The allowable harvest of Chinook salmon covered under provisions of the Pacific Salmon Treaty will be 439,400 fish this year, up from 176,000 fish in 2013 and 266,800 fish in 2012.
The quota was announced April 1 by state of Alaska fisheries biologists at Sitka.
Most Chinook salmon produced in Alaska hatcheries are harvested in addition to the annual all-gear harvest quota.
The all-gear harvest quota for Southeast Alaska is determined every year by the Pacific Salmon Commission’s Chinook technical committee. The quota is based on the forecast of aggregate abundance of Pacific Coast Chinook salmon stocks originating from river systems in the area subject to management under the treaty. The actual Chinook salmon runs to a number of river systems in 2013, especially to portions of the Columbia River, were far in excess of the forecasted levels.
Most spring troll fisheries target Alaska hatchery produced kings, though treaty kings are also harvested. While there is no overall ceiling on the number of Chinook harvested in the spring fisheries, the fisheries are managed to limit harvest of treaty Chinook, according to specific guidelines. Since spring fisheries will be in progress through June 30, preliminary harvest estimates for treaty Chinook in the spring fisheries will not be determined until late June.
The summer fishery will be managed to target the harvest of 70 percent of the total summer quota in the first summer Chinook salmon opening in July, with the remaining quota available for harvest in a second opening, typically in August.
The decision on whether the first summer opening will be managed in season rather than for a fixed number of days, will be announced just prior to the July 1 opening.
The actual returns of Chinook salmon to a number of river systems in 2013, especially to portions of the Columbia River, were far in excess of the forecasted levels. Forecasts for large Chinook abundance from those systems in 2014 are reflected in this year’s increased harvests quota.