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Slow return of Kasilof River sockeye salmon

June 28th, 2012

Kasilof River sockeye salmon sonar counts are tracking along the lower end of the escapement goal range even without a commercial harvest, with an estimate of approximately 28,000 fish past the Didson sonar as of midnight, June 26.

The Kasilof section commercial set net fishery regularly opens on June 25; however, citing both low sockeye counts and conservation concerns for king salmon, the Alaska Department of Fish and Game (ADFG) closed the first two regular openers—June 25 and 28—of this commercial fishery.

The central district drift gill net fishery regularly opens on June 19. The drift net catch rates for June 25 were low, indicating that sockeye are not yet moving in large numbers into Upper Cook Inlet.
The Optimum Escapement Goal for the Kasilof River sockeye salmon as enumerated by Didson sonar is 160,00 – 390,000. ADFG has indicated that the commercial set net fishery will be fished with this escapement objective as the primary management target. In addition, the fishery will also be managed to conserve late-run king salmon stocks, especially if in-season assessment reveals these stocks are performing poorly.

KRSA will continue to provide salmon escapement updates during the season.

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