This report is a summary of the 2012 season and historical data concerning management of the commercial salmon fisheries of the Northwestern and Northern districts of the North Alaska Peninsula in the Alaska Peninsula Management Area (Area M). Most commercial salmon fishing effort on the North Alaska Peninsula targeted sockeye salmon Oncorhynchus nerka. The 2012 commercial salmon harvest on the North Alaska Peninsula was 1,053 Chinook O. tshawytscha, 764,388 sockeye, 37,399 coho O. kisutch, 1,173 pink O. gorbuscha, and 283,035 chum O. keta salmon. Chinook salmon harvest was the lowest reported harvest on record since 1962, with the majority occurring incidental to the sockeye salmon fishery from the Bear River Section to the Outer Port Heiden Section. The sockeye salmon harvest in the Northern District of 707,015 fish was below the 2003–2012 average harvest of 2,049,017 fish. Of the Northern District harvest, 75% (532,932 fish) were harvested in the sections between Port Moller Bight and Outer Port Heiden. The North Alaska Peninsula chum salmon harvest of 283,035 fish was above the ten-year average of 152,822 chum salmon, with about 66% (187,601 fish) of the harvest occurring in the Northwestern District. The majority of chum salmon harvested in the Northern District were caught in a directed chum salmon fishery in the Black Hills Section, the rest were caught incidentally during sockeye salmon fisheries. Nearly all Northwestern District chum salmon harvest came from directed fisheries.
Total sockeye salmon escapement for North Alaska Peninsula streams was 747,090 fish, below the 2003–2012 average of 1,081,421. Approximately 63% of the sockeye salmon escapement occurred in the Northern District’s four systems in which the escapements are enumerated with weirs (Nelson, Bear, Sandy, and Ilnik rivers).