Stikine and Situk Chinooks Off Limits to Subsistence Fishing
Stikine River's hold in effect from May 15 through June 20, 2018 while Situk on hold until further notice
Credit: Wikimedia Commons
The US Forest Service has issued closures to subsistence fishing permits for two separate areas in Southeast Alaska:
YAKUTAT, AK—Yakutat District Ranger Lee Benson, under authority delegated by the Federal Subsistence Board, announces that Federal subsistence fishing permits will not be issued for the taking of Chinook Salmon in the Situk River, effective immediately and until further notice. ADF&G is also taking action to conserve Chinook Salmon returning to the Situk River.
ADF&G will prohibit the retention of Chinook Salmon in the sport, subsistence, and commercial fisheries in the Situk River and Situk-Ahrnklin Inlet. ADF&G will also close waters near the mouth of the Situk River to subsistence and commercial set gillnet fishing until the Chinook Salmon run is over. ADF&G has set the biological escapement goal (BEG) between 450 and 1,050 large (greater than 28 inches in total length) Chinook Salmon and has forecast a total run of 700 in 2018. The return of Chinook Salmon to the Situk River has been below the goal in 2010, 2011, 2012, 2015, and 2016 when ADF&G personnel counted only 167, 240, 322, 174 and 329 large Chinook Salmon through the Situk weir. The goal was achieved in 2013, 2014, and 2017 after restrictive management measures were implemented.
Federal permits will still allow subsistence fishing for other species in the Situk River but will not allow the use of gillnets, or bait when fishing with rod and reel to minimize the incidental mortality of Chinook Salmon. All Chinook Salmon incidentally caught must be immediately released back into the water with as little handling as possible.
WRANGELL, AK—Wrangell District Ranger Robert Dalrymple, under authority delegated by the Federal Subsistence Board, is closing the Federal subsistence Chinook Salmon fishery in the Stikine River from May 15 − June 20, 2018. This year’s preseason forecast for the Stikine River is 6,900 large Chinook Salmon (greater than 28 inches in total length), which is well below the escapement goal range of 14,000 to 28,000. The Alaska Department of Fish and Game (ADF&G) has also taken actions in the state-managed fisheries to reduce the harvest of Stikine River Chinook Salmon. The closure of the Chinook Salmon fishery does not affect other Stikine River Federal subsistence fisheries beginning June 21, 2018.