Kasilof red salmon at record-breaking levels

Commercial set and drift gillnet fishers get nine hour-opener Saturday

An emergency-order opening commercial set and drift gillnet fisheries in the Cook Inlet on Saturday was issued by Alaska Department of Fish and Game managers attempting to slow escapement of Kasilof River sockeye salmon. 

Approximately 128,000 fish made it past the sonar on the Kasilof River by midnight Thursday — the largest estimated passage of fish through this date ever measured on the river, according to the emergency order. 

The Kasilof Section of the set gillnet fishery and a Kasilof Section available to drift gillnetters will be opened from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Saturday, according to the release. 

Fish and Game's optimal escapement goal range for Kasilof River sockeye salmon is 160,000 - 390,000. 

In 2013, managers exceeded that goal by nearly 100,000 fish. 

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