Trollers get 24-hour chinook opening on Friday

Changed from Saturday due to weather forecast

The Alaska Department of Fish and Game has announced a second opportunity for commercial trollers to catch chinook salmon in Southeast after a smaller-than-average troll fleet took about 85,000 chinook during an initial opener July 1-12.

Troll fishermen can target an additional 10,000 chinook during a one-day fishery that will open from 12:01 a.m. through 11:59 p.m. on Friday, Aug. 11, the department announced on Monday, Aug. 7.

The department originally had scheduled the one-day opening for Saturday, but a forecast of high winds pushed officials to move up the opening to Friday. The weather could be too rough for trollers, a fisheries biologist said.

Trollers during the 12-day July opening harvested 85,000 chinook, about 8,000 more than the initial target of 77,100. The high catch left an estimated 25,000 chinook that trollers could target out of their overall preseason allocation for the summer fishery.

Catch for migratory chinook is allocated between the U.S. and Canada by the Pacific Salmon Treaty, and regulated for gear groups and areas in Alaska by the state Board of Fisheries.

Sport fishermen, however, are on track to catch about 15,000 more chinook than their 2023 preseason allocation, the department said Aug. 4. Fish and Game in March announced that sport fishermen could target about 37,000 chinook this summer. That 15,000 will come out of the season’s commercial harvest allocation to keep the total Southeast catch within the treaty limit — reducing what’s left for commercial trollers in the Aug. 12 opening to 10,000 chinook.

Fish and Game’s Bo Meredith, who manages commercial fisheries in Ketchikan, said commercial trollers near Ketchikan have focused their efforts off the West Coast of Prince of Wales Island. “These guys had fairly strong catch rates.”

 

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