Cook Inlet Aquaculture Association

Hatchery sockeye numbers low, but pinks come in strong

Aug 28, 2017
Cook Inlet Aquaculture Association

At the tail end of the 2017 fishing season, Cook Inlet Aquaculture Association is tallying up their numbers. Gary Fandrei, Executive Director, describes the season as a mixed bag with some species of salmon doing better than others.

“We don’t have final numbers at this point, but it looks to be that we came in at about 40 percent, 45 percent of what we were projecting,” Fandrei said, regarding sockeye salmon near Seward. “We were projecting 125,000 fish to come back there.”

Cook Inlet Aquaculture Association

The Cook Inlet Aquaculture Association has been trying to move a majority of its net pens in the Tutka Bay Lagoon to the head of Tutka Bay for about four years. The hotly debated issue has led to packed community meetings and questions about the impact of raising fish in the area.

Due to the controversy, the hatchery association has contracted the Kachemak Bay National Estuary Research Reserve to study the bay’s food supply and potential impacts of the net pens.

Courtesy of Cook Inlet Aquaculture Association

Cook Inlet Aquaculture Association has been working to move a majority of its Tutka Bay Lagoon Hatchery operation into the head of Tutka bay for about four years. About 100 people crowded the Alaska Oceans and Islands Visitor Center Monday for a listening session. DNR and Alaska Department of Fish and Game officials got an earful, hearing nearly three hours of testimony from concerned and supportive residents.