Permits & State Fisheries

September 14, 2023

Permit activity was relatively slow this week. We sold a 3A 6-angler charter halibut permit at $103,100, down from preseason sales in the $110,000-$120,000 range, and a Cook Inlet drift permit at $25,000, down from the last few sales at $28,000 last month. We have a new offer of $25,000 for a Kodiak seine permit this week, and a new offer of $15,500 for a 2023/2024 SE geoduck EMT. 

In fishing news... the 2023/2024 Southeast red sea urchin fishery will open on October 1 with a GHL of 2.3 million pounds. The 2023/2024 red sea cucumber fishery will open September 15 in Chignik and October 1 in Kodiak and South Peninsula Districts, with a total GHL of 155,000 pounds.

The deadline to submit written comments on Agenda Change Requests (ACRs) ahead of the upcoming October Board of Fish work session is September 27. There are many proposals with the potential to affect commercial fishermen throughout the state, including in Bristol Bay, Area M, and Southeast. Here is a list of all ACRs. You can comment in support or against proposals, or offer additional insight or options here. You guys, these regulations directly affect you (and your bank accounts). If you have a few minutes, please consider chiming in. You don't have to be well spoken (or well written, as it were), you don't have to have perfect grammar, or sound like a lawmaker - that's not your job. Your job is to provide feedback from the perspective of a fisherman, which is imperative in the regulatory process. Remember: if you're not at the table, you're on the menu 😉

The 2023/2024 proposal book is out for regular cycle Board of Fish meetings on Upper Cook Inlet, Lower Cook Inlet, and Kodiak finfish.

ASMI's Weekly Salmon Harvest Update shows the statewide harvest of 219 million fish through September 9 is 16% larger than the preseason forecast, but 10% below 2022 in estimated ex-vessel weights (2021 for pinks). Year over year, sockeye harvests are down 28%, due largely to the lower harvest in Bristol Bay compared to last year's record season; Chinook is down 40%, with smaller and fewer fish harvested in Southeast, and pinks are down just 3% (from 2021). Keta harvests are up 40% and coho harvests are up 31% with fishing ongoing.

Here's a link to UW's 2024 Bristol Bay preliminary preseason forecast. The official preseason forecast is expected in November. For more commentary, read KDLG's recent article here.