The state Board of Fisheries begins its annual meeting cycle  today (Wednesday) at the Egan Center in Anchorage with a work session that will last through tomorrow.

The seven member board sets the rules for subsistence, commercial, sport, and personal use fisheries and takes up issues by region every three years. This cycle focuses on lower and upper Cook Inlet, Kodiak, plus statewide king and Tanner crab fisheries and supplemental items.

  Special RSW deals till the end of the year!

In all, the board will address 276 proposals – 44 directed at lower Cook Inlet in early December, 36 for Kodiak in January and a whopping 171 proposals for upper Cook Inlet during a two week marathon meeting in February.

That region is home to some of the most heated fish wars between sport, commercial and other users.

In recent years, Cook Inlet salmon fishermen claim Kodiak is taking too many fish bound for their region.

A proposal by the United Cook Inlet Drift Association aims to create a new Kodiak management plan that they claim would help minimize takes of non-local salmon stocks.

The Kenai River Sportfishing Association again wants to prioritize personal use over commercial fishing, claiming the Board is violating its constitutional obligation to maximize the salmon fishery’s benefits to residents.


The Fish Board also will decide on the location of the Upper Cook Inlet February meeting.

It was first set for Kenai and then moved back to Anchorage. The state ombudsman ruled in September that the switch violated the Open Meetings Act. The Board will vote on the location on Thursday.

A special presentation on impacts of ocean acidification on Alaska fisheries is set for Wednesday at 5:30pm.

All of the meetings are streamed live.