Task Force to Examine King Salmon Issues

Shaylon Cochran


     At its meeting last week in Anchorage, the state Board of Fisheries acted on a request to look into issues affecting Upper Cook Inlet king salmon runs.  As a result, a task force has been created that will address the need for any changes in the management plan that effectively shut down commercial set net fishing for sockeye and sport fishing for kings this summer.

     The stated mission of the task force is to “identify a set of recommended adjustments to the Kenai Late-Run King Salmon Management Plan that would result in the best mix of in-river and set net fishing opportunity while providing the best means of attaining the escapement goal for Kenai River late-run Chinook salmon during times of low abundance as was experienced in the 2012 season.”

     Board members Vince Webster of King Salmon and Tom Kluberton of Talkeetna will chair the task force, and it will be their charge to select the eight-member team, to be comprised of three setnetters, one driftnetter, two sports fishers, one sport guide and one personal use fisher.

     The first meeting will be on November 15th, during which a tentative schedule will be established with the goal of having the task force determine its recommendations in time for submission as public comment before the state-wide fish meeting in March.

     All meetings are expected to be held in Kenai.