Commercial Fisheries Overview
Upper Cook Inlet Management Area
The Upper Cook Inlet (UCI) Management Area consists of that portion of Cook Inlet north of the latitude of the Anchor Point Light and is divided into the Central and Northern districts. Central District is approximately 75 miles long, averaging 32 miles in width. Northern District is 50 miles long, averaging 20 miles in width. All 5 species of Pacific salmon, razor clams, Pacific herring, and smelt are commercially harvested in UCI. Since the inception of a commercial salmon fishery in 1882, many salmon gear types, including fish traps, gillnets, and seines have been employed with varying degrees of success. More than 1,300 drift and set gillnet limited entry fishing permits have been for the UCI area, contributing about 10% of salmon permits issued statewide. Sockeye salmon are most important in terms of their economic value. Commercial harvests of razor clams date back to 1919. Harvests have fluctuated from no fishery to a harvest in excess 500,000 pounds, driven largely by market demand. Small commercial harvests of smelt, locally known as hooligan, and a herring bait fishery also occur.