KETCHIKAN, Alaska (AP) — Alaska officials are shutting down commercial and salt-water sport chinook salmon fishing throughout Southeast Alaska.
The Alaska Department of Fish and Game stated "extreme management measures" are needed to protect the fish, commonly referred to as king salmon.
The stoppage begins on Thursday and will last through September 30 or later, the Ketchikan Daily News reported (http://bit.ly/2wHA7Kc ) Tuesday.
Officials have been keeping a close eye on king salmon originating from Southeast Alaska, Northern British Columbia, the Fraser River of British Columbia and the coast of Washington state.
"We didn't miss fish," Fish and Game Deputy Commissioner Charles Swanton said. "The fish just aren't there."
The deficient king salmon numbers could continue through 2018 or later, according to in-season data from state, U.S. and Canadian agencies.
"We were pretty much compelled from a conservation standpoint to try and address this as fast as we could, as soon as we possibly could, which is now," Swanton said.
Although salt-water fishing will be closed as of Thursday, king salmon can still be retained in freshwater rivers and streams.
Information from: Ketchikan (Alaska) Daily News, http://www.ketchikandailynews.com