KRSA Discourages Participation in the Kasilof River Personal Use Set Gillnet Fishery to Conserve King Salmon

June 19, 2024

Soldotna, AK – June 19, 2024-

Kenai king salmon are on an unprecedented decline, with only 965 large early-run kings having passed the official in-river counter. This is a far cry from the optimal escapement goal of 3,900-6,600 large kings, and substantially short of the forecasted amount of 2,630 kings.

Nonetheless, the Kasilof River personal use set gillnet fishery is scheduled to open tomorrow at 6:00 AM.

Even with a reduction of days and gear restrictions, no one doubts that this fishery will kill Kenai River-bound kings.

“To allow this fishery to further threaten the Kenai’s most vulnerable stock is irresponsible when numerous other sockeye harvest opportunities are available,” stated Shannon Martin Executive Director for the Kenai River Sportfishing Association (KRSA).

“We heard multiple East Side Set Net (ESSN) fishermen testify at the Upper Cook Inlet Board of Fisheries meeting that gillnets most definitely kill king salmon and those kings are more likely to be caught during slack tide or low water”, added Martin.

New regulations for ESSN commercial fishermen, once enacted, will restrict fishing times according to the tides. There are no such restrictions on the Kasilof personal use gillnet fishery which is open 6:00 AM – 11:00 PM daily through June 24.

Adopting sound practices to conserve king salmon and allow their recovery should be a top priority of all user groups. By sitting out this fishery, KRSA believes we can all work together to deliver Kenai kings to their spawning grounds.

“We want as many spawners on gravel as possible,” added Martin.


About the Kenai River Sportfishing Association (KRSA)

Kenai River Sportfishing Association (KRSA) is a non-profit organization dedicated to ensuring the sustainability of the Kenai River. With a focus on conservation, education, and responsible angling practices, KRSA works tirelessly to protect and improve the Kenai River watershed for future generations.