Subsistence fishery reopens near Yakutat

A Southeast Alaska Chinook salmon fishery closed for five of the last 10 years after failure to meet biological escapement goals has reopened for subsistence harvesters using a rod and reel, with harvest limits specified as permit conditions.

Alaska Department of Fish and Game officials reopened the Situk River, near Yakutat, on July 16, allowing for use of bait with rod and reel. Use of gillnets remains prohibited through Friday, July 30 to minimize the incidental mortality of Chinook salmon beyond the allowable harvest.

Even though the 2021 run is expected to meet or exceed the upper end of the escapement goal, chronic low returns require a conservative approach to harvest to allow as many Chinooks as possible to reach the spawning grounds, ADF&G officials said.