The following press release is courtesy of the Alaska Department of Fish and Game:
Kasilof River Personal Use Set Gillnet Fishery Closed
(Soldotna) – To reduce mortality of Kenai River king salmon, the Alaska Department of Fish and Game (ADF&G) is closing the personal use set gillnet fishery at the mouth of the Kasilof River.
ADF&G manages the Kasilof River early-run king salmon sport fishery to achieve a sustainable escapement goal (SEG) of 700–1,400 naturally-produced king salmon, measured at the Crooked Creek Facility weir. The personal use set gillnet fishery at the mouth of the Kasilof River targets sockeye and king salmon bound for the Kasilof River but also harvests an unknown number of king salmon bound for the Kenai River. As of June 7, only 233 large king salmon have been enumerated past the sonar at river mile 14 resulting in projections not only below the optimal escapement goal (OEG) for early-run Kenai River king salmon (3,900 – 6,600 large king salmon) but significantly below the forecast of 2,914 large king salmon. To reduce the mortality of Kenai River king salmon in the personal use set gillnet fishery at the mouth of the Kasilof River, the fishery is closed.
“We know the closure will impact Alaskans who utilize this fishery to fill their freezers with sockeye salmon,” said Jenny Gates, acting Sport Fish Area Manager, “but with the low numbers of kings we’ve seen so far, the department needed to take further action to reduce mortality of Kenai-bound king salmon. Hopefully Alaskans displaced here will be able to participate in the dipnet fisheries in the Kenai and Kasilof Rivers.”
The Kasilof River personal use dipnet fishery opens June 25 and the Kenai River personal use dipnet fishery opens July 10. Please refer to page 14 of the 2023 Southcentral Sport Fishing Regulations summary or the ADF&G website.
For additional information, please contact Cook Inlet Fish and Game Coordinator Matt G Miller at (907) 267-2415.