Fish board rejects Taku River fishery changes

The braided channels of the lower Taku River, east of Juneau. Photo courtesy AK Department of Fish and Game.

Sport anglers will not get to fish for king salmon in the Taku River. And personal-use fishermen won’t be able to use dipnets or have a longer sockeye season.

The state Board of Fisheries rejected several requests to change Taku River fishing during its meeting in Ketchikan. The salmon-rich waterway, east of Juneau, runs from British Columbia to Taku Inlet.

The sport Chinook fishery was proposed by the Taku Users Group, representing riverbank cabin-owners. Fish and Game Department staff warned it could violate an international agreement governing fisheries from Oregon to Alaska.

Juneau board member Bill Brown spoke in opposition.

“It flies in the face of the history we have about fresh water salmon fishing,” Brown said. “Also, we have a problem with treaty fish. That’s an ugly nightmare we don’t want to open yet again.”

Some of the same objections came up with other proposals from the Taku Users Group.

One would have extended the personal-use fishery from mid-June through August to coincide with a gillnet opening. Another would have increased the household bag limit based on the number of family members.

Yet another would have allowed personal-use dip nets in the river, which Juneau residents access by boat.

Talkeetna board member Tom Kluberton said it would be popular.

“I think we would unleash a tremendous dip net fishery from boats down that way. That would offer much more opportunity to go and try for this harvest,” Kluberton said.

But other concerns, including salmon treaty implications, led the board to vote the proposal down.

It also rejected an Alaska Trollers Association plan to increase access to Taku River kings. Trollers proposed lengthening openings and changing how they are determined. Now, they’re tied to the gillnet fishery, which has a larger harvest.

Kodiak Board member Sue Jeffrey said she understands trollers want an equitable share. But she said the plan would create more conflicts.

“This is an area where we should just back off for now and let the rebuilding continue. So I’m leaning away from supporting this,” Jeffrey said.

Like other Taku River proposals, it failed on a unanimous vote.

Read or hear related reports:

Sides in herring debate take case to Board of Fish

Board allows Jensen to vote on herring issues

Fish board OKs some Sitka herring changes

Seiners out of West Behm Canal herring fishery

State says per diem charges were proper


Recent headlines

  • dollar bill money macro

    Per diems driving special session costs

    Lawmakers who represent areas outside Juneau receive $295 for each day of the special session. Juneau lawmakers receive $221.25 per day.
  • Caroline Hoover proudly pins an Alaska Territorial Guard medal on the front of her father's parka during an official discharge ceremony held Oct. 17 in Kipnuk, Alaska. David Martin is one of three surviving members of the Alaska Territorial Guard's Kipnuk unit. A total of 59 residents of Kipnuk, who volunteered to defend Alaska in the event of a Japanese invasion during World War II, were recognized during the ceremony. Kipnuk residents who served with the Alaska Territorial Guard from 1942-1947 were members of a U.S. Army component organized in response to attacks by the Japanese on Pearl Harbor. (Photo by Jerry Walton, Department of Military and Veterans Affairs cultural resource manager and native liaison/public domain/Wikimedia Commons)

    16 Alaska Territorial Guard vets to be honored in Anchorage

    Sixteen veterans of the Alaska Territorial Guard will be honored at a discharge ceremony today. Four of them are from Western Alaska.
  • Don Andrew Roguska looks out from an upstairs window of an historic Juneau house he bought in 2016 to restore. Zoning regulations have prevented him from rebuilding in the same style. (Photo by Jacob Resneck/KTOO)

    Juneau mulls relaxing zoning rules for historic houses

    The historic houses in Juneau and Douglas were predominately built by miners and fishermen long before today's zoning was put into place. That's prevented homeowners from restoring or rebuilding homes in these neighborhoods without running into conflict with the city's zoning laws -- a temporary fix may be on the way.
  • Young joins Afghanistan war skeptics in Congress

    Alaska U.S. Rep. Don Young wants to know why Americans are still fighting in Afghanistan. He has co-sponsored a bill that would end funding for the war in a year, unless the president and Congress affirm the need for it.