The 2014 salmon forecast for Alaska's waters is well below last year, across the board.

But for those who fish and monitor Kotzebue Sound chum salmon, the projection is not really cause for concern.

According to the Alaska Department of Fish and Game, the state's total salmon catch for 2014 is projected to be down by almost half of last year's record total. State fishery officials are calling for an all-species harvest of just less than 133 million salmon, a 47 percent decline from last year's 283 million.

Resources for All Alaskans, a group formed to combat a proposed initiative to ban commercial setnet fishing in certain parts of the state, met in Kenai to talk strategy with several local fishing groups after being dealt a blow when an Alaska Superior Court judge ruled that it could not intervene in a lawsuit over the initiative.

The Alaskan Department of Fish and Game has released their outlook for this year's salmon season, and it's looking pretty miserable. 

"The 2014 Chinook salmon run is expected to be extremely poor and could be the worst on record. Drastic conservation measures are necessary in an attempt to meet escapement objectives. This information sheet describes the anticipated management strategies for the 2014 salmon fishing season."

U.S. commercial and recreational saltwater fishing generated more than $199 billion in sales in 2012, a gain of seven percent over the previous year, with the economic impact of fishing jobs increasing three percent from 2011 to 2012, according to a new NOAA Fisheries economics report.

Further, two more fish stocks were rebuilt to target levels in 2013, bringing the number of rebuilt U.S. marine fish stocks to 34 since 2000, according to another NOAA Fisheries report also released today.

A bill that would make the Alaska Commercial Fisheries Entry Commission a division of the Alaska Department of Fish and Game got an introductory hearing in the Legislature April 19, with the expectation that commercial fishermen and other stakeholders will consider the idea for possible enactment next session.

Before then the Legislature’s Audit Division will “audit” the two agencies to identify overlapping activities, entry commission duties that may not easily be merged into Fish and Game, and possible costs and savings from the consolidation.

Fishers, processors and the general public will see changes to certain fisheries regulations under bills passed by the Alaska Legislature this session.

In the final days of the 2014 session, lawmakers agreed to extend and expand a fisheries product development tax credit program for processors, change the fisheries landing tax for harvesters, authorize a new source of funding for fisheries infrastructure and alter the existing Commercial Fishing and Agriculture Bank.

Alaska's total salmon catch for 2014 is projected to be down by 47 percent from last year's record 283 million fish. State fishery managers are calling for an all-species harvest of just under 133 million salmon this year.

A pink catch of 95 million drove the record last year, and it is pinks that will bring down the numbers this summer. Pink salmon run in even/odd-year cycles. This year the catch is pegged at about 75 million, a 67 percent decrease from last summer's 226 million humpy haul.

 

Alaska’s total salmon catch for this year is projected to be down by almost half of the 2013 haul. State fishery managers are calling for an  all species harvest of just under 133 million salmon, down about 47% from last year’s record haul of 283 million fish.  Pink salmon drove the record last year and it’s pinks that will bring down the numbers. This year the pink catch is pegged at about 75 million, a 67% decrease from last summer’s take of 226 million humpies.

With the prospect that this year’s Yukon River king salmon run will be even worse than last year’s dismal return, which was the worst on record in more than 30 years, some Interior subsistence fishermen who rely on the fish to feed their families are calling for a moratorium on king salmon fishing this summer.

Washington, D.C. – Alaskan Congressman Don Young today shared his support for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA) report reversing its opinion on the status of the Steller Sea Lion, following overbearing National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) restrictions that hampered and closed certain Aleutian Islands groundfish fisheries in 2011.