It seems that most of the population of Southcentral Alaska has descended up on the Kenai Peninsula and is either fishing, getting ready to fish or just finished fishing, so we’ll keep this brief: while it might be hard to do in the middle of the salmon-crazed frenzy, take a few moments to appreciate such an amazing resource.
On Friday, the Alaska Department of Fish and Game eased restrictions on the Kenai River king salmon fishery, deeming the run strong enough to allow anglers to use bait.
The bait restriction had been tied to restrictions in the commercial fishery, and with bait now allowed, Cook Inlet commercial fishermen will see more fishing opportunity. The timing is fortunate, as the commercial sockeye season has been slow to this point, but Fish and Game says indicators show a pulse of sockeye salmon moving up the inlet.
Anyone who has been here more than a few years will be quick to point out that the current king salmon numbers, while much better than recent years, is still nowhere near what it was in the good old days. And it will likely be several more years of conservative management before king runs come close to the good old days — if they ever do at all.
In a few months, we’ll go back to one of the Kenai Peninsula’s other favorite pastimes — arguing about fish — but for now, there’s an opportunity to catch them, and for that, we’re grateful.