Cook Inlet hosts a bountiful commercial fishery with a recorded history dating back to 1882. Salmon are harvested by seine, drift gillnet, and set gillnet. Cook Inlet commercial salmon fisheries are fished by permit owners. A “limited entry” system was instituted by the state in 1979 to restrict the number of permits. Cook Inlet waters are managed by both the State of Alaska and, in lower Cook Inlet, by the federal government.
Cook Inlet salmon fisheries are a valuable part of local economies throughout the Kenai Peninsula and Alaska. Many Cook Inlet ports regularly rank highly in the United States for total volume and tonnage of seafood landed. Commercial fishing requires a high level of capital investment for fishers, and thus fishers aim to catch a high volume of fish in order to make their investment profitable. Fisheries managers also use the commercial fishing fleets strategically to manage the harvest of surplus salmon.
To learn more about commercial fishing in Cook Inlet, check out these links.