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State restricts king salmon fishing in northern Cook Inlet

State fisheries officials have closed commercial and sport fishing for king salmon in northern Cook Inlet for 2019.

A king salmon lies out on a fillet table at the edge of Ship Creek on May 26, 2016. (Scott Jensen / Alaska Dispatch News)

The Alaska Department of Fish and Game on Monday also announced restrictions for subsistence fishing of kings, also known as chinook salmon.

The department is restricting fishing to conserve weak stocks. Many streams have failed to see sufficient salmon return to meet department goals.

Acting Fish and Game Commissioner Doug Vincent-Lang says the 2019 outlook is particularly worrisome, with the Deshka River king salmon forecast well below the escapement goal. Deshka salmon are an indicator stock for management of the Susitna River drainage.

In-season surveys will gauge runs, and fishing opportunities may be restored.

Commercial fishing will be closed in Cook Inlet’s northern district through June 24 to allow king salmon passage.

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