Southeast King quotas shoot up

Posted: Tuesday, April 30, 2002

JUNEAU (AP) -- King salmon commercial and sport quotas in Southeast Alaska this year are the highest in years, state officials said.

The state Department of Fish and Game announced Friday that the all-gear quota of non-hatchery kings will be 356,464. Last year's quota was 190,000 kings.

The previous high quota was 302,000 kings in 1990 during a special one-year allocation.

The overall quota of fish governed by the Pacific Salmon Treaty between Canada and the United States is set by the Pacific Salmon Commission's Chinook Technical Committee. The state Board of Fisheries determines how Alaska's' share is allocated among user groups.

The board gives 4.3 percent of the total to purse seiners and 8,600 fish to gillnetters. Trollers are granted 80 percent of the rest, and sport fishermen get 20 percent.

The sport allocation will be 66,500 ''treaty'' kings, said Tom Brookover, Southeast sport fish management coordinator. That's a 45,800 jump from last year. In the past three years, Southeast anglers also have taken between 21,000 and 24,500 Alaska hatchery kings annually.

This year anglers will face some restrictions this year because they took about 10,000 more than their share of treaty kings over the past two years.

The bag and possession limit for Alaskans will be two kings 28 inches or more in length in marine waters of Southeast. That's up from one fish a day last year.

Nonresident anglers and anyone who uses a guide will have bag and possession limits of one king 28 inches or more in length. Nonresidents have an annual limit of three kings. Those rules became effective Saturday.

Given the restrictions, Brookover said it was likely that sport fishermen wouldn't take up to their quota, leaving some fish on the table for commercial trollers.

''In the end, (anglers) will not take the 20 percent,'' David Gaudet, Fish and Game's special assistant for the Pacific Salmon Commission, told the Juneau Empire. ''That will go toward paying back where they took more than 20 percent, and the trollers will pick that up.''

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