The 2013 preseason terminal run size forecast for large Stikine River king salmon has been set by the Alaska Department of Fish and Game at 22,400 fish.
A preseason terminal run forecast of this size does not allow for an allowable catch for either the U.S. or Canada. Therefore, no directed fisheries will occur in early May. An in-season terminal run estimate will be produced in late May. If the first in-season estimate is significantly greater than the pre-season forecast, limited directed king salmon fisheries could occur.
The forecast generated by the Stikine River king salmon forecast model produced a terminal run size estimate of 32,032 fish. Due to preseason forecasts consistent overestimation of the actual run size, this forecast was reduced by 30 percent. The preseason forecast has overestimated the run size for the past six years and has overestimated by an average of 32 percent over the past five years. Other considerations taken into account for reducing the model produced forecast are the extremely low abundance of 3-year-old king salmon in 2012 and the general poor performance of king salmon stocks throughout Alaska in recent years.
The preseason run size forecast for large Taku River king salmon has been set at 26,100 fish. No directed fisheries will occur in early May for the Taku either.
An in-season Taku estimate will also be produced in late May and the department will continue to monitor the returning run strength, but it is unlikely any directed king fisheries will occur in District 11 in 2013.
When the first in-season Taku and Stikine River king salmon terminal run estimates are produced, information will be distributed as soon as possible by ADF&G with the estimated run size, resulting allowable catch, and information concerning potential directed king salmon fishery openings.