The Alaska Department of Fish and Game has issued an emergency order that closes commercial driftnet salmon fishing in the Central District of upper Cook Inlet, except west of line from Shell Platform C to the Kalgin Buoy on the Anchor Point line. The Chinitna Bay Subdistrict remains closed.
Setnet fishing in all areas of the Upper Subdistrict of the Central District also is closed.
The closures are to feed more sockeye salmon into the Kenai River, which at 492,000, is still well below the minimum escapement goal of 750,000.
Department area management biologist Jeff Fox in Soldotna wrote that the escapement goals would not be reached without greatly reduced commercial salmon fishery exploitation.
Other river systems are at or above optimum escapement goals.
On the Kasilof River, the upper end of the escapement goal is 250,000 red salmon, a number surpassed last week. With 3,000 more entering the river Saturday, the season totals 287,000.
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