Commercial salmon trolling shuts down this weekend in most of Southeast Alaska based on a weak catch of coho salmon.
The summer troll fishery closes just before midnight on Sunday, September 20. In years with a stronger return of silver salmon the season can be extended 10 days. But not this year. The Alaska Department of Fish and Game reports that some indicator stocks around Southeast are barely meeting or not meeting escapement goals. The total harvest by all gear groups just topped 800,000 coho this month and looks to finish around half of the 20-year average. Most of that is caught by the troll fleet, which has a total catch of just over 700,000. That’s the second lowest on record in 32 years.
One bright spot for the silver catch, the price for troll caught coho, just over two dollars a pound, is equal to last year’s and above the five-year average.
Some trolling remains open around hatchery sites. The winter season for king salmon starts up October 11th.