What follows are the federal regulations that will be enforced this coming fishing season – these questions have already been asked by some people.
1) What type of 4″ or smaller nets will be allowed during the restricted periods–drift, set, or both?When the gear restrictions go into place (May 20 in Sections 1 & 2, May 27 in Section 3), only 4″ gill-nets or smaller may be used and only as set nets. Drifting with such nets is NOT allowed.2) Are we allowed to fish for sheefish, whitefish, chum and red salmon during the king closure?Yes, as long as the gear is limited to those 4″ or smaller set nets, fish wheels in Section 3, or the use of dipnets once that opportunity is opened.3) Are we allowed to keep chum and red salmon caught in legal size nets and fish wheels?Yes, absolutely. In fact, even kings caught in the legal gill nets (e.g., 4″ early in season) may be kept. We are restricting the 4″ gill nets to set nets, however, so that folks can’t intentionally target kings by drifting with those 4″ mesh nets.Some folks are encouraging fishers to also release live kings caught in their 4″ mesh, but that is not legally required. It is required, however, to release kings caught in a fish wheel or a dip net.4) Are we allowed to keep kings, chums, and reds caught in the Whitefish Lake drainage, the Discovery, Birch, and Swift Creeks?Yes, those drainages (more than 100 yards upstream from their mouths) “are not affected by these closures.” In other words, they “are open with any mesh size gillnet.”