Monday, July 27, 2009

Another bum year for Kenai River sockeye?

The Department of Fish and Game today shut down commercial drift gillnetting for salmon in Cook Inlet's key Central District, saying in a news release Sunday: "The sockeye salmon return to the Kenai River appears to be much smaller than forecast."

Last season brought a similar late July announcement, and commercial fishing never reopened.

The Kenai River generally is the largest sockeye producer in Cook Inlet.

State biologists forecast a commercial harvest of around 2.6 million sockeye this year in Upper Cook Inlet, which if achieved would top last season’s disappointing 2.4 million.

As of Thursday, however, the sockeye catch stood at just over 1.9 million fish.

Keep in mind, of course, that Cook Inlet is just one of several areas around Alaska that produce sockeye, the main money fish for the salmon industry.

The richest sockeye hole by far is Bristol Bay, which has yielded a bumper catch of more than 30 million fish this season.


Anonymous said...

thanks overescapement a record small fry

Anonymous said...

Important to note that while the commercial fleet has been closed down for a full week, the dipnetters and sport fishermen continue unrestricted. The minimum escapement goal in the Kenai is 200,000 fish shy at the moment. The dipnetters take has been at least 400,000 and climbing daily. There is something seriously wrong with this picture. The State of Alaska has seriously mismanaged the Cook Inlet fishery using the best available politics rather than the best available science for many many years. When "the fix" comes in, it may not be a palatable fix for many users.

Anonymous said...

The comment above is rite on. Also, people are taking wqay over any reasonable limit and wasting fish. I see it in the landfill in the spring. The waist on the beach and garbige is awful. This dipnet fishery is totally out of control.