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)

Pandemic Lowers Sport King Catch

By GARLAND KENNEDY
Sentinel Staff Writer

Local sport anglers have enjoyed a high degree of success in pursuit of king salmon this year, though charter numbers have fallen sharply due to the pandemic, a Department of Fish and Game official said today.

“I would say it (fishing) has been better in terms of catch rate and also the bag limit has been higher,” said Troy Tydingco, ADFG area management biologist for sport fish.

Since June 15 the bag limit for king salmon is three. The season opened with a king bag limit of one.

As for charter fishing, however, Tydingco noted a serious drop.

“We are at about 20 percent of where we typically are this time of year, just for guided effort. And that has started to increase. We were basically shut down until people had the option to come up and get tested,” he said.

Free testing for COVID-19 is now available at the Sitka airport for new arrivals.

As for solid fishing spots, Tydingco said that offshore tends to be best.

“Especially those that can get out offshore, Vitskari was particularly good this year for a while… Biorka has been a little more spotty, the Cape has been a little bit more good,” he said.

All these sites are west of Sitka in fairly open waters.

With the commercial troll fishery opening today, Tydingco said the sport catch can be expected to drop.

“We typically see a dip in angler success after July 1. A lot of time we see a dip and then it builds back up, but the overall trend is king salmon (sport fishing ) harvest declines over the course of the summer,” he said.

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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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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. 

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20 YEARS AGO
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.

50 YEARS AGO
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.

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