2018 forecasts out for Stikine, Taku kings

Biologists with the Alaska Department of Fish and Game say preseason forecasts for Chinook salmon returning to the Stikine and Taku rivers in Southeast Alaska in 2018 are below the escapement goal range and will not provide for an allowable catch in the U.S. or Canada.

The announcement from ADF&G’s Sitka office was issued on Dec. 5.

The preseason terminal run forecast for Stikine River large Chinook salmon is 6,900 fish, compared to a preseason terminal run forecast of 18,300 fish a year ago. That forecast also was below the midpoint of the escapement goal range of 14,000 to 28,000 fish and o directed fisheries were allowed in early May of 2017.

The 2018 preseason terminal run size forecast for the Taku River large Chinook salmon is 4,700 fish, compared to 13,300 fish a year ago. The new forecast is below the lower end of the escapement goal range of 19,000 to 36,000 fish, just as it was a year ago, when ADF&G also declined to allow directed fisheries in early May.

While in-season terminal run size estimates for the Stikine and Taku rivers may be produced in 2018, it is very unlikely that any directed king salmon fisheries will occur, state biologists said.