Upper Cook Inlet Commercial Fishing Announcement No. 34 opens commercial fishing with drift gillnets in Drift Gillnet Area 1 and in the Expanded Kenai and Expanded Kasilof sections of the Upper Subdistrict (Figure 1) on Monday, July 27, 2015 from 7:00 a.m. until 7:00 p.m. Drift Gillnet Area 1 is defined in regulation as the open waters of the Central District south of Kalgin Island at 60º 20.43’ N. latitude.
According to 5AAC 21.353 Central District Drift Gillnet Fishery Management Plan, from July 16 through July 31, at run strengths of 2,300,000–4,600,000 sockeye salmon to the Kenai River, one regular 12-hour fishing period per week will be restricted to one or more of the following sections: 1) Expanded Kenai Section of the Upper Subdistrict; 2) Expanded Kasilof Section of the Upper Subdistrict; 3) Anchor Point Section of the Lower Subdistrict; and 4) Drift Gillnet Area 1. This fishing period is in compliance with the Central District Drift Gillnet Fishery Management Plan.
The estimated cumulative passage of sockeye salmon in the Kasilof River through Saturday, July 25, was approximately 367,000 fish. The biological escapement goal (BEG) for Kasilof River sockeye salmon is 160,000–340,000 fish, while the optimal escapement goal (OEG) is 160,000–390,000 fish. This level of passage is projected to exceed the upper end of the OEG.
The cumulative sockeye salmon passage estimate in the Kenai River through Saturday, July 25, was approximately 617,000 fish. The inriver goal for Kenai River sockeye salmon runs of 2,300,000–4,600,000 fish is 1,000,000 to 1,200,000. The current estimate of passage in the Kenai River through July 25 indicates the inriver goal will be met or exceeded.