KNBA - KBC

Chinook

It’s getting late in the season and Yukon River king salmon passage remains very weak at the U.S.-Canada border.

Holly Carroll is the State Yukon River summer season manager. The run was estimated to be a well below average 160 thousand fish entering the river. She says the run is tracking to fall short of the minimum objective for escapement into Canada.

“That escapement goal is a range 42,500 to 55,000,” Carroll said. “At this point we may not meet the lower end of that goal.” 

The National Marine Fisheries Service says shutting down Southeast Alaska’s king salmon season would contribute little to saving an endangered population of killer whales in Puget Sound.

NOAA Fisheries filed a motion May 11 in U.S. District Court opposing a Washington state conservation group’s effort to block the summer troll and sportfishing season.

Chinook salmon, also known as king salmon, are getting smaller, and a team of scientists at the University of Washington think they know why. A new study says killer whales might be behind chinook’s declining size.

Chinook salmon are an important part of life in Southeast Alaska. Part of the prized fish’s value is its size. Chinook are the largest Pacific salmon.

by Ben Matheson, KYUK

Federal staff will again manage king salmon on the lower Kuskokwim River after requests from tribes. Earlier this year, a handful of tribal governments asked the federal subsistence board to implement federal management. The Federal Subsistence Board deferred last month, but at a Friday meeting of the Kuskokwim River Salmon Management Working group, US Fish and Wildlife Service leaders announced a plan for federal management.

Today [Tuesday], the Alaska Court of Appeals in Anchorage will hear arguments about whether fishermen who fished during a closure were wrongfully convicted. In the summer of 2012, the number of Chinook, or king salmon, returning to the lower Kuskokwim River to spawn was low. Fishing for kings is integral to Yup'ik spirituality, however, so dozens of people fished in defiance of an emergency closure. Many were arrested, and thirteen decided to appeal their convictions.

Enough king salmon have gone upriver to spawn so state biologists opened the lower Kuskokwim salmon fishery on Friday; it had been closed since May 20.

A trial is scheduled for next month in a case alleging failure by the state to provide accurate translations of voting materials into Alaska Native languages.

A short subsistence opening is scheduled for the Kuskokwim River, where returns of spawning king salmon was the lowest on record last year.

Likewise on the Yukon River, returns are expected to be even lower than last year, which were the lowest on record. Commercial, sport, and subsistence fisheries on the entire Yukon River drainage area will be closed.