Closure of king salmon season on Kenai River builds up tension between sport and commercial fishing.
Last week the closure of king salmon season in the Kenai River has pitted commercial fishermen against recreational fellow over the issue who is bearing the burden of king salmon conservation. Alaska Department of Fish and Game were forced to close the Kenai king fishing for fear of depleting stocks as they have witnessed a record low run.
Area sport fishing advocates agree with the department’s decision to close the Kenai, but worry that not enough is being done to limit commercial fishermen. Dave Goggia, president of the Kenai River Professional Guide Association and owner of Hooky Charters in Kenai, said that things could get ugly down there if they choose to ignore them.
According to Goggia department’s commercial fishing managers work closely with sport fish biologists to monitor the number of kings counted at the sonar eight miles up the Kenai River. If king numbers remain weak, commercial fishing will react accordingly. The management plan for the commercial fishery, which includes the number of hours fishing, is based on the number of sockeye salmon expected to return.