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:
“The regular fishing periods that occur from 7 a.m. To 7 p.m. on Mondays and Thursdays will no longer be in effect beginning July 1. All fishing time granted to upper subdistrict set gillnet fishery will now only be allowed via emergency order announcement. No more than 48 hours of emergency fishing time per week will be provided, with one no-fishing window per week, a 36-hour Friday window,” the ADF&G announcement said.
The message went on to point out an important exception to the closure in the East Forelands Section north of Colliers Dock.
“This means when the East Forelands Section opens on July 9th, this stat area will be managed per provision found in the Kenai River ate run sockeye salmon plan, which does provide for the regular Monday and Thursday fishing periods and up to 51 additional hours per week,” the message said.
The Kenai River Late Run King Salmon Management Plan requires these closures if the in-river sport fishery is forced to go to require only unbaited lures to conserve the stocks, which happened last week.