Federal fisheries data shows trawlers in the North Pacific took about a tenth of the king salmon caught by Alaska’s commercial salmon fleet last year.
Adjusted for inflation, the initial salmon fishery value for 2020 is the lowest since 2006.
Regulations on the Kuskokwim River are intended to keep fish populations sustainable for the future. But they can be frustrating for the Yup’ik people who’ve fished the river for generations.
While most agree that protecting the salmon run up the nearby Stikine River is critical, the absence of Wrangell’s derby for the second straight year has left a king-salmon-sized hole in some hearts.
From October through the end of December, winter trollers had caught only around 5,500 king salmon. That’s almost 2,000 fewer kings than last winter’s catch during the same time period.
The Alaska Department of Fish and Game is shutting down sport fishing for king salmon this weekend on most of the inside waters of Southeast Alaska due to conservation concerns.
While the orcas of Puget Sound are sliding toward extinction, orcas farther north have been expanding their numbers. Their burgeoning hunger for big fish may be causing the killer whales’ main prey, chinook salmon, to shrink up and down the West Coast.
Washington state officials have proposed a new tack to save the Pacific Northwest’s critically endangered orca population. Their idea is to boost salmon hatchery production by 10 million to 20 million more fish per year to provide more food for the iconic killer whales.
Alaska Board of Fisheries has put off a decision on king salmon action plans until Friday at the earliest. The decision making body has been hearing testimony from fishermen and other concerned citizens all week at its meeting in Sitka.
The Alaska Board of Fisheries is tasked with balancing conservation of king salmon with the livelihood of fishermen. Dwindling king salmon runs have triggered it as a “stock of concern” in several major Southeast river systems and major closures are being considered.