EXPECT DELAYS – Lines of traffic move slowly down Sawmill Creek Road today as a repaving project progresses near the Indian River bridge. (Sentinel Photo by James Poulson)

Chinook Quota Up As Troll Season Starts

Sentinel Staff Writer

The king salmon troll season opened today, with a catch limit about 40,000 higher than in 2019.

“That’s because the preseason abundance is projected to be higher this year,” said Grant Hagerman, Southeast Alaska commercial troll management biologist.

Hagerman said he expects the kings troll opener to last about a week, with an allocation of 83,900 treaty salmon and 1,700 hatchery salmon.

The total Chinook troll limit for this summer is 119,800.

Hagerman noted that while the allowed king salmon catch has risen by nearly 50 percent, abundance has not matched that rate. That’s because the allowed catch is measured on tiers, and this year’s abundance was just enough higher than the 2019 numbers to bump the harvest to the next tier.

“It has gone up a little bit, but it’s gone up enough,” he said.

When taken in context of previous years, Hagerman said, the 2020 forecast is middling.

“The projected level of abundance of king is middle of the line, maybe middle-to-low,” he said.

He said that while the pandemic has not had a tremendous impact on the fishery so far, he has noticed an unusual trend in prices.

Chinook prices were about $12 per pound at the end of the winter troll season. The spring season began with fish selling for only $4 per pound, but the price rose to $7 by the end.

Hagerman said that an increase of price during the season was not common.

“As things start to open up and liberalize a little bit, the markets have come back. We typically see prices drop throughout the year, but not this year,” he said.

He added that summer prices remain uncertain.

He said that presently there are no conservation restrictions for the king troll fleet near Sitka.

“The department is continuing summer troll conservation measures for other areas in the region including Wrangell and Ketchikan,” he said. The current opening is expected to last seven to eight days, he said, and there is the possibility of a second troll opening in August.

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August 5, 2020

A Note To Our Readers

Reopening: Phase One:


On March 30 the Daily Sitka Sentinel began taking precautions against the coronavirus, which was starting to show up in Alaska.

We closed our building to the public and four key employees started working remotely. Home delivery was suspended to protect our carriers from exposure to the virus.

Four months later, the virus is still with us and the precautions remain in effect.

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– The Sitka Sentinel Staff


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Alaska COVID-19
At a Glance

(updated 8-7-20)

By Sentinel Staff

The state Department of Health and Social Services has posted the following update on the number of confirmed COVID-19 cases in Alaska as of 11:20 a.m. Friday.

New cases as of Thursday: 53

Total statewide – 3,536

Total (cumulative) deaths – 25

Active cases in Sitka – 20 (14 resident; 6 non-resident) *

Recovered cases in Sitka – 15 (11 resident; 4 non-resident) *

The state says the cumulative number of cases hospitalized is 141.

To visit the Alaska DHSS Corona Response dashboard website click here.

* These numbers reflect State of Alaska data. Local cases may not immediately appear on DHSS site, or are reported on patient’s town of residence rather than Sitka’s statistics. 




August 2000

High prices for chum salmon, low pink returns, and record numbers of fish in Deep Inlet have turned the Sitka fishing grounds into Route 66 this summer. “Overall it’s been a fantastic season so far,” said Steve Reifenstuhl, operations manager for the Northern Southeast Regional Aquaculture Association.

August 1970

His Beatitude, Metropolitan Ireney, Primate of the Orthodox Church in America, will head a gathering of Orthodox prelates from North American and abroad in ceremonies canonizing the first American Orthodox saints, Father Herman of Alaska. A group of Sitkans will fly to Kodiak for the event.