Brent Johnson has spent a lot of time reading Alaska Department of Fish & Game records, and says it’s clear to him “The 2012 sockeye harvest for the Upper Subdistrict was the lowest since at least the 1940s, and probably since 1910.”
The Clam Gulch fishermen is determined 2013 won’t see him sitting on the beach again. He said last year was unique in the history of commercial fishing, because it wasn’t a lack of fish that kept the nets dry…
Johnson: “I think Gish and Game admits now, in hindsight, they maybe got a little carried away. I certainly think they probably got a little carried away, but I think that there had to be some closures to protect Kings, and the King issue is a perfect example of what I’m talking about of how you’ve got to stay ahead of things.”
Official ADFG records go back to 1966, showing 2012 as the smallest catch in those years. Johnson used current catch rates, which average 49% and 65% of the sockeye, to extrapolate back through the early 1900’s.