Sport fishery already managed for opportunity

Posted: Thursday, May 26, 2011

Regarding the letter titled "Do we really want more tourist dollars?" (Peninsula Clarion, May 24): The commercial fishery has not fished on early Kenai kings since 1978, the original Cook Inlet Management Plan. The escapement on that run of kings has been dumbed down to a "range" of 7,000 to 9,000 kings. This was done to promote in-river angler opportunity. One account states that guides average one fish per boat per day. Remember the hook and release debates? The late run kings remain robust however those kings are getting smaller. Nowadays when a 70-pounder is landed it is plastered on the front page of the paper. Mr. Johnson complains about mismanagement but I have been to the Kenai Airport in July. There is nowhere else in the world where boxes of cheap fish are stacked high and shipped out. The sport fishery is managed for opportunity while the commercial fishery is prosecuted according to escapements. Finally, if a derby can be held to raise funds to mitigate the same impact it creates, if this is the new age hypocrisy of in-river stewardship, then you get more of what you have now. The biologists only implement the allocations set forth by the board of fish.

John McCombs, Ninilchik



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