National Fisherman


Commercial fishermen who lost millions of dollars when the state of Alaska shut them down to protect weak runs of Kenai River king salmon last year are mad as hell, and they're not going to take it anymore.

Though the fishermen in question -- setnetters who work the Cook Inlet beaches near the mouth of the Kenai -- have this year been allowed to fish two traditional openings per week, the Cook Inlet Fishermen's Fund is going to court insisting that is not enough.

A 19-page lawsuit filed against the Alaska Department of Fish and Game argues the agency has violated a Board of Fisheries-approved plan that should give setnetters an extra 51 hours of fishing time via "emergency orders." EOs, as they are commonly called, are issued when massive schools of red salmon start to move along Inlet beaches.

More than 4 million of the fish were projected to return to the Kenai this year. The setnetters say they are again losing money by not being allowed to catch their fair share of those fish. The state says the reason the setnetters haven't been allowed more fishing time is that the reds are mixed in with king salmon, and the late-run of Kenai kings is again weak.

Read the full story at Alaska Dispatch>>

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