Earlier today KMXT told you about the missing bear in the Spruce Cape and Woodland Acres area. Fish and Game officials were warning folks to keep an eye out for the bear, which went missing after being shot at Monday night by a resident in the area.
Kodiak Area Wildlife Biologist Nathan Svoboda said the bear was likely hit, and fish and game and Alaska State Troopers spent most of Tuesday following a blood trail trying to track down the wounded bear.
As of Wednesday afternoon the bear had yet to reappear anywhere and Svoboda said it’s likely it left the general area after being injured or may have died somewhere. He said they are still encouraging folks to be alert and notify fish and game of any bear sightings, but there haven’t been any reports within the last 24 hours.
If someone does spot the wounded bear, or any bear in residential area for that matter, they should call fish and game, the Alaska Wildlife Troopers or the Kodiak Police Department.
The Alaska Department of Fish and Game is closing sportsfishing for king salmon in the Ayakulik River drainage on Monday.
In a release, the department points to a poor escapement of just half of the lower end of the biological escapement range of 4,000 to 7,000 spawners. The total weir count on Tuesday of 1,963 kings indicates more measures are necessary to get those numbers up.
Sportsfishing for other species in the Ayakulik remain unaffected, but anglers may only use an unbaited, single hook, artificial lure and any incidentally caught kings must be released immediately.
The closure remains in effect through July 25th.
We’ve talked a lot about the excellent sockeye salmon run since the season started just over a week ago – but while the reds are running strong, the pinks are the real money fish in these parts. So what’s their outlook?
“The pink salmon forecast overall, is about 17-milllion,” said James Jackson, the Fish and Game salmon management biologist in Kodiak.
“It’s a below average wild stock forecast, because if you remember the winter before last, it was pretty harsh – it was dry and cold and that’s never very good for salmon eggs.”
Though this summer’s humpy forecast is below average, Jackson said the harvest the last two years was about 16-million, and this year’s should be a little better.
“We have a really good hatchery forecast this year. I believe the hatchery forecast is about 10.5-million. So if we catch 17 (million) I’d say we’d be right in line with what we have been doing the past few years.”
Over 150,000 salmon were harvested in the Kodiak Management Area between Friday and Sunday.
There were 46,000 sockeye netted Friday, another 74,600 on Saturday and just over 33,000 on Sunday.
Almost 2,000 salmon of other species were hauled in Friday, 11,000 on Saturday, including 8,400 chum, and about 3,000 on Sunday.
The sockeye total through Sunday was 433,413, with an all-species harvest at 465,702
More good news for anglers looking to fight some salmon this summer – the Alaska Department of Fish and Game is increasing the bag and possession limit in the Buskin River Drainage for sockeye. The Department had already increased the bag limit on the Afognak River. Starting at 1 minute after midnight Wednesday morning, the bag limit for sockeye 20 inches or longer will be five fish per day, with five in possession.
It turns out the red salmon return is going strong at the Buskin, as it is elsewhere in the Kodiak Management Area, and there is concern the escapement goal will be exceeded.
In a release by Kodiak Area Management Biologist Donn Tracy, he notes the biological escapement goal range is 5,000 to 8,000 fish, and the weir count is already over 4,000. He writes that the Department is now projecting the escapement will exceed 8,000 even with the additional sports harvest opportunity.
The increased bag limit is in effect until further notice.
The sockeye salmon run has been so strong up the Afognak River drainage, that both subsistence and commercial fishing areas were increased near its mouth. Now sportsfishermen can get in on the action. The Alaska Department of Fish and Game in Kodiak has increased the bag and possession limit for sockeye anglers to 10 fish per day and 10 in possession.
The announcement was made by Kodiak Area Management Biologist Donn Tracy in an emergency order on Thursday.
With over half the lower end of the escapement goal for the Afognak drainage already achieved, fish and game is concerned about over-escapement, which could overwhelm the food supply.
Through Wednesday, 10,750 sockeye salmon had passed the weir, while the escapement range is 20,000 to 50,000 fish.
The increased bag limit went into effect one second after midnight on Saturday morning, and will remain in effect until further notice.