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.


This is the last summary update for the 2020 fishing season.

Quick
Links
AK Peninsula | Bristol Bay | Chignik | Cook Inlet | Kodiak | Kuskokwim | Norton Sound/Kotzebue | Prince William Sound | Southeast Alaska | Yukon
Southeast Alaska

Troll Fishery

The Southeast Alaska/Yakutat commercial troll fishery closed to the taking of Chinook salmon at 12:01 a.m., September 8 following a 25-day open fishing period. The second summer retention period targeted approximately 63,000 treaty Chinook salmon, the total of the remaining troll and all-gear allowable catch. To date, a total of 67,000 Chinook salmon have been reported on fish tickets.

Preliminary data indicates a total of 718,700 coho salmon landed in the troll fishery since July 1 with an average weight of 5.8 lb. The coho salmon catch is down 23% and 45% from the 2019 and 5-year averages, and average weight is down from 2019 and the 5-year average by 0.5 lb and 0.4 lb. The average price for 2020 of $2.06/lb is $0.01 above the 2019 price and $0.39 above the 5-year average.

The preliminary regional power troll coho salmon catch rate for the current statistical week (SW) 38 is 47 fish/boat/day, with the highest catch rate in the Central Outside area at 53 fish/boat/day.

Troll effort 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) is finished for the season. No directed chum salmon harvest has been reported since SW 36. Based on fish tickets received for SWs 30-36, 50 vessels have harvested approximately 50,200 chum salmon in West Crawfish Inlet with a catch/landing of 212 fish. Cumulative harvest for Crawfish Inlet THA for SWs 30-35 is 14,500 fish for 19 vessels at a rate of 223 chum salmon/landing. In the Sitka Sound area, cumulative harvest for SWs 29-36 is 4,100 chum salmon at 106 fish per landing. A total of eight vessels landed 2,300 chum salmon in the Deep Inlet THA, a rate of 212 chum salmon/landing.

Current chum salmon average weights for fish tickets received to date are 7.9 lb for West Crawfish Inlet/Crawfish THA and 7.0 lb for Sitka Sound. The average price is $0.49/lb for these fisheries. The seasonal total chum salmon harvest for Neets Bay THA/West Behm Canal through SW 29 was 1,051 chum salmon landed with six vessels averaging 105 chum/landing. The Neets Bay THA closed on July 6.

The commercial summer troll fishery will close by regulation at 11:59 p.m., September 20. The winter troll Chinook salmon fishery will open by regulation at 12:01 a.m., October 11. The Winter Troll Management Plan should be available in area offices and on the troll webpage the second week of October.

The 2020 Summer Troll Fishery Management Plan (PDF 3,743 MB) was published this week and is available in area offices and on the troll webpage.

Purse Seine Fishery

Hatchery produced chum salmon throughout Southeast returned in numbers much lower than forecasted and hatchery operators had to cease or limit common property and/or cost recovery harvests to obtain broodstock. The Deep Inlet Terminal Harvest Area (THA) reopened to common property fisheries on August 27 but closed again for broodstock concerns on September 6. Crawfish Inlet THA opened to common property purse seine fisheries beginning August 25. Openings will continue in Crawfish and West Crawfish inlets through September 25, but harvest and effort are waning. To date, 650,000 chum salmon have been harvested by the purse seine fleet in Crawfish and West Crawfish inlets. The region's overall common property purse seine harvest was poor with less than 1.8 million chum salmon harvested to date, the lowest harvest since 1990.

The 2020 Southeast Alaska pink salmon harvest forecast was for a weak harvest of 12 million fish. The purse seine pink salmon fishery concluded August 20 with a very poor harvest of 5.9 pink salmon. This harvest level is the lowest since 1976 and the 5th lowest since statehood. Pink salmon escapement throughout the region generally improved from the 2018 parent year. In addition, the extremely wet summer should result in a healthy escapement.

The department has completed final surveys for pink salmon escapement. Observations of fall chum salmon escapement indicate there are no areas with excess escapement that would allow for fisheries.

Drift Gillnet Fishery

For more information please see the 2020 Southeast Alaska Drift Gillnet Fishery Management Plan (PDF 765 kB)

Tree Point/Section 1-B

The Section 1-B drift gillnet fishery was open for four days starting on Sunday, September 13. In comparison to the 10-year average, harvest of all salmon species was well below average. The effort level of 20 vessels was also below the 10-year average of 35 vessels. The estimated weekly harvest was 2,000 coho salmon and 2,000 chum salmon. Given the poor coho salmon catch and the declining Hugh Smith weir coho salmon count, the Section 1-B drift gillnet fishery will close for the remainder of the 2020 season.

For further details concerning this fishery, please see the 2020 Southeast Alaska Drift Gillnet Fishery Management Plan (PDF 765 kB) which is also available at area offices.

Stikine and Prince of Wales/Districts 6 and 8

Management focus of the Districts 6 and 8 gillnet fishery was based primarily on wild coho salmon abundance during statistical week 38. Both districts opened for three days beginning on Sunday, September 13. Effort was slightly below half of the 10-year average in District 6 for statistical week 38. Harvest of coho salmon was about 10% of the average for the same time period. Chum salmon harvests were slightly above average on a catch per vessel basis. Meanwhile in District 8, effort was about 50% of the 10-year average with harvests near average on a catch per vessel basis. In both districts overall harvest of coho salmon was well behind the 10-year averages, chum salmon harvest was about 70% of the 10-year average in District 6 and less than 5% of the 10-year average for District 8. Conditions have been sunny and clear with little rain over the last 10 days and stream water levels are low. Fishing effort has been declining in both districts. District 6 and 8 will both open for two days Sunday, September 20.

Taku-Snettisham/Section 11-B

The 2020 District 11 drift gillnet season ended this week on a theme comparable to all the previous openings this season: weak. The one-day opening was geared towards harvesting the remaining Douglas Island Pink and Chum, Inc (DIPAC) coho salmon returning to Gastineau Channel with the upper portion of Taku Inlet closed to reduce harvest of Taku River fish. The better catch rates during the opening were from boats fishing at the Point Bishop line on what appeared to be mostly DIPAC fish that were purportedly looking 'dark and tired'.

Approximately 1,000 coho salmon were harvested this week by nearly 20 boats, only eight of which stuck around for the end of the opening. This week's Taku River coho salmon run size estimate increased slightly projecting a terminal run of 62,500 fish with nearly 80% of the run historically though Canyon Island. At this level, the U.S. continues to have no allowable catch (AC) and Canada is allowed 5,000 fish under the current Annex IV of the Pacific Salmon Treaty, adopted in 2019, which includes harvest sharing of Taku River above border coho salmon. Harvest of Taku River coho salmon by the District 11 drift gillnet fishery and the inriver Canadian commercial fishery will be quite similar at approximately 4,500 fish and 6,500 fish with both countries likely exceeding their ACs. It appears the escapement goal will be met with the current inriver run size projection minus harvest in the Canada commercial fishery right at 50,000 fish which is the lower bound of the escapement goal range.

The final postseason Taku River sockeye salmon run size estimate will not be available for another month or so while genetic stock identification (GSI) and age, sex, and length (ASL) data are analyzed and incorporated. The last inseason Taku River terminal run size projection was 125,000 wild sockeye salmon. At this level, both the U.S. and Canada will fall well short of their ACs under the harvest sharing agreement that appears to have an 80%/20% U.S./Canada split based on enhancement efforts contributing less than 5,000 fish to the terminal run size. Escapement will likely exceed the upper end of the new escapement goal range of 40,000 – 75,000 fish.

The final postseason Taku River Chinook salmon run size estimate is not yet available but expansions from aerial surveys and preliminary mark-recapture data suggest an escapement of approximately 13,000 large fish. This will be the fifth consecutive year that escapement of Taku River large Chinook salmon has been below the goal range of 19,000 – 36,000 fish. No Chinook salmon were retained in commercial or recreational fisheries in Canada and GSI analysis is currently being conducted to provide a harvest estimate of Taku River large fish in District 11 fisheries.

2020 was a season that will be punctuated by recent-record lows in the District 11 drift gillnet fishery in terms of days fished, boats fished, and sockeye, coho, and chum salmon harvests. In addition to below recent 10-year average Taku River runs of Chinook, sockeye, and coho salmon, DIPAC chum salmon returns were forecasted to total nearly 1.7 million fish and most recent estimates suggest total returns of less than 800,000 fish.

The 2020 SEAK Drift Gillnet Fishery Management Plan can be found on the Southeast Management Plans webpage

Lynn Canal/District 15

The District 15 drift gillnet fishery opened on Sunday, September 13 for a 48- hour period. In Section 15-A, waters south of the latitude of Seduction Point opened to commercial fishing, and all waters of Section 15-C were open. Thirty-one boats made landings this week harvesting approximately 4,000 coho and 600 chum salmon, both below the 10-year average of 9,800 coho and 12,300 chum salmon. Fishing effort was less than half the 10-year average of 68 boats.

Escapement monitoring for Chilkoot River sockeye salmon ended on August 9. The final weir count of 60,218 sockeye salmon was within the escapement goal range of 38,000–86,000 fish. Escapement monitoring for Chilkat Lake sockeye salmon is still underway with approximately 75% of the run counted. The cumulative total passage through September 16 was 39,700 sockeye salmon which is well below the cumulative 10-year average of approximately 80,000 fish. Chilkat River coho and chum salmon fish wheel catches are also tracking below average at this time.

District 15 will open next week for two days in waters south of the latitude of Seduction Point and all waters of Section 15-C will be open. This will likely be the last opening of the season.

Yakutat Area Set Gillnet Fishery

The Situk River had a total of 57 permits harvest approximately 12,800 coho and 1 chum salmon. Fleet participation was average, but harvest was below average. The East Alsek River, Yakutat Bay, Kaliakh River, and Tsiu River were fished but less than three permits fished in each statistical area; harvest data are confidential. The Alsek River, Akwe River, Dangerous River, Manby-Inside, Manby-Outside and Seal River were not fished.

Escapement monitoring at the Situk River weir for sockeye salmon and Chinook salmon started on June 11. The weir was removed on August 7. Numbers still need to be checked for completeness but currently the count is 63,343 sockeye salmon and 1,192 large Chinook salmon. The upper end of the escapement goal for Chinook salmon has been exceeded and the mid-point for sockeye salmon escapement has been achieved. Aerial surveys were conducted for this week on the Tsiu River, Middle Italio River, and East Alsek River. Approximately 56,000 coho salmon were observed in the Tsiu River, 1,700 coho salmon in the Middle Italio River, and 10,000 sockeye salmon and 4,200 coho salmon in the East Alsek River respectively. Float surveys were conducted on the Situk River and Tawah Creek. Approximately 3,000 coho salmon were observed in the Situk River, and 750 coho salmon were observed in Tawah Creek.

Fishing times may be adjusted based on escapement into the Situk River statistical week 39. The Italio River will open by emergency order when adequate levels of escapement can be documented. The Situk-Ahrnklin Inlet and Yakutat Bay from Point Manby to Ocean Cape is continuing being open for individuals with dual permits to fish both permits.

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.

Nakat Inlet THA

The forecasted return for Nakat Inlet is 128,900 summer chum salmon and 57,600 fall chum salmon. Nakat Inlet opened continuously to the harvest of salmon by drift gillnet and troll gear on Monday, June 1. The summer chum salmon harvest is 166,000 chum salmon or 129% of the forecasted return. This total includes 83,000 chum salmon harvested by drift gillnet gear and 11,000 chum salmon harvested by purse seine gear in the traditional fishery and 72,000 chum salmon harvested in the THA. The fall chum salmon harvest is 8,000 chum salmon, 5,000 salmon by drift gillnet, 2,000 salmon by purse seine, and 1,000 salmon inside the THA.

For further information please refer to the 2020 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.

Neets Bay THA

The Neets Bay forecasted return is 662,300 summer chum salmon, 52,900 fall chum salmon, 11,400 Chinook salmon, and 108,800 coho salmon. Neets Bay opened to the harvest of salmon by troll gear on Monday, June 15, and by rotational fishery between drift gillnet and purse seine on Wednesday, June 17. Neets Bay closed to all gear groups on Monday, July 6 to provide the Southern Southeast Regional Aquaculture Association (SSRAA) the opportunity to conduct cost recovery. The current common property harvest is 122,000 chum salmon or 18% of the summer chum salmon forecasted return. This total includes 30,000 salmon harvested by drift gillnet gear and 31,000 salmon harvested by purse seine gear in the traditional fishery and 2,000 salmon harvested by drift gillnet gear, 4,000 salmon harvested by purse seine gear, and 55,000 salmon harvested for cost recovery inside the THA. Additional harvest has occurred for both broodstock and a small amount of cost recovery. For Chinook salmon, 3,200 Chinook salmon were harvested by drift gillnet gear and 3,600 Chinook salmon were harvested by purse seine gear inside the THA.

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.

Kendrick Bay THA

The forecasted return for Kendrick Bay is 451,600 summer chum salmon. Kendrick Bay opened continuously to the harvest of salmon by purse seine gear on Monday, June 15. The current harvest is 171,000 chum salmon or 38% of the forecasted return. This total includes 97,000 salmon harvested by purse seine gear and 14,000 salmon harvested by drift gillnet gear in the traditional fishery and 60,000 salmon harvested inside the THA.

For further information please refer to the 2020 Southeast Alaska purse seine fishery management plan (PDF 790 kB) and for updates on SSRAA contributions visit the SSRAA website external site link.

Caroll Inlet THA

The forecasted return for Carroll Inlet is 7,000 Chinook salmon. The Carroll Inlet THA opened to the harvest of salmon by all gear groups on Monday, June 1, and closed to purse seine and drift gillnet on Friday, June 12. The rotational fishery between purse seine and drift gillnet began on Monday, June 15. Current harvest is 1,000 Chinook salmon by drift gillnet and 1,650 fish by purse seine gear.

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.

Anita Bay THA

The 2020 Anita Bay THA forecast includes: 11,000 Chinook salmon, 366,300 summer chum salmon, and 11,900 fall coho salmon. The preliminary commercial harvest to date is 7,700 Chinook, 19,700 chum, and 3,100 coho salmon.

For further information and updates on SSRAA contributions and updates visit the SSRAA website.

Deep Inlet THA

The Deep Inlet THA opened on June 2. Forecasted runs for Deep Inlet THA and Medvejie Hatchery includes 1,478,000 chum salmon, 10,700 Chinook salmon, and 110,000 coho salmon. This season, the Northern Southeast Regional Aquaculture Association (NSRAA) does not anticipate cost recovery operations in the Deep Inlet THA but the THA was closed for broodstock collection on September 6. Seine harvest through September 4 was 2,500 Chinook and 396,000 chum salmon; gillnet harvest through September 2 was 3,650 Chinook and 204,250 chum salmon.

Hidden Falls THA

The first common property purse seine opening in the Hidden Falls THA occurred on June 21 and was followed by openings on June 25 and June 28. The Hidden Falls THA is now closed and subsequent openings will be dependent on inseason run strength. Forecasted runs for Hidden Falls THA includes 364,000 chum salmon, 27,000 coho salmon, and 850 Chinook salmon expected to return in 2020. The Northern Southeast Regional Aquaculture Association (NSRAA) needs 200,000 chum salmon for broodstock, leaving 164,000 chum salmon available for common property harvests. Seine harvest through June 28 is 7,700 chum salmon.

Crawfish Inlet THA

A run of 1,579,000 chum salmon is forecasted to return to the Crawfish Inlet remote release site in 2020. No chum salmon are needed for broodstock this season. Purse seining was opened in Crawfish Inlet August 25 and fishing will continue until September 25 with Thursday, Friday, and Sunday openings. Seine harvest through September 13 for Crawfish Inlet THA was 842,000 chum salmon.

Quick
Links
AK Peninsula | Bristol Bay | Chignik | Cook Inlet | Kodiak | Kuskokwim | Norton Sound/Kotzebue | Prince William Sound | Southeast Alaska | Yukon
Prince William Sound (PWS)

Copper River and PWS Drift Gillnet

Copper River and Bering River district gillnet fisheries were open on Monday, September 14 for a 24-hour period and Thursday, September 17 for a 36-hour period. The Coghill District remains closed to commercial salmon fishing as Prince William Sound Aquaculture Corporation (PWSAC) recommended closing the enhanced coho salmon directed commercial fishery due to slow broodstock acquisition at Wally Noerenberg Hatchery (WNH).

Escapement monitoring at the Miles Lake Sonar Station for sockeye and Chinook salmon returns to the Copper River started on May 19. The cumulative total passage through July 28 was 530,313 salmon versus a minimum inriver passage objective of 624,705 salmon. For the week ending September 12 the Copper River Delta survey count was 35,180 coho salmon versus an anticipated range of 18,286 – 38,285 fish. For the week ending September 12, the Bering River District survey count was 24,275 coho salmon versus an anticipated range of 6,969 – 17,691 fish. The Coghill River weir began operation on Saturday June 6 and cumulative passage through July 27 was 53,901 sockeye salmon versus an escapement target of 19,988 – 59,965 fish for the date.

Concerning the Copper River District, the 10-year average (2010-2019) annual coho salmon harvest is 223,000 fish. Harvest from the 24-hour period that began on Monday September 14 was 5,100 coho salmon with 124 deliveries reported. Harvest from the 36-hour period that began on Thursday, September 17 is not yet available. A total of 8,100 coho salmon were anticipated for this week based the 10-year average harvest and historical run timing.

Concerning the Bering River District, the 10-year average (2010–2019) annual coho salmon harvest is 63,000 fish. Harvest from the 24-hour period that began on Monday, September 14 was 2,400 coho salmon with 46 deliveries reported. Harvest from the 36-hour period that began on Thursday, September 17 is not yet available.

The Copper River and Bering River districts transitioned to coho salmon commercial fishery management with the first fishing period occurring on Monday, August 17. The standard management strategy for Copper and Bering River coho salmon is one or two 24-hour periods per week depending on escapement and harvest indices. The Coghill district transitioned to coho salmon management on Thursday, September 3.

Prince William Sound Purse Seine

Waters of the Eastern, Northern, Northwestern, Southwestern, Montague, and Southeastern districts were open to commercial purse seine fishing for daily 12-hour periods, from 8:00 am until 8:00 pm, on Sunday, September 6 through Friday, September 11. All hatchery subdistricts and hatchery special harvest areas (SHAs) and terminal harvest areas (THAs) were closed except waters of Port Valdez. Waters of Port Valdez were open Tuesday, September 8 through Friday, September 11 to target Coho salmon returning to Solomon Gulch Hatchery.

Pink salmon escapement goals were achieved across Prince William Sound (PWS). The wild return was above average for an even year. Chum salmon escapements are behind for the date in all PWS districts, due to weak wild chum salmon returns.

The Valdez Fishery Development Association (VFDA) completed eggtakes on Monday, August 24. Eggtakes are currently underway at all Prince William Sound Aquaculture Corporation (PWSAC) pink salmon facilities. VDFA has secured adequate coho salmon broodstock.

The cumulative PWS pink salmon harvest through August 27 is estimated at 18.2 million common property fishery (CPF) fish and 2.8 million cost recovery fish, for a total of 21.0 million fish. There have been no reported purse seine deliveries in PWS since Friday, August 28. The 2020 PWS purse seine season will close at 8:00 pm on Friday, September 11. Permit holders interested in additional fishing opportunities should contact ADF&G.

Quick
Links
AK Peninsula | Bristol Bay | Chignik | Cook Inlet | Kodiak | Kuskokwim | Norton Sound/Kotzebue | Prince William Sound | Southeast Alaska | Yukon
Bristol Bay

Bristol Bay

The 2020 Bristol Bay sockeye salmon run is forecasted to be approximately 48.95 million fish. Based on the forecast and using the mid-points of the lower or upper portion of escapement goal ranges, depending on forecasted run size, 36.91 million fish are potentially available for commercial inshore harvest. The department manages fisheries based on inseason information regarding abundance. The inseason management approach uses a suite of tools to provide information on abundance in each district as each run develops and that information is used by the department to determine fishing opportunity.

The commercial salmon season in Bristol Bay opens June 1 by regulation.

Inseason Harvest Information

Togiak District

The Togiak District is switching from sockeye salmon to coho salmon management. Fishing is on the regular weekly schedule with no more extensions.

Escapement enumeration projects are finished in the Togiak District. Total escapement was 261,000 fish, which was within the escapement goal range.

For more information, please visit the ADF&G website for the Bristol Bay Management Area

Nushagak District

Fishing in the Nushagak District is open continuously for set and drift gillnet. Effort includes less than 20 boats and a few set gillnet fishermen. The coho salmon harvest may have peaked this week but effort is very low and harvest is confidential.

Registration requirements ended July 17 at 9:00 a.m. The drift gillnet fleet harvest percentage is 71.1% behind the 74% allocation.

All escapement enumeration projects have finished for the 2020 season.

For more information, please visit the ADF&G website for the Bristol Bay Management Area

Naknek-Kvichak District

The summary from statistical week 30 is the final summary for the Naknek-Kvichak District.

Naknek River tower ended operations on July 21 with a cumulative escapement of 4.1 million fish, which is the highest escapement on record. Through July 23, Alagnak River escapement was 33,500 fish for a cumulative of 2.3 million fish. Kvichak River escapement was 4,400 fish for a cumulative of 4.0 million fish. Harvest in the Naknek-Kvichak District on July 23 was 101,000 fish for a cumulative of 13.8 million fish. All escapement goals have been met or exceeded. The district is open to continuous fishing until August 2 when the fall schedule will begin.

Egegik District

The summary from statistical week 31 is the final summary for the Egegik District.

The Egegik River tower completed operations for the 2020 season on July 24 and cumulative escapement is 2.39 million sockeye salmon, which exceeds the upper end of the established escapement goal range of 2.0 million fish. Total harvest through July 29 is approximately 13.1 million fish. Commercial fishing is currently open until August 2; the fall schedule will take effect after that time. Total run to date is approximately 15.58 million sockeye salmon, which exceeds the preseason forecast of 10.23 million fish.

Ugashik District

The summary from statistical week 31 is the final summary for the Ugashik District.

The Ugashik River tower completed operations for the 2020 season on July 28 and cumulative escapement is 1.75 million sockeye salmon, exceeding the upper bound of the established escapement goal range of 1.4 million fish. Total harvest through July 29 is approximately 2.6 million fish. Commercial fishing is currently open until Monday, August 3. The fall fishing schedule will take effect after that date.

Quick
Links
AK Peninsula | Bristol Bay | Chignik | Cook Inlet | Kodiak | Kuskokwim | Norton Sound/Kotzebue | Prince William Sound | Southeast Alaska | Yukon
Cook Inlet:

Upper Cook Inlet (UCI)

There are currently three commercial fisheries underway in Upper Cook Inlet:

  • Northern District Set Gillnet fishery: Mondays and Thursdays – 12-hour periods
  • Western, Kustatan, and Kalgin Island Subdistrict Set Gillnet fisheries: Mondays and Thursdays – 12-hour periods
  • Central District Drift Gillnet fishery:
    • Mondays and Thursdays – Area 3 and 4, 12-hour periods
    • Tuesdays and Fridays in Chintina Bay, 12-hour periods

The Kasilof River sonar ended operations on August 22 after three consecutive days of enumerating less than 1% of the total passage. The sockeye salmon passage estimate is 545,651 fish. Total Kasilof River escapement falls well above the previous 10-year average of 368,722 fish and is the largest escapement estimate for the Kasilof River on record.

The Kenai River sonar project ceased operations on August 24. The final sockeye salmon passage estimate in the Kenai River is 1,813,386 fish, well over the 10-year year-end average of 1,462,993 fish. The final offshore test fishery (OTF) cumulative index is approximately 1,354 fish. The cumulative OTF index is far below the previous 10-year average of 2,005 fish.

The Northern District set gillnet fishery opened June 25. A total of 47,804 sockeye salmon have been harvested. A total of 1,659 king salmon have been harvested, with approximately 1,496 fish harvested in the directed king salmon fishery.

The Western Subdistrict set gillnet fishery was open for regular periods on September 14 and September 17. Total harvest for the Western Subdistrict through September 14 includes 71 king salmon and 24,889 sockeye salmon.

The drift gillnet fishery was open for regular periods in Areas 3 and 4 on September 14 and September 17. Additionally, fishing with drift gillnets was open in Chinitna Bay on September 15 and September 18. Total harvest in the drift gillnet fishery through September 14 was 286,937 sockeye salmon, 128 king salmon, 50,255 coho salmon, 25,860 chum salmon, and 296,230 pink salmon.

The Upper Subdistrict was closed Thursday July 22 at midnight. Total harvest for the Upper Subdistrict set gillnet fishery is approximately 295,052 sockeye and 831 king salmon.

Lower Cook Inlet (LCI)

Commercial purse seine harvest of remaining salmon associated with hatchery releases into Bear Lake and Resurrection Bay concluded on July 17. Commercial set gillnet harvest continues in the Southern District on a schedule of (2) 48-hour fishing periods per week. In addition, specific waters of the Southern District opened to commercial purse seine harvest on Monday, June 15 on a schedule of Monday, Wednesday, Friday fishing periods starting at 6:00 a.m. on those days. Commercial common property purse seine harvest in Kamishak Bay began on June 1. The outer portion of the Tutka Bay Hatchery special harvest area (SHA) opened on a Monday, Wednesday, Friday schedule of common property purse seine fishing periods on Monday, July 27. Portions of the Outer District opened on a Monday, Wednesday, Friday schedule of 16-hour fishing periods on July 13 and expanded to a Monday through Friday schedule on August 4, which is the current schedule for this area.

Passage at the English Bay weir through August 1 was 31,486 sockeye salmon and is above the sustainable escapement goal of 6,000 – 13,500 fish for this system. This is the second highest escapement for this species in this river. It was surpassed in 1939 where 48,777 sockeye salmon were counted at the weir on the English Bay River.

The Delight Lake weir was installed by Cook Inlet Aquaculture Association (CIAA) on July 4 and is being operated by CIAA staff. Through August 2, when the weir was pulled, a total of 12,299 sockeye salmon had been counted. This is within the sustainable escapement goal (SEG) for this system of 7,500-17,650 fish.

The video monitoring system was installed in Chenik Lake in mid-June. As of July 27, approximately 8,355 sockeye salmon have been counted entering Chenik Lake. This is within the SEG of a 2,900 – 13,700 fish.

Participation levels for lower Cook Inlet commercial set gillnet and purse seine fisheries are anticipated to remain similar to those in recent years as the season draws to a close.

Commercial set gillnet harvest levels in the Southern District are below the 5-year average for all five salmon species with the exception of pink salmon where 31,602 fish have been harvested versus a previous five-year average of 29,377 fish harvested. Harvest levels for the Southern District purse seine fishery are above the 5-year average with regards to sockeye salmon and chum salmon harvest. Through Wednesday, July 22 a total of 58,000 sockeye salmon have been harvested from the China Poot area by the commercial common property purse seine fleet. The total anticipated return of sockeye salmon to China Poot Lake is 25,000 fish. These fish were released into China Poot Lake by CIAA and are of English Bay River broodstock. Harvest of pink salmon from systems west of Gore Point in the Outer Coast District is above the preseason outlook of 78,400 fish with 1.47 million fish harvested. Total commercial common property pink salmon harvest from Lower Cook Inlet is 1.86 million fish with an additional 607,000 fish harvested by CIAA for cost recovery. The most recent commercial common property purse seine delivery was August 24. The most recent commercial set gillnet delivery was August 14.

Quick
Links
AK Peninsula | Bristol Bay | Chignik | Cook Inlet | Kodiak | Kuskokwim | Norton Sound/Kotzebue | Prince William Sound | Southeast Alaska | Yukon
Kodiak

Kodiak

The current commercial salmon fishing period is scheduled to close at 6:00 p.m. Friday, September 18 in the Outer Ayakulik Section of the Southwest Kodiak District, the Afognak District (except the Outer Kitoi Bay and Izhut Bay sections remain open until further notice and the Inner Kitoi Bay Section remains closed), the Anton Larsen, Sharatin Bay, Kizhuyak Bay, Terror Bay, Inner Uganik Bay, Zachar Bay, Spridon Bay, and Uyak Bay sections of the Northwest Kodiak District, the Eastside Kodiak District, the Northeast Kodiak District, and the Mainland District.

The current commercial salmon fishing period remains open until further notice in the Outer Karluk Section of the Southwest Kodiak District, the Central and North Cape sections of the Northwest Kodiak District, the Humpy-Deadman, Cape Alitak, Alitak Bay, Moser Bay, and Olga Bay sections of the Alitak District, and the Izhut Bay and Outer Kitoi Bay sections of the Afognak District.

Approximately 1,493,000 sockeye salmon have been harvested through September 17 which is below average for this date. Approximately 21,300,000 pink salmon have been harvested which is above average for this date. Approximately 370,000 chum salmon have been harvested which is below average for this date. Approximately 419,000 coho salmon have been harvest which is average for this date.

In the Southwest Kodiak District, the cumulative Karluk River early-run sockeye salmon escapement was 157,441 fish, which is within the desired escapement range. The cumulative Karluk River late-run sockeye salmon escapement was 294,552 fish, which is within the desired escapement range. The cumulative Karluk pink salmon escapement was 3,141,952 fish which is above the desired escapement range. The cumulative Ayakulik River early-run sockeye salmon was 220,935 fish, which is within the desired escapement range. The Ayakulik late-run sockeye salmon total was 71,660 which was within the desired escapement range. The cumulative Ayakulik pink salmon escapement is 1,002,753 fish which was above the desired escapement range.

In the Alitak District, the cumulative Upper Station late-run sockeye salmon escapement was 175,147 fish, which is within the desired escapement range. The cumulative Frazer sockeye salmon escapement was 181,384 fish, which is within the desired escapement range. The Dog Salmon Weir was removed August 11.

In the Afognak District, the cumulative Afognak Lake (Litnik) sockeye salmon escapement through the date the weir was pulled (August 7) was 24,284 fish, which is within the desired escapement range.

In the Northeast Kodiak District, the cumulative Buskin Lake sockeye salmon escapement through September 17 is 7,739 fish, which is within the desired escapement range.

In the Eastside Kodiak District, the cumulative Pasagshak sockeye salmon escapement through August 14, when the weir was pulled, is 3,522 fish. The cumulative Saltery River sockeye escapement of 24,987 fish through the date the weir was pulled (August 18) was within the desired escapement range.

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

Quick
Links
AK Peninsula | Bristol Bay | Chignik | Cook Inlet | Kodiak | Kuskokwim | Norton Sound/Kotzebue | Prince William Sound | Southeast Alaska | Yukon
Alaska Peninsula

North Peninsula

The last processor in the area shut down operations on September 13. Weekly fishing periods are still occurring by regulation, and the Nelson Lagoon, Bear River, and Three Hills sections are open to commercial salmon fishing until further notice, but no effort will occur from this point until the end of the regulatory season (September 30).

All four river systems with salmon enumeration weirs met their season ending escapement goals. The escapement for the early run at Bear River was 299,000 sockeye salmon, which exceeded the escapement goal of 176,000-293,000 sockeye salmon. The late run escapement at Bear River was 161,000 sockeye salmon, which met the escapement goal of 87,000-165,000 sockeye salmon. The escapement at Sandy River was 60,000 sockeye salmon, which met the escapement goal of 34,000–74,000 sockeye salmon. The escapement at Ilnik River was 40,000 sockeye salmon, which met the escapement goal of 40,000–60,000 sockeye salmon. The escapement at Nelson River was 185,000 sockeye salmon, which met the escapement goal of 97,000–219,000 sockeye salmon.

Final spawning ground surveys occurred on the Cinder River on August 11 and the escapement was over 120,000 sockeye salmon, exceeding the goal of 26,000–94,000 fish. On the Meshik River the final aerial survey showed 64,000 sockeye salmon, meeting the goal of 48,000–86,000 sockeye salmon.

No fishing effort will occur until the start of the next season. In the Nelson Lagoon Section, participation consistently stayed at about 10 permits daily up until the last day of the fishery. On the outside beach (Bear River, Three Hills, and Ilnik sections), about 5 permit holders made deliveries daily, weather permitting, up until the last day of the fishery.

Season total sockeye salmon catches were slightly below average, and well below recent years harvests. A total of 1.7 million sockeye salmon were harvested in the Northern District for the season. A total of 46,000 coho salmon were harvested during the 2020 season, which is slightly below average.

For more information, please visit the ADF&G website for the Alaska Peninsula Management Area webpage.

South Peninsula

A commercial salmon fishing opening by set gillnet and seine gear began at 8:00 p.m. Saturday, September 12 will continue until 8:00 p.m. Tuesday September 15 in the following districts and sections:

  • Unimak District
  • Southwestern District, excluding the inside waters of the Volcano Bay Section north and west of a line from Arch Point at 55° 12.30' N. lat., 161° 54.30' W. long. to a point on Belkofski Peninsula at 55° 09.50' N. Lat, 161° 57.80' W. long. (Statistical Area 284-36)
  • South Central District, excluding the waters of the Canoe Bay Section (Statistical Area 283-24)
  • Shumagin Islands Section of the Southeastern District excluding the waters of Zachary Bay south of the latitude of 55° 22.60' N. lat. (Statistical Area 282-35)

Commercial salmon fishing by set gillnet and seine gear closed at 8:00 p.m. September 12 and reopened from 9:00 a.m. Monday, September 14 until 8:00 p.m. Tuesday, September 15 in the Beaver Bay, Balboa Bay, Southwest Stepovak, and East Stepovak sections of the Southeastern District.

Commercial salmon fishing by drift gillnet gear began at 8:00 p.m., Saturday, September 12 and will continue until 8:00 p.m. Tuesday, September 15 in the following districts and sections:

  • Unimak District
  • Ikatan Bay Section of the Southwestern District

Participation in September is generally much lower than participation in June through August. Low participation prompts confidentiality rules: therefore, September harvest is not publicly reported.

There is one management plan in the South Alaska Peninsula Management Area that has allocative ties to another area. The Southeastern District Mainland Salmon Management Plan (5 AAC 09.360) is based off the Chignik Management Area (Area L) harvest. The allocation period of the Southeastern District Mainland Salmon Management Plan ended on July 25; the area is now managed on local salmon escapement.

Sockeye salmon harvest is well below the recent 10- and 5-year averages, with 832,141 sockeye salmon harvested as of September 18. The 10-year average harvest of sockeye salmon is 2,063,000 fish and the 5-year average harvest is 2,352,000 fish.

Pink salmon harvest is below average for this time of year with 4,133,159 fish harvested. The 10-year average harvest of pink salmon on September 18 is 7,509,000 fish and the 5-year average harvest is 12,053,000 fish.

Chum salmon harvest is below average at 642,359 chum salmon. The 10-year average for September 18 is 892,000 fish and the 5-year average harvest is 1,016,000 fish.

Chinook salmon harvest is between the 5- and 10-year average at 19,901 Chinook salmon. The 10-year average for September 18 is 13,700 fish and the 5-year average harvest is 20,300 fish.

Coho salmon harvest is well below average at 121,850 coho salmon. The 10-year average for September 18 is 251,000 fish and the 5-year average harvest is 303,000 fish.

Aerial surveys have been flown in the streams of all South Alaska Peninsula districts. The escapement goal for the entire South Alaska Peninsula Area is 1.75 to 4 million pink salmon and 330,400 to 660,800 chum salmon. Approximately 3,203,450 pink salmon have been observed in river which is above the midpoint of the escapement goal of 2.9 million pink salmon. Approximately 421,850 chum salmon have been observed in the river, which is above the minimum escapement goal.

September management considers local coho salmon returns in addition to pink salmon and chum salmon.

Quick
Links
AK Peninsula | Bristol Bay | Chignik | Cook Inlet | Kodiak | Kuskokwim | Norton Sound/Kotzebue | Prince William Sound | Southeast Alaska | Yukon
Chignik

Chignik

There are no commercial salmon fishing periods scheduled to open in the Chignik Management Area (CMA) at this time.

The Chignik River weir was removed on August 27; final counts were conducted through midnight August 26. A total of 309,702 sockeye salmon passed through the Chignik River weir this season, a post-weir estimate will be released in the following weeks. The cumulative early run total was 137,213 sockeye salmon and the late run total is 172,489 sockeye salmon. The early run this year was extremely weak and did not achieve the escapement goal for the 3rd consecutive year. The late run was also extremely weak. The combined run is the one of the worst in Chignik history. With the inclusion of a post-weir estimate, it is still very unlikely that the late run will achieve the minimum escapement goal of 220,000 sockeye salmon.

Aerial surveys of the CMA have been flown beginning in early July. Currently, the area wide sustainable escapement goal (SEG) of approximately 118,000 chum salmon has been achieved, with an estimated 125,000 chum salmon escaping into local CMA streams. Aerial surveys over the past week have shown the peak of the pink salmon run occurred in mid-August. Area wide escapement of pink salmon was not met in 2020.

From June 1 until July 25 sockeye salmon harvested in the Southeastern District Mainland (SEDM) Section of the Alaska Peninsula (Area M) to the West of the CMA are considered bound for Chignik. From June 1 until July 5 sockeye salmon harvested in the Cape Igvak Section of Kodiak (Area K) to the East of the CMA are considered bound for Chignik. The allocation period for the Cape Igvak and SEDM sections has ended and no fishing periods were allowed in the Cape Igvak or SEDM sections during the allocation time frames for the 2020 season.

For more information, please visit the ADF&G website for the Chignik Management Area webpage.

For Advisory Announcements detailing the specific information related to the fishery visit the Advisory Announcements webpage.

Quick
Links
AK Peninsula | Bristol Bay | Chignik | Cook Inlet | Kodiak | Kuskokwim | Norton Sound/Kotzebue | Prince William Sound | Southeast Alaska | Yukon
Arctic-Yukon-Kuskokwim

Yukon River

The 2020 fall chum salmon run projection is near 200,000 fish, which is the lowest run on record. Fall chum salmon are typically dominated by age-4 fish; however, the 2016 parent year that produced that age class has shown extremely poor survival in chum salmon runs throughout the state. Coho salmon returned late and weak. The coho salmon passage estimate through September 7 was 108,100 fish, which is well below the median passage of approximately 150,000 fish for that date. The coho salmon run is also tracking to be one the lowest on record. Commercial salmon fisheries in the Yukon Area were not prosecuted due to the low returns of both fall chum and coho salmon. The inseason run projections indicated that the drainagewide escapement goal of 300,000 to 600,000 fish and the threshold of 550,000 fish needed to allow commercial fishing for fall chum salmon would not be achieved.

Kuskokwim River

The Kuskokwim Area had a single registered commercial fishery buyer for the 2020 season. On June 29, commercial fishing occurred in the W-4 and W-5 districts for the first time since 2015. Commercial fishery data is confidential. Commercial fishing withing the Kuskokwim River (District 1) closed by regulation September 1. Commercial fishing withing the Kuskokwim Bay (Districts 4 and 5) closed by regulation September 8.

The 2020 Kuskokwim River Chinook salmon forecast was for a range of 193,000–261,000 fish. The drainage-wide Chinook salmon escapement goal is 65,000–120,000 fish. Current assessment data indicates the run was late and weak however the drainage-wide escapement goal will be achieved. Both the chum and sockeye salmon runs are late. Chum and coho salmon runs materialized below average, while the sockeye salmon run appeared average.

ADF&G operated five assessment projects in 2020 (3-weirs, sonar, and Bethel Test Fishery). The United States Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) canceled their one weir project. The Bethel Test Fishery and Kuskokwim Sonar ended operations on August 24 and 25, respectably. Weir projects will end operations in late September.

As of August 5, Chinook salmon escapement at the George and Kogrukluk River Weirs have passed the lower bounds of their respective escapement goals. Escapements past weirs for all species are tracking below their respective 5-year and historic averages, except for Telaquana Lake sockeye salmon which are tracking above average with a total escapement of 176,474 sockeye salmon. Sockeye and chum salmon escapements at the Kogrukluk weir passed the lower bound of the established escapement goals.

Subsistence fishing closures for Chinook salmon went into effect on June 1 in the lower Kuskokwim River and proceeded upstream through the subsistence fishing sections until June 11. The Middle and Upper Kuskokwim River opened to subsistence fishing on June 12. The Lower Kuskokwim River opened to subsistence fishing on July 7.

For more information, please visit the ADF&G website for the Kuskokwim Management Area

Norton Sound

Commercial salmon fishing ended last weekend (September 5-6). The last operating escapement projects were pulled in the Nome Subdistrict on Monday and Tuesday this week (week of September 14). Coho salmon escapement picked up with the rain and the Nome weir crew counted nearly one-third of the silver escapement for the season on Monday (September 14) with 1,199 fish counted for a final count of 3,667 coho salmon. The Nome River escapement was average compared to the 5-year average and above average compared to the 10-year average. The Snake River weir was pulled early Monday (September 14) as the water started to rise. The final count was 3,053 coho salmon; escapement was below average compared to the 5-year average and average compared to the 10-year average. Commercial fishing was poor throughout Norton Sound this season, except in Nome and Golovin. While many of the biggest subdistricts did poorly, Nome had the third highest coho salmon harvest on record. Coho salmon escapement picked up with the rain on Labor Day. In the Nome area, the Nome and Snake river coho salmon escapement has been average.

For more information, please visit the ADF&G website for the Norton Sound & Kotzebue Management Area

Kotzebue

The season harvest was 150,000 chum salmon by 69 permit holders. This was the lowest harvest since 2007 and well below the average harvest of over 400,000 chum salmon the past decade. The number of permit holders fishing was also the lowest since 2013. The Kobuk River test fish chum salmon catch index was the third lowest on record in the 28-year project history.

For more information, please visit the ADF&G website for the Norton Sound & Kotzebue Management Area

Quick
Links
AK Peninsula | Bristol Bay | Chignik | Cook Inlet | Kodiak | Kuskokwim | Norton Sound/Kotzebue | Prince William Sound | Southeast Alaska | Yukon

Top of Document