The Alaska Department of Fish and Game announced that the sport fishing bag and possession limits for king salmon in Southeast Alaska and Yakutat will remain in effect through spring. These regulations are:
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Alaska residents: bag and possession limit of two king salmon 28 inches or greater in length; no annual limit.
Nonresidents: bag and possession limit of one king salmon 28 inches or greater in length; annual limit of three king salmon 28 inches or greater in length.
The aforementioned apply in all marine waters of Southeast Alaska unless otherwise announced. The nonresident annual limit of three fish also applies in all freshwaters between Cape Suckling and Cape Fairweather.
These regulations are based on the 2005 preseason abundance index, determined by the Pacific Salmon Commission's Chinook Technical Committee, as directed by the Southeast Alaska king salmon management plan.
Under the plan, bag and possession limits and other measures for the coming year are based on the prior year's abundance index until the following year's index is formalized. The 2006 index is expected by May 1. At that time, management measures for the remainder of the year will be announced.
Biologists have predicted a lower return of Taku River king salmon for 2006, but that final determine of this year's run will not be made until May. If the survey has determined that a substantially larger run of fish will occur this year, local anglers may again enjoy the more liberal regulations that were in place in 2005, including being able to fish with two rods per angler.
Those more liberal regulations, however, are not in effect and may not be approved until mid- to late-May, if at all.
For more information about the sport fisheries in Southeast Alaska, contact the nearest Southeast Alaska Department of Fish and Game office or visit: http://www.state.ak.us/adfg/sportf/region1/r1home.htm.