Early reports on the number of fishing licenses being sold this year show a marked decrease, with licenses from January-June down 14 percent compared to the same time last year.
The most affected group was resident sportfishermen seeking Kings. That category decreased 27 percent, which is 9,462 fishermen. General resident sportfishing licenses were down 14 percent or 5,344 licenses.
Non-residents seeking Kings were also in decline, with 271 fewer this year than in 2012, which is a 24 percent drop. General 14-day non-resident licenses dropped by 21 percent, equating to 622 fishermen.
On the commercial fisheries side, crewmember licenses for both resident and non-resident fishermen dropped by 8 percent. For residents, that means a loss of 320 people, and for non-residents it’s 437.
A basic summary is included below…
However, Deputy Commissioner for the Alaska Department of Fish and Game Kevin Brooks said it’s still too early to understand the current situation…
Brooks: “Again, we’re probably looking at a 4 to 6 week lag, just in the vendors. Fred Meyers and some of the other big vendors we have around the state, they report to us monthly by the 15th of the month. So we’ll be getting reports in from vendors, today’s the 12th, you know this week and next, for June sales, and so it’s not a complete picture.”