Commercial fishermen are opened today, with some gear restrictions. Management Biologist Pat Shields…
Shields: “Good Morning, this is the Upper Cook Inlet Commercial Fishing Information line. This message was recorded on Thursday, July 17th at 9am. Today’s fishing period in the Kasilof River Special Harvest Area will end as scheduled at 10am. Emergency Order number 20, which was issued yesterday, opened drift gillnetting in drift gillnet area 1 and the Expanded Kenai and Expanded Kasilof sections on Thursday, today, from 7am to 7pm. A new emergency Order, number 21, opens commercial fishing with set gillnets in the Kenai, Kasilof, and East Forelands sections of the Upper Subdistrict on Thursday, July 17th, from 11am until 11pm.
During this fishing period, the following gear restrictions will be in place: you may fish with no more than three 35 fathom set gillnets per permit with nets that have 29 meshes or less in depth. If you choose this option, all 29 mesh nets must be marked with a blue buoy that is at least 9.5″ in diameter. Or during this fishing period today you may fish with no more than two 35 fathom set gillnets per permit that are deeper than 29 meshes but no more than 45 meshes.
Dual permit holders, one of your permits may only be fished with nets all of which 29 or less meshes deep. Your second permit may be fished with three 35 fathom set gillnets of 29 meshes or less in depth, or with two 35 fathom set gillnets that are deeper than 29 meshes but no more than 45 meshes.
Emergency Order number 21, the same EO, also opens drift gill netting in the Expanded Kenai/Expanded Kasilof and th enew Anchor Point section from 7pm until 11pm.
Escapements for yesterday: Kasilof River 13,000 for a season total of 279,00. Kenai River 21,000 for a season cum of 307,000. Anchor Point index for yesterday was 115 and the north boat had a daily index of 75.”
Sportfishing Management Biologist Robert Begich told me they will also be issuing an emergency order today, which will go into effect Saturday. He didn’t share the details yet, but said it would be a “first for Alaska.”