Hard times for king salmon in the Stikine and Taku rivers have improved by a tad, but not enough to allow for an allowable catch on either the Alaska or Canadian side of the boundary.
The Alaska Department of Fish and Game said in an announcement in late November that the 2020 preseason terminal run forecast for Stikine River large Chinook salmon is 13,350 fish. A terminal run forecast of that size is below the lower end of the escapement goal range of 14,000 to 28,000 fish, making the terminal run forecast insufficient to provide for an allowable catch in Alaska or British Columbia.
The 2020 preseason terminal run forecast for Taku River large Chinook salmon is 12,400 fish. Such a terminal run forecast likewise is not sufficient to provide an allowable catch on either side of the border, as it is below the lower end of the escapement goal range of 19,000 to 36,000 fish.
State biologists said that due to the very low forecasts and recent poor runs to these transboundary rivers, all salmon fisheries in Districts 8 and 11 will have extensive conservation measures in effect throughout the duration of the Chinook salmon runs in 2020.
A year ago, ADF&G issued a forecast also saying they expected 9,050 adult kings to spawn in the Taku River, which was well below the escapement goal range of 19,000 to 36,000 fish. The report also forecast 8,250 kings to spawn in the Stikine River well below its escapement goal range of 14,000-28,000 fish.
The largest Chinook run on record for the Taku River was nearly 115,000 kings in 1997. For the Stikine it was 90,000 kings in 2006.