Two Kings a Day in the Month of May
The leading indicators for the 2014 king salmon regulations look very positive. We expect a banner year. We’re talking high abundance, good size fish, and relaxed bag limits. Official word comes out by early April, but with so many indicators hard over to positive here’s our crystal ball on 2014 King Salmon Regulations for anglers travelling to Southeast Alaska:
Conservative Outlook: Daily limit of 2 kings per day in May, one king per day for the rest of the season with an annual limit of four kings.
Optimistic Outlook: Daily limit of 2 kings per day in May, one king per day the rest of the season with an annual limit of five kings.
1. The forecasts for returns to the Columbia River are off the charts on the high side. The best since the 1930’s – nearly 1.6 million returning kings with a high percentage of upriver brights which migrate farther north to Southeast Alaska.
2. The forecast for the West Coast Vancouver Island hatcheries, with one exception is excellent.
3. The 2013 post season AI will surely be revised substantially upward from the low preseason number of 1.2. Anyone who fished Sitka last year experienced king numbers well above what would be expected with a weak forecast.
4. Ocean productivity in the southern Gulf of Alaska has been excellent. This is driven in part by the Pacific Decadal Oscillation which is a cold (negative) phase. This favors salmon abundance for all fish feeding in the southern Gulf of Alaska and includes the kings we catch in Sitka.
5. The winter fisheries in the Alaska that serve as leading indicators to our summer fishery have enjoyed extremely good fishing.