A map of king salmon restrictions in Southeast. (Map courtesy ADFG)

A map of king salmon restrictions in Southeast. (Map courtesy ADFG)

King fishing cut: ADFG announces conservative Juneau fishing plan

It’s not time yet for king salmon fishermen to dust off the downriggers and sharpen the hooks. According to Alaska Department of Fish and Game regulations announced Thursday, anglers will have to wait until June 15 to keep king salmon caught in the Juneau area.

Starting April 1, it’ll be illegal to retain a king salmon in most Juneau area waters and fishermen are expected to release king salmon immediately. Those regulations will lift on June 15, when fishing regulations will go back to normal.

ADF&G’s plan for Juneau follows conservation measures, Chinook “action plans,” implemented across Southeast this year to protect record low-returns of wild king salmon on several Southeast river systems.

“Essentially, the Southeast wild stocks have been in a period of low productivity and these restrictions are designed to reduce or eliminate harvest,” sport fish biologist Daniel Teske told the Empire by phone Thursday.

About 4,700 adult king salmon are expected to return to spawn on the Taku River. That would be an all-time low, according to ADFG records. A majority of Southeast rivers are also experiencing low returns, ADFG’s Thursday announcement states.

The Juneau area regulations are more conservative than the action plan adopted at a Board of Fisheries meeting in January, Teske said. The board voted for a moratorium on king salmon retention starting April 15. ADFG’s Juneau area plan bans anglers from keeping king salmon starting April 1.

It also expands past the action plan’s geographical boundaries.

“We enacted all of the regulations that were in the action plan and we also implemented further restrictions that we thought we necessary,” Teske said. “Basically, we expanded time and area,” of the fishing closure.

Additional fishing opportunities may be offered in June, Teske added, if hatchery king salmon return in strong numbers. ADFG will know in early June whether or not that’s the case. If so, they’ll open a special harvest area for hatchery kings.

ADFG implemented similar restrictions last year.

The restrictions are as follows:

Any king salmon caught must be released immediately from April 1 through June 14, 2018. This applied to the northern portion of District 9, District 10, Sections 11-A, 11-B, 11-C, District 12, southeast portion of Section 13-C, Sections 14-B and 14-C, and District 15 south of the latitude of Sherman Rock.

The waters of Seymour Canal near King Salmon River (Section 11-D) are closed to king salmon fishing from April 1 through June 30, 2018.

ADFG advises that anglers fishing north of the Juneau area should review the news release announcing sport fishery restrictions for the Haines/Skagway area and that anglers fishing south of the Juneau area should review the news releases announcing sport fishery restrictions for the Petersburg/Wrangell and Ketchikan areas.


• Contact reporter Kevin Gullufsen at kgullufsen@juneauempire.com and 523-2228. Follow him on Twitter at @KevinGullufsen.


More in News

Tone and Charles Deehr in Fairbanks, October 2021. Both photos courtesy Charles Deehr. 3. (Courtesy Photo / Charles Deehr)
Alaska Science Forum: Red aurora rare enough to be special

In decades of sky-watching in the north, he has seen a few red auroras, but not many.

This undated electron microscope image made available by the U.S. National Institutes of Health in February 2020 shows the Novel Coronavirus SARS-CoV-2, yellow, emerging from the surface of cells, blue/pink, cultured in the lab. Also known as 2019-nCoV, the virus causes COVID-19. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP, NIAID-RML
COVID at a glance for Thursday, Oct. 14

The most recent state and local figures

It's a police car until you look closely and see the details don't quite match. (Juneau Empire File / Michael Penn)
Police calls for Friday, Oct. 15, 2021

This report contains public information from law enforcement and public safety agencies.

The Juneau Police Department will hold a drug take-back day on Oct. 23, 2021 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., said the police in a news release. (Michael S. Lockett / Juneau Empire File)
Police to hold drug take-back day on Oct. 23

Last take-back event, the DEA collected 420 tons of unused or unwanted prescription medication.

Then-Juneau Mayor Bruce Botelho, left, and former Juneau Representative Bill Hudson, right, speak with John Torgerson, chairman of the Alaska Redistricting Board during a break in hearing public testimony at the Capitol Wednesday, April 20, 2011.  Alaska’s state flags were lowered Thursday for longtime Alaska lawmaker, Hudson, who died Oct. 11. (Michael Penn / Juneau Empire File)
‘A large legacy’: Hudson remembered for dedication to Juneau and the state

Alaska’s state flags were lowered Thursday for longtime Alaska lawmaker Bill Hudson.

The author photographs one of the numerous bull moose he and his wife saw on an elk hunt in Wyoming. (Jeff Lund / For the Juneau Empire)
I Went to the Woods: Desired vs. realized success

No elk taken, but it’s nothing to grouse about.

It's a police car until you look closely and see the details don't quite match. (Juneau Empire File / Michael Penn)
Police calls for Thursday, Oct. 14, 2021

This report contains public information from law enforcement and public safety agencies.

This photo shows gray currents, also called stink currants, Vivian Mork photographer. (Vivian Mork Yeilk’ / For the Capital City Weekly)
Planet Alaska: Picking currants and riding currents

We give respect and thanks to the berries and the birds as we harvest the last of the berries.

Ben Hohenstatt / Juneau Empire File
A Coast Guard aircrew aboard an MH-60 Jayhawk, like the one shown in this June photo, rescued a man from a stricken vessel in the Gulf of Alaska on Oct. 11, 2021.
Coast Guard rescues man from disabled vessel

The sailboat was southbound in the Gulf of Alaska

Most Read