(Released: June 09, 2017)

Division of Sport Fish
Tom Brookover, Director
Anchorage Headquarters Office
333 Raspberry Road
Anchorage, AK 99518

Alaska Department of Fish and Game
Sam Cotten, Commissioner
P.O. Box 115526
Juneau, AK 99811-5526

Contact: Lee Borden, Assistant Area Management Biologist
(907) 842-2427

Catch and Release Mortality to be Estimated for Nushagak Drainage King Salmon

(Bristol Bay) - The Division of Sport Fish will be tagging king salmon in the Nushagak River during 2017 and 2018. The purpose of this study is to estimate the short term mortality of king salmon caught and released in the lower Nushagak River sport fishery.

From June 19 through July 7, king salmon will be captured with a variety of hook and line techniques and terminal tackle from Black Point upstream to the Iowithla River. A total of 174 king salmon will be radio tagged. Tags will be implanted into the esophagus of the fish with the antenna trailing out of the fish’s mouth. Each radio tag is distinguishable by a unique frequency and encoded pulse pattern. Tags have a mortality option that changes the pulse rate of the signal if a tag has been sedentary for four hours. This will be used to identify mortalities. Radio stations placed in strategic locations record the passage of each individual tag, and aerial surveys will be employed to locate tagged fish and determine their fate.

Anglers that encounter tagged kings should not remove tags from fish that will be released. Anglers that harvest tagged kings are asked to return the tag and provide information regarding the date, location of capture, and condition of fish as soon as possible to the ADF&G office in Dillingham, P.O. Box 230, Dillingham, AK, 99576.

The results of this project will be used to assist fisheries managers with future management strategies and assessment of harvest and escapement goals for Nushagak king salmon.

We thank anglers and commercial operators for their cooperation during this project and encourage anyone with further questions to contact Lee Borden, Assistant Area Management Biologist, ADF&G – Division of Sport Fish in Dillingham at (907) 842-2427.