Tuesday February 27, 2024

Peninsula Clarion

A pilot study for the use of shallower nets to more selectively catch sockeye salmon in the east-side setnet fishery — once described by State Department of Fish and Game Commissioner Doug Vincent-Lang as a potential solution to “a decadeslong struggle with a win-win for the resource and all the user groups” — didn’t produce statistically significant findings.

That’s what Kintama Research Services President David Welch said in a presentation to the State Board of Fisheries in Anchorage on Saturday during their meeting on Upper Cook Inlet Finfish. He fielded questions and explained methods and findings to the board alongside Sandy Simons, who had been on the beach in Kenai counting fish each day of the study.

The study, which Welch said began to come into being in March 2023, was announced in July and conducted that same month. It sought to see whether shallower nets could selectively catch sockeye salmon while allowing king salmon to pass below. The study was conducted on a setnet site owned by Gary Hollier, down Kalifornsky Beach Road.

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