are closed for the remainder of the 2021 season. The department will continue to monitor fall chum salmon runs to Cholmondeley Sound, Security Bay, Port Camden, Nakwasina Sound, Chaik Bay, and Excursion Inlet. Observations of fall chum salmon abundance to date have been better than summer chum salmon and fish excess to escapement were observed in Cholmondeley Sound. As a result, a 12-hour opening was scheduled for Thursday, September 16 in District 2.

The 2021 Southeast Alaska pink salmon harvest forecast was predicted to be average with a point estimate of 28 million fish. Traditional common property purse seine openings directed at harvesting pink salmon began July 4 and concluded September 4. This year's common property purse seine harvest estimate at 42.8 million pink salmon is the 14th highest since statehood. Most of the pink salmon harvest was from Southern Southeast with the Ketchikan management area having its estimated 8th highest cumulative pink salmon harvest since statehood. Pink salmon average weight was low this season, with an average weight of approximately 2.8 pounds. Pink salmon escapement was generally good to excellent with at least 34 of 46 pink salmon stock groups meeting or exceeding target ranges. Purse seine effort increased slightly from 2020 with 207 permits making landings but was below the 2011–2020 average of 252 permits.

Hatchery produced chum salmon runs were expected to be below average in 2021. Except for Deep and Crawfish Inlets, hatchery produced chum salmon runs have concluded. The estimated common property purse seine terminal harvest area (THA) harvest is 1.3 million chum salmon, below the 2011–2020 average harvest of 2.0 million chum salmon.

For more information, please visit the ADF&G website for the Southeast Alaska and Yakutat Management Area.

Drift Gillnet Fishery

For further details concerning this fishery, please see the 2021 Southeast Alaska Drift Gillnet Fishery Management Plan (PDF 765 kB)

For more information, please visit the ADF&G website for the Southeast Alaska and Yakutat Management Area.

Tree Point/Section 1-B

Last Updated: September 17th, 2021

The Tree Point drift gillnet fishery was open for four days starting on Sunday, September 12. In comparison to the 10-year average, harvest of all salmon species was below average. The effort level of 25 vessels was below the 10-year average of 33 vessels. The estimated weekly harvest for Statistical Week 38 was 20 sockeye salmon, 6,000 coho salmon, 20 pink salmon, and 2,000 chum salmon. Fall management is based on the strength of wild coho salmon returns. The Tree Point drift gillnet fishery will open for four days in Statistical Week 39, beginning at 12:01 p.m., Sunday, September 19.

For further details concerning this fishery, please see the 2021 Southeast Alaska Drift Gillnet Fishery Management Plan (PDF 765 kB) which is also available at area offices.

For more information, please visit the ADF&G website for the Southeast Alaska and Yakutat Management Area.

Stikine and Prince of Wales/Districts 6 and 8

Last Updated: September 17th, 2021

The Districts 6 and 8 gillnet fishery opened on September 12 for three days with management emphasis based on wild coho salmon abundance. The number of participants continued to decrease this week as it has for the past few weeks in District 6 and remained below average. In District 8, effort was unchanged from last week and was near average. The preliminary harvest estimates for this week included 5 Chinook salmon, 300 sockeye salmon, 8,500 coho salmon, 40 pink salmon, and 3,000 chum salmon from 48 boats fishing in District 6. The preliminary District 8 harvest estimate included 10 Chinook salmon, 10 sockeye salmon, 2,000 coho salmon, 10 pink salmon, and 200 chum salmon from 23 boats. Overall, coho salmon harvest rates were below average and consisted mostly of hatchery fish this week. Additionally, coho salmon harvest rates in adjacent fisheries, including the commercial troll fishery, continued to perform below average again this week as it has for most of this year, thus suggesting a below average abundance of coho salmon returning to Districts 6 and 8. Historical timing and current trends in harvests suggest timing is well past peak for wild fish and likely just past peak for the hatchery component. For next week, both districts will open for two days starting Sunday, September 19.

For more information, please visit the ADF&G website for the Southeast Alaska and Yakutat Management Area.

Taku-Snettisham/Section 11-B

Last Updated: September 17th, 2021

Decreasing air temperature and daylight hours combined with generally increasing wave heights have made the District 11 drift gillnet grounds a substantially less desirable place to be than the fleet's warm houses in Juneau. Sub-average coho salmon catch rates did not provide a reason to tough it out this week and only three boats remained fishing on the last morning of the opening. There is still interest in further openings, however, and recent upticks in coho salmon catch rates in the troll fishery in Icy Strait and the District 15 drift gillnet fishery in lower Lynn Canal provide optimism for the near future.

The sixth inseason Taku River coho salmon above border run size estimate, produced this week, projects a terminal run size of 91,800 fish, which is a slight increase from last week and near the preseason forecast of 94,000 fish. The U.S. has an allowable catch of nearly 11,000 fish at this run size and has currently harvested an estimated 8,000 fish. The current inriver run size estimate of 61,500 fish minus the Canada harvest of approximately 9,500 fish has escapement sitting just above the lower end of the escapement goal range of 50,000 to 90,000 fish.

The District 11 drift gillnet fishery will again open for four days next week with the Speel Arm SHA closed for the season. Openings directed at coho salmon can occur through mid-October, and if there is interest from fishermen, a couple more weeks of fishing are likely.

The 2021 SEAK Drift Gillnet Fishery Management Plan can be found on the Southeast Management Plans webpage

For more information, please visit the ADF&G website for the Southeast Alaska and Yakutat Management Area.

Lynn Canal/District 15

Last Updated: September 17th, 2021

The District 15 gillnet fishery opened Sunday, September 12 for three days with management emphasis based on fall chum and coho salmon in waters south of the latitude of Seduction Point. Waters north of the Katzehine River Flats Light to the Chilkoot River terminus was opened for five days with a management emphasis based on a late sockeye salmon returning to the Chilkoot River.

Effort remained below average this week with 46 permit holders actively fishing. Approximately 200 sockeye, 10,000 coho, and 4,000 chum salmon were harvested this week. Sockeye and coho salmon harvests were near the recent 10-year average and the chum salmon harvest was below average. The District 15 overall harvest to date is estimated to be 700 Chinook, 84,500 sockeye, 21,000 coho, 220,550 pink, and 528,600 chum salmon. Harvests for all species are below the 10-year average.

The Chilkoot River weir project is complete and no longer in operation. Final weir counts were 98,675 sockeye, 48,200 pink, 1,241 chum, and 20 Chinook salmon. Chilkoot River sockeye salmon exceeded the upper bound of the escapement goal range of 86,000 fish. Chilkat Lake sockeye salmon escapement estimates continue to track below average, and it is unlikely the escapement goal will be met. Chilkat River fish wheels will operate until the first week of October. Chum and coho salmon fish wheels catches have picked up recently indicating early run strength.

The District 15 gillnet fishery will open for three days next week. All waters of Section 15-A, excluding Lutak and Chilkat Inlets, and all waters of Section 15-C will be open.

The 2021 SEAK Drift Gillnet Fishery Management Plan can be found on the Southeast Management Plans webpage

For more information please see the Chilkat River and King Salmon River King Salmon Stock Status and Action Plan, 2018 (PDF 6,858 kB)

For more information, please visit the ADF&G website for the Southeast Alaska and Yakutat Management Area.

Yakutat Area Set Gillnet Fishery

Last Updated: September 17th, 2021

The Situk-Ahrnklin Inlet was opened on September 12 for 3 days. A total of 52 permits harvested 12,588 coho, and 1 sockeye salmon. Fleet participation was above average, and salmon harvest was below average. The Kaliakh River had participation, but less than three permits fished, and harvest information is confidential. Yakutat Bay, Manby Outside Waters, Manby Inside Waters, Alsek River, East Alsek River and Akwe River were opened on September 12 for 3 days. There was no participation in the Yakutat Bay, Manby Outside Waters, Manby Shore Inside, Alsek River, East Alsek River and Akwe River fishery or other areas open in the district. The Kaliakh River was the only system to receive fishing effort for this statistical week in the Yakataga District.

Fishing times may be adjusted based on escapement surveys and harvest for Statistical Week 39. Italio River systems will open by emergency order when adequate levels of escapement can be documented.

For more information, please visit the ADF&G website for the Southeast Alaska and Yakutat Management Area.

Terminal Harvest Area (THA) 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.

For more information, please visit the ADF&G website for the Southeast Alaska and Yakutat Management Area.

Nakat Inlet THA

Last Updated: September 17th, 2021

The forecasted return for Nakat Inlet is 321,000 summer chum salmon, 5,000 fall chum salmon, and 16,400 coho salmon. Nakat Inlet opened to the harvest of salmon by drift gillnet and troll gear on Tuesday, June 1. The Nakat Inlet THA was closed to commercial salmon fishing from Sunday, July 11, through Saturday, July 24 for cost recovery fishing.

The cost recovery harvest for Nakat Inlet THA is 7,000 chum salmon. The current harvest is 180,000 chum salmon or 56% of the summer chum salmon forecasted return. This total includes 103,000 salmon harvested by drift gillnet gear and 15,000 salmon harvested by purse seine gear in the traditional fishery; and 56,000 salmon harvested in the THA. A total of 2,000 fall chum salmon have been harvested in the traditional gillnet fishery, 39% of the forecast. Within the Nakat Inlet THA a total of 3,000 coho salmon have been harvested.

For further information please refer to the 2021 Southeast Alaska Drift Gillnet Fishery Management Plan (PDF 765 kB) and for updates on Southern Southeast Regional Aquaculture Association (SSRAA) contributions visit the SSRAA website external site link.

For more information, please visit the ADF&G website for the Southeast Alaska and Yakutat Management Area.

Neets Bay THA

Last Updated: September 10th, 2021

The Neets Bay forecasted return is 768,000 summer chum salmon, 31,000 fall chum salmon, 6,700 Chinook salmon, and 113,100 coho salmon. Neets Bay opened to the harvest of salmon by troll gear on Tuesday, June 15, and by rotational fishery between drift gillnet and purse seine on Thursday, June 17. The Neets Bay THA closed to the harvest of salmon by all gear groups Tuesday, July 6 for cost recovery fishing and broodstock collection.

Cost recovery harvest is 400 Chinook salmon and 4,900 chum salmon. The current Neets Bay THA harvest is 4,000 Chinook salmon and 3,000 chum salmon by purse seine and 2,300 Chinook salmon and 100 chum salmon by drift gillnet gear. The harvest for Neets Bay chum salmon in traditional fisheries is 32,000 salmon for purse seine, and 11,000 chum salmon from drift gillnet. The total harvest is 51,000 chum salmon, or 6% of the forecasted return.

For further information please refer to the ADF&G advisory announcement for Neets Bay and for updates on SSRAA contributions visit the SSRAA website external site link.

For more information, please visit the ADF&G website for the Southeast Alaska and Yakutat Management Area.

Kendrick Bay THA

Last Updated: September 10th, 2021

The forecasted return for Kendrick Bay is 714,000 summer chum salmon. Kendrick Bay THA opened to the harvest of salmon by purse seine gear on Tuesday, June 15. The Kendrick Bay THA was closed to commercial salmon fishing from Sunday, July 11, through Saturday, July 24 for cost recovery fishing.

The cost recovery harvest for Kendrick THA is 26,000 chum salmon. Current harvest for Kendrick Bay THA is 6,000 chum salmon. The traditional harvest of Kendrick Bay is 310,000 chum salmon. A total harvest of Kendrick Bay summer chum salmon is 342,000 fish or 48% of the forecasted return.

For further information please refer to the 2021 Southeast Alaska Purse Seine Fishery Management Plan (PDF 1,379 kB) and for updates on SSRAA contributions visit the SSRAA website external site link.

For more information, please visit the ADF&G website for the Southeast Alaska and Yakutat Management Area.

Caroll Inlet THA

Last Updated: September 3rd, 2021

The forecasted return for Carroll Inlet is 9,300 Chinook salmon. The Carroll Inlet THA opened in the waters of Carroll Inlet north of the latitude of 55°34.83′ N latitude to drift gillnet and purse seine gear concurrently Tuesday, June 1, and closed on Saturday, June 12. The lower portion of the Carroll Inlet THA was closed to net gear to provide the troll fleet with exclusive access from Tuesday, June 1, through Tuesday, June 15. A rotational net fishery began on Tuesday, June 15, in the waters of Carroll Inlet north of Nigelius Point at 55°33.50′ N latitude and will continue through Wednesday, June 30.

Current harvest for the Carroll Inlet THA is 1,700 Chinook salmon by purse seine and 1,700 Chinook salmon by drift gillnet gear. Cost recovery harvest in Carroll Inlet was 3,900 Chinook salmon. Total harvest of Carroll Inlet Chinook salmon is 7,900 fish, or 85% of the forecasted return.

For further information please refer to the ADF&G advisory announcement for Carroll Inlet and for updates on SSRAA contributions visit the SSRAA website external site link.

For more information, please visit the ADF&G website for the Southeast Alaska and Yakutat Management Area.

Anita Bay THA

Last Updated: September 17th, 2021

The 2021 Anita Bay THA forecast includes: 11,500 Chinook salmon, 474,000 summer chum, and 11,100 coho salmon. The common property commercial harvest to date is and 7,200 Chinook salmon by seine, gillnet, and troll gear, 3,000 chum salmon by purse seine, and 45,000 chum and 1,000 coho salmon by drift gillnet.

For further information and updates on Southern Southeast Regional Aquaculture Association (SSRAA) contributions and updates visit the SSRAA website.

For more information, please visit the ADF&G website for the Southeast Alaska and Yakutat Management Area.

Deep Inlet THA

Last Updated: September 20th, 2021

The Deep Inlet THA opened on June 1 with an ongoing weekly schedule: seine openings on Sundays, Thursdays, and Fridays, and drift gillnet openings occurring on Mondays, Tuesdays, and Wednesdays. The Deep Inlet THA closed to all common property fisheries on Tuesday, September 14. Forecasted runs for Deep Inlet THA and Medvejie Hatchery includes 1,608,000 chum salmon, 17,600 king salmon, and 95,000 coho salmon. This season, 130,000 chum salmon were needed for broodstock. The Northern Southeast Regional Aquaculture Association (NSRAA) did not anticipate cost recovery operations this season in the Deep Inlet THA.

Gillnet harvest to date is approximately 3,900 Chinook salmon and 355,500 chum salmon; seine harvest to date is approximately 2,750 Chinook salmon and 849,400 chum salmon.

For more information, please visit the ADF&G website for the Southeast Alaska and Yakutat Management Area.

Hidden Falls THA

The Hidden Falls Hatchery expects a run of 286,000 chum salmon. The Northern Southeast Regional Aquaculture Association (NSRAA) needs 150,000 chum salmon for broodstock leaving 136,000 chum salmon available for common property harvests. NSRAA does not intend to use a tax assessment on the common property harvest of chum salmon to satisfy cost recovery needs as provided under AS 16.10.455.

There are no scheduled common property purse seine openings at Hidden Falls for 2021. Due to a low projected run of chum salmon, Hidden Falls will be managed for broodstock. NSRAA will assess the run through a weekly test fishery to determine run strength. In the event that surplus chum salmon are available, common property openings may be announced. Purse seiners are advised that openings at Hidden Falls during the 2021 season may be announced with a minimum 24-hour notice if necessary, in order to maximize fish quality.

For more information, please visit the ADF&G website for the Southeast Alaska and Yakutat Management Area.

Crawfish Inlet THA

Last Updated: September 20th, 2021

A run of 1,920,000 chum salmon is forecasted to return to the Crawfish Inlet remote release site in 2021. No chum salmon are needed for broodstock. Northern Southeast Regional Aquaculture Association (NSRAA) completed cost recovery this season in Crawfish Inlet, opening seine inside the boundaries of the THA on August 26. Seine openings are scheduled for Sundays, Thursdays, and Fridays through September 24. Seine harvest to date for Crawfish and West Crawfish Inlets is approximately 386,800 chum salmon.

For more information, please visit the ADF&G website for the Southeast Alaska and Yakutat Management Area.