Managers liberalize Kasilof sockeye limits to stem overescapement

Aug 6, 2018

In what is one of the few bright spots in an otherwise dismal sportsfishing season, the bag and possession limits on the Kasilof River has been liberalized in an effort to minimize what is now expected to be an over-escapement of sockeye salmon.

In an emergency order, the Alaska Department of Fish and Game increased the bag and possession limits to six fish per day and 12 fish in possession; however, no more than two salmon per day and two in possession may be coho salmon, in all portions of the Kasilof River open to salmon fishing.

These provisions went into effect at 12:01 a.m., Saturday and are good for the rest of the year, barring future emergency order.

The biological escapement goal on the Kasilof River is 160,000 to 340,000 sockeye salmon. As of August 2, 2018, a total of 316,500 sockeye salmon have passed the Kasilof River sonar site. At the current rate of escapement, the Kasilof River is projected to exceed the biological escapement goal.

Cook Inlet Management Coordinator Matt Miller pointed out that the poor sockeye salmon return to the Kenai River this year has affected a lot of people, but there is still an opportunity for anglers to get out and fish for sockeye salmon on the Kasilof River.