Sam Cotton

Jay Barrett/KDLL

While Gov. Bill Walker was in Kenai on Friday, he took some time to listen to the concerns of over a hundred Cook Inlet commercial fishermen about management of salmon in the district during this year of low returns. It was a generally cordial meeting but there were many direct questions. Fish and Game Commissioner Sam Cotton joined Gov. Walker and was called upon several times to defend Fish and Game policy. Lack of faith in escapement policy also arose.

After being turned aside in May, the Kenai River Sportsfishing Association has won another audience before the Alaska Board of Fisheries regarding problems the lobbying group has with hatchery pink salmon production in Prince William Sound.

In May, the Board punted the issue to Alaska Department of Fish and Game Commissioner Sam Cotton. Last week Cotton sent a letter to KRSA Executive Director Ricky Gease saying he did not find that an emergency existed and denied the petition.