Area Management Biologist
February 27, 2014
Kasilof River anglers are advised that the department is implementing the following regulations for the 2014 early-run fishery. Effective 12:01 a.m., Thursday, May 1 through 11:59 p.m., Monday, June 30, 2014, anglers will be allowed to harvest only hatchery-produced king salmon. Hatchery-produced king salmon are distinguished from naturally-produced king salmon in the Kasilof River by a healed adipose fin-clip scar. The adipose fin is the small fleshy fin on the back just ahead of the tail. The bag and possession limit for hatchery-produced king salmon will be reduced to one fish in the Kasilof River.
The retention of naturally-produced king salmon will be prohibited. Naturally-produced king salmon may not be removed from the water and must be released immediately. A naturally-produced king salmon is a king salmon with an adipose fin intact.
The use of bait and multiple hooks will be prohibited in the Kasilof River from its mouth upstream to the Sterling Highway bridge. Anglers may use only one unbaited, single-hook, artificial lure. “Single hook” means a fishhook with only one point (with or without a barb).
King salmon stocks throughout Cook Inlet, including Kasilof River early-run king salmon, are experiencing a period of low productivity and, since 2009, below average run strength. That trend is anticipated to continue during the 2014 season. The department manages the Kasilof River king salmon sport fishery to achieve a sustainable escapement goal (SEG) of 650–1,700 naturally-produced king salmon and broodstock collection goals for naturally- and hatchery-produced fish as monitored through the Crooked Creek weir. The SEG was not achieved in two of the past five years. Since 2009, low escapements have occurred despite restrictions to the Kasilof River early-run king salmon sport fishery. To ensure another successful season in 2014, the department has determined an emergency order to restrict the early-run king salmon sport fishery in the Kasilof River during 2014 will provide the best chance to achieve the SEG for naturally-produced king salmon in Crooked Creek and to meet king salmon stocking goals.