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Pacific Salmon Commission Strikes Deal to Hold Directed
Fisheries on Stikine and Taku Rivers


February 18, 2005

Juneau, Alaska - The Alaska Department of Fish and Game (ADF&G) today announced that for the first time in almost 20 years, directed fisheries will be held on the Stikine and Taku Rivers for Chinook salmon. With healthy returns to both rivers in recent years, representatives of the Pacific Salmon Commission, meeting this week in Portland, Oregon, agreed to allow the fisheries to commence as soon as this year.

"With the opening of these fisheries, Alaskans are reaping the reward of a long-term conservation program," said ADF&G Deputy Commissioner David Bedford. "In this case, the patience of Alaskans is being rewarded with the opportunity to harvest tens of thousands more fish."

Directed fisheries on these rivers have been closed since the mid-1970s as part of a coast-wide stock rebuilding program. In 1999, under the Pacific Salmon Treaty Agreement, the United States and Canada agreed not to develop fisheries on transboundary river Chinook salmon stocks without the consent of both parties, and without first developing and implementing abundance-based management regimes.

Preseason forecasts indicate that substantial return of Chinook salmon will be available in 2005. For the Taku River, the preseason forecast of the terminal run is approximately 96,000 fish, which may generate a harvest in excess of 20,000 Chinook in Alaskan sport and commercial fisheries. For the Stikine River, the preseason forecast of the terminal run is approximately 80,300 fish and the combined sport and commercial harvest in Alaska may exceed 27,000 fish. The terminal run is the number of salmon that return to the river or are harvested in salt water as they approach the mouth of the river.

The agreement with Canada also provides for U.S. subsistence fisheries for Chinook and coho salmon on the Stikine River. These fisheries will be conducted in waters subject to Federal oversight.

Under the Pacific Salmon Treaty, each country shall determine the domestic allocation of their respective harvest shares. Domestic allocation issues in Alaska are the purview of the Alaska Board of Fisheries (Board). During a meeting in 2003, the Board adopted regulatory language enabling directed commercial drift gillnet and sport fisheries in Taku Inlet. During the March 2005 public meeting in Anchorage, the Board will consider regulations enabling directed commercial and sport fisheries on Stikine River Chinook salmon in District 108, as well as possible modifications to existing Taku River regulations.

Additional information regarding the details of the drift gillnet fishery in Taku Inlet and the potential drift gillnet fishery in District 8 will be made available by the Southeast Alaska Drift Gillnet Fishery Management Plan and subsequent Commercial Fisheries Division. Additional information regarding the sport fisheries will also be made available by the Division of Sport Fish.


Source of News Release:

Alaska Department of Fish and Game
Web Site


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