salmon

United Cook Inlet Drift Association

 

Commercial fisheries in Upper Cook Inlet are also getting more time to harvest the late run of sockeye to the Kenai and Kasilof rivers.

Shaylon Cochran/KDLL

 

As the return of fish to the Kenai Peninsula nears its historic halfway point, the Kenai National Wildlife Refuge is putting a spotlight on salmon for Fish Week.

 

 


Jay Barrett/KDLL

Andy Seitz, University of Alaska Fairbanks

 

Researchers now have a better idea of what’s eating king salmon in the open ocean. A new study from the University of Alaska Fairbanks College of Fisheries and Ocean Science found kings filling the bellies of salmon sharks, but that wasn’t the information they were after.

 

 


A months long review of escapement goals for salmon in the Upper Cook Inlet won’t immediately affect the king salmon fishery on the Kenai River, but some fisheries at the Kasilof might be affected.

Fish and Games sports fish and commercial fish divisions met five times since November for an interdivisional escapement goal review. Because the recommendations were needed before a board of fisheries deadline for comments on April 10.

Fishermen of all stripes struggled during another down year in 2018. While the numbers look a bit better heading into 2019, especially for Cook Inlet sockeye, the overall trend isn't a positive one. On this week's conversation, long time setnetter Ken Coleman talks about how that corner of the fishing community has had to adapt and what policies will help sustain the fishery.


The sockeye salmon run to the Kenai River this summer should be average. That’s according to the Alaska Department of Fish and Game’s 2019 Upper Cook Inlet salmon forecast, released on Friday.

The forecast run for the whole inlet is for 6,035,000 sockeye, which is above the 20-year average of 5.8 million.

The Kenai River has a total run projection of 3.8 million sockeye, about a quarter-million more than the average. The 2019 goal is for 1 million to1.3 million to escape to the spawning grounds.

 

The 2018 fishing season didn’t leave many positives to look back on, and in fact, presented some new challenges. The borough assembly joined the city of Kenai and the city of Homer in requesting a formal disaster declaration for the 2018 salmon season, including commercial and sport fisheries and related businesses.

 

 


Shaylon Cochran/KDLL

 

Last week, we reported on a panel discussion that took place in Soldotna about salmon habitat. One of the takeaways from that event was the fact that in many areas of the world that have lost their wild salmon runs, gone too is a culture based around salmon. But on the Kenai Peninsula, both the fish and the culture they spawn remain.

 

 


 

Jenny Neyman/KDLL

July on the Kenai Peninsula means one thing to most people — fishing. Even if you don’t put a line in the water, it’s likely your friends, neighbors, co-workers or certainly the people in line ahead of you at the store do.

The Kenai National Wildlife Refuge Visitors Center has you covered this week.

“Fish week at the refuge is all about everything fish, so, not just fishing, but we started out on Tuesday talking about the anatomy of fish and what fish need to survive — so, habitat and what makes a healthy stream. Things like that,” said Leah Eskelin, park ranger with the visitors services department at the refuge.


 

Thursday was a slightly better day for sockeye returns to the Kenai river. But some of those fish coming back have raised a little curiosity.

  The last series of lakes in the central peninsula to be treated for invasive northern pike is the subject of a public meeting Thursday night. The Alaska Department of Fish and Game will have on hand the project biologist, the area sport fishery manager, and the area research supervisor will be in attendance to answer questions. 

The public meeting will be from 5:30 to 7:30 Thursday evening at the Kenai National Wildlife Refuge Visitor Center.

Alaska Humanities Forum

Jennifer Gibbins, Ben Mohr and Mary Peltola, of the Alaska Humanities Forum’s Alaska Salmon Fellows program, talk about building consensus around salmon.

Credit: Stand for Salmon

 

 

A citizen initiative planned for the 2018 state ballot would be a sweeping overhaul of state habitat regulations.

 

 


Jay Barrett/KDLL

 

 

An array of commercial, government and conservation interests were together for a salmon habitat policy forum in Kenai Thursday. The panelists centered their discussion on one main question.

 

 


Univ. of Alaska Fairbanks

On Thursday night, the University of Alaska College of Fisheries and Ocean Sciences is hosting a forum in Kenai about salmon habitat protection policy. The panelists are representatives of state government and advocates from the industries most affected, such as sportfish guiding, oil and gas development and mining.

Milo Adkison is a professor of fisheries at the University of Alaska.

Redoubt Reporter

 

The Kenai City Council heard and discussed the annual dipnet report at its meeting this week.

 


 The Alaska Seafood Marketing Institute recently released its annual report on the economic impact of the seafood industry in Alaska.

Commissioned by the McDowell Group, the ASMI report details where and how 56,800 Alaskan fishermen and processors harvested 5.6 billion pounds of seafood, worth $4.2 billion wholesale. The nationwide economic impact is estimated at over $12 billion.

 

On KDLL’s special membership drive edition of Kenai Science Friday, what the DNA analysis of ancient salmon bones might be able to tell us about the people who lived on the Kenai Peninsula 2,000 years ago, and how that might relate to fisheries politics today. Paleogenomics meets anthropology with guests professor Alan Boraas of Kenai Peninsula College and Dr. Ripan Malhi of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champagne.