Commercial fishing for Stikine River king salmon has been closed down in Southeast Alaska because of low numbers in early May.

“Both the harvest numbers from the gillnet and the troll fisheries have been on the low side,” said Troy Thynes, area management biologist with the Alaska Department of Fish and Game in Petersburg. “Actually not so much in the troll fishery, especially early on, but in the gillnet fishery they’ve been low, lot lower than what we were expecting or anticipating for the given pre-season forecast.”

Catches of the valuable fish returning to the trans-boundary river are regulated jointly by the U.S. and Canada under the Pacific Salmon Treaty. The pre-season forecast was for a run of just under 34-thousand kings this year, a large enough run to allow for commercial fishing on those Chinook on this side of the border. However, fishing has been very slow for the gillnet fleet in the waters around Wrangell and Petersburg. Gillnetters had three, 24-hour openings in May and around 25 boats made landings. Those boats averaged only one to three fish per boat for those openings.

Read the full story

A collection of stories from guest authors.

Join the Conversation