National Fisherman

Abysmal king salmon returns to the Kenai River already have fisheries managers curtailing fishing in one of Alaska's most popular fisheries -- and wondering what's next.

The Alaska Department of Fish and Game ordered closures on the Kenai and Kasilof rivers for personal-use and sport fishermen Tuesday.

"When you look at numbers going to the Kenai, it's alarming," area commercial fisheries biologist Pat Shields said Tuesday. "It's forced our hands."

Beginning Thursday, the Kenai River from the mouth upstream to Skilak Lake will be closed to king salmon fishing. King salmon may not be targeted or retained. Fish cannot be removed from the water if accidently hooked.

Also closed is the personal-use set gillnet fishery at the mouth of the Kasilof River. That fishery, though limited in size because of space restrictions in the area, is considered a counterpart to the Kenai River personal use dip net fishery -- some people prefer to use boats and small set nets rather than wading through the water with dip nets.

That 10-day fishery opened June 15 and was set to go until June 24. By cutting the period to fish in half, biologist Shields estimates about 50 king salmon -- some of which could make it to the Kenai -- will be saved.

"Yes, we're closing a popular fishery to save a handful of kings," Shields said.

Early-run king salmon -- the first group to pass through the Kenai -- are about 60 percent through their run, according to Fish and Game. As of Tuesday, the cumulative estimate of king salmon to have passed by the sonar at river Mile 8.9 was 969 fish. By this date during last year's lousy run, 3,575 fish had passed the same spot.

Read the full story at the Alaska Dispatch>>

Inside the Industry

The Center for Coastal Studies recently announced that Owen Nichols, Director of the Center for Coastal Studies’ Marine Fisheries Research Program, has been selected as this year’s recipient of the John Annala Fishery Leadership Award by the Gulf of Maine Research Institute. 

Read more ...

Cummins  announced the opening of a new Alaska service location on Kodiak Island last week that will serve as a service and support location for commercial marine applications.

Read more ...
Try a FREE issue of National Fisherman

Fill out this order form, If you like the magazine, get the rest of the year for just $14.95 (12 issues in all). If not, simply write cancel on the bill, return it, and owe nothing.

First Name
Last Name
U.S. Canada Other

Postal/ Zip Code