ANCHORAGE, Alaska —
The Alaska Department of Fish and Game issued a stream of emergency orders Thursday restricting sport fishing in many areas of Southcentral Alaska, following low statewide salmon runs in 2012 and similar state action.
In a statement summarizing most of the orders, Fish and Game said they were issued in response to “low king salmon abundance over recent years, a below-average outlook for the upcoming season, and uncertainty over how quickly king salmon abundance may rebound.”
Last year, the state imposed a series of restrictions on fishing due to lower-than-expected salmon runs across Alaska. The tighter rules provoked widespread anger in rural Alaska, with some residents choosing to fish in violation of them; two dozen have been tried for misdemeanor charges, with two fishermen convicted and fined $250 in October.
Tom Vania, Fish and Game’s regional fisheries management coordinator for Cook Inlet, says the new restrictions this year shouldn’t surprise people, noting that only four of 17 Cook Inlet-area streams met their state escapement goals in 2012.