Alaska Cuts Chinook Quota Nearly 50
NW Fishletter #245, April 11, 2008
The Alaska Department of Fish and Game has announced a
big cutback in this year's Southeast chinook fisheries, down
to 170,000 treaty chinook. The troll fishery would be
allocated about 125,000 of the total, with the rest divvied
up between the commercial seiners, gillnetters and the sport
side, which is getting 31,350 chinook to catch this year.
ADFG said the 48-percent reduction from last year is
based on its estimate of ocean abundance. These are the
smallest preseason allowable catches since implementation of
the 1999 Pacific Salmon Treaty Agreement.
The department's April 4 press release pointed to the
ocean as a big factor in the reduced numbers. "While the
factors affecting the abundance of chinook on the West Coast
are complex, it is widely recognized that unfavorable ocean
conditions in 2005 and 2006 likely were a significant cause
of the poor survival of chinook in the early part of their
four- to five-year life-cycle, Some of these ocean
conditions have moderated substantially and appear to be
returning to a status more favorable to salmon populations."
What the press release didn't say was that
most of the chinook caught in Southeast Alaska are bound
for British Columbia and Lower 48 rivers. The state does
produce some hatchery fish, which make up 15 percent or so
of the SE catch. Columbia River stocks, especially Mid-Upper
Columbia chinook, comprise about 25 percent of the Alaskans'
chinook catch in SE. Another 30 percent or so originate in
BC, about 15 percent from Oregon and the rest from the
The following links were mentioned in this story:
Comparison of Genetic and PSC Model Catch Compositions, ADFG,