Board of Fish to consider proposals dealing with upper Susitna valley fisheries

The Alaska Board of Fisheries is going to meet in Anchorage from February 20 through March 5, discussing over 200 proposals to make regulatory changes to Upper Cook Inlet area fisheries. The Alaska Board of Fisheries addresses Upper Cook Inlet area subsistence, sport, commercial and personal use fisheries once every three years.

Proposals of interest for anglers and fishermen in the upper Susitna valley include a proposal by Bruce Knowles, calling for a management plan for small streams draining into the Susitna River. Proposal 158 calls for the restriction of all harvest until minimum escapement numbers are reached. James Garhart wrote the proposal and added that if the status quo is kept, it would ” lead to us arguing over who harvests the last two spawners.”

The United Cook Inlet Drift Association proposed to establish a personal use fishery on the Talkeetna River to benefit Anchorage residents and the Anchorage public. The proposal seeks to remedy the lack of personal use fisheries in the Anchorage area.

The Mat-Su Borough co-sponsored a proposal to restore daily bag limits and possession limit of three coho salmon a day. A similar proposal is made for a daily bag limit of three coho for the Talkeetna River.

Another proposal of interest for area residents is the proposition to prohibit fishing from boats at the mouth of Willow Creek entering Susitna River.

The board will also review three action plans developed by the Department of Fish and Game to increase king salmon returns to the Chuitna, Theodore, and Lewis Rivers and Alexander, Willow and Goose Creeks.

The board still takes public comment and accepts comments up to 10 pages in length by fax or delivered to the board during the meeting. The board also takes oral public testimony during the meeting. Anyone intending to testify must sign up at the meeting at the Egan Center in Anchorage before 9:00 a.m. on February 21.

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