At last Friday’s meeting of the Kenai Peninsula Fisherman’s Association, State Representatives joined members of the public in hearing from ADF&G guest speakers.
We asked Rep. Olson what he observed…
Rep. Olson(R-Soldotna): “We’d always known that the troll fishery, the Pollock fishery, in Prince William Sound and the Gulf of Alaska was taking a lot of Kings as by-catch We didn’t realize until this year that last year, they took more Kings, Cook Inlet Kings, than were caught by both commercial and sportfishing interest in Cook Inlet, which to me is astounding. That’s one problem.”
However, Rep. Olson said that fishery is under federal jurisdiction, which limits how the State of Alaska can regulate the catch.
Rep. Paul Seaton also noted the problem with King Salmon size when it comes to understanding the numbers…
Rep. Seaton(R-Homer): “All fish, no matter what size they are, that are Chinook genealogy, are King Salmon if they’re caught in the set nets, but they’re only counted if they’re over 29 inches as a King Salmon in the Kenai River by the sonar. So, we really need to do one of two things, and that is take out those small jack Kings, those small fish, that aren’t counted as Kings in the Kenai River in the set net deliveries, or you have to take and adjust the proportion of the run strength by the proportion of small versus large Kings.”
Seaton said these adjustments would result in set netters being held less responsible for King take overall.