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2016 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 26, 2016

Southeast Alaska

Troll Fishery

The second Chinook salmon retention period opened August 13, to a target harvest of approximately 73,000 Chinook.  Preliminary fish ticket data indicates approximately 36,000 Chinook have been landed by 493 permits, with an average weight of 12.5 pounds, and an average price of $5.44 per pound. Aerial vessel surveys, and number of permits landed to date, indicate that effort during the second retention period is down from the first opening in July.  Poor weather has reduced the number of fishable days throughout the two weeks of the fishery. The department has no immediate plans to close the fishery, and Chinook retention remains open until further notice.

Regional power troll coho salmon catch rates averaged 36 fish per day last week, with the highest catch rates in the Central Outside and Southern Outside areas. Catch rates have remained low this week, with a mid-week catch per day average of 37 for the region as a whole.  It should be noted that coho have been harvested incidentally during the past 2 weeks of the Chinook retention period, which has contributed to reduced coho catch rates. The seasonal average weight for coho is 6.1 pounds, but the current week average of 7.5 pounds is nearly a pound increase from just prior to the coho conservation closure that began Aug 9. The average price is currently $1.78 per pound and the cumulative catch since July 1 is approximately 985,000 fish.

A small portion of the troll fleet has been targeting chum salmon returning to the Medvejie hatchery and Deep Inlet Terminal Harvest Area (THA) in the Sitka Sound area.  During the current week, a total of 13 permits have targeted chum in Eastern Channel/Sitka Sound. Power trollers have an average chum catch/landing of 231 fish, with an average weight of 7.5 pounds and an average price of $0.54 per pound for the current week. The department announced in a news release August 25 that the Deep Inlet THA would re-open for all gear groups beginning with troll on Saturday, August 27.  The THA will be open to troll gear Saturdays of each week through October 1.

The 2016 Summer Troll Management Plans can be found on the troll website. Inseason catch and effort data for summer is available on the Summer Troll Webpage.

Purse Seine Fishery

The 2016 Southeast Alaska common property purse seine fishery is in its tenth week. Regional cumulative harvest estimates for purse seine gear as of August 26 are 14.5 million pink and 3.6 million chum salmon. During statistical week 35, fishing occurred on August 21 and a mid-week seine opening occurred on August 24. Only Section 13-A was open with the remainder of the region now closed for directed pink salmon fishing.

The August 21 fishing period attracted 19 boats with a total estimated harvest of 62,000 salmon. Harvest per boat was 3,200 pink salmon and 90 chum salmon.

The mid-week seine period on August 24 attracted 15 boats and total estimated harvest for the fishing period was 27,000 salmon. There will be no more directed pink salmon openings in Southeast Alaska for the 2016 season.

Aerial surveys for peak pink salmon counts will be conducted through the end of August. The department will be monitoring salmon returns to Cholmondeley Sound, Security Bay, Port Camden, Nakwasina Sound, Chaik Bay, and Excursion Inlet for fall chum salmon opportunity. Pink salmon escapement is generally normal for Southern Southeast and the Sitka Management Area, and below normal for the remainder of Northern Southeast Alaska.

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 for four days starting at 12:01 p.m., Sunday, August 21, 2016. The effort level of 40 vessels was above the 10-year average of 31.  The Tree Point gillnet fishery is above average for sockeye and pink salmon and below average for coho and chum salmon. The sockeye salmon harvest was 2,000 fish, well above the 10-year average of 750 fish. The coho salmon harvest was 4,000 fish, which is below the 10-year average of 5,200 fish. The pink salmon harvest was 40,000 fish, well above the 10-year average of 24,000 fish. The chum salmon harvest was 10,000 fish, which is below the 10-year average of 13,000 fish.  The Section 1-B drift gillnet fishery management is currently based on the strength of returning wild stock coho and fall chum salmon.  With above average effort and total harvest slightly below average for coho and chum salmon, Tree Point will open for four days in statistical week 36, beginning at 12:01 p.m., Sunday, August 28, 2016.  For additional information concerning this fishery, see the 2016 Southeast Alaska Drift Gillnet Fishery Management Plan (PDF 486 kB) which is also  available at area offices or on the Alaska Department of Fish and Game website.

Stikine and Prince of Wales/Districts 6 and 8

Management focus of the Districts 6 and 8 gillnet fishery for week 35 was based on pink salmon abundance. Both districts were opened for 48 hours beginning on Sunday, August 21. Effort was above the 10-year average in District 6 and well below average in District 8. Pink salmon catch rates were well below average this week with an overall harvest level at about half the 10-year average. Management focus will include wild coho salmon abundance next week. Wild coho salmon catch rates have been below average this year thus far. This year's summer returns of hatchery produced coho salmon came in well below forecast. With indicators pointing towards a weaker than average return for both pink and wild coho salmon, both districts will open for a 48-hour period beginning Sunday, August 28.

The most recent Stikine River sockeye run size estimate is 242,000 fish, above the preseason forecast of 223,000 and well above the 10-year average of 172,000. The latest inseason assessment for Stikine River Chinook salmon produced a terminal run size of 16,500 fish, well below the 10-year average of 30,000 fish. 

Taku-Snettisham/Section 11-B

Effort in the District 11 drift gillnet fishery this week remained similar to last week with more than 50 boats fishing in the district. Nearly one-third of the total effort remained in the vicinity of the Speel Arm Special Harvest Area (SHA) targeting the dwindling returns of Snettisham Hatchery sockeye salmon. By the third day of the fishery, many throughout the district were heading back to town with significantly reduced harvests of both sockeye and coho salmon instigating an early retreat. Although catch rates dwindled on the last day, the first two days of the fishery saw above average catching of both sockeye and coho salmon with an apparent late pulse of Taku River sockeye present in Taku Inlet.

The second inseason Taku River coho salmon run size estimate projects a total inriver run of 87,000 fish, just a couple thousand fish less than last week's estimate. Although this estimate is significantly less than the preseason forecast of 127,000 fish, a run of the current size still allows some opportunity for directed fisheries as the U.S. above-border passage target is 75,000 fish under terms of the Pacific Salmon Treaty. Average coho salmon size is picking up in the District 11 fishery and was nearing ten pounds this week. Enhanced Douglas Island Pink and Chum, Inc. (DIPAC) coho salmon are beginning to return to Gastineau Channel and these fish will likely start becoming large contributors to the District 11 gillnet harvest.

District 11 will open for three days next week starting at noon on August 28 with the same lines as this week. The Speel Arm SHA will remain open until further notice with no issues towards achieving broodstock goals forcing an early closure. The silvers aren't exploding on the scene just yet, but every tide brings a new possibility.

Lynn Canal/District 15

The Lynn Canal (District 15) drift gillnet fishery in Section 15-A will be open for three days in the northern part of the Section, and for two days in the southern part of the section. A part of Section 15C will be open for two days as well. The fishing period will begin on Sunday, August 28. The escapement of sockeye salmon into the Chilkoot River is currently within goal, with a total of about 84,500 fish through the weir as of August 24, 2016. The cumulative catch of sockeye salmon in the Chilkat River fish wheels is average for this time of year, but the catch in the last two weeks has been well below average.  The cumulative sonar count of sockeye salmon at Chilkat Lake continue to be below average, though there has been a substantial increase in the daily count recently due to improved flow conditions at the weir.  The gillnet fishery in the northern portion of Section 15-A will open for three days north of the Katzehin Buoy to the White Rock line in Lutak Inlet.  The southern portion of Section 15-A will open for two days south of Seduction Point. The additional time in the northern section will allow the fleet to focus primarily on the harvesting of Chilkoot sockeye salmon, while the southern area will allow the harvest of mixed Chilkoot and Chilkat sockeye salmon.

Section 15-C will open south of Point Bridget for two days, with the management of this area shifting to focus on coho salmon.  The northern portion of this Section will be closed to reduce the harvest of the later portion of the Chilkat Lake sockeye salmon return.

The harvest for the District 15 opening in statistical week 35 (August 21-August 27) was estimated to be 5,000 chum salmon, 13,000 sockeye salmon, 2,000 pink salmon and 2,500 coho salmon.  The harvest of sockeye salmon was about 1.5 times the proceeding 10-year average harvest, and the harvest of chum salmon was about 60% of the proceeding 10-year average. The pink salmon harvest was about one quarter of the proceeding 10-year average, while the coho salmon harvest was only about 70% of the average. An estimated 67 boats participated in the fishery, slightly above the average number of boats.

Yakutat Area Set Gillnet Fishery

The Situk-Ahrnklin Inlet, Yakutat Bay, and the East River were the only areas fished this week in Yakutat.  All other fisheries in Yakutat, with the exception of the Tsiu, Lost, and Italio River systems, were open this week, but not fished.  Coho salmon harvests this week indicate a strong return with reports of larger than average sized fish. Distribution of effort in Yakutat area coho salmon fisheries have declined in recent years due  lack of air transportation and the cost of flying those fish to available markets. Most of the fishing effort has shifted in the Situk-Ahrnklin Inlet where 52 permits harvested 9,000 coho, 600 sockeye and 3,000 pink salmon. The overall pink salmon return is low compared to the recent 5-yr average. In Yakutat Bay, four 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. Fewer than three permits fished the East River and harvest information is confidential. The Tsiu River remains closed, but may open on short notice when desired coho salmon escapement has been observed. The Italio River systems may open by emergency order when escapement counts have been observed. 

The Situk River Biological Escapement Goal (BEG) of 30,000-70,000 sockeye was attained this year. The pink salmon Sustainable Escapement Goal (SEG) of 33,000 passing the weir by August 5 was also met this year. There were 330 large Chinook salmon that passed through the weir and the BEG of 450-1,150 was not met.  The BEG for Chinook salmon at the Klukshu River was also not met.  As of August 17, 1,658 sockeye salmon passed through the weir. At this time, only 35% of the sockeye salmon run is  through and so it is still too early to project if the BEG will be attained. Coho salmon escapement surveys of the Situk River, the Tsiu River, and Tawah Creek have not been conducted yet due to inclement weather and high water.  

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.

Anita Bay THA

The 2016 Anita Bay Terminal Harvest Area (THA) forecast includes 387,000 summer chum and 15,000 coho salmon. Anita Bay THA is currently open to drift gillnet and purse seine as a rotational fishery with a time ratio of two to one. This rotational fishing period will conclude on August 30 when the THA opens to both gear groups concurrently until it closes for the season on November 10 at 12:00 noon. For further information and updates on SSRAA contributions and updates visit the SSRAA website. The estimated harvest to date is 3,500 Chinook, 130,000 chum and 1,000 coho salmon.

Boat Harbor THA

The inside waters of the Boat Harbor Terminal Harvest Area (THA) west of a regulatory marker at the entrance to Boat Harbor will close with the remainder of Section 15-C at 12:00 noon, Tuesday, August 30. No recent harvest estimates are available for this THA.

Deep Inlet THA

Forecast returns for the Deep Inlet Terminal Harvest Area (THA) and Medvejie Hatchery includes 1,782,000 chum salmon, 31,200 Chinook salmon, and 62,000 coho salmon. This season, 90,000 chum salmon are needed for broodstock, and up to 400,000 chum salmon are needed for cost recovery, depending on price. The Deep Inlet THA closed to all common property commercial salmon fisheries on Saturday, August 6, 2016 to facilitate collection of cost recovery chum salmon. Northern Southeast Regional Aquaculture Association's (NSRAA) cost recovery goal is approximately 1,799,000 pounds of chum salmon, and 100,000 pounds has been harvested to date. Once cost recovery harvest is complete a News Release will be issued reopening the Deep Inlet THA to all common property commercial harvest.

Hidden Falls THA

Forecast returns for Hidden Falls Terminal Harvest Area (THA)  includes 1,433,000 chum salmon, 5,400 Chinook salmon, and 194,000 coho salmon.  The Hidden Falls Hatchery requires 202,000 chum salmon for broodstock. To date 17,000 chum salmon have been harvested in the common property seine fishery, 202,000 chum salmon have been taken for broodstock and 30,000 have been harvested for cost recovery. The Hidden Falls THA common property fishery opened on August 12, and harvest is confidential. Total return of chum salmon to the Hidden Falls THA, for this date, is well below forecast.

Kendrick Bay THA

The forecasted return for Kendrick Bay Terminal Harvest Area (THA) summer chum salmon is 868,000. Kendrick Bay opened to the harvest of salmon by purse seine gear on Wednesday, June 15, 2016. The Kendrick Bay harvest of chum salmon through statistical week 34 is approximately 794,000 salmon, or 91% of the forecasted return. This total includes 661,000 chum salmon harvested by purse seine gear and 43,000 chum salmon harvested by drift gillnet gear in the traditional fishery and 90,000 chum salmon harvested in the THA. 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 Terminal Harvest Area (THA) summer chum salmon is 260,000 and for fall chum salmon is 82,800 fish. Nakat Inlet opened to the harvest of salmon by drift gillnet and troll gear on Wednesday, June 1, 2016. The Nakat Inlet harvest through statistical week 34 is approximately 230,000 chum salmon, or 88% of the summer forecast. This total includes 83,000 chum salmon harvested by drift gillnet gear and 32,000 chum salmon harvested by purse seine gear in the traditional fishery and 115,000 chum salmon harvested in the THA.  For further information and updates on Southern Southeast Regional Aquaculture Association (SSRAA) contributions and updates visit the SSRAA website.

Neets Bay THA

The Neets Bay Terminal Harvest Area (THA) forecasted return for summer chum salmon is 1,237,000 fish, for fall chum salmon is 250,000, for Chinook salmon is 17,500 fish, and for coho salmon is 254,800 fish. Neets Bay opened to the harvest of salmon by drift gillnet and purse seine on Sunday, May 1, 2016. The Neets Bay harvest of chum salmon through statistical week 34 is approximately 1,274,000 salmon, or 103% of the summer forecast. This total includes 255,000 chum salmon harvested by purse seine gear, 50,000 chum salmon harvested by drift gillnet gear and 52,000 chum salmon harvested by Troll gear in the traditional fishery and 132,000 chum salmon harvested by purse seine, 4,000 chum salmon harvested by drift gillnet gear and 86,000 chum salmon harvested by troll gear in the THA. An additional 515,000 fish have been harvested for cost recovery and 180,000 fish reserved for broodstock inside the THA. The harvest of Chinook salmon in the Neets Bay THA through statistical week 34 is 1,600 salmon by drift gillnet gear and 3,000 salmon by purse seine gear. For further information and updates on Southern Southeast Regional Aquaculture Association (SSRAA) contributions and updates visit the SSRAA website.

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Prince William Sound (PWS)

PWS Inseason Harvest Summary by District

PWS Inseason Harvest by District and Period

Copper River and PWS Drift Gillnet

The Copper River District opened to commercial fishing for a 24-hour fishing period on August 22. This was the twenty-ninth fishing period of the 2016 season. The Eshamy District was open for a 24-hour fishing period on Thursday, August 18 and a 24-hour fishing period on Monday, August 22.

Escapement monitoring at the Miles Lake Sonar Station for sockeye and Chinook salmon returns to the Copper started on May 8. The last day of data collection at the Miles Lake sonar project was July 28.  The season cumulative Miles Lake sonar count was 801,593 fish whereas the anticipated range for this date is 663,261–1,026,564 fish.  Escapement monitoring at the Coghill River Weir started on June 10. The last day of Coghill Lake weir counts was July 27, and a total of 8,708 sockeye salmon were counted versus an anticipated range of 18,958–56,873 fish.

Waters inside of the barrier islands from Steamboat Anchorage to the eastern edge of the district were open during all of the last two fishing periods due to Chinook salmon run timing and harvest indicating that the run is complete. Fishing period duration in the Eshamy District is tied, by regulation, to returns to the district and period duration is being limited to match run entry of salmon returning to the district. Fishing time and/or area restrictions are in effect in the Eshamy District for wild stock conservation.

The preliminary harvest from the twenty-ninth Copper River District commercial fishing period was 199 sockeye and 35,222 coho salmon. To date, the cumulative commercial coho salmon harvest of 74,833 fish is above the recent 10-year average of 57,890 fish, indicating a good start to this year's coho salmon season in the Copper River District. This year's Copper River Chinook and sockeye salmon runs are well below last year's runs, well below forecast, and in the context of the past couple decades these runs were bad and average, respectively. Common property enhanced chum salmon harvest in western Prince William Sound (PWS) gillnet fisheries is complete and ended up ahead of anticipated, while sockeye salmon harvest in these fisheries ended below anticipated. The western PWS chum salmon common property fishery was better than last year and came in slightly above forecast, so definitely a good season, especially considering the large hatchery cost recovery and broodstock requirement this year. The western PWS sockeye salmon fisheries, both wild and enhanced, are well under forecast and weaker than last year, and represent a bad season in a historical context. Main Bay Hatchery sockeye salmon run came in about a third of forecast and the Coghill Lake wild sockeye run ended up less than one-half the minimum anticipated escapement this season.

Cost recovery on Prince William Sound Aquaculture Corporation (PWSAC)  enhanced pink salmon is complete. Broodstock collection is ongoing at all three PWSAC pink salmon hatcheries.

Prince William Sound Purse Seine

Portions of the Eastern, Northwestern, Coghill, Northern, and Southeastern District opened to commercial fishing for a 12-hour period (8:00 am to 8:00 pm) on Monday, August 22.

Waters of the Eastern District, within Port Valdez, opened to commercial salmon fishing for a 12-hour period, from 8:00 am until 8:00 pm, on Tuesday, August 23 and Wednesday, August 24.

Portions of the Eastern and Southeastern Districts opened to commercial fishing for a 12-hour period (8:00 am to 8:00 pm) on Thursday, August 25.

Prince William Sound Aquaculture Corporation (PWSAC) has collected approximately 96% of the pink salmon cost recovery goal; cost recovery is expected to stand down until brood stock goals at Armin F. Koernig Hatchery (AFK), Cannery Creek Hatchery (CCH) and Wally Noerenberg Hatchery (WNH)are achieved. Approximately 1.7 million cost recovery fish and 504,000 commercial Common Property Fishery (CPF) pink salmon have been caught as of August 25 versus PSWAC's anticipated cumulative harvest for this date of 17.0 million fish. PWSAC is recommending the AFK, CCH, and WNH Special Harvest Areas (SHA), Terminal Harvest Areas (THA), and corresponding hatchery subdistricts remain closed. Through August 24, PWSAC reports egg take progress of 26% towards the final goal at WNH, 7% complete at AFK, and 0% complete at CCH.

Valdez Fisheries Development Association (VFDA) reports that it completed its 250 million egg take goal on Tuesday, August 23.

The Prince William Sound (PWS) purse seine fishery participation is decreasing every opener. It is estimated that between 30-40 purse seine permit holders are currently participating in the PWS purse seine fishery. Seine fishermen are primarily targeting wild and Solomon Gulch Hatchery (SGH) coho salmon returning to the Eastern District.

It is estimated that 333,000 pink salmon were harvested in Port Valdez on Tuesday, August 23. The cumulative PWS pink salmon harvest through August 25 is estimated at 8.7 million CPF. This is well below the 10-year even year average harvest level of 25 million fish for this date.

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Bristol Bay

The Bristol Bay Daily Run Summary

The peak of the 2016 season salmon run occurred on Wednesday July 13th and the total catch peaked on Saturday July 16th .  The fall regulatory fishing schedule is in effect and the preliminary summary for the season is expected to be published in Early September.

The Egegik District

Through July 20 cumulative escapement is 1.7 million sockeye and within the escapement goal range of 800,000 to 2,000,000. Cumulative harvest is 7.64 million fish compared to the forecast of 5.74 million. The total run projection for the Egegik District is currently ranging between 9.5 and 10.1 million fish. On average through July 20, the run is approximately 98% complete. In 2015 it was 95% complete. The fishery is currently open continuously until 9:00 a.m. Friday July 29 to provide opportunity to utilize fish surplus to escapement needs. Preliminary allocation between gear groups is 82% drift and 18% set gillnet. Regulation stipulates 86% drift and 14% set gillnet. The inriver test fishery finished operating for the season on July 15 and the escapement counting tower is still operating. Daily escapements are in the 30,000 fish range, approximately 2% of the total escapement per day.

Last update for the season July 29.

The Ugashik District

Through July 20 cumulative escapement is 1.36 million sockeye and likely to exceed the upper end of the escapement goal range of 500,000 to 1,400,000. On average through July 20, the run is approximately 94% complete. In 2015 it was 90% complete. The total run projection for the Ugashik District is currently around 8 million. Through July 20, the total run is 7.6 million and is the largest since statehood. The total harvest is 6.2 million and approximately 110,000 fish short of becoming the largest catch for the district since statehood. It is likely to reach and exceed that number in the next couple of days. Commercial fishing is currently open continuously until 9:00 a.m. Friday July 29 to provide opportunity to utilize fish surplus to escapement needs. Allocation between gear groups is 90% drift and 10% set gillnet. Regulation stipulates 90% drift and 10% set gillnet. The inriver test fishery finished operation for the season on July 18 and the escapement counting tower is still operating. Daily escapement for July 20 was 59,000 sockeye, approximately 4% of the total escapement. The project typically operates until around July 27.

Note: by regulation the period for calculating the allocation between gear groups in Bristol Bay runs from 12:00 a.m. June 1 to 9:00 a.m. July 17.

Last update for the season July 29.

The Nushagak District 

Fishing has been continuous for both gear types in throughout the district since July 16.

Escapement enumeration is done for the Nushagak and Wood rivers. Both of those systems had solid escapements in the upper halves of their escapement goal ranges. The Igushik enumeration project is also done and escapement there surpassed the upper end of the escapement goal range. No enumeration for pink and coho salmon in 2016.

Effort is certainly dropping as the transfer period has ended and folks are finishing their seasons. Weather has also been a factor. Effort is less than 30 vessels and probably less than 25 set net fishermen.

Harvest has surpassed forecast and now stands at 8 million sockeye salmon. This ranks 2016 as the 4th largest harvest on record for the Nushagak District. Pink salmon harvest is 267,000 and counting. Coho salmon harvest is 26,000.

Biologically speaking this has been an above average year.

Last update for the season August 5th.

The Togiak District

Togiak is open for the regular weekly schedule.

Tower crew is counting until August 8. Escapement is slightly below the midrange but well within the escapement goal range.

Participation seems to be about average to a little above average and is expected to start to drop off.

Harvest is a little above average at 580,000, and 32% above the preseason forecast. Pink and coho salmon harvest is increasing.

This season has had an above average harvest and total run in Togiak.

Last update for the season August 5th.

The Naknek-Kvichak District 

In the Naknek-Kvichak District through July 20: the Naknek River cumulative escapement is 1.6 million sockeye salmon which is within the escapement goal range of 800,000 to 2 million million.  The Kvichak River escapement is 4.1 million sockeye salmon which is within the escapement goal range of 2 million to 10 million. Daily harvest has averaged 800,000 for the last week and total catch is 12.4 million compared to the forecasted harvest of 11.7 million. The harvest allocation was 9% Kvichak set net; 8% Naknek set net; and 83% drift gillnet compared to the regulatory 8%, 8%, and 84%, respectively. This will be the latest run timing on record. Total run to the district is already 6 days later than average. The district will be open to continuous fishing until August 5.  The fall regulatory fishing schedule is in effect and the preliminary summary for the season is expected to be published in Early September.

Last update for the season July 29.

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Cook Inlet:

Upper Cook Inlet (UCI)

Currently in Upper Cook Inlet there are several commercial fisheries underway:

  1. Northern District Set Gillnet fishery: Mondays and Thursdays – 12 hour periods.
    1. That portion of the General Subdistrict east of the Susitna River, including Fire Island, is closed until further notice.
  2. Western, Kustatan, Chinitna Bay, and Kalgin Island Subdistrict Set Gillnet fisheries: Mondays and Thursdays – 12 hour periods.
    1. The Chinitna Bay Subdistrict is also open for 12 hour periods on Tuesdays and Fridays.
  3. Central District Drift Gillnet fishery: Mondays and Thursdays– 12 hour periods.
    1. Fishing in Drift Gillnet Areas 3 and 4 on Mondays and Thursdays the remainder of the season.
    2. Chinitna Bay Subdistrict: Tuesdays and Fridays– 12 hour periods.

The Kasilof River sockeye salmon enumeration project began on June 15.  Approximately 241,000 sockeye salmon were enumerated through August 14.  Assessment of fish passage ended on August 14.  The final passage of 241,000 fish is within the Biological Escapement Goal (BEG) range for this stock (160,000–340,000 fish).

The Kenia River sockeye salmon enumeration project began on July 1.  Approximately 1,381,929 sockeye salmon were enumerated through August 19.  Assessment of fish passage ended on August 19.  The final passage of 1,381,929 fish is above the inriver goal of 1,100,000–1,350,000 fish.

Participation in the commercial fisheries that are open so far in Upper Cook Inlet is about normal.  Participation in all commercial fisheries has declined significantly.

The observed level of sockeye salmon passage and harvest in Upper Cook Inlet systems so far this year are well below expectations for the forecasted run of 7.1 million sockeye salmon.  Current projections estimate the total run size to be approximately 5.2 million sockeye salmon.

The drift gillnet fishery has harvested approximately 1,266,000 sockeye through August 22.  This level of harvest is below the 10-year average harvest of 1,644,000 fish through August 22.

The Kasilof Section of the Upper Subdistrict opened on June 23 and the Kenai and East Foreland sections opened on July 11.  Approximately 986,000 sockeye salmon and 6,400 Chinook salmon have been harvested in all three sections through August 9.  This level of harvest is slightly below the recent 10-year average harvest of Chinook salmon (6,987 fish) and below the 10-year average harvest of sockeye salmon (1,200,000 fish). The year 2012 was not used to calculate the recent 10-year average harvest for both species. August 9 was the last fishing period for the Upper Subdistrict Set Gillnet fishery (ESSN) fishery in 2016.

The Western Subdistrict set gillnet fishery has harvested 36,942 sockeye salmon through August 15. August 15 was the last day fishing was reported in this subdistrict.

The Northern Subdistrict set gillnet fishery has harvested 45,748 sockeye salmon through August 22.

The Kalgin Island Subdistrict set gillnet fishery has harvested 34,876 sockeye salmon through August 15. August 15 was the last day fishing was reported in this subdistrict.

Upper Cook Inlet Commercial Fishing Announcement No. 35 opened set and drift gillnetting in the Chinitna Bay Subdistrict of the Central District on Tuesdays and Fridays from 7:00 a.m. until 7:00 p.m., beginning on Friday, August 26, 2016, until closed by emergency order.

Historical aerial survey data indicates the chum salmon run to Chinitna Bay is nearly complete by the latter part of August. Therefore, opening Chinitna Bay to set and drift gillnetting beginning on Friday August 26, is warranted.

Lower Cook Inlet (LCI)

Inseason Commercial Salmon Catch by Date

Inseason Commercial Salmon Catch by Area

Purse seine fishing periods in portions of the Southern and Outer districts are ongoing on a schedule of Monday, Wednesday, and Friday 6:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m. openings. Commercial seining in the Kamishak District is on a 24/7 schedule with Chenik Lagoon open. Commercial set gillnet fishing in the Southern District continues on a schedule of two 48 hour periods per week.

Poor weather in the Lower Cook Inlet area since early July have stymied department efforts to conduct regular weekly surveys of salmon index streams in that area. Escapement for chum salmon overall has been good to very good with many systems in the upper end of their sustainable escapement goal (SEG). Conversely, pink salmon escapement has been fair to poor. Most pink salmon systems are anticipated to reach the lower end of their respective SEG for this species by the conclusion of the 2016 salmon returns. Sockeye escapements have been good to very good overall with Chenik, Mikfik and English Bay Lake returns meeting SEGs.

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

To date, a total of 767 Chinook, 19,276 sockeye, 22,780 pink, and 1,968 chum salmon have been harvested by commercial set gillnet permit holders in the Southern District of Lower Cook Inlet. This compares to last year's cumulative harvest by this date of 752 Chinook, 35,814 sockeye, 27,117 pink, and 11,431 chum salmon. The previous 5-year average harvest for this time period is 302 Chinook, 28,748 sockeye, 10,697 pink, and 4,758 chum salmon. The preseason forecast estimated that a total of 298 Chinook, 28,100 sockeye, and 4,500 chum salmon would be been harvested by set gillnet permit holders in the Southern District in 2016.

Through August 24, purse seine permit holders in the Southern District have harvested 48,923 sockeye, and 43,659 pink salmon. This compares to the 2015 harvest level where 54,778 sockeye and 116,496 pink salmon were harvested by this date. The preseason forecast for this gear in the Southern District is 24,500 sockeye and 1,100 chum salmon with an additional 47,000 pink salmon harvested by both this gear and set gillnet combined. An additional 55,800 chum and 5,000 pink salmon have been harvested by this gear in the Outer District, as well as 15,900 sockeye and 3,000 chum salmon from the Kamishak District.

To date, Cook Inlet Aquaculture Association has reported harvesting 128,000 sockeye and 23,000 pink salmon for cost recovery from hatchery release sites in Area H.

Elevated ocean temperatures and rapidly melting snowpack will likely continue having an effect on Lower Cook Inlet  commercial salmon fisheries with regards to run timing as well as freshwater migration patterns and success.

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Kodiak

Kodiak

Kodiak Inseason Commercial Harvest Estimates

The majority of the Kodiak Management Area has remained closed due to a very weak wild stock pink salmon run. The Kodiak wild pink run is nearly over and was one of the weakest since statehood. Typically, by this date, fishermen have harvested 97% of the year's pink salmon.

The Central and North Cape sections of the Northwest Kodiak District, the Southwest Afognak Section of the Afognak District, and the Outer Karluk, Inner Karluk, Sturgeon, and Halibut Bay sections of the Southwest Kodiak District are currently open due to a strong late-run return to Karluk.

The Alitak District is open until 6:00 p.m. Thursday August 25 based on late-run sockeye salmon returning to Upper Station.

The cumulative Karluk River late-run sockeye salmon escapement through August 24 is approximately 155,000 fish (320,000 season total), which is above the desired escapement range for this date.

The Ayakulik sockeye salmon run continues to be weak. The cumulative Ayakulik River late-run sockeye salmon escapement is approximately 72,000 fish (254,000 season total).  The weir was removed for the season August 21.

In the Alitak District, the final sockeye salmon count through Frazer fishpass was 122,585 sockeye salmon. The cumulative Upper Station late-run sockeye salmon escapement through August 24 is approximately 103,000 fish (151,000 season total), which is within the desired escapement range for this date.

Both purse seine and set gillnet participation levels are below average for this date when compared to recent years, with only approximately 160 seiners and 130 gillnetters fishing.

The Kodiak Management Area sockeye salmon is below average with 1,860,000 fish harvested as of August 24.  Pink salmon harvest is the lowest since the 1970's with 3,200,000 harvested to date.  Chum salmon harvest is also below average with 390,000 fish harvested.

Strict fishery restrictions are currently in effect within the Kodiak Area due to the well below average wild stock and hatchery pink salmon return.

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Alaska Peninsula

Alaska Peninsula Inseason Commercial Harvest Estimates

North Peninsula

Starting August 15, the Nelson Lagoon and Ilnik sections are managed based on coho stocks. The weekly fishing period in Nelson Lagoon has been extended through Saturday. Catches and effort this week have increased as expected with the daily harvest increasing. The Ilnik Sections weekly fishing period has been extended through Friday. Fishing has been continuous in the Bear River and Three Hills sections. Late run escapements at Bear River have been consistently 4,000 - 6,000 fish per day over the last few days, and at this time approximately 116,000 sockeye have passed the weir. The Bear River weir is being removed for the season on August 26 as scheduled. The fleet will target the late Bear River sockeye run for the next several weeks.

All weirs have been removed for the season as scheduled, except Bear River, which has a late run of sockeye salmon. That weir will be removed on August 26. To date approximately 116,000 sockeye have passed the Bear River weir meeting the August 25 escapement goal of 87,000-165,000 sockeye salmon. There has been no effort in the Black Hills Section this week. An aerial survey conducted three weeks ago of North Creek, the predominant sockeye salmon system in the Black Hills Section, showed that the escapement goals have already been met with fish still entering the system. Another survey was attempted on Wednesday but fog prevented that survey from being completed. Another survey will occur soon.

The Nelson Lagoon commercial sockeye salmon harvests this week were about 300 sockeye salmon per day and 2,500 coho salmon per day. Commercial fishing effort dropped significantly on August 16 and only about 11 permit holders are fishing in the Nelson Lagoon Section this week but that number will likely increase as the coho numbers increase. A season harvest of 301,000 sockeye salmon to date has occurred in the Nelson Lagoon Section. Harvest for the outside beach (Bear River, Three Hills, and Ilnik sections combined) has averaged about 12,000 sockeye per day this week for about 40 permit holders. Fishing effort has dropped significantly since the end of July; many permits holders have finished fishing for the season. High winds prevented fishing earlier this week. Harvest limits were in place from July 5-25 on the North Peninsula.

Harvests have been very good for this date. The Outer Port Heiden Section sockeye salmon harvest is 598,000 fish and the section closed by regulation on July 31.  The total North Peninsula harvest to date is 3.43 million sockeye salmon.

Final spawning ground surveys are occurring and indications are that all sockeye salmon runs were strong and met or exceeded goals. Chum and Chinook salmon runs on the North Peninsula also were strong. Harvest limits were in effect from July 5-July 25. The preseason harvest projection of 2.2 million fish has been surpassed. Catches have been better than last year for this date. The late Bear River sockeye salmon run begins in early August and goes through late September. Surveys conducted on August 7 and 17 observed pink salmon in streams and creeks draining into Moller and Herendeen bays, however no buildup of chum or pinks in the bays was observed.

For News Releases detailing the specific information related to the fishery visit the News Releases webpage.

South Peninsula

The Izembek-Moffet Bay section is currently open weekly as scheduled by regulation Monday through Thursday.

The McLees Lake weir was fish tight on Tuesday, June 7 and concluded operation on Sunday, July 24. The season total escapement was 39,877 sockeye salmon, which is the highest escapement in the previous 10 years.  The Orzinski River weir was fish tight on Monday, June 20 and concluded operations on Wednesday, July 31. The season total escapement was 21,019 sockeye salmon, which is above the 10-year average. Aerial surveys of local stock abundances estimate average to above average abundance of sockeye and chum salmon while pink salmon abundance estimates are well below average.

Beginning July 26, area staff initiated management of the fishery based upon the abundance of local pink, chum, and coho salmon stocks. Local stock abundance is currently being assessed by aerial surveys and commercial harvest reporting. Low abundance estimates of pink salmon entering freshwater streams has prevented openings for local area fisheries to avoid over harvest of weak returns.

As of August 25, the post-June sockeye salmon harvest in the South Unimak fishery was 45,245 fish, the harvest in the Shumagin Islands fishery was 435,090 fish, and the Dolgoi Island area was 570,232 fish. The Southeastern District Mainland commercial salmon harvest is currently 164,196 sockeye salmon. The total pink salmon harvest of 3,003,917 fish is average but harvest for the month of August is well below average. The total chum salmon harvest of 401,671 fish is average.

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Chignik

Chignik

Chignik Inseason Commercial Harvest Estimates  

The Chignik Bay and Central districts, as well as the Inner Castle Cape Subsection of the Western District have been open to commercial salmon fishing until further notice since August 14. The remaining districts have been closed since late July because of poor returns of local pink salmon stocks.

As of 10:00 a.m. Thursday, August 25, approximately 704,000 sockeye salmon have passed through the Chignik weir, slightly above the 10-year average through this time of year. The late run cumulative total escapement of sockeye salmon is approximately 286,500 fish.  Daily escapement has slightly below average for this time of year and the late run total escapement is slightly below the midrange of the escapement goal objectives for this time period.

Several aerial surveys have now occurred in the Western, Perryville and Eastern districts. Local chum salmon runs appear normal for this time of year however, pink salmon escapement is extremely poor. The Eastern, Western and Perryville districts will remain closed to allow for pink salmon escapement.

Approximately 70 permits have participated in the Chignik Management Area (CMA) this season. This is slightly below the 3-year average of 73 permits.

Many fishermen have quit for the season as is typical for this time of year. The number of daily deliveries has dropped to about 11-17 deliveries a day in the Chignik Management Area.

From June 1 until July 25 a portion of the sockeye salmon harvested in areas adjacent to the CMA are considered bound for Chignik. The Cape Igvak Section of Area K (Kodiak) harvested approximately 321,103 sockeye salmon through July 25.  The Southeastern District Mainland Section (SEDM) of Area M harvested approximately 125,000 sockeye salmon through July 25.

For the week of August 18 through August 25, approximately 62 Chinook, 28,033 sockeye, 1,927 coho, 962 pink and 1,373 chum salmon have been harvested.  Daily combined harvest and escapement is similar to the recent 10-year average for sockeye salmon. Chinook salmon harvest appears to be similar to the average for this time of year. Coho, pink and chum salmon harvest are below average for this time of year.

The 2016 preliminary early-run forecast for harvest is approximately 1.4 million sockeye salmon and for the late-run 783,000 sockeye salmon. These numbers will not be finalized until all of the genetic sampling is done for the season and a post season analysis is performed.  Sockeye salmon harvest however, appears to be similar to the forecast for the early run. The late run appears to be coming in below the forecast at this time.

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Arctic-Yukon-Kuskokwim

Yukon River

The Lower Yukon River transitioned to fall season management on July 16. The 2016 fall chum salmon run projection, based on inseason assessment, is for a run size greater than 1.3 million fish. This level of abundance should be sufficient to provide for escapement, an above average subsistence harvest, and a surplus available for commercial and personal use purposes.

In the last 55 years of commercial harvest in the Lower Yukon River, this is the largest fall chum salmon harvest and 4th largest coho salmon harvest on record. The cumulative commercial harvest in the Lower Yukon River is 375,233 fall chum salmon and 77,567 coho salmon. There have been 15 periods in District 1 (5 to 12 hours each) and 14 periods in District 2 (5 to 8 hours each) with gillnets restricted to 6-inch or smaller mesh size. As of August 25, commercial harvest in District 1 is 195,220 fall chum salmon, 51,103 coho salmon, and 17,726 pink salmon. In District 2, commercial harvest is 180,013 fall chum salmon and 26,464 coho salmon.

The fall chum commercial fishery began in the Upper Yukon River on August 8. In Subdistricts 5-B and 5-C, commercial fishing is open for 24 hours per day, seven days per week. In District 6, commercial fishing is open for two 42-hour periods per week. Fishermen may use fish wheels or gillnets with six-inch or smaller mesh size. As of August 25, commercial harvest in Subdistricts 5-B and 5-C is 2,106 fall chum salmon and 90 fall chum salmon in District 6.

During the summer season in the Lower Yukon River, commercial harvest was 521,843 summer chum salmon and 109,524 pink salmon; 8,255 Chinook salmon caught and released alive; and 5,351 Chinook salmon retained for subsistence use. In the Upper Yukon River, commercial harvest was 4,020 summer chum salmon and 179 Chinook salmon were caught and retained for subsistence use.

The 2016 summer chum salmon run exceeded the preseason projection of 1.8 million fish. The 2016 lower river summer chum and pink salmon commercial harvests are the largest on record since 1989. The 2016 Chinook salmon run came in near the upper end of the preseason projection of 130,000–175,000 fish.

Kuskokwim River

At this time, the department does not have any processors or catcher-sellers registered in the Kuskokwim Area. Commercial fishing will not occur until a buyer or market is secured. If a buyer or market is found, please have them contact one of the department representatives to register as a buyer or catcher-seller in the Kuskokwim Area.

For News Releases detailing the specific information related to the fishery visit the News Releases webpage.

Norton Sound

This past week coho salmon catches were above average, except for a couple northern subdistricts. This year Norton Sound will have a top 10 highest coho salmon harvest and may crack 100,000 coho salmon for only the eighth time in history. However, it will still be below this year's forecast of 120,000 to 160,000 coho salmon. We are unable to count escapements in southern Norton Sound because of high water levels and all projects in northern Norton Sound except one were knocked out this weekend by high water. Northern Norton Sound projects are counting again. So far, the most accurate estimate we have is from Elim (Kwiniuk River) escapements that rank 7th highest out of 10 years with no adjustments for coho salmon escapement when the project was unable to count because of high water. Both Elim and Koyuk subdistricts have the third highest coho salmon harvests in history. Shaktoolik will have a top 10 highest coho salmon harvest and Unalakleet will have at least a top 15 highest coho harvest. The Golovin Subdistrict has been marginal during coho season and the department closed commercial salmon fishing for the remainder of the season on Tuesday. The season normally closes in northern Norton Sound (Nome to Elim) after August 31. In southern Norton Sound (Koyuk to Unalakleet) the season normally closes after September 7.

For News Releases detailing the specific information related to the fishery visit the News Releases webpage.

Kotzebue

This past week catches continued to be strong in the Kotzebue commercial chum salmon fishery. The Kotzebue chum salmon harvest is the seventh highest in history at 386,000 chums. The forecast this year was for a commercial harvest of 300,000 to 500,000 chum salmon. The Kobuk River test fish index finished tenth highest in the 24-year project history. The number of permit holders fishing this year was 87 and down from the 105 permit holders that fished last year. A smaller buyer (Maniilaq) bought all this week from a handful of permit holders requiring them to gill and gut. The major buyer, Copper River Seafooods (CRS) will end buying this week. This was the third year CRS bought and they were able to usually secure enough cargo space on airplanes to keep things moving smoothly with less than a quarter of 40 plus fishing periods having catch limits. Commercial fishing ends after August 31 and Maniilaq has confirmed they will buy from all permit holders for the remaining four fishing periods and give permit holders the choice of gilling and gutting for a higher price or selling in the round.

For News Releases detailing the specific information related to the fishery visit the News Releases webpage.

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