Board to revisit limits on winter king salmon

Posted: Sunday, October 20, 2002

KENAI (AP) -- The Alaska Board of Fisheries is going to take a second look at limits imposed on the harvest of so-called ''winter'' king salmon in Cook Inlet and the Gulf of Alaska.

The board will take up the issue at its regularly scheduled meeting Sunday and Monday in Anchorage.

The regulations, passed by the board last November, imposed a five-fish limit on kings caught in Cook Inlet, Resurrection Bay and Kodiak. The board said it had to impose the limits in order to curb a growing fishery.

The move angered local recreational anglers, who said the move had no biological basis, and effectively ended the winter king fishery. Among the groups opposed to the measure were the Fish and Game Advisory boards in Kenai and Homer.

Three local area management plan task force committees are putting forward proposals that would allow anglers to again harvest the kings without an annual harvest limit.

Under the lower Cook Inlet plan, submitted by the Homer-area task force, the seasonal limit on king salmon would remain five fish between March 15 and Oct. 1. However, between Oct. 2. and March 14, seasonal limits would not apply.

Task forces were set up in Homer, Seward and Kodiak following passage of the new regulation. All three committees have submitted similar plans, with the main objective of removing the seasonal five-king limit.

The plan submitted by the Kodiak committee includes a provision for a ''harvest guideline'' of 10,000 fish in the Kodiak area fishery. Any such plan for Cook Inlet could have such a provision, and the board has broad discretionary power over what those limits might be.

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