weak start to this year’s salmon season caused fishery mangers to put
commercial, sport and subsistence fishing restrictions on another Kodiak river
last week. This time it was the Ayakulik River, where only about 500 king
salmon had passed the weir as of last Friday. KMXT’s Casey Kelly takes a look
at how the late start to the season is affecting businesses around the island.
Department of Fish and Game Sport Fish Management Biologist Len Schwarz says so
far the returns of king and sockeye salmon to rivers around the island have
looked pretty bleak. But he says that’s a pattern the department has been
seeing for the past three years.
1 :29s “…real
trend for late returns.”)
now sport fishing on the Karluk and Ayakulik Rivers is restricted to
non-retention of king salmon, meaning anglers can’t remove fish from the water
and must let any fish they catch go immediately. The use of bait is also
prohibited to reduce hooking deaths. Some restrictions on sport fishing for
sockeye are also in place. Schwarz says the department works with sport
fishermen and businesses to notify them of changes to fishing regulations.
2 :19s “…participate
in is now closed.”)
Sikes has run the Karluk Lodge in Karluk for 30 years, where sport fishermen
flock to catch Chinook and red salmon. She says fish and game sent a letter in
January warning her that the king run on the Karluk might be weak this year.
1 :11s “…wasn’t
to hard for them to.”)
says she doesn’t usually start booking clients until after the new year, so she
hasn’t had any customers call to cancel their reservations. But with the weak
king returns, she says that’s the way it’s been for the last couple of years.
Most of her clients these days are coming for silvers later this summer.
2 :26s “…it’s
businesses that help support the island’s sport fishing industry have also felt
the effects of the late salmon runs. Stan Devine is the manager of Andrew
Airways. He says anglers aren’t really chartering flights to the Karluk and
Ayakulik to catch king salmon this time of year. However, the pilots are
staying busy offering fishing trips for other species, as well as the always
popular bear viewing adventures.
1 :14s “…for
about a three day float.”)
little bit of good news might be on the way for anglers soon. Although the king
salmon numbers are still low, the sockeye runs appear to be picking up. As of
late last week about 50-thousand reds had passed through the Karluk weir and
nearly 30-thousand had been counted on the Ayakulik.