I don’t catch many king salmon at my setnet site on the west side of Kodiak where my family and I spend summers. That’s just the way it is. We haul in abundant pinks, sockeyes and silvers, preserve them in ice and hope for a good price. I’m deeply concerned, however, that my fellow fishermen won’t be catching many kings this year, either, because returns have been extremely low to river systems in the central and western Gulf of Alaska.

But while king salmon returns have declined, the bycatch of kings in Gulf trawl fisheries has risen dramatically, last year topping 51,000 chinook. About 80 percent were taken by the pollock fleet, the rest by trawl vessels targeting other groundfish.

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