Thursday March 16, 2023

Alaska Public Media

The Board of Fisheries has approved an action plan to help conserve the Nushagak River’s king salmon runs, which have declined sharply in recent years even as huge sockeye returns to the district have broken records. The board voted unanimously to adopt a plan that curbs fishing time when larger sockeye runs are forecast.

The Nushagak’s king salmon have not been doing well. In recent years, the runs have failed to meet the minimum goal for sustainability. The in-river count has fallen short for five out of the last six years. Last fall, the state declared Nushagak kings a stock of concern and created an action plan to conserve them.

But deciding exactly what that plan would look like wasn’t easy.

King salmon runs across the state have declined over the past two decades. As of April 2022, more than a dozen king runs across the state were stocks of concern. That doesn’t include runs to the Chignik and Nushagak rivers, which were designated as such later that year.

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