National Fisherman

After nearly a full day of board deliberations on 25 proposed regulatory changes, the Cook Inlet personal-use fishery remains largely unchanged in the midst of a process that has dramatically restructured commercial set and drift gillnet fishing in the same region.

Board members, dipnetters and commercial fishers agreed that personal-use fishing — particularly on the Kenai River — has been growing in popularity.

"I'm not inclined to change the fishery," said board member John Jensen of Petersburg. "It's a good channel for Alaskans to get sockeyes and the commercial guys can share a little bit."

The Alaska Board of Fisheries deliberated for several hours on proposals ranging from restrictions on the size of boat and wake generated, to several limiting personal-use fishing permits and the prohibition of king salmon in the fishery.

Of the three proposals that passed, one bumped up the number of sockeye salmon needed to liberalize the Kenai River personal-use, or dipnet, fishery from 2 million fish to 2.3 million.

The proposal, submitted by the Alaska Department of Fish and Game, or ADFG, brought the regulations in line with the Kenai River Late-Run Sockeye Salmon Management Plan which increases the in-river sport bag and possession limits when 2.3 million or more sockeye salmon are expected to hit the river.

Another proposal that clarified the term "fishing site" was passed.

Read the full story at the Alaska Journal of Commerce>>

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