The Alaska Department of Fish and Game recently released their 2013 Sockeye Forecast. Paul Shadura with the Kenai Peninsula Fishermen’s Association said the report indicates a run similar to 2012.
Shadura: “That looks good. I hope prices remain strong. It’s always the concern of fishermen; it’s not always just the amount of fish returning, but the price. But of course, we’re concerned as set netters with what type of management plan we’ll be under and what the Department of Fish and Game will manage us and if they’re going to be extremely conservative as they were last year.”
Shadura said the next important piece of information will be the Department’s 2013 Chinook Salmon escapement goals.
Shadura: “We have to wait for the Task Force meeting this month before we’ll really know any more. There was one thing on the forecast that was interesting; they talked about a 9,000 harvest of Chinooks this year in the commercial catch. It wasn’t supported by any escapement numbers, just a projected harvest of 9,000 Kings for the Upper Cook Inlet area. So, I find that promising considering that we didn’t even catch not even 1,000 Kings in the Inlet last year.”
The next meeting of the King Salmon Task Force will be January 14th in the Challenger Learning Center in Kenai. You can find the Task Force website here: Upper Cook Inlet Board of Fisheries Task Force.