Commercial fishermen let loose to stem the tide of sockeye

Two emergency orders released Saturday afternoon extend set and drift gillnetting for the weekend as the Alaska Department of Fish and Game attempts to meet its escapement goals on the Kenai and Kasilof rivers. 

Setnetting in the Kenai, Kasilof and East Forelands Sections of the setnet fishing sites will have their hours extended until 11 p.m. Saturday while the Kasilof River Special Harvest Area will be opened at 5 a.m. Sunday until 7 a.m. Monday for commercial fishermen. 

According to the emergency order, an estimated 410,000 sockeye had passed the Kasilof River sonar by noon Saturday and nearly 946,000 sockeye had passed the sonar site in the Kenai River. 

The optimal escapement goal for Kasilof River sockeye salmon is 160,000 to 390,000 fish while the Kenai River’s goal is 1 to 1.2 million sockeye. 

 

Rashah McChesney can be reached at rashah.mcchesney@peninsulaclarion.com

 

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