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Cook Inlet Fisheries

Cook Inlet is a body of water that stretches approximately 180 miles from the Gulf of Alaska to Knik Arm near Anchorage, Wasilla, and Palmer.  Cook Inlet’s watershed covers approximately 100,000 square miles and has many tributaries, including the Kenai River, Kasilof River, Susitna River, Little Susitna River, Matanuska River, and Chakachamna River (amongst others). Over half of Alaska’s population live in the watershed; about 400,000 residents in total. This makes Cook Inlet and its salmon bearing rivers the most popular and accessible fisheries in Alaska.

Image courtesy of ADF&G

Image courtesy of ADF&G

Cook Inlet waters host a variety of fisheries, all of which contribute in important ways to Alaska’s economy, social and cultural fabric, and natural resource wealth.  Cook Inlet fisheries are typically divided into two areas: Lower and Upper Cook Inlet. Upper Cook Inlet is divided into two areas – the Central District and the Northern District. The following links provide more information about the dominant fisheries in the Cook Inlet region.