Sockeye salmon counts on the Kasilof River are expected to surpass escapement goals. So much so the Alaska Department of Fish and Game is upping bag limits and expanding the personal-use dip netting area on the river.

“Increasing the limits for sockeye salmon allows anglers an opportunity to harvest additional fish to fill their freezer,” area management biologist Colton Lipka said in a release.

The escapement goal for sockeye on the river is between 160,000–340,000; as of Sunday 231,900 of the species have been counted.

Starting Wednesday, the sport fishing limit for sockeye salmon will be to six fish per day and 12 in possession. Fish and Game's emergency order notes that for coho salmon, anglers may catch no more than two salmon per day and two in possession in all portions of the Kasilof River open to salmon fishing. 

Dip netting from the shore will be allowed in marked areas on Cook Inlet beaches to the Sterling Highway Bridge. If fishing from a boat, dip netting is allowed from markers located on the Cook Inlet beaches to markers located upstream around mile 3 of the Kasilof River. The emergency order issued for dipnetting states, "Any king salmon, Dolly Varden, or rainbow/steelhead trout caught while dip netting must be released immediately unharmed to the water."

The updated regulations go into effect July 24, with dip netting coming to a close Aug. 7 and sport fishing ending Dec. 31.

For more information on fishing regulations, visit the state Fish and Game website.

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