Lower Cook Inlet commercial fisheries to begin with regular openings

May 1, 2018

Homer Harbor.
Credit KBBI file photo

Commercial fishing in lower Cook Inlet will kick off with regular openings in about a month.  

The set gillnet season will begin in the southern district with one 24-hour-opening on June 1. The season will continue with regular 48-hour fishing periods, each kicking off at 6 a.m. on Mondays and Thursdays.

Seiners in the eastern district will begin their season with a Monday-through-Friday schedule and 16-hour fishing periods on July 5.

Cook Inlet Aquaculture Association expects 200,000 sockeye to return to Resurrection Bay. Most of those fish will be harvested for cost recovery in order to pay for the association’s operations. Cook Inlet Aquaculture is set to begin its cost recovery operations in the area later this month.

The Alaska Department Fish and Game expects about 190,000 wild pinks to be available for commercial harvest in the southern, outer and Kamishak Bay districts. Cook Inlet Aquaculture is also forecasting about 1.9 million pinks to return to its Tutka Bay Lagoon, Port Graham and Trail Lakes hatcheries.

Cook Inlet Aquaculture expects to harvest 1.4 million of those fish for cost recovery, leaving about 50,000 pinks for the common property fishery.

About 100,000 wild sockeye are also expected to be available for harvest this year with an additional 118,000 up for harvest from Cook Inlet Aquaculture hatcheries.

About 290,000 wild and hatchery sockeye were harvested in 2017. 

Fish and Game’s forecast puts this year’s chum salmon run at about 100,000 fish. That’s below last year’s chum harvest of about 200,000.