Future of king salmon
Many Southeast Alaska king salmon streams are experiencing record low escapements. This fall the Alaska Department of Fish and Game recommended classifying the Unuk River near Ketchikan, the Chilkat River near Haines and the King Salmon River on Admiralty Island as “Rivers of Concern.”
Fewer fish returning to our salmon streams is a concern for every Alaskan and we must reduce harvest from these rivers. The department has proposed action plans for protection. One proposal suggests that the southeast commercial troll fleet give up their entire spring fishery and end the winter fishery an entire month early. Reducing the commercial troll season by as much as three months will cause very real repercussions. There will be bankruptcies and young fishermen won’t be able to enter a broken-down fishery.
A professor of fisheries management recently told me that “good management doesn’t tie the fleet to the dock. Good management takes care of the resource and allows fishermen to fish.” As an Alaskan, please support your fleet. Demand that the Alaska Department of Fish and Game use their data to allow fishermen to fish in areas where stocks of concern are not abundant.