The Sitka District Ranger, under authority delegated by the Federal Subsistence Board, is closing the Nakwasina River watershed on Baranof Island in Game Management Unit 4 to the harvest of mountain goats by all users, effective 11:59 p.m., Thursday, October 4, 2012 through December 31, 2012. The Alaska Department of Fish and Game (ADF&G) has also issued a closure in the same watershed, effective 11:59 p.m., Thursday, October 4, 2012 through December 31, 2012.
The harvest quota for the Nakwasina River watershed as discussed in the 2012 Baranof Mountain Goat Management Plan has been exceeded as of Tuesday, October 2, 2012. As of October 2, 2012, eight male goats and one female goat have been reported harvested. Additional harvest in this area would be detrimental to the long-term conservation of the mountain goat resource.
A public hearing to discuss the 2012 Baranof Mountain Goat Management Plan was held on July 16, 2012 in Sitka, Alaska. The ability to teleconference was provided so residents of other affected communities in Unit 4 could participate. The 2012 management plan is similar to 2011 with distinct male and female goat harvest caps on Baranof Island. As harvest caps in each of the sub-management areas are reached, those areas would be closed to mountain goat harvest. Members of the public who attended this hearing expressed support for conservation of mountain goats in the Sitka area through closures guided by the 2012 management plan.
The remainder of Baranof Island (except those previously closed by special action or emergency order) will remain open for goat hunting. As in prior seasons, nanny harvest will be more restrictive than billy harvest when applied to the point total. If and when point totals are met, special actions will be issued to close additional watersheds and zones to prevent over-harvest of mountain goats.