[doptg id="12"]July 1st marked the first day of the first king salmon opener of the summer for commercial trollers of Sitka and Southeast Alaska. A fishing opening is a period of time in which commercial fishermen are legally allowed, as determined by the Alaska Department of Fish and Game, to harvest their catch and sell it to processors. When ADF&G declares the fishery closed, no one may fish until it is open again. Typical king trolling openers are only about ten days, which means every day is crucial for these fishermen.
Before July 1st, small trollers all over Southeast leave their harbors in search of the best salmon spots. They cruise the inlets and bays of this island-rich region,dragging their hooks slowly through the ocean, trolling for the salmon that mean livelihoods for individual fishermen as well as whole communities.As they fish, they areconstantly protected by tall mountains and thick woods of the Tongass National Forest. The Tongass is a temperate rainforest, and its unique ecosystems support the populations of salmon that sustain Southeast Alaskan economies and communities.