Upper Cook Inlet Commercial Fishing Announcement No. 36 opens set gillnetting in the Kasilof River Special Harvest Area (KRSHA; Figure 1) from 10:00 p.m. on Monday, July 27 until 6:00 a.m. on Wednesday, July 29, 2015. This announcement also opens drift gillnetting in the KRSHA from 10:00 p.m. until 11:00 p.m. on Monday, July 27, 2015, from 5:00 a.m. until 11:00 p.m. on Tuesday, July 28, 2015, and from 5:00 a.m. until 6:00 a.m. on Wednesday, July 29, 2015.
This commercial fishing announcement also opens set gillnetting in the Kasilof Section of the Upper Subdistrict within 600 feet of the mean high tide mark of the Kenai Peninsula shoreline from 10:00 a.m. until 6:00 p.m. on Tuesday, July 28, 2015.
Finally, this commercial fishing announcement opens commercial fishing with drift gillnets in the Expanded Kenai and Expanded Kasilof sections of the Upper Subdistrict, and the Anchor Point Section of the Lower Subdistrict (Figure 2) on Tuesday, July 28, 2015 from 7:00 a.m. until 7:00 p.m.
The riverside closed area of the KRSHA is a straight line drawn between the two commercial markers located in the river terminus. The offshore limit of this area is bounded by the following four points: 1) 60° 22.590’ N. lat., 151° 20.793’ W. long; 2) 60° 23.832’ N. lat., 151° 21.703’ W. long; 3) 60° 24.130’ N. lat., 151° 21.335’ W. long; 4) 60° 24.130’ N. lat.; 151° 17.720’ W. long (Figure 1). Specifics of this plan are on pages 23-24 of the current regulation book.
The boundary between those waters open to set gillnetting and drift gillnetting in the KRSHA is bounded by the following four points: 5) 60° 22.770’ N. lat., 151° 20.930’ W. long; 6) 60° 23.230’ N. lat., 151° 19.310’ W. long; 7) 60° 23.560’ N. lat., 151° 18.170’ W. long; and 8) 60° 24.130’ N. lat. 151° 18.120’ W. long.
During the fishing period in the KRSHA, the navigation channel is closed to all commercial fishing with set gillnet gear including nets and anchor lines. The outside terminal area boundaries are approximately 600 feet south of the normal commercial regulatory marker located one mile north of the Kasilof River to 600 feet north of the normal commercial regulatory marker located one mile south of the Kasilof River.
Commercial fishermen are reminded that a person may not operate a gillnet outside the KRSHA when operating a gillnet within the KRSHA.
Any fish caught in the KRSHA should be delivered on a separate fish ticket using statistical area 244-25 for set gillnet and 244-26 for drift gillnet.
The estimated cumulative passage of sockeye salmon in the Kasilof River through midday on July 27 was more than 381,000 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. The OEG in the Kasilof River is very likely to be exceeded within 24 to 48 hours. Therefore, fishing in both the KRSHA and in the Kasilof Section within 600 feet of the mean high tide mark is warranted.
The cumulative sockeye salmon passage estimate in the Kenai River through Sunday, July 26, was approximately 684,000 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 26 indicates the inriver goal will be met or exceeded.