Kenai River personal-use and commercial fisheries are being closed and sport fishing restricted, due to a weaker than expected return of sockeye.
The personal-use dipnet fishery at the mouth of the Kenai River will close at 11 p.m. Friday, and sport fishermen will be limited to one fish per day starting at 12:01 a.m. Saturday, according to Alaska Department of Fish and Game emergency orders.
In addition, emergency orders also have imposed closures on commercial drift and setnet fisheries and the Kenaitze Indian Tribe educational fishery.
Driftnets in all areas of the Upper Cook Inlet, will be prohibited from fishing from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Thursday, except in the Kasilof Special Harvest Area, which will be open from midnight Wednesday until 7 p.m. Thursday.
Setnet fishing is closed in all areas of the northern district of Upper Cook Inlet from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Thursday.
While the commercial fishery often has been hit with closures due to weak sockeye numbers many times before, the closures and restrictions in other fisheries are not unheard of.
"We've been here before," said George Pappas, area management biologist for Fish and Game. "It has happened."
The last time the personal-use fishery was closed was in 1998, and the last time the sport fishery was closed or restricted was in 2001.
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