ADF&G Accepting Comments on 2018 Stocking Plan, Including Kings in Willow Creek

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The Alaska Department of Fish and Game (ADF&G) is accepting public comment from January 1-January 30, 2018 on its 2018 Statewide Stocking Plan for Sport Fisheries.

Increased fishing pressure on Susitna River tributaries led ADF&G to begin stocking king salmon in Deception Creek, a Willow Creek tributary, in 1983 as a supplement to Willow’s wild run of kings. The first significant return of stockers showed up in 1988. 

ADF&G states that, “Harvest opportunities for Chinook salmon on Southcentral Alaska’s road system are limited and already at or near saturation. Many Northern Cook Inlet (NCI) streams have populations of wild Chinook salmon that are too small to sustain a recreational fishery, while others have been impacted by urbanization and only produce small numbers of fish. Increased fishing effort and reduced natural production during the late 1980’s and early 1990’s have led to restrictions on several popular NCI Chinook salmon fisheries resulting in decreased Chinook salmon fishing participation. The primary purpose of this program is to maintain or increase Chinook salmon fishing opportunities in NCI while reducing angling pressure on the areas wild stocks. Enhancement is a tool we can use to potentially create more angling opportunity. We are attempting to supplement Willow Creek’s natural run of Chinook salmon with hatchery fish without significantly altering historical Chinook salmon age and sex compositions.”

ADF&G’s objectives for Willow Creek are:

1. Produce a return of an additional 4,000 adult Chinook salmon to Willow Creek, while assuring that about 1,750 Chinook salmon spawn naturally, as assessed by aerial survey.

2. Generate 10,000 angler-days of fishing opportunity during the three 3-day weekends directed at stocked Chinook salmon in Willow Creek.

View the plan in it’s entirety here.

Submit public comments to Andrew Garry by email andrew.garry@alaska.gov.

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