Poor escapement has claimed another popular sportsfishing spot on Kodiak Island. In an emergency order today (Wednesday), the Alaska Department of Fish and Game announced the closure of the Pasagshak River drainage to sportfishing for sockeye salmon. It goes into effect at 12:01 a.m. Friday and is closed until further notice.
According to Fish and Game figures, the escapement goal for sockeye into the Pasagshak River drainage is 3,000 fish, but as of Monday (July 14), the weir count was just 410 sockeye salmon.
As a result, and based on historical run timing, the department is not projecting the Pasagshak system to meet its goal.
Effective tomorrow, sport fishing for king salmon is closed in the entire Monashka Creek drainage and in the waters of Monashka Bay a line extending from Miller Point to Termination Point. That word today from the Alaska Department of Fish and Game Sportsfish Division in Kodiak.
The Monashka Creek drainage supports an enhanced run of king salmon, and fish returning there are used by the Alaska Department of Fish and Game as a brood source for hatchery-rearing chinook salmon.
The department’s annual broodstock goal is a minimum of 50 spawning female and 50 spawning male kings. Over the past decade, at least 50 percent of the goal had been met by June 25th, but as of Wednesday, no king salmon had yet returned.
This closure prohibits all sport fishing, including catch-and-release fishing, for king salmon. Kings may not be possessed or retained, and any caught incidentally while fishing for other species may not be removed from the water and must be released immediately.
In addition, only one unbaited, single hook artificial lure may be used in the waters of Monashka Creek which otherwise remain open to sport fishing.
Fishing opportunity may be restored by subsequent emergency order if king salmon returns to Monashka Creek indicate that brood source collection goals will be achieved.
The 2013 duck stamp features a photo of Pacific white-fronted geese taken by Anchorage photographer Donna Dewhurst during spring migration in the Mat-Su Valley.
Some regulations have changed for this waterfowl hunting season, with possession limits for many birds being boosted by a third. As Dan Rosenberg, Waterfowl Program Coordinator for Fish and Game in Anchorage, explains, it’s not that there are a third more birds available, but rather a change to provide more hunting opportunity.
“Possession limit is viewed as more a law enforcement tool than a biological management tool, so when people are out hunting in remote areas, this gives them a little more flexibility to have a little more hunting opportunity. And they’ve put a lot of investment in their travel and they might be out in remote sites and this allows them to get a few more birds. But we don’t anticipate that in aggregate of all the hunters it’s going to have a huge difference on a population level effect.”
In other words, Rosenberg doesn’t think every hunter will harvest a third more waterfowl, pointing out that many times hunters don’t even get their daily bag limit. In any case, the increase in possession limits will be reviewed after the season for its affect on the birds’ populations. Continue reading
We’re still more than a month away from the waterfowl hunting season around Kodiak Island, but Fish and Game wants to make sure hunters are aware of an error in the 2013-2014 regulation summary booklet for Game Management Unit 8.
The booklet incorrectly reads that the possession limit for dark geese have increased to three times the daily bag limit, except for Dusky Canada geese. That is incorrect. It should read “except for ALL Canada geese.” Canada geese possession limits remain at two times the daily bag limit.
That correction is for both Game Management Unit 6 and GMU 8, the Kodiak area.
Other corrections for GMU 6 and GMU 5 also deal with daily bag limits.
The version online have been corrected, and you can see them here.
And while geese possession limits have changed for many species, the sea duck possession limit has not changed, and remains two times the daily bag limit. Non-resident hunters may take no more than 20 birds.
Protected species, such as emperor gees, spectacled eiders and Steller’s eider remain off limits to hunting.
The pink salmon harvest took a big jump on Friday, with the local fleet delivering 1,737,994 salmon, which was about a million more fish than the day before.
Alaska Department of Fish and Game figures show the hot streak continued over the weekend, with another million pinks netted Saturday, and 1.2-million more on Sunday.
That brings the cumulative humpy harvest this season in the Kodiak Management Area to 13.8-million fish on a forecast of 17-million. Pink returns elsewhere in the state are also above expectations, with 128-million humpies already harvested, versus a preseason forecast of 119-million.
Alaska salmon packers are benefiting from a shortage of pink salmon from the Russian Far East this summer, where catches have been far below projections. Seafood.com reports prices for pink salmon roe are up to $11 per pound. With competition between Russian and Japanese buyers, pink roe is going from anywhere between $25 and $29 per kilogram at auction.
Kodiak sockeye harvests have been hovering around the 20,000 to 30,000 mark per day, with a total catch so far of 2,168,006.
There have been 675,000 chum, 61,000 silvers, and 33,500 king salmon harvested through Sunday.
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Tagged ADF&G, pink salmon
There’s a new wildlife management biologist in Kodiak. Nate Svoboda joined the Alaska Department of Fish and Game this week. He replaces Larry Van Daele, who has been promoted to Southcentral Regional Wildlife Supervisor.
The 39-year-old Svoboda hails originally from Nebraska, and has worked for several years as the biologist for the Ottawa tribe in Michigan. He’s currently finishing up a PhD project on predator-prey relationships. A hunter and avid fisherman, Svoboda has visited Alaska before, and said Kodiak has a lot to offer.
“Ah well I’m really interested in carnivore work and I’ve also done some work with ungulates in the past and it just seemed like a good mix. And plus I’ve been fortunate in the past I’ve spent quite a bit of time in Alaska. I figured it would be a nice good move here for me. It’s a good fit as far as the species on the island are concerned with my goals and interests and it just seemed to be a good fit.”
As the wildlife biologist for Game Management Unit 8, Svoboda says he has several duties and responsibilities, but the job also offers some opportunities as well. Continue reading