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

A total of six spring troll areas targeting Alaska hatchery Chinook salmon have been opened to date in Port Saint Nicholas, Bucareli Bay, Redoubt Bay, Sitka Sound, Salisbury Sound and Yakutat Bay. Chinook salmon fisheries will open in the Western Channel, Goddard, West Crawfish Inlet, Mountain Point, and Rock Point spring troll areas during the week of May 31 with an additional eight terminal harvest areas opening throughout the month of June.

The Northern Chatham Strait, Point Couverden, Homeshore, Cross Sound, South Passage, and Keku Strait enhanced chum salmon areas will open on June 15. In addition to these spring troll openings for hatchery chum salmon, two terminal/special harvest areas will also open to target enhanced chum salmon in mid-June.

At total of 106 troll permits have reported 2,409 Chinook salmon harvested from 288 landings through May 14 (Statistical Week 21). Fishery participation has increased by 12 permits from 2019 however, the number of permits fished is down 47% when compared to the 5-year average (201 permits), primarily due to the reduced number of open fishing areas. The 2020 cumulative spring Chinook salmon harvest through May 14 is up from 2019 by 773 fish and down from the 5-year average by 2,347 fish. The current spring troll seasonal average weight for Chinook salmon of 11.0 lb is below the 2019 and 5-year averages of 11.8 lb and 11.9 lb during the same weekly period. The seasonal Chinook salmon average price per pound of $5.96 is a decrease from the 2019 and 5-year averages by $3.97 and $3.75, respectively, but $0.22 higher than reported the previous week. Much of the large decrease in price during the 2020 spring fishery can be attributed to reduced markets for fresh Chinook salmon resulting from health mandates enacted during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Purse Seine Fishery

Common property purse seine openings will begin in June and will be primarily directed at harvesting returns of enhanced chum salmon in Terminal Harvested Areas (THAs). The Anita Bay and Carroll Inlet THAs will be open on June 1 followed by the Deep Inlet THA on June 2 and Neets Bay and Kendrick Bay THAs on June 15. Thomas Bay, SE Cove, the Hidden Falls THAs, the Point Augusta Index fishery and Tenakee Inlet will open June 21.

The 2019 Southeast Alaska pink salmon harvest forecast is predicted to be weak with a point estimate of 12 million fish. In southern Southeast, common property purse seine openings directed at harvesting pink salmon will begin July 5 in Districts 7 and 1. In northern Southeast, directed pink salmon openings are not expected to occur until July and will be contingent on results from the Point Augusta Index fishery, the Hawk Inlet, Point Gardner, and Kingsmill test fisheries, and observations of pink salmon abundance. The Point Gardner and Hawk Inlet test fisheries will begin in late June.

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 will be implemented in gillnet, seine, troll, sport, personal use, and subsistence fisheries.

For all purse seine fishing areas except Carroll Inlet, Neets Bay, Anita Bay, Hidden Falls, and Deep Inlet THAs, Chinook salmon 28 inches or greater in length may NOT be retained and Chinook salmon less than 28 inches may be retained but not sold. All Chinook salmon harvested in the Carroll Inlet, Neets Bay, Anita Bay, Hidden Falls, and Deep Inlet THAs may be retained and sold. All Chinook salmon harvested in the Deep Inlet THA must be retained and may be sold. These restrictions will be in place through at least July 25.

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 Tree Point drift gillnet fishery opens on Sunday, June 21. 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 2020 preseason terminal run forecast for Stikine River large Chinook salmon is 13,400 fish. This forecast is well below the average of 19,400 fish and just under the escapement goal range of 14,000–28,000 fish. This forecast does not allow for directed Chinook salmon fisheries in District 8. Recent trends of Stikine River Chinook salmon abundance and trends in Chinook salmon abundance throughout SEAK indicate very poor survival of Chinook salmon. As such, conservation measures will be in place for the start of the sockeye salmon fishery.

The 2020 preseason forecast for Stikine River sockeye salmon is 103,400 fish, which is below the average of 115,000 fish. This forecast includes: 64,500 Tahltan Lake and 38,900 mainstem sockeye salmon. Fishing periods in District 8, and to a lesser extent in District 6, will be determined by inseason abundance estimates of Stikine River sockeye salmon. Both districts may open by regulation as early as the second Sunday in June (June 14). However, with an expected poor run of Stikine River Chinook salmon, conservation measures will be in place in both districts. Conservation measures will include; delaying the initial sockeye salmon opening by one week in District 6 and by at least one week in District 8, implementing a six-inch maximum mesh size, limiting fishing time, and reducing fishing area in District 8. The initial opening on June 21 may be extended based on observed effort and harvest levels. During the first few weeks of the sockeye salmon fishery, any extended fishing time or midweek openings will be based on the preseason forecasts, expected harvest levels, and stock proportion data.

Taku-Snettisham/Section 11-B

The terminal run forecast of 12,400 Taku River large Chinook salmon is below the bottom end of the escapement goal range of 19,000 – 36,000 large fish. With other regional Chinook salmon forecasts at low levels, management actions will be taken throughout all fisheries in Southeast Alaska to reduce harvest of wild Chinook salmon. After less than two weeks of fishing with drift tangle nets the ongoing stock assessment project on the Taku River has produced limited amounts of data. At this point in time the cumulative catch of large fish is below last season, but above two seasons ago. Daily catch rates in this project generally peak in late May to early June.

The 2020 Taku Inlet / Stephens Passage (Section 11-B) drift gillnet fishery will open to target sockeye salmon for two days beginning Sunday, June 21. The same initial restrictions from last season will be in place including a significant area closure of Taku Inlet and waters east of a line of longitude running mid-inlet from the latitude of Point Greely south to a point on the Admiralty Island shoreline north of Station Point, a six-inch maximum mesh size restriction, and night closures from 10:00 p.m. through 4:00 a.m. Starting in statistical week 27 (June 28), openings will likely have significantly less area restriction but mesh size restriction and night closures will likely stay in place for a couple more weeks. Management will be based on wild sockeye salmon abundance through mid-August, after which focus will shift to Taku River coho salmon abundance. Weekly opening times will be determined inseason based on data from Taku River stock assessment projects, fishery catch per unit effort (CPUE), and effort levels.

The terminal runs of Taku River wild sockeye and coho salmon are expected to be slightly below and above their respective recent ten-year averages in 2020. The interim harvest sharing arrangement between the U.S. and Canada established for the 2020 to 2023 seasons should provide more foundation to target weekly allowable catch (AC) and may result in additional time warranted for District 11 gillnetters in Taku Inlet after the Chinook salmon conservation period. The Taku River coho salmon forecast is at a level that provides the U.S. with an AC of 35,000 above border fish under the new harvest sharing agreement in the Pacific Salmon Treaty Annex. If inseason estimates are like the forecast, additional time will be warranted during the coho salmon management period.

Douglas Island Pink and Chum, Inc. (DIPAC) is forecasting returns of 650,000 enhanced summer chum salmon from hatchery releases in Gastineau Channel and Limestone Inlet. The forecasted return of enhanced sockeye salmon to Port Snettisham is 226,000 fish, and 40,000 enhanced coho salmon are forecasted to return to Gastineau Channel.

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

Lynn Canal/District 15

The commercial drift gillnet fishery in Lynn Canal will open for two days starting on Sunday, June 21. The 2020 pre-season forecast for large Chilkat River Chinook salmon is 1,550 fish, which is below the inriver abundance goal range (1,850 - 3,600 fish). This will result in conservative management during the first several weeks of the gillnet season. Openings will be designed to minimize Chinook salmon harvest while allowing for the harvest wild sockeye salmon and enhanced chum salmon.

In Section 15-A, fishing will be limited to the area south of Eldred Rock Lighthouse and east of a line from Eldred Rock Lighthouse to a point 2.0 nautical miles from the eastern shoreline through July 25. The Section 15-C open area will be limited to the Postage Stamp (waters of Section 15-C south of the latitude of Vanderbilt Reef Light and east of a line from Vanderbilt Reef Light to Little Island Light) and limited to two days a week through July 11. Night closures from 10:00 p.m. through 4:00 a.m., and a maximum mesh size restriction of six inches will also be implemented in Sections 15-A and 15-C. These restrictions are meant to reduce Chilkat River Chinook salmon harvest.

The Boat Harbor Terminal Harvest Area (THA) will also be managed to reflect Chinook salmon conservation concerns. The Boat Harbor THA will open in conjunction with District 15 on June 21. Outside waters will be limited to 1.0 nautical mile of the western shoreline of Lynn Canal south of the latitude of Lance Point for two days per week with a maximum mesh size restriction of six inches through July 18. Inside waters of the Boat Harbor THA will open seven days a week without gear or time restrictions.

The sockeye salmon return to Chilkoot Lake is expected to be average to above average. The return of Chilkat River mainstem sockeye salmon is expected to be above average in 2020. Berners River and Lynn Canal coho salmon returns are expected to be average this year.

The Douglas Island Pink and Chum, Inc. (DIPAC) is forecasting a total return of up to 1.8 million enhanced chum salmon from the hatchery releases at Amalga Harbor and Boat Harbor. The common property share of this return is estimated to be 900,000 fish.

Yakutat Area Set Gillnet Fishery

The Yakutat set gillnet fisheries will open in June, with openings for the various systems being staggered according to run timing. The Southeast Alaska Transboundary Rivers Chinook salmon stocks are experiencing unprecedented levels of poor production; record low runs were observed for many of these stocks in 2019 and 2020 forecasts indicate continued poor levels of production. In an effort to bolster spawning escapements, Alaska and Canada are coordinating fisheries management per treaty obligations to minimize harvest of depressed Chinook salmon and sockeye salmon stocks. Management actions to conserve Alsek River Chinook salmon stocks will result in a 12-hour opening for the first opener on June 7 and gillnet mesh restrictions throughout the Chinook salmon run. Yakutat Bay and the Dangerous River will open on the second Sunday in June (June 9). The Situk-Ahrnklin Inlet and the Manby Shore fisheries will open on the third Sunday in June (June 16). The remainder of the Yakutat District will open on the fourth Sunday in June (June 23). The East River, Akwe River and the Italio River systems will open by emergency order when adequate levels of escapement have been observed.

Sockeye salmon returns to the Yakutat Area in 2020 are expected to be average to above average. The 2020 preseason projection of a total return of 850 large Chinook salmon to the Situk River. Due to the uncertainty in recent forecasts and environmental variables, any harvest of this stock could result in the escapement goal not being achieved. The subsistence, sport, and commercial fisheries will be closed for Situk River Chinook salmon. These fisheries will reopen when Situk River weir counts indicate the biological escapement goal (BEG) will be attained. The coho salmon return this year is also expected to be average to above average.

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 opens continuously to the harvest of salmon by drift gillnet and troll gear on Monday, June 1. 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 opens 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. 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 opens continuously to the harvest of salmon by purse seine gear on Monday, June 15. 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 opens to the harvest of salmon by all gear groups on Monday, June 1, and closes to purse seine and drift gillnet on Friday, June 12. The rotational fishery between purse seine and drift gillnet begins on Monday, June 15. For further information please refer to the ADF&G news release 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 initial opening of Anita Bay will be delayed until June 1 to mitigate potential harvest of wild Chinook salmon. Additionally, 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. A rotational fishery will begin for drift gillnet and purse seine fleets as described in the District 7: Anita Bay Terminal Harvest Area Salmon Management Plan. This rotational fishing period will be in place for the duration of the 2020 season. Details of the 2020 season fishing schedule and area for the Anita Bay THA were announced in an ADF&G advisory announcement released on April 17.

Deep Inlet THA

The Deep Inlet THA opens on June 2. For the time period of June 2-6, gillnet fishing is scheduled on June 2 and June 3, purse seine fishing is scheduled on June 4 and June 5. Beginning June 7, seine openings will occur on Sunday, Thursday, and Friday, and gillnet openings will occur on Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday of each week. 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 Associate (NSRAA) does not anticipate cost recovery operations this season in the Deep Inlet THA.

Hidden Falls THA

The first common property purse seine opening in the Hidden Falls THA is scheduled for June 21 and will likely be followed by a midweek opening on June 25. 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 Associate (NSRAA) needs 200,000 chum salmon for broodstock, leaving 164,000 chum salmon available for common property harvests. NSRAA does not intend to use a tax assessment on the common property harvest of chum salmon to satisfy cost recovery needs as provided under AS 16.10.455.

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.

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

The Copper River District was open to commercial fishing for a 12-hour fishing period on May 18. This was the second fishing period of the 2020 season. The Copper River District fishery did not open on May 21, remaining closed for the remainder of the week.

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 May 21 is 4,918 salmon versus a minimum inriver passage objective of 5,388 salmon.

Waters inside of the barrier islands from Steamboat through the west side of Softuk Channel were closed during the fishing period on May 18.

Preliminary harvest estimate from the 12-hour period that occurred on Thursday, May 14 was 1,550 Chinook salmon and 1,470 sockeye salmon with 372 deliveries reported. The projected harvest for this fishing period is 12,400 sockeye salmon. Preliminary harvest estimate from the 12-hour period that occurred on Monday, May 18 was 1,700 Chinook salmon and 4,550 sockeye salmon with 411 deliveries reported. The projected harvest for this fishing period is 28,600 sockeye salmon.

Break-up of the Copper River is early and river water levels are normal for this date.

Prince William Sound Purse Seine

The 2020 pink salmon total run forecast for PWS is 33.64 million fish, of which 25.99 million fish will be available for harvest. The pink salmon total run forecast includes 4.42 million natural stock fish, 14.60 million Prince William Sound Aquaculture Corporation (PWSAC) hatchery fish, and 14.62 million Valdez Fisheries Development Association (VFDA) fish. Approximately 3.46 million (24%) of the projected 14.62 million VFDA pink salmon return will be needed for cost recovery and broodstock, leaving 11.15 million fish available for harvest. Approximately 3.39 million (23%) of the projected 14.60 million pink salmon run to the PWSAC hatcheries will be needed for cost recovery and broodstock, leaving 11.20 million fish available for harvest. Based on the department's natural stock pink salmon forecast of 4.42 million fish, there is a potential harvestable surplus of 3.63 million natural pink salmon. The department will manage for each district's aerial index escapement goal for a cumulative sustainable escapement goal (SEG) of 575,000–992,000 pink salmon.

The 2019 chum salmon forecast is 4.46 million fish. The majority, 3.86 million (86%), are from PWSAC hatchery production, with 500,000 fish returning to the Armin F. Koernig hatchery (AFK). Based on the department's natural chum salmon forecast of 604,000 fish, there is a potential harvestable surplus of 404,000 wild chum salmon. The department will manage for each district's escapement goal for a combined total of 200,000 fish.

The PWS purse seine fishery will begin on Monday, June 1 targeting the enhanced chum salmon run to the AFK hatchery and Port Chalmers remote release site. At the AFK hatchery, a regular schedule of two fishing periods per week are likely at the start of the season. A reduced schedule will be implemented, if necessary, to limit the harvest of salmon bound for other areas of PWS. In the Port Chalmers Subdistrict, a regular schedule of two fishing periods per week is planned at the start of the season. A reduced schedule will be implemented, if necessary, to limit the harvest of salmon bound for other areas of PWS. Areas open to the Port Chalmers CCPF will close in late July, after which purse seine fishing periods will be opened based on the strength of wild pink salmon stocks. Anadromous stream closures and regulatory closed waters within the open area at AFK and Port Chalmers will be suspended during June and July to facilitate the harvest of enhanced chum salmon.

The general waters of the eight purse seine districts will be managed based on the strength of natural stocks. Hatchery subdistricts will be managed based on the strength of both natural and enhanced stocks. Pink and chum salmon aerial escapement trends and fishery performance data will be evaluated inseason and compared to average historical performance to determine the frequency and duration of openings.

The department has used yellow Salmon Harvest Task Force markers in the past to close terminal wild stock areas for both escapement and quality concerns. The coordinates for these markers are available to the public at the Cordova ADF&G office, online, and are included in an annual fishery news release.

Valdez Arm, Valdez Narrows, and Port Valdez will be managed for VFDA's cost recovery and broodstock needs. Openings in Valdez Arm and Port Valdez targeting VFDA pink salmon will be based on the strength of the enhanced run and VFDA's progress towards achieving the pink salmon cost recovery goal. CCPF openings targeting VFDA fish generally start during the first week of July with daily 14-hour periods (6 a.m. to 8 p.m.). In the remainder of the Eastern District, openings will be based on wild stock escapements. Port Valdez will be closed to the CCPF north of a line from Entrance Point to Potato Point beginning on August 15. Valdez Narrows Subdistrict will open on September 2 to target surplus VFDA coho salmon. The VFDA enhanced coho salmon forecast is 82,000 fish with a forecast commercial harvest of 25,000 fish.

The AFK, Cannery Creek Hatchery (CCH), and Wally Noerenberg Hatchery (WNH) pink salmon runs will be managed collectively to achieve PWSAC's cost recovery and broodstock goals. Prior to run entry sustaining consistent hatchery cost recovery harvest, the department may open the WNH, CCH, and AFK Hatchery THAs and SHAs to a CCPF harvest to maintain pink salmon quality. Once PWSAC initiates cost recovery, they intend to complete at least 70–80% of their pink salmon cost recovery harvest goal prior to recommending an opening of the CCPF in the hatchery subdistricts. ADF&G will work closely with PWSAC to achieve the pink salmon cost recovery goal as rapidly as possible to allow for an orderly and consistent CCPF. The department evaluates late pink salmon run progress based on cost recovery and CCPF harvest rates, broodstock collections, sex ratios, stock composition estimates, and natural stock escapement data.

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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 in the Togiak District starts June 1 and will be open on a regular weekly schedule. Escapement projects will start in July.

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

Nushagak District

There will be no commercial fishing in the Nushagak District before June 1. Escapement projects will be deployed in early June.

Naknek-Kvichak District

An inshore run of approximately 19.0 million sockeye salmon is expected for the Naknek-Kvichak District in 2020. Based on the forecast, the projected harvest in the Naknek-Kvichak District is approximately 12.3 million sockeye salmon: 5.9 million fish from the Kvichak River, 2.3 million fish from the Alagnak River, and 4.1 million fish from the Naknek River.Sockeye salmon returning to the Naknek-Kvichak District are predicted to be 39% age-1.2, 44% age-1.3, 14% age-2.2, and 2% age-2.3 fish.

The Naknek River escapement goal range is 800,000 – 2.0 million sockeye salmon. The Kvichak River escapement goal range is 2.0 million – 10.0 million sockeye salmon. The Alagnak River escapement goal is a minimum of 210,000 sockeye salmon. Escapements will be managed within the lower or upper portions of the escapement goals proportional to the run size based on the preseason forecast and inseason assessment of run size.

Fishing in the Naknek-Kvichak District will be open four days per week from 9:00 a.m. Monday to 9:00 a.m. Friday, beginning 9:00 a.m. Monday, June 1 and ending 9:00 a.m. Wednesday, June 24. Drift gillnets will be restricted to fishing in the Naknek Section only, while set gillnets will be allowed to fish in the entire Naknek-Kvichak District. From June 24 until July 17, fishing periods will be based on sockeye salmon escapements, abundance in the district, and gear group harvest percentages. District test fishing for inseason management may be conducted periodically depending on run characteristics. As in previous years, some openings could occur on short notice.

Egegik District

A forecasted inshore run of approximately 10.2 million sockeye salmon is expected for the Egegik River in 2020. The escapement goal range for sockeye salmon is 800,000 – 2.0 million fish. Based on the forecast, the potential surplus of fish available for harvest is 8.5 million fish. Approximately 43% of the run is expected to be age-1.3 fish, followed by age-2.2 (29%), age-1.2 (17%), and age 2.3 (10%).

For 2020, separate gear openings and extensions will be used to adjust harvest to achieve allocation percentages. Fishermen are reminded that regulations direct the department to avoid “to the extent practicable,” continuous fishing with set gillnet gear in the Egegik District, therefore, Egegik set gillnet fishermen should expect breaks in fishing.

Based on the Kvichak River sockeye salmon forecast, fishing will begin in the full Egegik District. The season will start with a three day per week schedule that will be in effect until June 17. The primary reason for the three day per week schedule is to provide for king salmon escapement to rivers flowing into the Egegik District. Commercial fishing will be allowed in the Egegik District from 9:00 a.m. Monday, until 9:00 a.m. Wednesday and from 9:00 a.m. Thursday until 9:00 a.m. Friday. This schedule will begin at 9:00 a.m. Monday, June 1 and run through 9:00 a.m. Wednesday, June 17 for drift and set gillnet gear. After June 17, additional fishing time for both gear groups will be announced according to sockeye salmon run strength. As in previous years, some openings could occur on short notice. Periods will be adjusted to allocate harvest between drift and set gillnet gear groups.

In addition, subsistence fishing will be permitted in the waters of the Egegik commercial district from 12:01 a.m. Monday, June 1 until 11:59 p.m. Wednesday, June 17. The department will consider additional directed subsistence openings but will wait until inseason to announce those openings.

Ugashik District

The forecasted Ugashik River sockeye salmon inshore run in 2020 is 4.5 million fish. The escapement goal range is 500,000 – 1.4 million sockeye salmon. Based on the forecast, 3.3 million fish are potentially available for harvest. Approximately 49% of the run is expected to be age-1.2, 31% age-1.3, 19% age-2.2, and 1% age-2.3 fish. 5

The Ugashik District allocation plan specifies 10% for set gillnet and 90% for the drift gillnet group. As in previous years, separate gear openings and adjusting length of commercial periods will be used to address allocation between gear groups in 2020.

Beginning 9:00 a.m. Monday, June 1, commercial fishing in the Ugashik District will be allowed on a 9:00 a.m. Monday to 9:00 a.m. Friday schedule through 9:00 a.m. Friday, June 19. Based on the Kvichak River sockeye salmon forecast, fishing will begin in the full Ugashik District. Additional fishing time after June 19 will depend on fishery performance and run strength indicators. Permit holders should note that the regulation restricting opportunity to no more than 48 hours between June 16 and June 23 will not be in effect in 2020.

In addition, subsistence fishing will be permitted in the waters of the Ugashik commercial district from 12:01 a.m. Monday, June 1 until 11:59 p.m. Friday, June 19.

It is unknown at this time whether walrus will return to the Cape Greig area. If they do, the department will use the adjusted line from 2016. If they do not, the district boundaries will revert to those in regulation at 5 AAC 06.200(d). The first announcement of the 2020 season will clarify which boundary will be in place for the summer.

At the March 2013 meeting, the Board of Fisheries (BOF) adopted proposals that would allow Area T permit holders to fish within the inner portion of the Cinder River Section and Inner Port Heiden Section during all months when open by regulation. For further information contact ADF&G in Port Moller at 907-375-2716. Area T permit holders who fish the Cinder River and Port Heiden sections and deliver their catch in the Ugashik District are reminded to report the section of catch on the appropriate fish tickets and note that transporting fish from the sections mentioned above to deliver in the Ugashik District is not permitted during July.

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Cook Inlet:

Upper Cook Inlet (UCI)

A run of approximately 4.3 million sockeye salmon is forecasted to return to Upper Cook Inlet (UCI) in 2020, with an expected harvest by all user groups of 2.5 million fish. The commercial fishery harvest in 2020 is estimated to be approximately 1.7 million sockeye salmon, which is 1.0 million fish less than the 20-year average annual commercial sockeye salmon harvest of 2.8 million fish.

The run forecast for the Kenai River is approximately 2.2 million fish, which is 1.4 million less than the 20-year average run of 3.6 million fish. In 2020, the predominant age classes are projected to be age 1.3 (63%), age 1.2 (17%), and age 2.3 (13%). The 10-year mean absolute percent error (MAPE) for the set of models used for the 2020 Kenai River sockeye salmon forecast is 19%.

The Kasilof River sockeye salmon run forecast is 723,000 fish, which is 26% less than the 20-year average of 971,000 fish. The predominant age classes in the run forecast are age 1.3 (37%), age 1.2 (29%), age 1.3 (41%) and age 2.2 (26%). The 10-year MAPE for the set of models used for the 2020 Kasilof River sockeye salmon run forecast is 21%.

The Susitna River sockeye salmon run forecast is 571,000 fish, which is 49% greater than the 20-year average of 384,000 fish. This forecast was derived using mean return per spawner by age class and mark-recapture estimates of spawner abundance for brood years 2006–2014. The 5-year MAPE for this forecast method is 23%. The predominant age classes in the 2020 Susitna sockeye salmon run forecast are age 1.2 (25%) and age 1.3 (54%).

The Fish Creek sockeye salmon run forecast is 121,000 fish, which is 35,000 fish or 42% greater than the 20-year average run of 86,000 fish. The predominant age classes in the 2020 Fish Creek run forecast are age 1.2 (58%) and age 1.3 (22%). The 10-year MAPE for the Fish Creek sockeye salmon run forecast is 70%.

2020 Sockeye Salmon Forecasts and Escapement Goals

System Forecast Goalsa
Kenai River b,c 2,231,000 1,000,000–1,300,000
Kasilof River b,d 723,000 140,000–320,000
Susitna River 571,000  
Larson Lake N/A 15,000–35,000
Chelatna Lake N/A 20,000–45,000
Judd Lake N/A 15,000–40,000
Fish Creek 121,000 15,000–45,000
Unmonitored Systems e 624,000 N/A
Total 4,270,000  
  • a Goals listed here are as follows: Kenai River: Inriver; Kasilof River: Biological Escapement Goal (BEG); Susitna River: SEG (weir goals); and Fish Creek: Sustainable Escapement Goal (SEG).
  • b Kenai River goal is DIDSON-based; Kasilof river is Aris-based.
  • c Kenai River SEG is 750,000–1,300,000 sockeye salmon; was 700,000 – 1,200,000 until 2020 UCI BOF meeting.
  • d Kasilof River optimal escapement goal (OEG) is 140,000–370,000 sockeye salmon. BEG was 160,000 – 340,000 until 2020 UCI BOF meeting.
  • e Unmonitored systems are estimated to be 15% of monitored systems.

Summary Outline of Regulatory Changes from the February 2020 Alaska Board of Fisheries Meeting

For more information about the 2020 Upper Cook Inlet Alaska Board of Fisheries meeting, please visit the meeting webpage

2020 Fishing Strategies

Set Gillnet Salmon Fishery Overview and Management for Northern District

  • Since 2011, management actions as per the Northern District King Salmon Management Plan (NDKSMP) for the Northern District (ND) directed king salmon set gillnet fishery have included area closures, time restrictions, and/or regularly scheduled fishing period closures in order to reduce the harvest of northern Cook Inlet king salmon. However, even with restrictions in sport and commercial fisheries in 2018 and 2019, the Deshka River failed to achieve its king salmon escapement goal. Total passage in 2018 was 8,594 fish, and 9,755 fish in 2019. The 2020 Deshka River preseason forecast of 10,570 fish suggests harvest will need to be very limited in order to achieve the newly modified Sustainable Escapement Goal (SEG) of 9,000–18,000 fish. Based on this low forecast, and recent low king salmon production throughout the Susitna Drainage, the Division of Sport Fish issued an Emergency Order (EO) prohibiting retention of king salmon in units 1, 3, 4, 5, and 6 of the Susitna River drainage, while unit 2 was closed entirely to king salmon fishing.
  • As directed by the NDKSMP, the 2020 directed king salmon commercial fishery in the ND will be restricted to 6-hour fishing periods in all subdistricts in response to the emergency order limiting the start of the 2020 Deshka River sport fishery to no retention. For the 2020 season, the commercial fishing periods affected by this restriction will be May 25, and June 1, 8, 15, and 22. Escapement of king salmon into the Deshka River will be closely monitored. If the run is stronger than expected and retention of king salmon is allowed in the Deshka River sport fishery, reestablishing 9 or 12 hour openings in the directed king salmon commercial fishery may occur.
  • Beginning Monday, June 25, the ND set gillnet fishery will be managed per provisions found in the Northern District Salmon Management Plan (NDSMP). This plan provides for two 12-hour weekly fishing periods and a normal separation between nets of at least 600 feet.
  • While NDSMP, Susitna River sockeye salmon were removed from stock of yield concern status at the 2020 board meeting, restrictive actions to fisheries that harvest this stock were retained in regulation. According to the the department may reduce the legal complement of gear in the ND set gillnet fishery to either one or two nets per permit from July 20 through August 6 to conserve Susitna River sockeye salmon. However, in that portion of the General Subdistrict south of the Susitna River, restrictive options for gear reduction are limited to two nets per permit after July 30.
  • The fishery will be closed for the season by EO when catch and effort cease — October 1.

Set Gillnet Salmon Fishery Overview and Management for the Chinitna Bay, Western, Kustatan and Kalgin Island Subdistricts of the Central District

  • Chinitna Bay, Western, Kalgin Island, and Kustatan subdistrict management will generally follow regulatory fishing periods and schedules, except for that portion of the Western Subdistrict south of Redoubt Point, where fishing is often is allowed three days per week based on increasing harvest rates of Crescent River sockeye salmon.
  • The Kalgin Island Subdistrict may also be given up to one extra fishing period per week if the Packers Lake sockeye salmon assessment shows that the escapement goal is projected to be achieved.
  • The fisheries will be closed for the season by EO when catch and effort cease — October 1.

Overview of Upper Subdistrict ESSN and Central District Drift Fisheries

Upper Subdistrict ESSN Fishery

  • The preseason estimate for Kenai River late-run sockeye salmon is 2.2 million fish. If the Kenai River late-run king salmon Optimal Escapement Goal (OEG) is projected to be achieved without restrictions, inseason management of the ESSN fishery will fall under the Kenai River Late-Run Sockeye Salmon Management Plan (KRLSSMP). For runs < 2.3 million fish. The KRLSSMP stipulates the department shall meet the SEG range of 750,000–1,300,000 fish, achieve an inriver goal of 1.0 to 1.3 million fish, two regular fishing periods plus up to 24 hours of EO time are allowed each week, and there are no closed fishery windows.
  • The 2020 Kenai River late-run king salmon forecast projects a total run of 22,707 “large” (>75cm mid eye to tail fork) fish. The OEG for Kenai River late-run king salmon is 15,000–30,000 large fish. If the run returns as forecasted, it would rank as the 6th lowest run, measured as 29th out of 35 years, but would be approximately 60% greater than the 2019 preliminary total run estimate of 12,780 large fish. Based on the forecasted run size and if harvest rates are average in both sport and commercial fisheries, the Kenai River late-run king salmon large fish OEG may not be met without a reduction in sport and commercial harvest of this stock. If the Kenai River sport fishery is restricted to either no bait, no retention, or no retention of fish > 34 inches, then then management of the entire ESSN fishery from June 20 through August 15 falls under provisions found in the KRLKSMP (5AAC 21.359 (e)(3)(g)). The paired restrictive provisions include fishing hour reductions, and mandatory gear restrictions. Additionally, all fishing periods under the KRLKSMP in any section may now be restricted to within 600 feet of shore, but hours fished do not count toward weekly hourly restrictions.

Central District Drift Gillnet Fishery

  • The department manages the UCI drift gillnet fleet primarily under the guidance of 5 AAC 21.353 Central District Drift Gillnet Fishery Management Plan (CDDGFMP). The purpose of this management plan is to ensure adequate escapement of salmon into northern Cook Inlet drainages and to provide the department with management guidelines.
  • The drift gillnet fishery opens the third Monday in June or June 19, whichever is later.
  • Drift gillnet openings generally follow regulatory Monday/Thursday fishing periods; 7:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m.
  • Drift gillnet fishery openings are stipulated in the CDDGFMP by date and sockeye abundance.
  • Additional fishing time is limited to the regular or expanded Kenai and Kasilof sections and Anchor Point Section dependent upon Kenai and Kasilof river sockeye salmon abundance and time of the season.

Inseason Management of Upper Subdistrict ESSN and Central District Drift Gillnet Fisheries

Upper Subdistrict ESSN Fishery

Kasilof Section Prior to July 8

  • The fishing season in the Kasilof Section (statistical areas 244-21, 244-22, and 244-31) opens on the first regular period on or after June 20, unless the department estimates that less than 30,000 sockeye salmon are in the Kasilof River, at which time the commissioner shall close the fishery by EO from June 20 to 24. After an EO closure in this respect, the fishery could then open on any day when more than 30,000 fish are estimated to be in the Kasilof River, or June 25. If restrictions under the KRLKSMP are in effect, fishing periods will be limited to a total of 48 hours per week by EO only, with a 36-hour Friday no-fishing window. If the Kasilof River Salmon Management Plan (KRSMP) is in effect, fishing time will be allowed for Mon/Thurs regular 12-hour fishing periods and up to 48 additional EO hours per week, with a 36-hour Friday no-fishing window.

North Kalifornsky Beach (NKB) Statistical Area July 1 to August 15.

  • The NKB statistical area (statistical area 244-32) may be open within 600 feet of mean high tide any time after July 1 if the Kasilof Section is open and the Kenai and East Foreland sections are closed.
  • From July 1 to July 8, all NKB openings shall be restricted to within 600 feet of shore and limited to nets with a mesh size restriction of no more than 4.75 inches and no more than 29 meshes deep.

Kasilof, Kenai and East Forelands Sections After July 8th

  • The Kenai and East Forelands sections fishing season opens under general regulations on or after July 8.
  • Management of the ESSN set gillnet fishery will be based on the projected escapement of Kenai River late-run large king salmon, and Kenai and Kasilof river sockeye salmon passage levels. From July 8 to August 15, if the Kenai River late-run king salmon sport fishery is unrestricted, then management of the Upper Subdistrict set gillnet fishery will follow provisions in the KRLSSMP with Mon/Thurs regular fishing periods and up to 24 additional EO hours per week and there are not any required no-fishing windows.
  • For the 2020 season, paired restrictive provisions in the KRLKSMP will likely be in effect allowing up to 48 hours of fishing time per week, by EO only. All fishing periods restricted by the KRLKSMP shall include gear restrictions as per 5AAC 21.359 (e)(3)(G).
  • The department will formally reassess the UCI sockeye salmon run after July 20.
  • From August 1 to 15, management of the ESSN fishery is based upon meeting Kenai and Kasilof River sockeye salmon escapement objectives and the king salmon OEG in the Kenai River. If the king salmon sport fishery is restricted on July 31, the ESSN fishery will be restricted to a maximum of 36 hours of fishing time per week, by EO only, with no mandatory Friday no-fishing window. Subsequently, if at any time before August 15 the king salmon OEG is achieved in the Kenai River, the restrictive provisions of the KRLKSMP will be lifted and the management of the ESSN fishery will follow the KRLSSMP. This would entail regular Mon/Thurs fishing periods and up to 24 hours of optional EO fishing time at run sizes < 2.3 million Kenai River sockeye salmon.
  • The ESSN fishery closes no later than August 15, but from August 11 to 15, only Monday and Thursday regular 12-hour fishing periods are allowed. However, the season may close any time after July 31 if during two consecutive fishing periods the sockeye salmon harvest is less than one percent of the season total. The one-percent rule applies separately to the Kasilof Section and the Kenai/East Foreland sections, which means one of the areas could close under the one-percent rule, while the other area remains open. All fishing periods after July 31 will be used in the one-percent calculation.

Central District Drift Gillnet Fishery

  • The 2020 run size for Kenai River late run sockeye salmon is projected to be 2.2 million fish, which leads to the following management provisions:
  • Prior to July 8,
  • Regulations specify 12-hour districtwide regular Mon/Thurs fishing periods.
  • From July 9 through July 15,
  • For runs < 2.3 million Kenai River sockeye salmon, drift gillnet fishing is restricted for both regular fishing periods to the Expanded Kenai and Expanded Kasilof sections, and Drift Gillnet Area 1.
  • All additional fishing time is allowed only in the Expanded Kenai and Expanded Kasilof sections.
  • From July 16 through July 31,
  • For runs < 2.3 million Kenai River sockeye salmon, fishing during both regular 12-hour fishing periods per week will be restricted to the Expanded Kenai or Expanded Kasilof sections of the Upper Subdistrict. Any additional time shall be restricted to one or more of the Expanded Kenai Section, the Expanded Kasilof Section, and the Anchor Point Section.
  • From August 1 through August 15,
  • Regular Mon/Thu fishing periods will be restricted to one or more of the following: Expanded Kenai Section, Expanded Kasilof Section, Anchor Point Sections, or Drift Gillnet Area 1. Any additional fishing time outside regular fishing periods will be dependent upon meeting sockeye and coho salmon escapement objectives but is limited to the Expanded Kenai or Kasilof and Anchor Point sections.
  • Two one-percent rules apply to drift gillnet fishing in August. If the entire ESSN fishery is closed per its own one-percent rule, or if the department determines that less than one-percent of the season's total drift gillnet sockeye salmon harvest has been taken per fishing period for two consecutive fishing periods by drift gillnets, then regular fishing periods will be restricted to Drift Gillnet Areas 3 and 4.
  • The department is now using all open periods regardless of the area(s) open to fishing to calculate the drift gillnet one-percent rule.
  • From August 16 until closed by EO,
  • Drift Areas 3 and 4 are open for regular periods.
  • Chinitna Bay may be opened, by EO only, based upon chum salmon escapement objectives being met or when the chum salmon run is complete.
  • Drift fisheries close for the season by EO, when effort ceases, which is generally mid- to late-September.

Season Opening Dates

Season opening dates in 2020 for the various fisheries around the inlet are as follows:

  • Northern District king salmon fishery: May 25. As explained earlier in this document, there are five regular Monday fishing periods in the 2020 fishery that occur beginning Monday, May 25, and include June 1, 8, 15, and 22. The area from the wood chip dock to the Susitna River remains closed for the directed king salmon fishery in 2020.
  • Big River fishery: June 1 and continuing through June 24, unless the 1,000 king salmon harvest limit is reached prior to that date. Weekly fishing periods are Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays from 7:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m.
  • Western Subdistrict set gillnet fishery: June 18.
  • Drift gillnet fishery: June 22.
  • All remaining set gillnet fisheries, except the ESSN fishery: June 25.
  • ESSN fishery: June 20 for the Kasilof Section (that portion south of the Blanchard Line), but only if 30,000 sockeye salmon are estimated to be in the Kasilof River. The fishery may open any day from June 20–24 based on this trigger; otherwise this area will open on Thursday, June 25. The Kenai and East Forelands sections (that portion of the Upper Subdistrict north of the Blanchard Line) will open on Thursday, July 10. By regulation, the ESSN fishery closes on Thursday, August 13, 2020.

Lower Cook Inlet (LCI)

Cost recovery of returning Trail Lakes Hatchery sockeye salmon from the Bear Lake release began on May 23 and has ended. Commercial harvest of remaining sockeye salmon returning to Resurrection Bay release sites began on Monday, June 24 and concluded on July 19 at 10 p.m. Commercial set gillnet harvest began in the Southern District of Lower Cook Inlet on Monday, June 3 with commercial purse seine opening for commercial common property harvest in Kamishak Bay having begun on June 1 and in portions of the Southern District on Monday, June 17. Portions of the Outer District opened on July 15. Areas in the East Nuka Subdistrict near Delight Lake opened to commercial purse seine harvest on July 22. The south shore of Port Dick opened on Monday, August 12 and an additional opening occurred in that area on Friday, August 16. Beginning Tuesday, August 20, both north and south shores of Port Dick opened on a daily schedule of 16-hour fishing periods.

Approximately 24,044 sockeye salmon have been counted on the English Bay River weir. This is above the sustainable escapement goal (SEG) for this system (6,000-13,500 fish) and is the highest count for this facility since ADF&G reestablished the weir in 1993. The U.S. Forest Service operated a weir at this location in most years from 1927-1941. During its operation, counts exceeded 24,044 fish for only three years.

Approximately 17,410 sockeye salmon have been counted at the Delight Lake weir through July 30. This is in the upper end of the SEG for this system (7,500-17,650 fish).

As of August 9, 12,070 sockeye salmon have been counted at the Chenik video weir in the Kamishak Bay District. This is above the midpoint of the SEG for this system (2,900-13,700 fish).

There have been 2,901 sockeye salmon enumerated at the Mikfik video weir as of July 7. Video data from this facility has not been completely processed. The SEG for this system is 3,400-11,000 fish.

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

The first 48-hour commercial set gillnet fishing period in the Southern District began on Monday, June 3. Recent harvest from this fishery is shown below (Table) including last year's harvest and previous 5-year harvest averages.

The overall 2020 commercial common property harvest from Lower Cook Inlet is anticipated to be 1.7 million salmon. The LCI management area forecast for commercial common property fishery (CCPF) harvests by species are summarized in Table 1.

The wild-stock pink salmon harvest forecast was derived from a 2-year running average model using log-transformed even-year harvest data from 1960–2018. The wild-stock sockeye and chum salmon harvest forecasts were derived from exponential smoothing (ES) models based on historical, log-transformed (sockeye salmon) and non-transformed (chum salmon) harvests from 1960–2019 (all years). The Chinook and coho salmon forecasts were derived by 2-year running average models using non-transformed historical harvest data from 1960–2019 (all years). Because these models generate area-wide forecasts, recent 5-year average CCPF harvest (by district and gear type) were used to apportion the area forecast into harvest projections by district and gear type. Projected runs of hatchery-origin salmon were provided by Cook Inlet Aquaculture Association (CIAA). Together, these projections of hatchery and wild stock runs will provide the basis for early-season management in all districts, with other management tools such as aerial survey estimates, weir counts, remote video monitoring and anticipated run strength used as the season progresses.

In the Southern District, the commercial set gillnet fishery is anticipated to open for the 2020 season at 6:00 a.m. on Monday, June 1. The first fishing period will be 48 hours in length as will following periods that will start at 6:00 a.m. on Mondays and Thursdays.

Portions of the Southern District are anticipated to open to purse seine harvest in mid-June, coinciding with enhanced runs to Leisure and Hazel lakes. Historically, this run peaks from July 12–18 (statistical week 29). CIAA anticipates a return of 40,000 sockeye salmon to Leisure and Hazel lakes combined, as well as 52,400 sockeye salmon to Tutka Bay. Commercial fishing time after mid-July will be correlated to pink salmon escapement at Humpy Creek, Seldovia Bay, Port Graham and other locations in this district. A total of 2.9 million hatchery-produced pink salmon are anticipated to return to release sites in the Southern District.

Hatchery sockeye salmon runs to the Eastern District are forecasted by CIAA to be 494,200 fish. Of those, 144,400 may be available for CCPF harvest with the balance required for cost recovery and broodstock purposes. Wild stock harvest opportunity in the Eastern District will be linked to aerial survey observations of wild sockeye and pink salmon escapements to Aialik Lake and other spawning systems in this district. In addition, surveys of chum salmon stocks in Resurrection Bay and Day Harbor may be flown, weather, time, and budget permitting.

Portions of the Outer District may open to CCPF harvest in mid-July focusing on sockeye salmon runs to McCarty Fjord lakes. In recent years, escapement to these systems has been monitored by aerial survey (Delight, Desire, and Delusion lakes) as well as by a weir at Delight Lake. Sockeye salmon escapement into Delight Lake may be monitored again by CIAA using a weir in 2020. In addition, waters in the western portion of this district may be open by mid-July, focusing on pink and chum salmon runs to Port Dick, as well as Windy and Rocky bays. There are numerous other smaller stocks in the Nuka Passage area that are also monitored for chum and pink salmon. In the far west end of this district, stocks with the latest run timing, i.e., Dogfish Bay, Chugach Bay and Port Chatham, will be evaluated for chum and pink salmon harvest potential from August to early September. The harvest projections for this district are 3,800 sockeye, 60,600 chum, and 78,400 pink salmon.

Portions of the Kamishak Bay District typically open by regulation to commercial harvest on June 1. Commercial common property harvest projections for this district are 51,000 sockeye, 14,100 chum salmon, and 7,500 pink salmon. The majority of the sockeye salmon harvest is expected to come from the Chenik Lake run and the chum salmon harvest has historically been spread throughout the district. Chenik Lagoon is anticipated to open in mid-June and remain open throughout much of the season. Hatchery-released sockeye salmon returns to the Kirschner Lake outfall remote release site are anticipated to be 34,500 fish, of which approximately half are anticipated to be required for hatchery cost recovery. The department tracks salmon escapement in this district using remote video monitoring sites at Chenik and Mikfik lakes, as well as regular aerial survey observations of pink and chum salmon index streams (e.g., Big and Little Kamishak rivers, Bruin River, Cottonwood Creek).

Projected commercial common property harvests and hatchery runs for Lower Cook Inlet, 2020

Sockeye Salmon Total anticipated harvest
Natural stocks, (area-wide commercial harvest)a 135,600
Southern District, (purse seine, excluding hatchery SHAs) 51,600
Southern District, (set gillnet) 29,300
Eastern District, (Aialik Bay) 0
Outer District 3,800
Kamishak Bay District, (excluding Kirschner Lake Subdistrict) 51,000
Total 346,700
Sockeye salmon hatchery programsb Hatchery return Broodstock harvest Cost recovery harvest CCPF harvest
Resurrection Bay 494,200 12,800 337,000 144,400
China Poot and Hazel lakes 40,000 0 0 40,000
Tutka Bay Lagoon 52,400 5,000 38,000 9,400
Kirschner Lake 34,500 0 17,300 17,200
Port Graham Bay 0 0 0 0
English Bay Lakes 0 0 0 0
Hatchery stocks (area-wide totals) 621,100 17,800 392,300 211,000
Pink Salmon Total anticipated harvest
Natural stocks, (area-wide commercial harvest)a 202,300
Southern District (purse seine, excluding hatchery SHAs) 102,400
Southern District (set gillnet) 13,900
Eastern District 100
Outer District 78,400
Kamishak Bay District 7,500
Total 1,237,000
Pink salmon hatchery programsb Hatchery return Broodstock harvest Cost recovery harvest CCPF harvest
Tutka Bay Lagoon 2,567,400 176,800 1,434,400 956,200
Port Graham Bay 304,300 108,000 117,800 78,500
Hatchery stocks (area-wide totals) 2,871,700 284,800 1,552,000 1,034,700
Chum Salmon - Natural Productiona Total anticipated harvest
Southern District (purse seine) 1,200
Southern District (set gillnet) 4,900
Eastern District 0
Outer District 60,600
Kamishak Bay District 14,100
Total 80,800
Coho Salmon - Natural productiona
Southern District (purse seine) 2,700
Southern District (set gillnet) 5,500
Eastern District 0
Outer District 1,000
Kamishak Bay District 3,800
Total 13,000
Chinook Salmon - Natural productiona Total anticipated harvest
Southern District (purse seine) 100
Southern District (set gillnet) 400
Eastern District 0
Outer District 0
Kamishak Bay District 0
Total 500
LCI anticipated commercial common property harvest Total
All salmon species 1,678,000
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Kodiak

Kodiak

The 2020 Kodiak Management Area (KMA) preseason forecast projects a harvest of approximately 1,812,000 sockeye, 437,000 coho, 12,250,000 pink, and 810,000 chum salmon.

KMA June and July Sockeye Salmon

  • Karluk River: The Karluk River early-run forecast projects a total run of 274,000 sockeye salmon. The target escapement goal is 200,000 sockeye salmon and a harvest estimate of 74,000 fish.
  • Ayakulik River: The Ayakulik River forecast projects a total run of 375,000 sockeye salmon. The target escapement goal is 300,000 sockeye salmon and a harvest estimate of 75,000 fish.
  • Upper Station: The Upper Station early-run forecast projects a total run of 80,000 sockeye salmon. The target escapement goal is 65,000 sockeye salmon and a harvest estimate of 15,000 fish.
  • Frazer Lake: The Frazer Lake forecast projects a total run of 407,000 sockeye salmon. The target escapement goal is 137,000 sockeye salmon and a harvest estimate of 270,000 fish.
  • Telrod Cove: The Spiridon Lake forecast projects a total run of 115,000 sockeye salmon. No cost recovery is planned on this hatchery stock.
  • Other Hatchery Sockeye Salmon: Other KMA hatchery sockeye salmon enhancement projects are projected to harvest a total of 42,000 fish.
  • Cape Igvak: The Cape Igvak Section of the Mainland District is projected to harvest 0 sockeye salmon.
  • Minor Sockeye systems: There are no formal forecasts for the minor sockeye salmon stocks of Little River, Uganik, Afognak, Thorsheim, Pauls, Persnosa, Buskin, Pasagshak, Saltery, Miam, Ocean Beach, Horse Marine, Akalura, Kaflia, or Swikshak.

    KMA August and September Sockeye Salmon

  • Karluk River: The Karluk River late-run forecast projects a total run of 849,000 sockeye salmon. The target escapement goal is 325,000 sockeye salmon and a harvest estimate of 525,000 fish.
  • Upper Station: The Upper Station late-run forecast projects a total run of 263,000 sockeye salmon. The target escapement goal is 186,000 sockeye salmon and a harvest estimate of 77,000 fish.
  • KMA Chum Salmon Fishery (June, July and August)
  • Wild stock (July and August): The KMA wild chum salmon harvest is expected to be 723,000 fish.
  • Kitoi Bay Hatchery (June and July): The hatchery is projecting a return in excess of broodstock needs of 86,600 chum salmon. No cost recovery is planned on this hatchery stock.

    Kodiak Pink Salmon Fishery (July and August)

  • Wild Stock: The KMA wild pink salmon forecast projects a total run of 15,000,000 fish. The target escapement goal is 5,000,000 pink salmon and a harvest estimate of 10,00,000 fish.
  • Kitoi Bay Hatchery: The hatchery is projecting a return in excess of broodstock needs of 2,325,000 pink salmon. No cost recovery is planned on this hatchery stock.

    Kodiak Coho Salmon Fishery (August and September)

  • Wild stock (August and September): The KMA wild coho salmon harvest is expected to be 308,000 fish.
  • Kitoi Bay Hatchery (August and September): The hatchery is projecting a return in excess of broodstock needs of 129,900 coho salmon. No cost recovery is planned on this hatchery stock.
  • It is anticipated that approximately 170 seiners and 165 set gillnetters will participate in KMA salmon fisheries this year. 
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Alaska Peninsula

North Peninsula

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

South Peninsula

No commercial salmon fishing will occur in the waters of the South Alaska Peninsula Management Area until June 6. The first scheduled commercial salmon fishing period will begin on Saturday, June 6 at 6:00 a.m. until Monday, June 8 at 10:00 p.m. for set gillnet gear only.

No escapement information is currently available. No aerial surveys have been flown yet, which is normal for this time of year. There is one salmon enumeration weir operated in the South Alaska Peninsula Management Area, the Orzinski Weir. Typically, the Orzinski Weir is installed in the second week of June.

At this time not much information is known about the level of participation for the commercial salmon fishing fleet for the South Alaska Peninsula Management Area. 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.

ADF&G conducted a preseason fishery stakeholder's meeting on Wednesday, May 20. The 2020 salmon outlook, management plans, and COVID-19 mitigation plans were discussed.

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Chignik

Chignik

The 2020 Chignik Management Area preseason forecast projects an approximate total run estimate of 1,296,000 sockeye salmon. The total forecasted sockeye salmon harvest in the Chignik Management Area is 586,000 fish. Beginning June 1, the first commercial fishing period may occur after approximately 20,000 sockeye salmon have escaped into the Chignik River. Commercial openings will be announced via emergency order.

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

Commercial fishing opportunities to harvest summer chum salmon will be based on inseason run assessment and the need to conserve Chinook salmon. Dependent on the ability of the processor to operate safely, the summer chum salmon commercial fishery will likely begin in mid-June with selective gear types including dip nets and beach seines with no retention of Chinook salmon allowed. Commercial fishing with gill nets may occur after the midpoint of the Chinook salmon run has passed.

The department may consider sale of Chinook salmon incidentally-caught in the commercial chum fishery. This would only be considered if: assessment indicates the Chinook salmon run size is near the upper end of the outlook range, goals are projected to be met, subsistence fishing opportunity has been provided and restrictions relaxed. Any sale would likely be after the majority of Chinook salmon have passed the lower river for escapement and subsistence harvest purposes.

Fall chum salmon projection and harvestable surplus totals will be revised in early July based on summer chum salmon run size.

2020 Run and Harvest Outlook for Yukon River Salmon

  Chinook Summer Chum Fall Chum Coho
Projection: Below Average Average Average Average
Escapement: Potential to meet goals Expect to meet goals Expect to meet goals Expect to meet goals
Subsistence: Some restrictions Expect to provide for normal harvest Expect to provide for normal harvest Expect to provide for normal harvest
Commercial: No directed fishery Up to 1.1 million available 277,000 – 499,000 available 30,000 – 100,000 available

The full outlook flier can be found here: 2020 Yukon River Salmon Fisheries Outlook (PDF 187 kB)

Kuskokwim River

The Kuskokwim area has no registered commercial fishery buyers for the 2020 season, as of this date (May 15). 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. If the run comes back as projected, the drainage-wide escapement goal is expected to be achieved and a full subsistence harvest may be realized. Average to above average runs of sockeye, chum, and coho salmon are expected in 2020.

Escapement information will not be available until projects begin operation in mid-June. The standard suite of weirs, sonar, test fisheries, and aerial surveys will operate in the 2020 season.

Currently, there is not a commercial fishery in the Kuskokwim Management Area. Subsistence fishing closures for Chinook salmon will go into effect on June 1 in the lower Kuskokwim River and proceed upstream through the subsistence fishing sections until June 11.

The cold winter with above average snowpack coupled with a rapid spring warm up resulted in a dynamic breakup with flooding along most of the Kuskokwim River.

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

Norton Sound

The 2020 salmon season in Norton Sound is expected to start in mid to late June depending on the readiness of the buyer. An above average run is expected for all salmon species except king salmon. No commercial fishing for king salmon will be allowed in Norton Sound this year. There is little market interest in pink salmon although another large run is expected. The sockeye salmon run is predicted to be small with a less than 10,000 fish expected in the catch. Chum and coho salmon could have catches in the low 200,000s.

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

Kotzebue

The Kotzebue salmon season will start July 10. Harvest is expected to be over 400,000 fish, and the 2020 forecast is for 450,000 – 650,000 fish).

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

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