Hate to be the bearer of bad news so close to an awesome 2013 forecast, but we're freezing our petooties off here in SE Alaska. The creek by my Kupreanof cabin hasn't had water flow for 3 weeks now and the waterfall that I can see from the SEAS office has been frozen solid for the same time period.
Temperatures haven't been mortal for the larger systems but it looks like less than optimal conditions for inside SE mainland northern pink salmon spawn.
The even cycle looked like it was rebounding in 2010 with the excellent Seymour, Frederick Sound and outer Chichagof systems but we hit a wall with that winter of 2010 and the mid-November freeze up. That was a far colder and deeper freeze than we are seeing now but the resultant 2012 cycle got whacked from about Petersburg north on the inside and Craig north on the outside, with relatively few exceptions.
The hardest hit were probably central Chatham and Peril Strait.
So now we are in rebuilding mode on the even cycle and it looks like we are going to get very little rebuilding for the 2014 cycle.
So what does this mean for SEAS?
We relied heavily in 2012 on hatchery stocks. Well over half of our gross stocks came from hatchery salmon, perhaps as much as two thirds.
Seiners are going to need an active presence and participation in maintaining our access to the hatchery resource as well as maintaining close involvement in the 2014 turnover of the Neets Bay contract. The Signature contract ends in 2013 so we need to see if we cannot have Neets become a bigger player in the Sunday and Thursday July balancing act. Perhaps a rotation with the drift fleet and an assessment like Hidden Falls so that we could spread the fleet out a bit.
Anyways, I'm sure the board hates it when I do this but here it is.
The pink salmon prediction for 2014 is 16 million. All south of Petersburg.
SSRAA is not going to go for that when they have their own processor in there. What about the poor trollers?ReplyDelete