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Southeast Alaska Commercial Fisheries Update

KETCHIKAN (KDN) — Alaska Department of Fish and Game Ketchikan Area Manager Scott Walker told the Daily News on Friday that this year’s commercial salmon fishery is still experiencing a slow start for all salmon species. He said that pink salmon numbers in particular have been disappointing because the parent year for this season’s pinks was strong.

“There’s no doubt that we’re having a slow start to our fishery — cohos are down, sockeyes are down, pink salmon are down, chums are down,” Walker said.

But Walker noted that the results of Fish and Game’s recent observations and escapement surveys have been improving and that there is time this season for salmon abundance to turn around.

“We’re hoping everything is late,” he said. “ … There’s nothing that’s making us panic yet.”

Purse seine

For the commercial purse seine salmon fishery, Fish and Game has scheduled the next round of harvest openings to begin Sunday.

Portions of Districts 1, 2, 3, 4, 7 and 12 will be open to purse seining from 5 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Sunday. Part of District 13 will be open to purse seining from 5 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Sunday, Monday and Tuesday.

Fish and Game also published restrictions for chinook salmon landing:

“All chinook salmon harvested in the Hidden Falls, Anita Bay and Neets Bay THAs may be retained and sold. All chinook salmon harvested in the Deep Inlet THA must be retained and may be sold. For all other fishing areas (including the Kendrick Bay THA), chinook salmon 28 inches or greater in length may NOT be retained, and chinook salmon less than 28 inches may be retained but not sold,” Fish and Game said in the release.

Drift gillnet

The commercial drift gillnet slamon fishing fleet will have a set of harvest opportunities in specific areas of Southeast Alaska beginning Sunday, according to the department.

Part of the Section 1-B (Tree Point) area south of Ketchikan will be open from 12:01 p.m. Sunday through noon Tuesday.

The Section 1-B drift gillnet fishery now is being managed according to the District One Pink Salmon Management Plan, according to the department. The District 1 purse seine fishery is starting with one day of fishing time during statistical week 30, so the Section 1-B drift gillnet fishery is being given two days of fishing time.

“If the District 1 purse seine fishery is open for more than one day during statistical week 30, the fishing time in Section 1-B will be extended accordingly,” according to the department announcement

Portions of District 6, District 8, Section 15-A and Section 15-C also will be open from 12:01 p.m. Sunday through noon Tuesday.

Part of Section 11-B: will be open from 12:01 p.m. Sunday through noon Wednesday

Part of the Boat Harbor Terminal Harvest Area in Section 15-C  will remain open until further notice.

Restrictions apply. For further information, contact Fish and Game.