As sport anglers wind down with another abundant sockeye run and move towards pesky pinks and super silvers, let’s not forget our wild king salmon.
For goodness sake, be a good sport and stay off the beds, allowing our big fish to spawn without harassment. Educate next year’s anglers on taking other plentiful species and possibly utilizing catch and release when pursuing our special salmon. And let’s come up with a good way to maximize commercial sockeye harvest while minimizing or eliminating king harvest, so our local setnetters can once again fish.
In the big picture, contact our governor, ADF&G directors and the Board of Fish to address huge king by-catch in the Bristol Bay pollock fishery as well as substantial harvest by the Kodiak king salmon intercept fishery. Chinook runs were ‘down’ statewide this season, and at the risk of being selfish, a fair percentage of those are Cook Inlet-bound fish that are headed to our local rivers to spawn.
There is still hope that our kids can catch a big king, if we get on it and stay diligent. I think we all have some culpability in the problem, thus an obligation to “chip in” and dig our way out. There is substantial work to do this fall and winter, so please ... don’t forget the king