SEAGO Works with Board of Fish to Preserve King Salmon Opportunity - P.O.W. Report

Friday, January 25, 2019

SEAGO Works with Board of Fish to Preserve King Salmon Opportunity

The following is from SeaGo 

The Alaska Board of Fisheries (BOF) reopened the Southeast Alaska Management Plan last week in Anchorage. The recent renegotiations of the Pacific Salmon Treaty (PST) between the U.S. and Canada resulted in reductions to king salmon harvest in U.S. and Canadian fisheries, including Southeast Alaska. In response, the Alaska Department of Fish and Game (ADFG) drafted Proposal 176, a first effort at revising of sport king regulations to comply with the PST reductions.

Prop 176 included dramatically lowered bag limits and annual limits for non-residents, and complete king retention closures for both residents and non-residents in low abundance. After polling our board and operators throughout the region, it became clear that the regulations in Prop 176 would devastate the guided fleet. We then researched the historical catch data and concluded that the 2018 regulations would hold us to our catch limit with far less devastation to the guided fleet and resident anglers.

SEAGO went to work with the goal of engineering the most palatable near-term options for these challenging times. We had two goals: 1. Keep the sport fleet in compliance with the catch limits set for the current low king salmon abundance. 2. Do that with the least amount of pain. The data suggested we could retain stability and maximum opportunity by using the 2018 king regulations for the near term. For the long term, we’d move forward with the goal of developing a comprehensive reworking of the management plan prior to the Southeast board cycle in 2021.

SEAGO’s efforts included multiple communications with ADF&G, in-house analysis and discussion, and in-person representation at the BOF meeting. SEAGO’s executive director Forrest Braden, SEAGO board member Seth Bone, and SEAGO member Chuck McNamee attended the Anchorage meeting, and were the sole representatives of the guided sport fleet present.

During the Anchorage meeting, SEAGO approached BOF member Al Cain to sponsor an amendment to 176 and form a sub-committee discussion with other user groups. SEAGO continued to work with ADF&G staff, participated in three total subcommittee meetings, and offered public and committee testimony on behalf of guided sport anglers and businesses. The following comparisons show changes adopted by the board reflecting SEAGO’s proposed amendments and amendments requested by resident sport representation.

Non-resident Regulations: (note difference between the Prop 176 line and what SEAGO was able to win for your business on the amended line)

Resident – SEAGO supported changes to help resident anglers gain opportunity as well.

Resident limits for tiers (f)-(h):

A 1 fish bag limit with no closures. A resident inside-water 2 fish bag limit following re-opening of spring closures that were implemented for wild stock management.

SEAGO is proposing to reconvene the Southeast Alaska King Salmon Management Plan Taskforce to tackle new issues of managing the sport fishery in preparation for the Board of Fish Southeast meeting that will likely be calendared for January of 2021.

We encourage anyone with an interest in working to develop a long-term sustainable plan to step forward and put your name in to serve on the taskforce. SEAGO needs your support in continuing to work for a viable, sustainable, and healthy guided fleet in Southeast Alaska.

[Join SEAGO]

Sign-up or renew your membership with SEAGO now! We offer several levels of support tailored to your circumstances. You can easily join or renew online by visiting the Join SEAGO webpage HERE or calling Forrest at (907) 723-1970.

We look forward to working with, and for you!

As always if you have a story or a letter that you would like to post please email

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