commercial fishing

Redoubt Reporter

Upper Cook Inlet fishermen should expect another below-average sockeye salmon run this year.

The Alaska Department of Fish and Game forecasts a return of 4,370,000 sockeye to Upper Cook Inlet in 2021, according to a report released Friday

Redoubt Reporter

A new federal act will set aside funds annually to support fledgling fishermen, pending approval from President Donald Trump.

The Young Fishermen’s Development Act passed through both houses of Congress this month with strong support from all three Alaska legislators. If enacted, the act would fund training and mentorship opportunities for commercial fishermen who are just entering the industry.

Redoubt Reporter

Federal managers voted Monday to close a huge swath of Upper Cook Inlet to commercial salmon fishing, capping a two-year fight over the fate of the fishery and its 500 permit-holders.

Those fishermen and representatives from the Kenai Peninsula turned out in droves to the North Pacific Fisheries Management Council meeting to oppose the closure and advocate for lighter conservation measures.

But when representatives from Alaska Gov. Mike Dunleavy’s administration said the state was unwilling to manage the area alongside the federal government, the council voted unanimously for the closure.

Courtesy of Sara Erickson

Fish skin is hardly a hot commodity. Processors like Kenai’s Pacific Star Seafoods usually grind up and discard the stuff once they’ve separated it from the meaty goodness that goes to market.

But these days, Pacfic Star is selling more than 3,600 pounds of cod and halibut skin to Sara Erickson, owner of the dog treat business AlaSkins. Erickson orders another 2,550 pounds of skin from Icicle Seafoods in Seward and 300 pounds each from 10th and M and Cooper River Seafoods in Anchorage.


The southern half of Cook Inlet will have a new fishery management plan in under a month. Commercial fishermen are organizing with the help of their city councils to make sure that plan is not the proposed “Alternative 4,” which would close off federal waters south of Kalgin Island to commercial salmon fishing.

Kenai Mayor Brian Gabriel is bringing forth a resolution to oppose such a closure at a special Kenai City Council meeting tonight.

“I hate to be overdramatic in a lot of cases, but you could almost call it a deathknell for drift fishing in Cook Inlet,” he said.