(Released: July 11, 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: Brendan Scanlon, Northwest-North Slope Area Management Biologist

Sport Fishing for King Salmon Opens in all Waters from Bald Head
to Point Romanof Effective July 14

The Division of Sport Fish is opening all waters from Bald Head to Point Romanof to sport fishing for king salmon effective 12:01 a.m. Friday, July 14, 2017. This includes, but is not limited to, the Unalakleet, Shaktoolik, Koyuk, Ungalik, Inglutalik, and Golsovia river drainages. In addition, the use of bait is allowed in these waters.

Sport fishing for king salmon is open in all waters from Bald Head to Point Romanof with a bag and possession limit of one fish, with no size limit, and an annual harvest limit of one fish.

Daily escapement counts of king salmon at the North River tower on the Unalakleet River have increased recently, and the lower end of the Sustainable Escapement Goal (SEG) of 1,200 fish is projected to be exceeded. According to the Subdistricts 5 and 6 of the Norton Sound District and the Unalakleet River King Salmon Management Plan, when the subsistence fishing periods in the Unalakleet River drainage are restricted to less than two 36-hour openings, or the subsistence fishery in the marine waters of Subdistricts 5 and 6 are restricted to a mesh size of six inches or less, the sport fish bag and possession limit and annual limit for king salmon will be reduced to one fish, with no size limit. Current subsistence fishery management includes both of these actions.

The department does not have reliable inseason stock assessment information for the Shaktoolik, Koyuk, Ungalik, Inglutalik, and Golsovia river drainages, but the king salmon runs in these rivers generally cycle in accordance with Unalakleet River stocks. Therefore, using the tower counts on the North River as an index for run strength in these nearby rivers, this emergency order applies to the king salmon sport fishery in the Shaktoolik, Koyuk, Ungalik, Inglutalik, and Golsovia river drainages as well.

For additional information contact Brendan Scanlon, Northwest and North Slope Area Management Biologist, 907-459-7268.