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KETCHIKAN (KDN) — The Alaska Department of Fish and Game on Friday announced an increase to the bag and possession limit of king salmon for anglers in Herring Bay — and the bag and possession limit for king salmon for all anglers in three Ketchikan terminal harvest areas.
In Herring Bay, the increased limit will be three king salmon of any size beginning June 1, and any king salmon harvested in the terminal area will not count for the nonresident annual limit, according to Fish and Game.
The Herring Bay terminal harvest area extends from the southernmost entrance of Hole-in-the-Wall harbor to 1.5 miles north of Whitman Creek, where signs and rocks mark the boundaries, and then to the mouth of Herring Cove Creek.
The area opened by the order will allow anglers to target hatchery-produced king salmon that originate from the Whitman Lake hatchery, according to the department.
Bag, possession and size limits for salt water areas that are beyond the designated harvest areas are more restrictive than those in Herring Bay, and anglers should be cautious to not exceed the limit for all areas where they are fishing, according to the department.
For the terminal harvest areas of Thomas Basin, Mountain Point and Neets Bay, the bag and possession limit for all anglers will be one king salmon of 28 inches or greater in length.
For nonresidents, the annual limit is three king salmon, of 28 inches or greater in length.
The Thomas Basin and Mountain Point terminal harvest areas will be open from June 1 through June 14, according to Fish and Game.
The Thomas Basin area is defined as seaward of the Stedman Street Bridge to the breakwater.
The Mountain Point area includes the waters of George and Carroll Inlets north of a line from Mountain Point to Cutter Rocks Light, and south of the latitude of the George Inlet cannery site. All waters of Carroll Inlet will be open.
The Neets Bay Terminal Harvest will open from June 15 to Aug 14, in the waters east of the longitude of the eastern most tip of Bug Island.
“Anglers are reminded that until June 15 (Thomas Basin and Mountain Point) and Aug. 15 (Neets Bay) the salt waters outside of the designated terminal harvest areas are closed to king salmon retention,” according to the department announcement. “Therefore, anglers fishing in multiple areas for other species must be diligent to ensure they do not possess king salmon in areas that prohibit the retention of king salmon.
“On June 15, 2019 regionwide regulations will apply in the Mountain Point, Thomas Basin and surrounding areas, and on Aug. 15, 2019, regionwide regulations will apply in Neets Bay and the surrounding area,” the announcement continued.
The Alaska Board of Fisheries has authorized Fish and Game to open terminal harvest areas to target surplus Alaska hatchery king salmon.
“The areas opened by this emergency order will allow anglers to target Alaska hatchery-produced king salmon originating from the Deer Mountain Hatchery, Whitman Lake Hatchery, Neets Bay Hatchery and the Carroll Inlet remote release,” according to the announcement. “Projected returns to these facilities will exceed broodstock needs, thus a surplus of hatchery fish are available for harvest by sport anglers.”