setnet

Redoubt Reporter

The Alaska Board of Fish will consider a proposal to loosen restrictions on Cook Inlet set-netters this March, two years ahead of its scheduled meetings on the fishery.

Courtesy of Doug Blossom

Kenai Peninsula set-netters were already having a bad summer, following the early closure of their fishery earlier last month.

That situation turned from bad to worse for four set-net families late last week when their beach sites in Clam Gulch were vandalized. Alaska State Troopers said they have since identified and charged the vandals, two juveniles, through their posts on social media.

Redoubt Reporter

The Board of Fisheries has denied two emergency petitions from Kenai Peninsula setnetters asking to reopen a limited fishery for what is left of the sockeye run.

 

The east side setnet commercial fishery has been closed since July 20 after the Alaska Department of Fish and game closed the Kenai River king salmon sportfishery. The setnets are tied to the restrictions in the sportfishery, and came out of the water entirely when the sportfishery closed. The late run of king salmon has been depressed this year—only 6,420 large kings have passed the sonar on the Kenai, and Fish and Game is projecting that the run won’t make the lower end of the escapement goal, even without harvest.

Redoubt Reporter

Commercial setnet fishermen in Cook Inlet had their season cut short last week. When the Alaska Department of Fish and Game closed the Kenai River to sportfishing for king salmon, it closed the east setnet fishery completely. Some of them had only had a handful of openers.

Redoubt Reporter

Soldotna Republican Sen. Peter Micciche is again moving to establish a buyback program for set-net permits in Cook Inlet.

The program would reduce the number of commercial set-net fishermen on the east side of the inlet. Proponents of the bill, like Kenai Peninsula Fishermen’s Association Director Ken Coleman, say that’s to reduce pressure and create a more sustainable fishery in an area that’s been under stress for years.

“Our thought was if we could reduce our numbers, then those who would be left behind in a reduction scenario, assuming that some people would leave the fishing community, that those that are left behind would have a better chance for ongoing financial viability," he said.

Redoubt Reporter file photo

The Kenai River drainage will officially close to king salmon fishing Friday due to low numbers.

The Alaska Department of Fish and Game announced the closure on Wednesday, set to last through July 31, which would be the end of the king salmon fishing season on the Kenai anyway. The river was already restricted to catch-and-release only due to low returns, but the closure goes a step further and prohibits bait everywhere in the river from the mouth upstream to Skilak Lake.

Setnetters testify on permit buyback bill

Apr 1, 2019
Redoubt Reporter

 

Senator Peter Micciche has renewed his effort to scale down the size of the East Side setnet  fleet in Cook Inlet.

 

 


Citing the continued lack of salmon making their way to the spawning grounds, the Alaska Department of Fish and Game has taken drastic steps to help boost the escapement. 

In two emergency orders released Friday, the department first cancelled Monday’s scheduled 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. commercial fishing period. Then it took the restrictions a step further, as we hear on the Department’s recorded commercial fishing update: