April 04, 2007
Utilizing data on the strength of West coast Chinook salmon stocks that contribute to Southeast Alaska fisheries, the Pacific Salmon Commission's Chinook Technical Committee recently determined that the 2007 Abundance Index for Chinook salmon in Southeast Alaska is 1.60. As specified in the 1999 Pacific Salmon Treaty Agreement, this translates into an allowable all-gear catch for Southeast Alaska of 329,400 treaty Chinook. Most Chinook salmon produced in Alaska hatcheries are not factored into the Abundance Index, and may be caught by harvesters in addition to the treaty limit.
The Chinook salmon returns to many West Coast rivers from Oregon to Alaska remain strong, but have declined from the very high levels seen from 2003 to 2005. Most of the Chinook salmon stocks covered under the Pacific Salmon Treaty benefited from an upturn in ocean survival in recent years. However this trend is changing for stocks originating from the Columbia River and it appears that the average size of stocks originating from the West Coast of Vancouver Island is declining as well.
The treaty Chinook salmon harvest will be allocated to sport, commercial troll, and commercial net fisheries according to the management plans specified by the Alaska Board of Fisheries.
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