Setnets are packed up on the Kasilof River on June 25, 2021, in Kasilof, Alaska. (Camille Botello / Peninsula Clarion)

Setnets are packed up on the Kasilof River on June 25, 2021, in Kasilof, Alaska. (Camille Botello / Peninsula Clarion)

East side setnetters denied fishery reopening

The Alaska Board of Fisheries held an emergency meeting Monday after eastside setnetters submitted petitions to reopen the fishery. In the end the board voted to keep the commercial fishery closed.

Since July 21, the state Department of Fish and Game has kept king salmon sport fishing closed on the Kenai and Kasilof Rivers in an effort to protect the species. This in turn shut down the eastside setnet fishery because that fishery sometimes nets king salmon.

Glenn Haight, the executive director of the Alaska Board of Fisheries, said Tuesday that the board received two emergency petitions on July 23 and July 24 to open the 600-foot eastside set net fishery.

The general protocol board members follow is that they meet to review and analyze the petitions.

One of the criteria that must be met to approve an emergency petition is the unforeseeability factor.

Haight said on that basis, the board decided to keep the eastside set net commercial fishery closed because the majority of Board members agreed the closure was not an unforeseeable event.

Reach reporter Camille Botello at camille.botello@peninsulaclarion.com.

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