Hidden Falls and Deep Inlet – June 26 2017

Posted by on Jun 26, 2017 in front page | 0 comments

Hidden Falls and Deep Inlet – June 26 2017

The fishing season is off to a mixed start and there is sufficient information to predict what is likely to unfold for the Hidden Falls and early run Deep Inlet chum programs. First Hidden Falls: the first two openings were disappointing but not unexpected. The return to date is about 10,000 chum through June 25th, which is similar to last year and worse than 2015. Therefore, Hidden Falls will not open for the foreseeable future. We will concentrate on broodstock – we need approximately 220,000 adults to fully satisfy our programs at Kasnyku Bay (75 million eggs), Thomas Bay (25 million eggs), Deep Inlet (24 million eggs), and SE Cove (55 million eggs).

Deep Inlet: the catch through June 24 is 4,400 chum, this is about half of the 2016 harvest. It is early, so there is still time for that to change, but right now it is looking like a weak start. The gillnet catch showed 81% male and 59% 4 year olds. This is a high percentage of 4 year olds for the front end of the run and could mean a poor 5 year old survival. The past three years have been very good years for the early run (Hidden Falls stock) at Deep Inlet. The cost recovery harvest plan is published on the website and we expect to stick to the plan based on what we know now. Beginning in August we will look for the opportunity to harvest chum outside of Deep Inlet but it is likely we will need to close Deep Inlet to commercial fishing some time between August 7 and August 20 to harvest ~2 million pounds of chum.

A state-wide perspective: PWS chum appear to be ten days to two weeks late, but run strength is looking right on target based on the steep slope of the harvest curve. SE Alaska chum don’t appear late at all and moderate to strong in the first two harvest weeks. DIPAC chum in district 15 were strong in the initial opening with over 70,000 fish caught. The second opening numbers are not in yet but reports are good for districts 11 and 15. On the south end, SSRAA programs had good catches in the first district 2 seine opening (30,000 chum) and large fish size (unlike 2016). The second opening reports are decent, although fleet size is affecting average catch. Neets Bay is already seeing some terminal chum.

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