In fishing, things have changed

Posted: Monday, July 31, 2006

My grandfather, like many local old-timers, would be greatly disgusted with this terminal fishery and the whole ball of wax the Board of Fish has rolled.

Forty years ago, commercial fishing started when reds showed up, prior to June 1. The season ended when fish quit running in October. Subsistence (fishing for food) was top priority, with commercial fishing second. There were no sport guides, catching fish purely for recreation.

For decades, the Kenai escapement goal was 400,000 sockeye during July, which produced an average of 10.5-pound sockeye in 1978 and a great return five years later.

Today, sport fish has top priority over both subsistence and commercial. Kenai sockeye are 40 percent smaller due to overescapement because the escapement goal has been raised by 60 percent. I believe the board has developed a pattern. They are achieving the destruction of an awesome fishery. Now they are developing a strategy to destroy late-run Kasilof kings and Cook Inlet’s commercial salmon fishermen.

Robert Lloyd Correia


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