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KRSA Advocacy Priorities at the 2020 Board of Fisheries

In February 2020, the Alaska Board of Fisheries met in Anchorage to revisit regulations for Upper Cook Inlet – including the Kasilof River, the Kenai River, and Mat-Su valley rivers and streams.

Since 1984, KRSA has been a leading advocate for fisheries conservation in Alaska, working diligently to ensure sport and personal-use fishing rights are protected in Alaska and the fisheries are healthy for generations to come. This work continued at the Board of Fisheries Upper Cook Inlet meeting in February 2020, where KRSA worked towards four goals:

  • More fish in Upper Cook Inlet rivers and streams;
  • Share the work of conservation among all users;
  • Strengthen the Conservation Corridor; and,
  • Provide greater opportunity for personal use fisheries – particularly in the Mat-Su.


2020 Upper Cook Inlet Board Meeting Outcomes

At the 2020 Upper Cook Inlet meeting, the Board of Fisheries made a number of significant decisions – providing the Alaska Department of Fish and Game with clear guidance to conserve and develop our fisheries for the benefit of all Alaskans. Notably:

  • Conservation measures were adopted for the iconic Kenai River late-run kings. These measures create new, higher escapement goals for kings in the Kenai river, and bolster the paired restrictions between sport and commercial users, sharing the work of conservation at times of low king abundance.
  • Kenai River sockeye inriver and escapement goals were increased recognizing that higher escapements produce higher returns which benefit all fisheries.
  • The conservation corridor was strengthened to move more sockeye and coho through the center of Cook Inlet, increasing the use of fishing areas nearer to shore during late July and early August. This will benefit fish returning to the rivers and streams of northern Cook Inlet.
  • A new personal use fishery was established on the Susitna River. This dipnet fishery is boat-accessible, and will open two days per week, from July 10-31 with a possible extension through August if sockeye and coho are exceeding their upper escapement goals. This fishery is focused primarily on chum and pink salmon, and kings may not be retained.

For more detail on what the Board passed, and what it means to the fisheries of Cook Inlet, click here.