Stikine closed to subsistence king fishing again this year

The Stikine River is closed to subsistence fishing for king salmon May 15 through June 20 to help preserve weak returns of the highly prized fish. It’s the eighth year in a row for the federal closure.

“The preseason forecast for the Stikine River is 12,900 large chinook salmon (greater than 28 inches in total length), which is below the escapement (spawning) goal range of 14,000 to 28,000,” the U.S. Forest Service reported in its closure announcement May 8.

The closure was ordered under the authority delegated by the Federal Subsistence Board.

In addition to federal efforts to protect Stikine River kings, the Alaska Department of Fish and Game has taken similar actions to reduce the sport and commercial harvest of Stikine River kings with area closures and restrictions again this summer.

The Stikine king run is among several in Southeast that have missed their escapement goals in most of the previous 10 years, according to Fish and Game.

“The preseason outlook is for continued poor production of Southeast Alaska chinook salmon stocks, including stocks (Chilkat, King Salmon, Stikine, Unuk and Chickamin Rivers and Andrew Creek, a Stikine tributary)” of particular concern, the Department of Fish and Game said in its preseason forecast.

The federal closure only affects subsistence fishing for kings in the river, not the sockeye subsistence fishery set to open June 21, according to the Forest Service announcement.

 

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