No Early Chinook Runs for Taku, Stikine Rivers

In-season terminal run estimates are still to come, but at this point there will be no directed king salmon fisheries in early May in Southeast Alaska for either the Taku or Stikine rivers.

Alaska Department of Fish and Game biologists at Sitka said Feb. 18 that the preseason terminal run forecast of 26,800 king salmon was not large enough to provide for an allowable catch for either the U.S. or Canadian harvesters in the transboundary Taku River.

A December preseason king salmon forecast released in December, said the same for the waters of the Stikine River.

The last directed fishery on the Taku was in 2012, when there were two extremely limited openings, said Dave Harris, a department spokesperson in Juneau. The poor return last year came in as anticipated, and this year the department expects the king run to be better, but not enough for a directed fishery, he said.

The Taku runs have cycled down a bit, but not as bad as some other runs around the state, he said.

The ADF&G forecast for Stikine River king salmon said the 2014 preseason terminal run size forecast for large Stikine River kings was 26,000 fish, not sufficient to allow for harvest for either the U.S. or Canada.

Bag limits for sport anglers on these rivers, which will depend on what the abundance index forecasts is, come out in April, said biologists in the agency’s sport fishing division.