Anchorage, AK — Under the management provisions of the Pacific Salmon Treaty (treaty), the Alaska Department of Fish and Game (ADF&G) announced today that the preseason all-gear catch limit for Southeast Alaska (SEAK) is 205,165 treaty Chinook salmon for 2021. The ADF&G target will be 201,100 Chinook salmon. This year’s target includes a 2% reduction from the treaty catch limit that will serve as a buffer to avoid exceeding the all-gear limit and payback provisions of the treaty.
The all-gear catch limit for SEAK is based on a forecast of the aggregate abundance of Pacific Coast Chinook salmon stocks subject to management under the treaty as determined by catch per unit effort model that uses data from the SEAK early winter troll fishery consistent with provisions of the treaty.
The SEAK Chinook salmon all-gear catch limit is distributed among sport and commercial fisheries under management plans specified by the Alaska Board of Fisheries as follows:
Sector | 2021 Chinook Salmon Target
Commercial purse seine (4.3% of all-gear) 8,650
Commercial drift gillnet (2.9% of all-gear) 5,830
Commercial set gillnet (1,000) 1,000
Commercial troll (80% after net gear subtracted) 148,500
Sport (20% after net gear subtracted) 37,120
Total catch target 201,100
The preseason outlook is for continued poor production of SEAK Chinook salmon stocks, including seven stocks (Chilkat, King Salmon, Taku, Stikine, Unuk and Chickamin rivers and Andrew Creek) currently listed or proposed for listing as Stocks of Management Concern. This will necessitate a management regime aimed at minimizing catches of these stocks. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Alaska Board of Fisheries was unable to meet in-person in 2021 on SEAK Chinook salmon stock of concern and action plan decisions. The 2021 commercial and sport fishery will be managed consistent with strategies used in 2019 and 2020 which were successful at reducing catches and lowering harvest rates of SEAK wild Chinook salmon. The Board intends to take up SEAK wild Chinook salmon at its Southeast and Yakutat Finfish and Shellfish meeting in the 2021/2022 meeting cycle at a date to be determined at its March 8, 2021 special meeting.