08 Aug 2017 Chum Troll Update
Neets Bay Chum Troll Report, through 6 August:
The SHA closed Saturday night, July 22, at midnight; the area from Bug Island to Chin Point opened again on 2 August. From 10 to 15 trollers have been fishing the outer part of Neets Bay since it reopened. Surprisingly, fishing was pretty much the same as when the area was closed 10 days before. Generally these are the final days of the run, at least in terms of significant harvest. It is very possible the recent period of high pressure has kept the fish in one spot longer than usual. Fishing was good through the past 5 days, but we don’t anticipate this continuing very far into the future. At the same time, there is generally always some harvest between the summer and fall run which starts at the end of August; but, the harvest isn’t always good enough to keep people fishing and tenders in the bay.
Neets Bay Chum Troll Report, through 29 July:
The SHA closed last Saturday night, July 22, at midnight; very few trollers stayed behind to fish in Behm Canal just outside of Neets Bay. Troll counts have ranged from 2 boats to 5 boats. We estimate that about 1100 fish have been caught in the fishery this week. The fishery is still being tendered by one processor several times a week. We anticipate participation will increase on 2 August when the area outside of Bug Island is once again open to trolling. It is likely harvest will improve at that point. The summer chum return is now past its peak, but some fish will continue to enter Neets Bay through most of August. Fall chum should begin to arrive toward the end of August. Tender availability will depend on participation in the fishery.
Neets Bay Chum Troll Report, through 23 July:
The daily boat count through the past week was constant, 44 boats plus or minus a few. Mid- week we estimated the harvest would reach 200,000 or slightly more by the end of the week. Fishing was good throughout the week and the estimate was correct. The SHA closed Saturday night at midnight. That area will reopen, Chin Point inward to Bug Island, on 2 August when the SHA shrinks to the Bug Island Line and the outer bay becomes part of the Behm Canal common property fishery.
Because of the SSRAA cost recovery revenue shortfall in 2016 and the current 2017 forecast, suggesting meeting the current revenue goal would be difficult, the SSRAA Board set a 200,000 fish cap for the chum troll fishery. If that number was reached, the SHA would be closed to trolling. It’s important to realize that these fish are also harvested in Behm Canal just outside the SHA, but often the most effective fishery is along “Football Beach”, stretching from Chin Point to the Bug Island Line, within the SHA.
Only 4 boats were in the area fishing chums this morning after the SHA was closed. We don’t know if the current fishery will be tendered or not. This depends on participation – check with your processors.
Though the return will quickly begin to taper off, summer chum will continue entering Neets Bay for at least the next 10 days. In about the third week of August we begin to see some fall chum returning to Neets. The peak of that return is from late August through about mid-September. Trolling has been effective on fall chum; please note that the fall chum return to Neets Bay is much smaller than the summer chum return.
Neets Bay Chum Troll Report, through 16 July:
The daily boat count through the past week has ranged been between 50 and 60 boats fishing. Harvest to date (17 July) is approximately 172,000 fish. The fish are still averaging about 10 pounds. The fishery is being tendered daily by two local processors. We anticipate the peak of the Neets Bay return to pass through this fishery in the next 5 to 7 days, though the summer chum run will continue into early August. This summer’s harvest continues to be better than average, particularly considering the level of participation. We will update this information weekly.
Neets Bay Chum Troll Report, through 10 July:
Chum trolling began on about 1 July when there were 8 trollers in the fishery. The current boat count, afternoon of 9 July, was 43. Harvest to date is approximately 85,000 fish. The fish are averaging slightly more than 10 pounds. The fishery is being tendered daily by two local processors. We anticipate the peak of the Neets Bay return to pass through this fishery through the next two weeks or slightly longer. This summer’s harvest has been better than average to date. We will update this information weekly.