The Alaska Department of Fish and Game (ADF&G) on March 30 set the 2023 all-gear allowable harvest limit for Southeast Alaska/Yakutat (SEAK) under Chinook salmon management provisions of the 2019-2028 Pacific Salmon Treaty Agreement at 201,900 treaty Chinook salmon.
The 2% reduction from last year’s allocation is to serve as a buffer against exceeding the all-gear limit and payback provisions within the treaty. The resulting 2023 troll harvest allocation for this year will be 149,100 Chinooks, which is 44,100 fish less that the preseason limit that was available in 2022.
ADF&G also said annual catch limits for the SEAK Chinook fishery would be established using measures of Chinook abundance, using the catch per unit effort from the winter power troll fishery in District 113 during statistical weeks 41-48, in combination with output from the prohibited species catch Chinook model.
The summer troll fishery harvest allocation is calculated by subtracting the sum of the treaty Chinook salmon harvested in winter and spring troll fisheries from the annual troll treaty allocation. ADF&G said, however, that this year notwithstanding any remaining winter season treaty Chinook salmon allocation, the winter troll fishery would close on April 15.
While there is no explicit guideline harvest level (GHL) for Chinook salmon harvested in the spring, fisheries are managed to limit the harvest of treaty Chinook from wild stocks counted toward the annual treaty limit of Chinooks while most of the Alaska hatchery fish are not.
Since spring fisheries will be in progress through June 30, preliminary harvest estimates for treaty Chinooks in spring fisheries will not be determined until late June.
The summer fishery is to be managed to harvest 70% of the remaining fish on the troll allocation in the first summer Chinook opener in July, with the remainder available to harvest in a second opener, typically happening in August.