Some may not realize that a major fishery management plan that impacts Alaska fisheries is in preparation by the NPFMC. The link is below and those interested in fisheries management should read the document.
As a primer I can give some overview but this is a complex issue.
In Cook Inlet Federal waters extent well up the inlet. In a 1975 court case the United States Supreme Court in case 95 S Ct.2240 (1975 A.M.C. 1081, 45L Ed.2d 109) ruled that Cook Inlet was not a historic bay and that waters were federal from about K. Island south. The State of Alaska had tried to claim these waters for an oil lease sale and the Federal Gov sued to stop it. It is a very interesting case history with lots of neat findings. For example, the 3 n. mile rule for State waters - shore out to 3 n miles- is a result of the Cannon shot rule. That rule states that 3 n miles is the range of a traditional 18th century cannon and thus state's possessed sovereignty over the waters within the range of cannon shot.
Anyway, the bottom line is that Federal waters and salmon management are under the Federal Gov and they delegate it to the State of Alaska for some areas. Most Federal waters are closed to salmon fishing but in Cook Inlet there is an exception and thus a Fishery Management Plan is required. The Federal Gov is writing that plan right now and people should look at it.
In the plan as written right now there would be no method or means limitations, season limitations, or bag limits for Chinook salmon and all other species of salmon caught by sport fisherman - including charter operators in these federal waters. The State has no jurisdiction over these waters. The State is contending that people could not bring these fish to shore but other lawyers are saying the State cannot control or arrest people for taking legally caught fish in Federal waters. This is just one aspect of the plan.
The proposed plan covers the State so it is 269 pages in length.
As a side note the lines are being redone for Federal waters around the State. There is a new headland rule that will increase Federal waters in Cook Inlet. This rule is a result of the Law of The Sea agreements and has value for enforcement of marine fisheries so it will not be changed. The maps for the new lines are on the NOAA web site.
The NPFMC is discussing the plan (scheduled 8 hours) in Dutch Harbor in October and more drafts are coming as comments come into the discussions so this is not a done deal. However, it is obvious that potential major changes are on the table for all user groups and thus the reason for this thread.