The Alaska Department of Fish and Game announced that they will be closing the personal use fishery at the mouth of the Kasilof River as of 11:00 p.m. tonight, Wednesday, June 19, 2013.
Pat Shields, an area management biologist with the Soldotna Office of Fish and Game told us that the personal use set gillnet fishery is being closed to conserve early-run king salmon in the Kenai and Kasilof Rivers.
As of June 16, approximately 57 percent of the early-run of Kenai River king salmon is complete based on average run timing, between 2002 and 2012. The total inriver run estimated by DIDSON sonar and all indices of abundance indicate the run is below average and less than forecasted. Although there are indications that king salmon runs throughout Cook Inlet may be later than normal, inseason projections indicate the Kenai River optimum escapement goal of 5,300 to 9,000 fish will not be achieved by the end of the season on June 30.
Through June 16, the DIDSON sonar cumulative estimate of king salmon passage into the Kenai River was 969 fish. Inseason projections using DIDSON sonar are for a total run to the river of 1,500 to 2,500 early-run Kenai River king salmon. The Kasilof River personal use dip net fishery will open by regulation at 12:01 a.m. on Tuesday, June 25, 2013