KHNS is featuring regular fisheries updates with the Alaska Department of Fish and Game’s Mark Sogge through the summer season. Sogge manages the commercial and subsistence fisheries in District 15.
After a couple delays aimed at conserving king salmon, subsistence fishing is open in Chilkat Inlet. And the chum harvest for commercial gillnetters in the Northern Lynn Canal is winding down, while sockeye numbers are still weak.
This conversation with reporter Abbey Collins was recorded on Friday, July 21, after the most recent commercial gillnet opening.
Some takeaways from the conversation:
- The chum harvest in District 15 is continuing to decline. During the last opening, gillnetters harvested a total of about 161,000 chum.
- About 28,000 pink salmon were harvested during the last opening in District 15. Sogge says the pink return is strong throughout Northern Southeast.
- Only 90 kings were harvested this past week. That’s down from 140 the week before.
- 4,200 sockeye were caught during the last opening. Sogge says that is low compared to what it could and should be. So far, he says there is no sign of a big concentration of fish coming in.
- The Chilkat fish wheels have been consistently below average. And the mainstem sockeye — the fish that spawn in the Chilkat River and Mosquito Lake — component is really weak this year.
- The subsistence fishery in Chilkat Inlet, south of Letnikof Point, opens for subsistence fishing Saturday, July 22.
- The eastern shoreline will be closed during the next commercial gillnet opening. That creates a corridor to allow Chilkoot sockeye to pass through. the area from Point Bridget, south, is only open for one day during the next opening. The boat harbor area remains open seven-days-a-week. The postage stamp area is open for an extra day to focus on the harvest of chum.