Kasilof setnet fishery gets season's first opening

The Alaska Department of Fish and Game opened the Kasilof Section of the Upper Cook Inlet district to set and drift gillnetting Tuesday from 1 p.m. until midnight.

According to a Fish and Game emergency order, staff reviewed current escapement data and completed a total run projection of Kasilof River sockeye salmon, which combined with offshore testing to indicate a "harvestable surplus" of Kasilof sockeye.

Through Monday, the cumulative sockeye passage was estimated at 67,095 fish, which Fish and Game projects to be within the optimum escapement goal range, according to the order.

"As stated previously, the set gillnet fishery will be managed with the primary objective of meeting in the Kasilof River (goal) enumerated with sonar of 160,000 to 390,000 sockeye salmon," Fish and Game wrote in the order.

On Sunday, Fish and Game officials issued an emergency order closing Monday's Kasilof setnet opening, which was the third consecutive regular fishing period cancelled this season. Fishermen gathered Monday outside Fish and Game's office to protest the closure.

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