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.


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Southeast Alaska

Troll Fishery

The general summer troll season opened on July 1 with the first Chinook salmon retention period open for six days. A total of 602 permits landed approximately 71,043 non-Alaska hatchery-produced (treaty) Chinook salmon. Participation in the fishery was similar to that seen in 2019. The average weight reported for Chinook salmon was 10.9 lb, down 0.7 lb from 2019 and below the 5-year average by 0.5 lb. Average price for Chinook salmon was $4.78/lb, a decrease of $0.35 and $0.94 from the 2019 and 5-year averages. The remaining annual troll treaty harvest limit of Chinook salmon will be harvested in a second opening following any closure of the coho salmon troll fishery. An advisory announcement regarding the length of a coho salmon conservation or fair start closure, the harvest target, and the anticipated duration of the second summer Chinook salmon retention period will be issued on August 4.

With the first general summer Chinook salmon retention period over, trollers will continue to fish for other salmon species. Fish ticket reports indicate a total 186,021coho salmon landed since July 1 with an average weight of 4.8 lb. Coho salmon catch is down 36% and 67% from the 2019 and 5-year averages. The average weight is down from 2019 and the 5-year average by 0.6 lb and 0.8 lb. The average price for 2020 of $1.73/lb is above the 2019 and 5-year average by $0.09 and $0.29.

The current regional power troll coho salmon catch rates for this week (statistical week 31), is 69 fish/boat/day, with the highest catch rates in the Southern Outside area, at 80 fish/boat/day for the current week.

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 have been returning in numbers much lower than forecasted and hatchery operators have ceased or limited common property and/or cost recovery harvests to obtain broodstock. Common property purse seine openings continue to occur in only the Deep Inlet and Kendrick Bay terminal harvest areas (THAs). The Neets Bay THA closed July 3 and the Anita Bay THA closed July 13 to allow for cost recovery and broodstock operations to occur. Recently, the SE Cove THA closed for the Northern Southeast Regional Aquaculture Association (NSRAA) to try to acquire broodstock from that remote release site to supplement broodstock needs at their Hidden Falls and Gunnuk Creek hatcheries.

The 2020 Southeast Alaska pink salmon harvest forecast was for a weak harvest of 12 million fish. In southern Southeast, traditional common property purse seine openings directed at harvesting pink salmon began July 5 in Districts 1, 2, and 7, District 4 and areas in District 3 and 5 opened statistical week 30. In northern Southeast, only the Point Augusta Index fishery has opened to date. Harvest has been poor with an estimated 1.2 million pink salmon and 450,000 chum salmon harvested this season. Purse seine effort is down from prior years with less than 150 boats fishing. The most recent fishery occurred Thursday, July 30 in Districts 1, 2, 3, 4, and 5. Harvests from that opening are still being tabulated and preliminary reports indicate improved harvests. The next scheduled opening is for Sunday, August 2. Hawk Inlet, Point Gardner, and Kingsmill Point test fisheries began in statistical week 26 and concluded this week (statistical week 31). All have indicated weak run strength for all salmon to date, although pink salmon catches have improved in the most recent test fisheries and are better than in the parent year of 2018.

Southeast Alaska Chinook salmon stocks are currently experiencing a cycle of very low abundance. In 2020, three of the five systems for which forecasts are developed, are projecting runs below their escapement goal ranges. In an effort to meet escapement goals in Southeast Alaska systems, restrictions are being implemented in gillnet, seine, troll, sport, personal use, and subsistence 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, July 26. In comparison to the 10-year average, harvest of all salmon species, except Chinook salmon, was below average. The effort level of 30 vessels was also below the 10-year average of 47 vessels. The estimated weekly harvest was 60 Chinook salmon, 700 sockeye salmon, 600 coho salmon, 50,000 pink salmon, and 20,000 chum salmon. The Section 1-B drift gillnet fishery is currently being managed according to the District One Pink Salmon Management Plan (5 AAC 33.360). It is anticipated that in statistical week 31 the District 1 purse seine fishery will receive at least one day of fishing time, and therefore the Section 1-B drift gillnet fishery will be open two days.

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

The Districts 6 and 8 gillnet fishery was managed for sockeye salmon abundance during the statistical week 31 opening. District 6 was opened for two days beginning Sunday, July 26 and was limited to two days as per the McDonald Lake Action plan. District 8 was closed due to Stikine River sockeye salmon conservation. Sockeye salmon harvest rates have been below average this season and continued to be poor again during this past opening. Overall, this week's fishery performance was similar to recent weeks with Chinook, sockeye, pink, and coho salmon performing below the ten year average, while the chum salmon harvest picked up this week and was above average for the first time this year.

The Districts 6 and 8 gillnet fishery will transition to pink salmon management for the next opening. Early portions of the pink salmon fishery will be managed primarily on catch per unit effort (CPUE) and parent-year escapement. By mid-August, pink salmon destined for local systems will begin to enter the fishery in greater numbers and management will be based on observed escapements to local streams. Parent-year escapements to Districts 6 and 8 met escapement objectives. However, the pink salmon CPUE has been well below average for the past few weeks but picked up to near average this past week.

Conservative actions have been in place for Stikine River mainstem and McDonald Lake sockeye salmon for the past few weeks. Although conservative actions will be loosened in statistical week 32, restrictions will still be in place for at least one more week to minimize the harvest of Stikine mainstem and McDonald Lake sockeye salmon. As such, fishing in Districts 6 and 8 will be limited to two days on August 2 with area restrictions in place in District 8.

Taku-Snettisham/Section 11-B

Effort fell back to half the recent 10-year average in District 11 this week (statistical week 31) with about 55 boats fishing, after surging up to 70% of average last week (statistical week 30). Chum salmon harvest fell to the same low level as sockeye salmon harvest this week, indicating that summer is winding down. The District 11 chum salmon total harvest through this week is estimated at just shy of 100,000 fish compared to an average of approximately 510,000 fish.

The sockeye salmon harvest estimate of 6,000 fish is the new lowest weekly District 11 harvest in the last ten years. In addition to low catch rates and a small fleet size, the opening was held at two days throughout the district for the first time since 2010. The current Taku River sockeye salmon run size estimate has dropped again from the previous week although the terminal run projection still equates to sizeable allowable catch (AC) for both the U.S. and Canada. However, harvest and catch rates in both fisheries to date have not correlated with this estimated abundance and both countries have harvested far below weekly targets. Most of the sockeye salmon harvest was made up of Snettisham Hatchery fish last week and this week's contribution will be even higher with approximately 4,000 fish of the 6,000 fish estimated harvest occurring south of Circle Point.

The weekly pink salmon catch rate was above average and it appears this is being driven by solid Taku River returns with nearly 1,000 fish caught in the Canyon Island fishwheels on July 30. The coho salmon catch rate was above average for the week, although it is still early and will not necessarily correlate with the fall run. The Taku River above border coho salmon forecast is above average though.

The District 11 drift gillnet fishery will again initially open for two days next week throughout the district with the Point Bishop area closure rescinded. Department staff will be surveying on the grounds as usual and will be in place to announce an extension if indicators warrant.

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

Lynn Canal/District 15

District 15 gillnet fishery opened for two days in Sections 15-A and 15-C on July 26. In Section 15-A, fishing area increased and waters east of Seduction Point were open with night closures and a 6-inch maximum mesh restriction. Section 15-C also saw an increase in fishing area this week with waters open south of the latitude of Point Bridget with no restrictions in effect. Fleet participation and catches were below average for this week. Outside waters of the Boat Harbor terminal harvest area (THA) was reduced to Lance Point and within 1 nautical mile offshore and opened until further notice.

Fleet participation diminished this week with poor catch rates for both chum and sockeye salmon. Approximately 75 permit holders harvested 30 Chinook, 20,000 chum, 5,000 sockeye, 10,000 pink, and 200 coho salmon. The harvest for all species were below the recent 10-year average for this statistical week. Douglas Island Pink and Chum Inc. (DIPAC) chum salmon returns to Boat Harbor THA remained poor for the sixth consecutive opener of the season and with more females present in the catch it is apparent the run is essentially over.

Sockeye salmon returns to Chilkoot and Chilkat are still below the 10-year average count for this time, but the sockeye salmon returns to both drainages appear to be at least one week late. The cumulative sockeye salmon escapement through the Chilkoot weir is currently approximately 26,000 fish, and projecting to meet the escapement goal. Chilkat Lake counts have been affected by extreme flooding and several days of water reversals through the weir. The Chilkat Lake sockeye escapement is approximately, 10,500 fish, about 1/3 the 10-year average for this time.

Next week (statistical week 32), fishing time and area in District 15 will be the similar to last week with additional waters opened in Chilkoot Inlet. The additional open waters in Section 15-A will include waters south of a line from Tanani Point to Point Taiya to Katzehin River flats light. There will be no night closures or mesh restrictions in District 15. Outside and Inside waters of the Boat Harbor THA remains open until further notice.

Yakutat Area Set Gillnet Fishery

The Alsek River set gillnet fishery opened for 24 hours on July 26. Akwe River opened for 1.5 days. Dangerous River, Manby Outside Waters, Manby Inside Waters, and the remainder of the district opened for 2.5 days. Situk-Ahrnklin Inlet and Yakutat Bay opened for 3.5 days.

The Dangerous River, Akwe River, Manby Outside Waters, Manby Inside Waters, and the remainder of the district were not fished. The harvest for the respective areas is as follows. In the Situk-Ahrnklin Inlet, 17 permits harvested 858 sockeye, 1,319 pink, and 10 chum salmon. For Yakutat Bay and Alsek River harvest information is confidential. Participation was below average across the district due to large rain events over the weekend.

Escapement monitoring for sockeye salmon and Chinook salmon at the Situk River weir started on June 11. To date, 52,797 sockeye salmon and 1,162 large Chinook salmon have been enumerated at the weir. The upper end of the escapement goal for Chinook salmon has been exceeded and the lower end sockeye salmon escapement has been achieved. An aerial survey was conducted on July 30. The following was observed East Alsek River 12,000 sockeye salmon.

Fishing times may be adjusted based on escapement through the weir and Yakutat Bay harvest for statistical week 32. The Italio River will open by emergency order when adequate levels of escapement can be documented.

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 current harvest is 45,000 chum salmon.

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 harvest is 3,200 Chinook and 2,300 chum salmon by drift gillnet gear and 3,000 Chinook and 6,000 chum salmon harvested by purse seine gear.

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 30,000 chum salmon.

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: 366,300 summer chum, 11,000 Chinook, and 11,900 coho salmon. The commercial harvest to date is 8,000 Chinook and 13,000 chum salmon. Anita Bay will be closed to commercial salmon fishing from 12:01 a.m., Monday, July 13, through 11:59 p.m., Sunday, August 9, to facilitate cost recovery efforts. The rotational fishery will reopen for drift gillnet and purse seine fleets on August 10 and will be in place through August.

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 king salmon, and 110,000 coho salmon. This season, 100,000 chum salmon are needed for broodstock. The Northern Southeast Regional Aquaculture Association (NSRAA) does not anticipate cost recovery operations this season in the Deep Inlet THA. Seine harvest through July 30 is 2,500 Chinook salmon and 112,000 chum salmon; gillnet harvest through July 30 is 3,500 Chinook salmon and 78,000 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 king 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. The Northern Southeast Regional Aquaculture Associate (NSRAA) is planning to conduct cost recovery this season in Crawfish Inlet.on

Purse seine openings at Crawfish Inlet will be conducted as needed to maintain fish quality and prevent large buildups of hatchery produced chum salmon. Seine openings may occur inside the boundaries of the Special Harvest Area (SHA) depending on abundance of fish and balancing the troll priority. Seine openings will not be scheduled as was done during the 2019 season. Purse seiners are advised that openings at Crawfish Inlet during the 2020 season may be announced with a minimum 24-hour notice if necessary, in order to maximize fish quality.

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Prince William Sound (PWS)

Copper River and PWS Drift Gillnet

Coghill District was open to drift gillnet and purse seine on Tuesday, July 28. The Eshamy District gillnet fishery was open on Monday, July 27 and again on Thursday, July 30.

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 is 530,313 salmon versus a minimum inriver passage objective of 624,705 salmon. Regarding Copper River Delta stocks, the survey count was 43,430 sockeye salmon versus an anticipated range of 32,568 – 76,979 fish for the week ending August 1. The next Copper River Delta aerial survey will be flown when weather permits. 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 Coghill District, a total run of 2.55 million Wally Noerenberg Hatchery (WNH) chum salmon are projected to return to the hatchery. Historical harvest timing for these chum salmon is from June 1 – July 27. A total of 145,000 Coghill Lake sockeye salmon are projected to be available for common property harvest. The harvest timing for these sockeye salmon is from June 1 – August 1. Harvest from the 14-hour Coghill District period that began on Tuesday, July 28 was and 103,000 pink salmon with 90 deliveries reported.

For Eshamy District, a total of 989,000 Main Bay Hatchery (MBH) sockeye salmon are anticipated to be available for common property harvest. The historical harvest timing for these sockeye salmon is from June 1 – August 1. Harvest from the 24-hour Eshamy District period that began on Monday, July 27 was 4,400 sockeye salmon and 15,600 pink salmon with 89 deliveries reported. Harvest from the 24-hour Eshamy District period that began on Thursday, July 30 is not yet available.

The Copper River District will likely remain closed until the transition to coho salmon management in mid-August. The Coghill district transitioned to pink salmon management on July 21. The Miles Lake Sonar project and Coghill weir will cease operation for the season on July 27.

Prince William Sound Purse Seine

Waters of the Eastern, Southeastern, Coghill, Northern, Montague, and Northwestern district were open to commercial purse seine fishing for 14-hour period, from 6:00 am until 8:00 pm, on Tuesday, July 28.

Pink and chum salmon escapements across Prince William Sound (PWS) are tracking within the expected ranges within most districts for the date, but current harvest and escapement data indicates that future fishing opportunity directed on wild stocks will initially be limited to two days per week.

The Valdez Fisheries Development Association (VFDA) reports they have secured sufficient broodstock at Solomon Gulch Hatchery (SGH).

The Prince William Sound Aquaculture Corporation (PWSAC) began its cost recovery sales program on Friday, July 24, and has collected approximately 25% of the assigned pink salmon revenue goal through Thursday, July 30.

An estimated 1.45 million pink salmon were harvested in PWS on Tuesday, July 28. The cumulative PWS pink salmon harvest through July 28 is estimated at 8.9 million common property fishery (CPF) and 1.2 million cost recovery fish, for a total of 10.1 million fish. The 5-year even-year average (2010–2018) cumulative PWS pink salmon harvest (cost recovery and CPF fish) through July 28 is 15.3 million fish.

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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

Fishing was extended for 48 hours in the Togiak Section this week. Fishing is on the slow side, but if run timing is late, we may reach an average harvest of 500,000 fish. Effort appears to be average for this point in the season. Approximately 354,000 fish have been harvested.

The counting tower became operational on July 4. Escapement is 183,000 fish, and escapement is expected to reach the mid-range of 195,000 fish in the next few days.

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 is minimal but will probably increase as sockeye salmon harvest on the eastside slows and coho salmon numbers increase. Harvest is slowing and the season total is approximately 8.9 million fish. Most major buyers have stopped or will stop buying soon. 2020 ranks as the 5th largest harvest ever.

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

The Wood River tower and Nushagak sonar projects wrapped up this week and the Igushik Tower will be wrapped up this weekend (August 1 2).

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.

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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 — 12-hour periods

The Kasilof River sonar began operations on June 15. The sockeye salmon passage estimate in the Kasilof River Wednesday, July 29 was 366,040 fish and is approximately 84% complete based on average run timing. Total Kasilof River escapement falls well above the previous 10-year average of 312,306 fish passage through July 29 and has achieved the Biological Escapement Goal (BEG) of 140,000 fish. The Kenai River sonar became operational on July 1. The sockeye salmon passage estimate in the Kenai River through Wednesday, July 29 is 603,500 fish and is approximately 64% complete based on average run timing. The 2020 escapement through July 29 is below the 10-year average of 943,538 fish. The offshore test fishery (OTF) cumulative index is approximately 1,305 fish through Wednesday, July 29. The cumulative OTF index is far below the previous 10-year average of 1,973 fish through July 29.

Upper Cook Inlet Commercial Fishing Announcement No. 23 closed commercial salmon fishing with set gillnet gear in the Kenai, Kasilof, and East Forelands Sections of the Upper Subdistrict until further notice. Consistent with 5 AAC 21.359 (d)(3) Kenai River Late-Run King Salmon Management Plan and 5 AAC 21.310 (b)(3) Fishing Seasons, commercial salmon fishing with drift gillnet gear is closed within one mile of the Kenai Peninsula shoreline north of the Kenai River and within one and one-half miles of the Kenai Peninsula shoreline south of the Kenai River until further notice.

On July 22, the Division of Sport Fish issued Emergency Order (EO) 2-KS-1-41-20 closing the Kenai River drainage to fishing for king salmon effective 12:01 a.m. Friday, July 24, 2020. The marine sport fishery is also being closed (EO # 2-KS-7-42-20). In compliance with the Kenai River Late-Run King Salmon Management Plan, the Upper Subdistrict set gillnet fishery will also be closed.

If the projected late-run large king salmon escapement is less than 15,000 fish, 5 AAC 21.359(d)(3) Kenai River Late-Run King Management Plan states, the department shall close the commercial set gillnet fishery in the Upper Subdistrict. As of July 21, Kenai River late-run large king salmon passage was estimated to be 4,520 fish and projected a final escapement of less than 15,000 fish. Inseason projections show all indices of abundance remain well below their respective minimum inseason management objectives. At this time, it does not appear that the late-run will attain adequate escapement without significant restrictions to all fisheries that harvest this stock.

Effective, Thursday, July 23 at 12:01 a.m., no commercial set gillnet fishing periods will be allowed in the Upper Subdistrict of the Central District of Upper Cook Inlet unless changed by subsequent EO. All other set gillnet fisheries in Upper Cook Inlet are not affected by this announcement.

The department will monitor escapement of king salmon in the Kenai River and future openings may occur if the optimal escapement goal (OEG) is projected to be achieved in 2020.

The Northern District set gillnet fishery opened June 25. A total of 26,044 sockeye salmon have been harvested. A total of 1,654 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 July 25, 27, and 30. Total harvest for the Western Subdistrict through July 27 is 70 king salmon and 19,382 sockeye salmon.

The drift gillnet fishery was open for regular periods in the Expanded Kenai and Kasilof corridors on July 27 and 30. Total harvest in the drift gillnet fishery through July 27 was 253,241 sockeye salmon, 124 king salmon, 14,450 coho salmon, 22,499 chum salmon, and 171,022 pink salmon.

The Upper Subdistrict was closed Thursday July 22 at midnight. Total harvest for the Upper Subdistrict set gillnet fishery is approximately 292,937 sockeye and 824 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.

Passage at the English Bay weir through July 24, is 24,158 sockeye salmon and is above the sustainable escapement goal of 6,000 – 13,500 fish for this system. As of July 24, this run is 98.1% complete.

The Delight Lake weir was installed by Cook Inlet Aquaculture Association (CIAA) on July 4 and is being operated by CIAA staff. Through July 29, a total of 9,019 sockeye salmon had been counted.

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 sustainable escapement goal (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.

Commercial set gillnet harvest levels in the Southern District are below the 5-year average for all five salmon species. 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.

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Kodiak

Kodiak

There will be a 105-hour commercial salmon fishing period from noon Monday, August 3 to 9:00 p.m. Friday, August 7 targeting local pink salmon in the Northwest Kodiak District (except the Anton Larsen Bay, Sharatin Bay, Kizhuyak Bay, Zachar Bay, Spiridon Bay, and Uyak Bay sections will remain closed), the Southwest Afognak, Southeast Afognak, Raspberry Strait, Northwest Afognak, Shuyak Island, Pauls Bay, Perenosa Bay, Northeast Afognak, and Duck Bay sections of the Afognak District.), and the Humpy-Deadman section of the Alitak District.

There will be a 105-hour commercial salmon fishing period from noon Monday, August 3 to 9:00 p.m. Friday, August 7 targeting local sockeye salmon in the Cape Alitak, Alitak Bay, Moser Bay, and Olga Bay sections of the Alitak District.

The Inner Kitoi Bay, Outer Kitoi Bay, and Izhut Bay sections of the Afognak District remain open targeting hatchery pink salmon.

The Spiridon Bay Special Harvest Area remains open until further notice targeting sockeye salmon returning to Telrod Cove.

Approximately 695,000 sockeye salmon have been harvested through July 30 which is below average for this date. Approximately 4,736,000 pink salmon have been harvested which is above average for this date. Approximately 311,000 chum salmon have been harvested which is below 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 is 13,107 fish through July 30, which is within the desired escapement range for this date. 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 is 43,722 fish through July 30 which is within the desired escapement range for this date.

In the Alitak District, the cumulative Upper Station late-run sockeye salmon escapement is 9,812 fish, which is within the desired escapement range for this date. The cumulative Frazer sockeye salmon escapement through July 30 is 152,163 fish, which is within the desired escapement range for this date.

In the Afognak District, the cumulative Afognak Lake (Litnik) sockeye salmon escapement through July 30 is 24,273 fish, which is within the desired escapement range for this date.

In the Northeast Kodiak District, the cumulative Buskin Lake sockeye salmon escapement through July 30 is 7,378 fish, which is within the desired escapement range for this date.

In the Eastside Kodiak District, the cumulative Pasagshak sockeye salmon escapement through July 30 is 2,516 fish. The cumulative Saltery River sockeye escapement is 6,773 fish, which is below the desired escapement range for this date. Sport, subsistence, and commercial fishing have been restricted for Saltery River and Inner Ugak Bay.

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.

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Alaska Peninsula

North Peninsula

The Nelson Lagoon Section has been open continuously since July 6; the season ending minimum escapement goal was met on July 12. The Nelson Lagoon Section is currently open until further notice. Through July 26, 162,000 sockeye salmon have passed the Nelson River weir meeting the escapement goal of 97,000 219,000 fish.

The Bear River, Three Hills, Ilnik, and Outer Port Heiden sections closed to commercial salmon fishing at 6:00 p.m. on Wednesday, July 29 until further notice. The commercial salmon fishing season in the Outer Port Heiden Section ends on July 31. The Bear River, Three Hills, and Ilnik Sections are closed until the late run at Bear River develops. Before the closure for the late run, about 120 drift gillnet permit deliveries occurred daily from Port Moller to Outer Port Heiden.

Herendeen Bay opened to commercial salmon fishing from 6:00 a.m. Thursday, July 30 until 6:00 p.m. Saturday, August 1.

In the Nelson Lagoon Section participation has dropped substantially over the last week, from 15 permits daily, to an average of seven. The sockeye salmon harvest in Nelson Lagoon is approximately 84,000 fish, below average for this time of year. In the Outer Port Heiden Section the season total harvest is 884,000 fish. The total North Peninsula sockeye salmon harvest is 1,551,000 sockeye salmon, below average for this date.

The Sandy, Ilnik, and Nelson River weirs were pulled for the season and escapement goals were met at all three locations. Bear River had one of the strongest daily weir counts in recent times with 44,000 sockeye salmon passing on July 7. Sandy River met the season ending minimum escapement goal of 32,000 sockeye salmon when 56,000 fish passed through July 19. Ilnik River sockeye salmon escapement was 40,000 fish, meeting the season ending minimum of 40,000 fish. At Nelson River a total of 162,000 sockeye salmon passed the weir, meeting the escapement goal of 97,000 219,000 sockeye salmon. A fourth aerial survey occurred on the Meshik River last week, during which 63,000 sockeye salmon were observed, meeting the escapement objective 36,000 94,000 fish. A final spawning ground survey will occur over the next week (statistical week 32).

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

South Peninsula

The sixth commercial salmon fishing period of July by set gillnet and seine gear occurred for 36 hours from 6:00 a.m. Sunday, July 26 until 6:00 p.m. Monday, July 27 and the seventh and final commercial salmon fishing period of July by set gillnet and seine gear occurred for 36 hours from 6:00 a.m. Thursday, July 30 until 6:00 p.m. Friday, July 31 in the following districts and sections:

  • Unimak District
  • Southwestern District, excluding the waters of the Volcano Bay Section of the Southwestern District south and east 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 Areas 284-37 through 284-39)
  • South Central District, excluding the portion of the West Pavlof Bay Section of the South Central District south of Black Point (55° 24.48' N. lat.; Statistical Area 283-26)
  • Shumagin Islands Section of the Southeastern District

Commercial salmon fishing by drift gillnet gear occurred for 36 hours from 6:00 a.m. Saturday, July 26 until 6:00 p.m. Monday, July 27 and the final commercial salmon fishing period of July by drift gillnet gear occurred for 36 hours from 6:00 a.m. Thursday, July 30 until 6:00 p.m. Friday, July 31in the following districts and sections:

  • Unimak District
  • Ikatan Bay Section of the Southwestern District

Participation in the fishery has been below average.

Consistent with 16.05.060. Emergency Orders (EO)., and under the guidance of 5 AAC 39.220 (a) Policy for the management of mixed stock salmon fisheries. (a)(b) and 5 AAC 39.222. Policy for the management of sustainable salmon fisheries, the department uses EO authority to reduce fishing time in the Shumagin Islands Section of the Southeastern District and to close the waters of the Volcano Bay Section of the Southwestern District south and east 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., and the portion of the West Pavlof Bay Section of the South Central District south of Black Point (55° 24.48' N. lat.).

Sockeye salmon harvest is well below the recent 10- and 5-year averages, with 651,986 sockeye salmon harvested as of July 30. The 10-year average sockeye salmon harvest is 1,872,000 fish and the 5-year average harvest is 2,047,000 fish.

Pink salmon harvest is below average for this time of year with 2,707,207 fish harvested. The 10-year average harvest of pink salmon on July 30 is 2,970,000 fish and the 5-year average harvest is 4,733,000 fish.

Chum salmon harvest is below average at 608,924 chum salmon. The 10-year average for July 30 is 714,000 fish and the 5-year average harvest is 792,000 fish.

Chinook salmon harvest is between the 5- and 10-year average at 18,825 Chinook salmon. The 10-year average for July 30 is 13,000 fish and the 5-year average harvest is 19,600 fish.

Coho salmon harvest is well below average at 40,563 coho salmon. The 10-year average for July 30 is 172,000 fish and the 5-year average harvest is 189,000 fish.

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. No commercial salmon fishing has occurred in Chignik at this time.

Aerial surveys have been flown in the streams of the Southeastern, Southwestern, and South Central 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. Pink and chum salmon have been observed in the lower sections of several streams, which is normal for this time of year. To date, approximately 175,000 pink salmon and 35,000 chum salmon have been observed in river. Aerial surveys will continue to monitor escapement.

There is one salmon enumeration weir operated in the South Alaska Peninsula Management Area, the Orzinski Weir. 5,827 sockeye salmon have passed the weir as of July 30, and the escapement objective for August 7th is 15,000 to 20,000 sockeye salmon.

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Chignik

Chignik

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

As of 9:00 a.m. July 31, a total of 240,940 sockeye salmon have passed through the Chignik River weir. The cumulative early run total is 138,382 sockeye salmon and the late run total is 102,558 sockeye salmon. July 30 was 350,000 450,000 early run sockeye salmon and 140,000 250,000 late run sockeye salmon. The early run this year is extremely weak and will not achieve the escapement goal for the 3rd consecutive year. The late run has shown no strength and the historical peak has now passed. The late run is showing equivalent strength to the early run at this time and is considered extremely weak.

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 section has ended and no fishing periods were allowed in the Cape Igvak section during the 2020 season. There have not been fishing periods scheduled yet in the Southeastern District Mainland (SEDM) Section of Area M.

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.

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Arctic-Yukon-Kuskokwim

Yukon River

The Lower Yukon River transitioned to fall season management starting July 16. The 2020 fall chum salmon preseason projection based on the relationship between summer chum salmon and fall chum salmon is for a run size of less than 450,000 fish. The preseason projection does not meet the threshold of 550,000 fish needed to allow commercial fishing. Therefore, the department does not anticipate any commercial openings to begin the fall season. The department will monitor the run to determine if any adjustments to the subsistence fishing schedule are needed to meet escapement and treaty objectives.

There was no commercial fishing on the Yukon River during this statistical week. Due to low numbers of summer chum salmon, and projected low numbers of fall chum salmon, the Lower Yukon processor may be done buying salmon for the year.

Preliminary summer season totals for the Lower Yukon River are 14,000 summer chum salmon (85,000 pounds) and 4,800 pink salmon (9,300 pounds) from dip net, beach seine, or gillnet openings in Districts 1 and 2. The summer chum salmon average weight was 6.1 pounds. Pink salmon average weight was 1.9 pounds. Less than 1,200 king salmon were released alive or retained for subsistence.

As of July 18, the estimated passage of summer chum salmon at the sonar project near Pilot Station (lower Yukon River) was 691,000 fish, which came in below the median of 1.9 million fish. On July 19, this sonar project switched over to counting fall chum salmon. As of July 30, the estimated passage was 79,200 fall chum salmon, which is below the median of 170,000 fish.

Kuskokwim River

The Kuskokwim Management Area has 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 fishing periods continue in districts W-4 and W-5 on a weekly schedule. Commercial fishery data is confidential.

The 2020 Kuskokwim River Chinook salmon forecast is 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 indicate the run is coming in late and weak. Both the chum and sockeye salmon runs appear to be late. The chum salmon run is materializing below average, while the sockeye salmon run appears to be average. Coho salmon are just beginning to be caught in the lower Kuskokwim River.

All ADF&G assessment projects in the Kuskokwim Management Area are operational (3-weirs, sonar, and Bethel Test Fishery). USFWS cancelled their one weir project for the season. Aerial spawning surveys for Chinook and sockeye salmon are underway as of July 23.

As of July 31, Chinook salmon escapement at the George River Weir has passed the lower bound of the escapement goal for this system (range 1,800–3,300 fish) with 2,285 fish. 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 117,754 sockeye salmon as of July 31. Sockeye salmon escapement at the Kogrukluk weir has passed the lower bound of the escapement goal of 4,400 fish with to-date passage of 5,700 sockeye salmon.

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 fishermen will be getting back in the water this weekend after bad weather kept them out for a week. The King salmon runs were better than expected and all escapement goals are projected to be met. The chum salmon runs were very weak this year with limited commercial fishing and half the escapement goals reached. Coho salmon are starting to show but not nearly as strong as forecasted so far. Pink salmon runs have gone wild again for the fifth year in row, however the buyer showed little interest in purchasing pink salmon. Sockeye salmon escapements were lower than expected but the lower ends of escapement goals were reached. Although some people have requested the Department waive the sockeye salmon subsistence limit at Pilgrim River, others haven’t reached their 25 fish season limit yet, so the limit stands.

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

Kotzebue

Harvests in 2020 have been approximately half of recent years harvest. Likewise, there have been half the number of permit holders fishing. Total harvest this year will likely be under 200,000 chum salmon for the first time since 2009. In the previous four years, total harvests were above 400,000 chum salmon every year. The test net catch index is poor for chum salmon this season. Although there has been high water on the Kobuk River, the test net sheefish catches have been outnumbering chum salmon catches by 4 to 1 so there likely is not an issue with catch efficiency. Unless there are improvements in the test net catches, the Department will likely cut commercial fishing time down to about half the normal time next week.

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

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