The Alaska Department of Fish and Game announced in two emergency orders today that sport fishing bag and possession limits will be reduced on the Karluk and Ayakulik River drainages.
It was announced that the bag limit on the Ayakulik River drainage system is reduced to one King Salmon 20 inches or greater in length and an annual limit that is reduced to 2 fish per year. The biological esccapement goal for the Ayakulik River is 4,000 to 7,000 fish. That goal hasn’t been realized from 2006-2009.
In their second emergency order, pertaining to the Karluk River, Fish and Game announced that there will be no retention of King Salmon allowed. King Salmon caught may not be removed from the water and must be released immediately.
The biological escapement goal for Karluk River King Salmon is 3,000 to 6,000 fish and that goal has been acheived twice since 2006 Escapements have improved slightly, and the goal was met in 2011 and 2012 due to management actions according to Fish and Game.
Fish and Game stated in their release that expectations of poor salmon runs and uncertainty over how quickly the runs will rebound justify the emergency announcements put in place.
They said that if things improve as the season progresses, other emergency orders may be announced easing the restrictions.
The orders are in effect from Saturday, June 1, 2013 and expire on July 25th at 11:59 pm unless superceded by another emergency order.