The following press release is courtesy of the Alaska Department of Fish and Game:
(Anchorage) – The Alaska Department of Fish and Game (ADF&G) recently completed its review of salmon escapement goals for Cook Inlet salmon stocks and has released its recommendations to the public. On March 27, 2019, ADF&G released two memos, one for Upper Cook Inlet (UCI) and one for Lower Cook Inlet (LCI), summarizing ADF&G’s review and recommendations for each area’s salmon escapement goals. Managing for escapement, or the number of adult fish that survive to spawn each year, is the keystone of salmon management in Alaska. Escapement goals set stock appropriate targets that determine inseason management of those salmon fisheries. Since statehood, escapement goals for Cook Inlet salmon stocks have been set and evaluated at regular intervals. Prior to Alaska Board of Fisheries (BOF) meetings, staff from the divisions of Commercial Fisheries and Sport Fish jointly reviewed salmon escapement goals for each area. Cook Inlet goals were last reviewed prior to the 2016–2017 BOF cycle.
In response to public requests, ADF&G is releasing these salmon escapement goal recommendations several months earlier than normal to provide the public an opportunity for review prior to the April 10, 2019, BOF proposal deadline. It is important to note the new goals will not be implemented until the 2020 fishing season, as recommendations are not adopted until after the 2019–2020 BOF regulatory cycle.