DILLINGHAM (AP) -- A lack of fish is prompting the state Division of Sport Fish to close the red salmon fishery in all waters of the Kvichak River and Lake Iliamna.
The closure takes effect at 12:01 a.m. Saturday and will last for the rest of the year. It includes catch-and-release fishing for reds.
Included in the closure will be the Kvichak, Alagnak, Nonvianuk, Kulik, Newhalen and Tazimina rivers, and lakes Iliamna, Clark, Sixmile, Nonvianuk, Kukaklek, and all tributaries.
The Division of Sport Fish said this year is a peak run year, and the minimum escapement goal for the Kvichak drainage is 6 million red salmon. As of July 10, fewer than 900,000 reds had shown up.
By this date, biologists said, the run is typically more than 60 percent finished, so they expect fewer than 2 million reds to return.
Closure of the sport fishery is expected to allow an additional 3,000 to 5,000 reds to reach the spawning grounds.
Other efforts have been made to allow more reds to reach the Kvichak drainage.
The Naknek/Kvichak commercial fishery was closed last week, and western boundary of the Egegik fishery was moved eastward so Kvichak-bound reds would have a better chance of reaching their destination.
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