King salmon limits eased

Last week, the Alaska Department of Fish and Game eased this season's bag and possession limits for king salmon fishing in southeast Alaska and Yakutat.

Last week, the Alaska Department of Fish and Game eased this season’s bag and possession limits for king salmon fishing in southeast Alaska and Yakutat.

This year, the bag and possession limit for non residents is one king salmon 71.1 centimetres or greater a day. The annual limit is three salmon of that size.

“So, theoretically, you can only retain a fish on three separate days,” said Bob Chadwick, regional management co-ordinator with the Alaska department of Fish and Game.

Last year’s starting annual limit was two, but was reduced to one as the season progressed. Also, the minimum length grew to 121.9 centrimetres, or larger, from 71.1 centimetres.

The increased bag limit is the result of a rise in the salmon’s preseason abundance index, which sits at 1.33, meaning 40,409 king salmon are allocated for the season.

“Sport fishing is managed under the Southeast Alaska King Salmon Management Plan, which has management measures that are triggered by the abundance index that is established under the Pacific Salmon Treaty,” said Chadwick.

Bag and possession limits have been eased for residents as well. With the same length restrictions, residents are allowed two king salmon a day, up from one, with no annual limit. In addition, between October 2009 and March 2010, resident sport anglers will be allowed to fish king salmon with two rods.

“Three per cent of the harvest of king salmon occurs during that time of the year,” said Chadwick. “The higher the AI (abundance index), above 1.5, residents and nonresidents are allowed to use two rods.”

Contact Tom Patrick at

tomp@yukon-news.com