Tuesday, July 11, 2006

New Chitina Fishing Dates Announced

The Chitina Subdistrict will be open from 12:01 A.M. Monday July 17 until 11:59 P.M. Sunday July 23. This announcement does not change the sixth opening of the Chitina Subdistrict, which will remain at 12:01 A.M. July 10 through 11:59 P.M. July 16. There will be no supplemental harvest allowed for the personal use dip net salmon fishery in the Chitina Subdistrict during either of these periods.

Read the entire ADFG news release >>>

Monday, July 10, 2006

Kvichak/Iliamna Red Limits Increase

Because of a recent inseason projection exceeding 2 million red salmon, the Alaska Department of Fish and Game is rescinding Emergency Order 2-RS-5-02-06 and the bag limit for red salmon increases from two fish to five fish per day in all waters of the Kvichak River / Lake Iliamna drainage, in compliance with the “Kvichak River Sockeye Salmon Management Plan.” The bag limit increase applies to the waters of the Kvichak, Newhalen, and Tazimina rivers and their tributaries, and lakes Clark, Sixmile, Iliamna, and all other tributaries into these lakes.

In addition, the following waters will reopen to sport fishing for red salmon:

1. Alexey Creek and all waters within 150 yards of its confluence with the Newhalen River;

2. The waters of Sixmile Lake and one-quarter mile downstream of Sixmile Lake in the Newhalen River and the lower one-quarter mile of the Tazimina River;

3. All waters within one-half-mile of the confluence of the Gibraltar River with Lake Iliamna; and

4. The waters of the Kvichak River adjacent to the community of Igiugig as posted between ADF&G regulatory markers.

The Alaska Board of Fisheries adopted the “Kvichak River Sockeye Salmon Management Plan” as 5 AAC 67.025 in January 2001. The Kvichak’s pre-season forecast was 1.9 million red salmon, which is below the minimum 2 million fish required to meet the Biological Escapement Goal. However, with current passage rates past the Kvichak tower, Kvichak inriver estimates, aerial survey estimates, and the genetics data from the Port Moller test fishery, it is apparent the minimum escapement of 2 million will be exceeded this season.

For more information, call the ADF&G Dillingham Area Office at (907) 842-2427, or the Dillingham recorded telephone hotline at (907) 842-REGS (842-7347).

Sunday, July 09, 2006

Russian Red Run Rising

Red salmon numbers in the popular Russian River fishery on the Kenai Peninsula have surged over 200% in the last three decades, according to the Anchorage Daily News.

Author Craig Medred writes "There are so many, in fact, that fishery managers sometimes question the ability of anglers to catch enough. Already this year, the early run of fish has exceeded what biologists peg as the maximum spawning goal by some 20,000 fish. This has become the norm."

Fisheries scientists believe that much of the increase can be attributed to global warming.

Saturday, July 08, 2006

Increased Fishing Opportunity On Kasilof

An early and strong sockeye return on the Kasilof River has led the Alaska Department of Fish and Game to expand opportunity effective Saturday, July 8th.

Two ADFG news releases detail the increased opportunity. The first news release details the opening of part of the area to dipnetting. The second order doubles bag and quadruples possession limits on the Kasilof.

Additional details can be found in the news releases.

Unalakleet, Shaktoolik Rivers Closed To King Fishing

The Division of Sport Fisheries closed the Unlalakleet and Shaktoolik river drainages to the retention or possession of king salmon, effective 12:01 P.M. Saturday, July 8, 2006. This Emergency Order prohibits the harvest of king salmon while sport fishing in these waters. In addition, this Emergency Order prohibits the use of bait in these drainages. This Emergency Order will remain in effect through August 15, 2006 or until additional in-season assessments suggest that escapement goals will be met for king salmon on the Unalakleet and Shaktoolik rivers.

Read the entire ADFG news release >>>

Thursday, July 06, 2006

Port Graham/English Bay Area Reopened for Sockeye

The English Bay River drainage and Port Graham Subdistrict reopened to sport fishing for sockeye salmon at 12:01 a.m., Thursday, July 6, 2006, according to an Alaska Department of Fish and Game news release.

A count within the escapement goal of 6,000 – 13,500 can now be projected for the English Bay drainage. The subsistence set gillnet fishery has been reopened. The small number of sockeye salmon harvested by sport anglers is unlikely to jeopardize the escapement or achievement of broodstock goals.

The English Bay River drainage is open to fishing for salmon from its mouth, including the lagoon, upstream to the outlet of Lower English Bay Lake. These waters are fly-fishing-only from June 1 through July 31. The remainder of the drainage is closed to salmon fishing.

The Port Graham Subdistrict includes all waters east of the longitude of Point Bede at 151º 59.40’ and south of the latitude of Point Pogibshi at 59º 25.47.

Consult the 2006 Alaska Sport Fishing Regulations Summary - Southcentral Alaska edition for other pertinent fishing regulations.

For additional information contact Nicky Szarzi, Area Management Biologist, (907) 235-8191.

Wednesday, July 05, 2006

Chitina Schedule For July 10 - 16

The Chitina Subdistrict will be open from 12:01 A.M. Monday July 10 until 11:59 P.M. Sunday July 16. This announcement does not change the fifth opening of the Chitina Subdistrict, which will remain at 12:01 A.M. July 3 through 11:59 P.M. July 9. There will be no supplemental harvest allowed for the personal use dip net salmon fishery in the Chitina Subdistrict during either of these periods.

Homer Spit Snagging Open 6 - 9 July

In order to help anglers harvest the remainder of the hatchery-produced king salmon, snagging will be permitted in the Nick Dudiak Fishing Lagoon area on the Homer Spit beginning at noon on Thursday, July 6, until midnight, Sunday, July 9, according to an Alaska Department of Fish and Game News Release.

All other regulations pertaining to this fishery remain in effect. These include the daily bag limit of two king salmon of any size. Because there is an annual limit of five king salmon 20 inches or longer, after harvesting a king salmon 20 inches or longer, the harvest must be recorded, in ink, immediately on the back of the license or on a harvest record card. A harvested fish counts toward the bag limit of the person originally hooking it.

After July 9, the Nick Dudiak Fishing Lagoon will again be closed to snagging.

The Lagoon area includes the waters from the Homer City Dock (near the entrance to the Homer Boat Harbor) northwest along the east side of the Homer Spit to the department marker approximately 200 yards northwest of the entrance to the Lagoon, and out 300 feet from the shore.

For additional information contact Nicole Szarzi, Area Management Biologist, (907) 235-8191.

King Closure Bear Cove Near Sitka

Sitka – The Alaska Department of Fish and Game (ADF&G) announced recently that effective 12:01 a.m. Thursday, July 6, sport fishing for king salmon in Bear Cove will be closed to protect brood stock returning to Medvejie Hatchery. This closure includes all waters east of a line between ADF&G regulatory markers located on the north and south shores of Bear Cove. Anglers may not have any king salmon in possession while fishing in this closed area, regardless of where the king salmon were caught.

King salmon returning to Medvejie Hatchery are not expected to meet brood stock goals in 2006 due to poor ocean survival. Ocean survival of king salmon returning to Medvejie Hatchery this year is estimated at less than 1%. This is less than the ten year average ocean survival of 2.5%. As of July 3, 2006, only 1,000 king salmon were observed in Bear Cove. An additional 3,500 fish are needed to meet brood stock needs. This sport fishery closure is therefore necessary to help ensure king salmon brood stock needs at Medvejie Hatchery are achieved.

Anyone needing further information concerning this announcement should contact the Division of Sport Fish in Sitka at (907)747-5355.

Mat Su Kings and Silvers: New Sport Fish Publications

The Alaska Division of Sport Fisheries has produced two new publications for Alaska anglers. The first is on king salmon fishing, the second is on silver salmon fishing.

Both publications exist in Adobe Acrobat format and can be downloaded from the ADFG website. Eachcontains substantial text and a number of photos and maps.

Karluk King Salmon Bag and Possession Reduced

The bag and possession limit for Karluk River drainage king salmon 20 inches or longer was reduced to 1 per day and 1 in possession on Saturday, July 1, according to an Alaska Department of Fish and Game News Release.

As of June 27, the king salmon escapement in the Karluk River was 3,002 fish, which is the second lowest on record for this time of year. To date, the inriver sport harvest is estimated to be 450 fish, and daily escapement counts have been steadily declining. In order to allow for continued sport harvest, and to ensure that the spawning escapement goal of 3,600 – 7,300 king salmon will be achieved by the end of the season, the daily limits must be reduced.

Kodiak Sockeye Seasons Close Early

Sport fishing for king and sockeye (red) salmon in the entire Ayakulik River drainage closed at 12:01 a.m. on Saturday, July 1, due to record low escapements for both species. Additionally, the sockeye salmon sport fishery in the entire Afognak River drainage and nearby marine waters closed at the same time. This from an Alaska Department of Fish and Game news release.

The Ayakulik River weir counts as of June 26 were 1,931 king salmon and 39,774 sockeye salmon, which are the lowest counts on record for this date. Based on historic run timing, current projections indicate that the minimum escapement goals of 4,800 king salmon and 200,000 sockeye salmon are unlikely to be achieved.

The minimum sockeye salmon escapement goal for Afognak River is 20,000 fish. As of June 26, the weir count was 11,700 fish, the lowest escapement on record for this date. Based on historic return timing, current projections indicate the Afognak River may only attain an escapement under 15,000 sockeye salmon for the season. The closed area will include all fresh waters of the Afognak River drainage, as well as those salt waters of Afognak Bay inside of a line from Settlement Point (58°03.00 N lat., 152°43.70’ W long.) to Otrubistoi Point (58° 02.00’ N lat., 152° 45.50’ W long.).

New Personal Use Shrimp Fishery: North Gulf Coast

In March, the Alaska Board of Fisheries created a personal use pot shrimp fishery for the waters of the North Gulf Coast from Aialik Cape west to Gore Point. This regulation went into effect at 12:01 a.m., Saturday, July 1, according to an Alaska Department of Fish & Game News Release. Aialik Cape is south of Seward; Gore point is to the west, 48 km (30 mi) SE of Seldovia.

A free permit, the “North Gulf Coast Shrimp Harvest Record,” is required. Harvest records will be available only at the Alaska Bureau of Wildlife Enforcement office in Seward, and at ADF&G offices in Anchorage and Homer. The harvest record is not available on line.

The regulations will be similar to the Prince William Sound recreational shrimping regulations, which can be found on page 63 of the Southcentral Alaska fishing regulation booklet.
  • Open April 15 through September 15.
  • A limit of 5 pots per person and 5 pots per vessel.
  • Gear requirements, such as mesh size and escape mechanisms, are the same as Prince William Sound.
  • Buoy marking requirements also the same as Prince William Sound, with the addition of a permit number.
Since this is a “personal use” fishery, it is open to Alaska residents only. A 2006 resident Alaska sport fishing license, or ADF&G Permanent ID Card, or ADF&G Disabled Veteran’s Card is required in order to pick up the free harvest record, and to participate in the fishery.