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Wednesday, June 17, 2020

Alaska

COVID-19 protocols for the Port of Bristol Bay and processor docks KDLG by Sage Smiley - June 16, 2020 The comings and goings of fishermen and boats in the Bristol Bay Borough will be severely restricted this summer to mitigate the possible spread of COVID-19. The Port of Bristol Bay is closed to the public this summer. There is a new security checkpoint at the port's road enterance, and anyone trying to access the port has to declare their business before being allowed inside. https://www.kdlg.org/post/covid-19-protocols-port-bristol-bay-and-processor-docks North Pacific Fishery Management Council - June 2020 Newsletter NPFMC - June 2020 Council’s June 2020 meeting held online, Appointments and Call for Nominations, Call for Nominations, Scallop Specifications, BSAI Crab Management, St Matthew Island Blue King Crab Rebuilding, Cook Inlet Salmon https://www.npfmc.org/june-2020-newsletter/ Outpost Alaska: Who's landing salmon, halibut, king crab and more from Southeast to the Bering Sea National Fishermen by Laine Welch - June 16, 2020 Commercial salmon seasons are popping open across Alaska, but catches are barely registering so far. Managers have officially called the Copper River season a bust after four dismal fishing periods since mid-May, and low catches of sockeyes and kings at 69,000 and 4,000 respectively. https://www.nationalfisherman.com/outpost-alaska-who-s-landing-salmon-halibut-king-crab-and-more-from-southeast-to-the-bering-sea Alaska Sockeye Production Forecasts and Early Indicators of Returns SeafoodNews.com by Peggy Parker - June 16, 2020 It’s too early to compare Alaska’s sockeye salmon forecasts, released last fall and updated in early spring, with actual returns, but early catch and escapement numbers from the Copper River, escapement counts at Chignik, and test fishing in other parts of the state may provide a clearer picture for sockeye production this year. Total sockeye salmon landings projected by the Alaska Department of Fish and Game for 2020 is 42.15 million fish. The bulk of that is Bristol Bay’s 34.56 million forecast, followed by the Alaska Peninsula and Aleutian Islands with 5.35 million sockeyes. That forecast includes 2.97 million sockeyes for the north side of the Peninsula and 2.37 milion sockeyes for the south side. The rest of the predicted sockeye harvest of 42.15 million statewide, is made up of 2.66 million in Prince William Sound/Copper River, 1.85 million in Upper Cook Inlet, 1.81 million in Kodiak, 1.1 million in Southeast, and 600,000 sockeyes in Chignik. The five-year average cumulative landing total by statistical week 24 (ending June 15, last Saturday) is 772,000 sockeyes. As of Sunday night, 192,000 sockeyes have been landed. The Copper River is closed due to low escapement and low landings. Current escapement figures, which include sockeye and Chinook salmon) is 230,419 fish, down by 100,000 fish of the expected 330,132 salmon predicted at this time in the season. “We’re far enough into the run now that I don’t think water temperature is much of a factor,” Jeremy Botz told The Cordova Times last Thursday. Botz is the gillnet area management biologist stationed in Cordova. “It’s probably an issue of freshwater survival and ocean survival. It could be a food issue.” Sockeye weights last week were averaging about 5.15 pounds, the paper reported. In Prince William Sound, more than 47,000 sockeyes have been landed to date this year out of a predicted total of nearly 2 million sockeye. This week (statistical week 25) would be the usual timing for those fish to begin to arrive in volume. The state’s largest sockeye run is the most distant in terms of timing. For Bristol Bay’s 34.56 million sockeye forecast, the two best predictive indicators are escapement counts and the Port Moller Test Fishery. Both are in the early stages. Here’s the latest counts for sockeye, by river system: Naknek-Kvichak District An inshore run of approximately 19.0 million sockeye means a projected harvest of approximately 12.3 million: 5.9 million fish from the Kvichak River, 2.3 million fish from the Alagnak River, and 4.1 million fish from the Naknek River. Egegik District The early season weekly fishing schedule is still in effect until 9:00 a.m., Wednesday, June 17. The first landings of the season occurred last week (statistical week 24). Catches are still small, but it is early in the season. In river test fish and escapement projects are scheduled to begin operations this week. Ugashik District The early season weekly fishing schedule is still in effect until 9:00 a.m., Friday, June 19. There have been no reported landings as of the evening of June 11. Escapement and in river test fish projects will become operational in late June. Nushagak District There is no fishing in the Nushagak District at this time. The Igushik Section set net fishery opened yesterday, June 15. The Nushagak sonar became operational June 6. Through June 14 the unapportioned count is 10,912 salmon, with 1,890 salmon counted yesterday. In an interview with biologist Tim Sands, KDLG reported that subsistence fishing has been very slow on the Dillingham beaches. Upper Cook Inlet has been fishing sockeyes for a few weeks now. Total harvest from the first five openers in the Big River sockeye salmon commercial fishery is below average. A total of approximately 199 king salmon and 4,112 sockeye salmon were harvested after the first five fishing periods, reported ADF&G. The 10-year average total harvest through June 10 is approximately 278 king salmon and 7,220 sockeye salmon. The Togiak District is the latest in run timing and little data has been gathered to date. ADF&G's prediction for sockeye harvests in 2020 is 69,000 sockeye. In Lower Cook Inlet there is some good news for sockeye. Escapement weirs at Bear Creek in Resurrection Bay have been in operation for several weeks, ADF&G reports. Through June 11, a total of 6,957 sockeye salmon have been counted seimming past the weir. This is above the anticipated goal of 5,610 fish for this date to achieve a passage into the lake that meet both broodstock and wild stock escapement objectives. The English Bay River weir becomes operational on June 11. Kodiak is reporting 17,000 sockeyes landed so far this year, from an early-run sockeye fishery in Karluk. Landings are below average for this date, but escapements are within expectations, at 70,594 sockeyes through June 11. For the Ayakulik River, Alitak District, Afognak District, and North east Kodiak District, salmon escapement through June 11 is below expectations. No fisheries are currently scheduled in those areas. The South Alaska Peninsula fishery opened for set gillnet, drift gillnet, and purse seine gear at 6:00 a.m. Monday, June 15 and closes at 10:00 p.m. Thursday, June 18. KDLG reported as of June 15, the sockeye harvest is 48,108 salmon. The 10-year average sockeye salmon harvest is 115,000 fish and the 5-year average is 132,000 fish. Commercial salmon fishing in the Dolgoi Island area is currently closed and will remain closed until further notice, reported KDLG. In Chignik, as of 5:00 p.m. June 11, a total of 3,263 sockeye salmon have passed through the weir. The interim escapement objective for June 10 was 45,000-55,000 sockeye salmon. Biologists say it is too early to determine the strength of the early run, or if it is late. https://www.seafoodnews.com/Story/1173763/Alaska-Sockeye-Production-Forecasts-and-Early-Indicators-of-Returns Federal Register Fisheries of the Exclusive Economic Zone Off Alaska; Pollock in the Herring Savings Area in the Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands Management Area A Rule by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration on 06/17/2020 NMFS is opening the Summer Herring Savings Area 2 in the Bering Sea subarea of the Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands management area (BSAI). This action is necessary to prevent the underharvest of the 2020 pollock total allowable catch (TAC) and facilitate pollock harvest by the American Fisheries Act (AFA) inshore sector, AFA mothership sector, and Community Development Quota (CDQ) program in the Bering Sea subarea of the BSAI. https://www.federalregister.gov/documents/2020/06/17/2020-13078/fisheries-of-the-exclusive-economic-zone-off-alaska-pollock-in-the-herring-savings-area-in-the Magnuson-Stevens Act Provisions; Fisheries Off West Coast States; Pacific Coast Groundfish Fishery; Trawl Rationalization Program; 2020 Cost Recovery A Notice by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration on 06/16/2020 This action provides participants in the Pacific Coast Groundfish Trawl Rationalization Program (Trawl Program), Shorebased Individual Fishing Quota (IFQ) Program Start Printed Page 36380with the updated 2020 fee percentage needed to calculate the required payments for the cost recovery fees due for the remainder of 2020. For the remainder of calendar year 2020, NMFS announces that the Shorebased IFQ Program fee percentage will be 2.88 percent. https://www.federalregister.gov/documents/2020/06/16/2020-12891/magnuson-stevens-act-provisions-fisheries-off-west-coast-states-pacific-coast-groundfish-fishery

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