(Released: July 01, 2019 - Expired: December 31, 2019)
Division of Sport Fish
Alaska Department of Fish and Game
Contact: Lee Borden, Assistant Area Management Biologist
(Dillingham) – In favor of protecting returning king salmon and ensuring fishing opportunities in the future, the Alaska Department of Fish and Game (ADF&G) is implementing the following sport fishing regulation restriction in the Nushagak-Mulchatna River drainage effective 12:01 a.m. Wednesday, July 3 through 11:59 p.m. Tuesday, December 31, 2019. The bag, possession and annual limits for king salmon, 20 inches or greater in length, in the Nushagak-Mulchatna River drainage are reduced to one per day, 20 inches or greater in length, with an annual limit of two. The bag and possession limit for king salmon less than 20 inches remains at five fish, with no annual limit.
Up to two king salmon recorded before Wednesday, July 3, 2019, on the harvest portion of an Alaska sport fishing license or harvest record card do not count against the two king salmon, 20 inches or greater in length, that may be harvested on or after July 3.
Through June 30, 2019, an estimated 35,271 king salmon have passed the Portage Creek sonar. The sustainable escapement goal (SEG) for Nushagak River king salmon is 55,000 - 120,000 fish. Although, the current projection of spawning escapement is within the SEG, those projections are decreasing and are approaching the lower end of the escapement goal. Therefore, a conservative approach is warranted to reduce the Nushagak River drainage sport harvest.
“This year’s run has begun to fall behind on the projection curve,” stated assistant Area Management Biologist Lee Borden. “With the possibility of the escapement goal not being met, we are taking a conservative approach with this restriction to slow down inriver sport fishing harvests.”
ADF&G will continue to monitor the king salmon escapement and may relax this restriction or further restrict the sport fishery as specified in the management plan.
For additional information, please contact Assistant Area Management Biologist Lee Borden at (907) 842-2427.