The Federal Subsistence Board in a May 6th news release states they have decided to give the Federal In-Season Manager additional “tools” for managing harvest of Chinook salmon in 2015. In their news release (attached) the Board stated:
“Based on discussions with the Federal in-season manager, the Chair subsequently decided to seek further Board action to provide an additional management tool to the in-season manager. The Board was polled and adopted an Alaska National Interest Lands Conservation Act (ANILCA) Section 804 determination, which identifies 32 communities along the Kuskokwim River that will be permitted to take part in a limited subsistence harvest. These communities have previously been identified through public processes in 2014 and again in 2015. Although the Board approved the Section 804 determinations, the final decision concerning whether or not to restrict harvest to just residents of those 32 communities will be left to the Federal in-season manager.”
What this means is: if the in-season manager determines that there may be some Chinook available for harvest (but not enough to meet everybody’s needs) those fish would have to be made available for harvest based on the 804 determinations and criteria. In 2014 the Federal manager issued Social and Cultural Permits based on the 804 determination allowing for only a minimal harvest of Chinook intended for ceremonial purposes. If more than a “minimal” number of Chinook are identified as available for harvest a different allocation scheme will be required to ensure equitable opportunity for all subsistence fishermen along the river. Precisely how such an allocation scheme would be implemented this season is still unknown, and will depend largely on the fish.