Hatchery Board Voted to End a Program for Summer Coho Salmon in Neck Lake - P.O.W. Report

Monday, January 25, 2021

Hatchery Board Voted to End a Program for Summer Coho Salmon in Neck Lake


From KFSK:

The summer coho returning to the Whale Pass area on Prince of Wales Island are sometimes compared to sockeye salmon, with their run timing and lake spawning. The Ketchikan-based Southern Southeast Regional Aquaculture Association, or SSRAA, started the program to make money for its other operations, called cost recovery. Some years have seen a bumper crop of those fish, filling commercial nets marketed as Snow Pass coho and providing opportunity for sport anglers as well.

Board member Chris Guggenbickler of Wrangell explained the discussion by SSRAA’s production committee and noted the board has already voted to reduce releases to of the young summer coho to 600,000 fish.

“We’ve all known that we’ve had issues with the lake and parasites and poor survivals here,” Guggenbickler said. “There was 1.2 million summer cohos which had one time been a successful cost recovery program for SSRAA.” [...]

SSRAA’s production committee recommended reducing the Neck Lake program for all summer and fall coho but raising the summer fish for two years at another site and revisiting that brood stock in two years.  Some 1.2 million fall cohos are reared in Neck Lake but released at other SSRAA facilities. The move is expected to save about 260,000 dollars the first year and 300,000 dollars in the second. [...]

Ultimately the board approved another motion to discontinue the summer broodstock program for Neck Lake to be replaced with fall coho production elsewhere in the SSRAA system. That vote was not unanimous, but passed 17-2 [Read the full story here]

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