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(a) The goal of this plan is to provide for the management of directed commercial coho salmon fishing in the Yukon River. The majority of Yukon River coho salmon spawn in tributaries that flow into the Yukon River from the mouth of the Yukon River up to and including the Tanana River drainage. The management of directed coho salmon fishing during the fall season is complicated by an overlapping run of more abundant fall chum salmon stocks.
(b) For the purpose of (c) of this section, the department shall use the best available information to assess coho salmon abundance including mainstem river sonar passage estimates, test fisheries indices, subsistence and commercial fishing reports, and estimates from escapement monitoring projects.
(c) The department may allow a directed coho salmon fishery under this section in years when
(1) the return of coho salmon measured under (b) of this section is above the average of previous years;
(2) the fall chum salmon return is assessed by the department to be more than 625,000 fish; and
(3) no directed fall chum salmon commercial fishing has occurred or the department determines that it is not expected to occur.
(d) Fall chum salmon harvested during a directed commercial coho salmon fishery under this section will be considered incidental any may only occur on the harvestable surplus of fall chum salmon above 625,000 fish.
(e) In a year when a directed commercial coho salmon fishery is opened under this section in
(1) Districts 1, 2, and 3, the commissioner shall close, by emergency order, the coho salmon fall season no later than September 5;
(2) Subdistricts 4-B, 4-C, and 5-A, and District 6, the commissioner shall close, by emergency order, the coho salmon fall season no later than October 5;
(3) Subdistrict 4-A, the commissioner may open, by emergency order, the directed commercial coho salmon fishery on or after August 20, and shall close the fishery no later than September 15.
(f) In Subdistrict 5-B, 5-C, and 5-D there will be no directed commercial coho salmon fishery unless the department determines that there will be a harvestable surplus of coho salmon.
(g) The department shall distribute, to the extent practicable, the harvest opportunity in the directed coho salmon fishery between districts and subdistricts as follows:
(1) 24 hours of combined fishing time in Districts 1, 2, and 3 will be considered equal to 32 hours of fishing time in
(A) Subdistrict 4-A;
(B) Subdistricts 4-B and 4-C combined;
(C) Subdistrict 5-A; and
(D) District 6;
(2) to ensure an orderly and conservative fishery, coho salmon fishing will be managed as follows:
(A) in Districts 1, 2, and 3 combined, fishing time shall not exceed 24 hours in a seven-day period;
(B) in District 4-A, fishing time shall not exceed 32 hours in a seven-day period;
(C) in Subdistricts 4-B and 4-C combined, fishing time shall not exceed 32 hours in a seven-day period;
(D) in Subdistrict 5-A, fishing time shall not exceed 32 hours in a seven-day period;
(E) in District 6, fishing time shall not exceed 32 hours in a seven-day period.
(h) Repealed 6/17/2001.
History: Eff. 4/22/99, Register 150; am 6/17/2001, Register 158
Authority: AS 16.05.060
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Last modified 7/05/2006