On the opening day of fishing for Kenai River late run king salmon Wednesday, Alaska Department of Fish and Game managers announced restrictions for the commercial setnet fishery that operates on the east side of Cook Inlet.
For the second consecutive fishing season, restrictions in sport fishing for Kenai River king salmon have triggered automatic restrictions in the number of hours setnetters can fish.
Sport fishing managers announced a no-bait restriction in the sport fishery after they forecasted fewer than 22,500 king salmon to return to the Kenai River in 2015.
As a result, the set gillnet fishery will be limited to no more than 36 hours per week of fishing beginning July 1 with mandatory 36-hour weekly closures required to begin between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m. Thursdays.
Commercial area managers have removed the regular Monday and Thursday scheduled fishing periods and will provide all fishing time for set gillnets in the area via emergency order, according to a media release.
The paired restrictions are the result of regulatory changes made during the 2014 Board of Fisheries meeting on Upper Cook Inlet. However, east side setnet fishermen have seen consistent restrictions to fishing time and area since 2012 due to declining numbers of king salmon.
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