[Ken Tarbox is a retired fisheries biologist]
The Board of Fish meeting is just about over and unless a last second reconsideration is made the commercial fishery plans are set.
The Board has put coho and chinook salmon as a priority fish in upper Cook Inlet but has not stated that in regulation and yet kept the sockeye salmon goals in place which creates a conflict.
Here is the bottom line: the Board said to the Department of Fish and Game, do not fish here and do not fish many hours but make all the salmon goals. We understand that you cannot do this so we will say that our plans are not fixed so you can use your emergency order authority to manage the fisheries — wink, wink, nod, nod.
The past decade has pointed out that in-season local managers have requested to go outside plans for sockeye management, even when other goals have been met, and have been refused by Commissioners for political reasons.
In contrast to the Board, the ADF&G leadership is saying to the public, these are not our plans and if the goals are exceeded it is the fault of the Board of Fish as they are the Board’s plans.
So each has created an out for not managing the sockeye fisheries.
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