Upper Cook Inlet commercial fishing to close for 2017

Commercial fishing will be done for the 2017 season in Upper Cook Inlet effective Oct. 6.

The east side set gillnet fishery in Upper Cook Inlet closed mid-August, per regulation, and participation in the Central District drift gillnet fishery drops off around then as well. However, commercial fishing continued in the Northern District, on Kalgin Island and on the west side of Cook Inlet.

Those areas will close effective at 7 p.m. Oct. 6, according to an emergency order issued Friday by the Alaska Department of Fish and Game. The seasons in the area are usually closed by emergency order rather than by a firm date in regulation.

As of Sept. 18, commercial fishermen in Upper Cook Inlet had harvested about 2.5 million salmon in the 2017 season. About 1.8 million of those are sockeye salmon, the dominant commercial species in Upper Cook Inlet. Fishermen brought in about 294,000 coho, 239,000 chums, 168,000 pinks and 7,000 kings, according to the season total summary from Fish and Game.

Reach Elizabeth Earl at elizabeth.earl@peninsulaclarion.com.