Board to discuss changes to Upper Cook Inlet fisheries

The Board of Fisheries deliberates on changes to the Upper Cook Inlet Fisheries every three years.

This week in Anchorage, the Alaska Department of Fish and Game’s Board of Fisheries will be reviewing and deliberating proposed changes to regulations for the Upper Cook Inlet Fisheries.

The Board of Fisheries meets to deliberate on proposed changes to the Upper Cook Inlet Fisheries every three years. The Board consists of seven members appointed by the governor and confirmed by the Legislature, and each member serves a three-year term.

The role of the Board, according to its website, is to conserve and develop the fishery resources of the state by establishing policies for the state’s subsistence, commercial, sport, guided sport and personal use fisheries. The Board is responsible for making allocative decisions that then impact the management policies of the Department of Fish and Game.

This weekend the Board listened to public comments from individuals, local advisory committees and representatives from municipalities and private organizations regarding the 171 proposals on its agenda. A record of all public comments submitted prior to Jan. 28 can be found at the Board of Fisheries website.

Starting on Monday, Group 1 of the Board’s Committee of the Whole will begin reviewing proposals regarding the Kenai River late-run sockeye salmon management plan. These proposals include suggested increases and decreases to the Kenai River’s sustainable escapement goal, implementing additional closures for set gill net fisheries, and establishing an annual limit on individual sport fishery harvests.

Group 2 of the Board’s Committee of the Whole will also meet on Monday to discuss the proposals for the Susitna sockeye stock of concern, the Central District drift fishery management plan, set gill net and drift gill net times and areas, Upper Cook Inlet coho salmon and Upper Cook Inlet pink salmon. The Board will deliberate on the conclusions of Groups one and two on Tuesday.

On Wednesday, Group 3 will discuss proposals regarding allocation criteria for the Upper Cook Inlet subsistence and personal use fisheries. Group 4 will discuss proposals regarding the Kenai River late-run king salmon management plan. The Board will deliberate on these groups on Thursday.

On Friday, Group 5 will discuss proposals regarding the Northern Cook Inlet king salmon escapement goal, the Northern Cook Inlet sport fish management plans, the Northern District king salmon management plan and the Northern District king salmon sport fisheries.

Group 6 will meet on Saturday with a focus on the Kasilof salmon management plan, the Northern District salmon management plan, landmarks and waypoints and miscellaneous commercial fisheries. Deliberation on Groups 5 and 6 will take place on Sunday, Feb. 16.

The final group, Group 7, will meet on Monday, Feb. 17 to discuss the Upper Cook Inlet areawide sport fisheries, Kenai/Kasilof Rivers sport fish guiding, Kenai/Kasilof Rivers motors, miscellaneous sport fish, Kenai River habitat, and multiple area and multiple region plans. Deliberations on Group 7 will occur on Tuesday, Feb. 18. The Board is scheduled to conclude their business on Wednesday, Feb. 19.

The agenda for these meetings is tentative and subject to change. For the full agenda, visit the Board’s website. A live audio stream of the meetings will be available on the Board’s website whenever the Board is in session.

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