Fish Radio
Trollers likely get August Chinook opener – correction
July 12, 2016

Troll caught kings Credit: akbizmag.com

Troll caught kings
Credit: akbizmag.com

This is Fish Radio. I’m Laine Welch –  Southeast trollers are likely to get an August Chinook opener. A big fishing correction after this –

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Fish Radio wrongly reported on Friday that Southeast trollers would not get a second Chinook opener after reaching their Treaty cap during a five day fishery from July first through the fifth.  But harvest reports from fish tickets are still being counted at least for another week or so.

We know of about 80,000 kings were caught , that’s what we have in our ticket system, but we still have freezer vessels and some other ticket reporting that we have not received yet.  

Grant Hagerman is a biologist at Fish and Game in Sitka. The harvest reports are very preliminary from about 600 permit holders out of 800 or so, he says, but it looks hopeful for another Chinook opener next month.

The target of roughly 122,000 treaty king salmon so there should still be some fish left on that. So the estimate right now is that we will have fish remaining for an august opening. At this point we are not certain just how many fish that will be. But it does look like we are within that July target which would leave roughly that 30 percent for August.   

The  Chinook catches are strictly controlled by a treaty with the US and Canada. The entire summer  quota was roughly 174,000 treaty fish. Of that, 70 percent goes to the July opening.

So generally we don’t announce what the target will be for August until we get all the tickets in and we account for the Alaska hatchery catch which will also take some time to compute.   

Hagerman says managers go into the summer openings with a coast wide forecast of abundance that is compared to previous similar years. This year there appear to be more kings than they anticipated.

 With the abundance index this year that was forecasted looking at previous years, what we are seeing this year is definitely exceeding the years with similar abundance indexes and the catch rates we saw for the first 5 day opening are high from what we’ve seen in the past, and so I’d say the abundance seems to be higher than what we would have expected.  

Hagerman says the take home message is that trollers are very likely to get another go.

It does look like we will have fish a second retention period in august. And for the local southeast fleet will be the most appreciative to hear that yea, we did not take the entire summer quota and we will have fish remaining.

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Fish Radio is also brought to you by Ocean Beauty Seafoods, an Alaska corporation proudly supporting Alaska’s coastal communities and the Alaskans who depend on fishing for their livelihoods and culture.  www.oceanbeauty.com    In Kodiak, I’m Laine Welch.

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