STIKINE RIVER AND TAKU RIVER KING SALMON FORECASTS FOR 2009

Sitka. . . The Alaska Department of Fish and Game announced today the following information concerning the pre-season forecast for king salmon returning to the Stikine and Taku Rivers in 2009:
     The 2009 pre-season terminal run forecast for large Stikine River king salmon is 32,000 fish. The resulting U.S. Allowable Catch (AC) is 390 large Stikine kings. An AC of this size will not allow for directed fisheries to start the first Monday in May. An in-season forecast will be produced in late May. If the first in-season forecast is similar to or greater than the pre-season forecast, limited directed king salmon fisheries could occur. The 2009 forecast is the first Stikine River king salmon pre-season terminal run forecast in the past five seasons that does not allow for directed fisheries. During the 2005, 2006, 2007 and 2008 seasons the preseason forecasts were 80,300, 60,600, 37,400 and 46,100 fish respectively. When the first in-season Stikine River king salmon terminal run forecast is produced, a news release will be distributed as soon as possible with the estimated run size, resulting allowable catch, and potential information concerning directed king salmon fishery openings.
     The 2009 pre-season terminal run forecast for large Taku River king salmon is 50,150 fish. With the current escapement goal, there is no US AC available to conduct directed king salmon fisheries in District 11. However, an expedited bilateral review of the escapement goal range could lead to the acceptance of a lower escapement goal for the Taku River which could provide adequate US AC to conduct directed king salmon fisheries in 2009. The US and Canada have agreed to jointly review the current escapement goal by mid January so that a revised escapement goal could be in place for the 2009 season. When this process is completed, a news release will be distributed as soon as possible with the forecast run size, new escapement goal, any resulting allowable catch, and information concerning any directed king salmon fishery openings that could occur.

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