It’s our salmon season!

8 Jul

Salmon. King salmon returns from the giant Yukon River to the world famous Stikine in Southeast are very low. From Canada’s Fraser River system all the way to California, kings are missing in action. While experts debate the cause — from global warming to the warm water “blob” in the Gulf of Alaska to increased pressure from fishing nets — kings, or Chinook salmon, are not doing what they’re supposed to do — return in droves to their natal rivers.

Commercial sockeye fishing in Yakutat has been closed due to historic low returns, leaving set-netters in a bind until coho and chum season later in the summer.

Marketing. ASMI says on July 5: “the pace of Alaska’s salmon harvest is about 25 percent lower than the same period in 2017, an improvement from last week; strong sockeye production in Bristol Bay is the primary reason for this improvement. Most other sockeye harvests around the state are very slow. Pink, Chinook, and keta harvests are trending below 2017 levels.” Find associated charts here.

Tariffs on seafood going into China are expected to go into effect Friday July 6 and if it actually happens, Alaska will be at a significant disadvantage, especially compared with Russia, Canada and the North Atlantic.

A broader perspective on the tariff situation from The New York Times: Accusing the United States of “typical trade bullying,” China on Friday imposed $34 billion in retaliatory tariffs on American soybeans, cars and other products, suggesting dim prospects for resolving a potentially bruising trade war between the two economic powerhouses. More here.

BOF. Board of Fisheries Chairman John Jensen of Petersburg was recently appointed to the North Pacific Fisheries Management Council. More here.

Hatcheries. From the beginning, Alaska’s hatchery system was designed to protect fisheries, fishermen and communities from cyclical weaknesses in wild salmon returns. During the 1970s, salmon runs were in decline throughout the state. Prince William Sound seining did not open at all in 1972 and 1974 because the wild returns were so low. Under the leadership of governors William Egan and Jay Hammond, Alaska began a major effort to restore salmon fisheries. Today, five regional aquaculture associations from southeast Alaska to Kodiak produce salmon for harvest by all users.

DIPAC harvest update from June 28, 2018

See our website for links to hatcheries and schedules.

Hope you are all having a safe, productive season.

Thank you for your support! If you need to renew or join USAG, click HERE or find a board member.

-Cynthia Wallesz

Executive Director
United Southeast Alaska Gillnetters
PO Box 2196
Petersburg, AK 99833
(208) 995-7400 (cell)
ph: (253) 237-3099 Google Voice