The Alaska Department of Fish and Game, this morning, released their outlook for the 2013 Upper Cook Inlet Commercial Salmon fisheries. We spoke to Pat Shields, a Commercial Fisheries Biologist with the Soldotna office of Fish and Game.
Shields: “It speaks to some of the restrictions that could take place, if there are king salmon issues with the Kenai River. The document talks about all the various goals, and how the department will be managing to those goals. Then it talks about potential management strategies for the drift fleet this year. In some scene, its a general document that talks about a kind of a philosophy and general management approach, then if there specific actions that we intend to take, as I just outlined, they are also communicated in this document.”
We also asked Shields about the Eastside Setnet Fishery, in the wake of last year’s fishing season…
Shields: “We outlined the new goal for king salmon in the Kenai River, which is 15,000 to 30,00. We identified the forecast the sport fish division has put out for that stock, which is approximately 29,000 fish total. So we have 29,000 king salmon are expected to return to the Kenai River in the late run in July. We have a goal of 15,000-30,000, so it leaves some fish open for harvest. The document talks about, if we end up thinking that we’re not going to be at that goal, what are the actions we would take in that commercial fishery, how would we slow it down, if we need to.”