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The United Cook Inlet Drift Association (UCIDA) was incorporated in 1980 to represent the 570 drift gillnet salmon fishing permit holders in Alaska’s Cook Inlet. UCIDA’s purpose is to enhance and perpetuate the interests of this valuable commercial salmon fishing industry.

Wild Alaskan salmon have been commercially harvested in Cook Inlet since 1882. Over the past twenty years, the drift gillnet fishing fleet has harvested more than 271 million pounds of salmon, primarily sockeye salmon. The combined efforts of the drift and set gillnet fisheries in Upper Cook Inlet have produced average annual harvests of over 23 million pounds of wild salmon for the American and world markets during the past twenty years. Five percent of the world’s supply of sockeye salmon comes from Cook Inlet.

UCIDA’s Board of Directors and staff work to promote responsible management to ensure the long-term health of this abundant salmon resource and the resulting opportunities and benefits it provides. The day-to-day work of UCIDA covers an extremely broad range of issues that ultimately affect salmon, their harvest and marketing. These may include fishery management, invasive species, oil and gas lease sales, navigation issues, endangered species acts, oil spill response, local, state and federal regulatory issues and both state and federal litigation.

The nine members of the Board of Directors serve staggered three-year terms. Elections are held at annual membership meetings. Members (Upper Cook Inlet drift gillnet permit holders) and Associate Members are encouraged to attend all Board meetings.



Office Manager – Audrey Salmon – info@ucida.org

Board of Directors

David MartinPresidentF/V Kaguyak
Erik Huebsch1st VPF/V Williwaw
Dan Anderson2nd VPF/V Paragon
Dino SutherlandSec/TreasF/V Rivers End
Ilia KuzminDirectorF/V Currency
John McCombsDirectorF/V Rayo Verde
Ian PitzmanDirectorF/V Stephanie Ann
Steve TvenstrupDirectorF/V Alaskan Lady
Dyer VanDevereDirectorF/V Swift Arrow


43961 K-Beach Road, Suite E
Soldotna, Alaska
(907) 260-9436

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On June 20, 1997, the Kenai Watershed Forum hired their first employee. Twenty-two years later it’s easy say hiring Robert Ruffner was one of the best and most impactful decisions this organization would ever make. Robert “retired” from KWF in 2015, then served two-years on the Alaska Board of Fish. Today, we are proud to continue working with Robert as a contractor on some of our projects.
Robert has served, and continues to serve, as a mentor, resource and leader for not only KWF, but for many in our community and throughout our great state. His leadership and vision for KWF continues to guide us today, as he set the stage for an organization focused on high-quality research, restoration and education. It was easy to work for Robert, as he always had a vision that made sense to the staff, our board and to the greater community – a vision which, at its core, focused on habitat conservation and watershed stewardship. He accomplished many great things throughout his time with KWF, and we are continually grateful for having such a strong foundation to continue to build from.
Today we give thanks to KWF’s dynamic, original leader – Robert Ruffner.
Robert, thank you for all you’ve done for our community, our state and our cherished cultural and natural resources. We hope to honor you today and for another 20+ years. And thank you to those around you that supported your choice to give most of your career to KWF and this special place we call home – you’ll always be part of the KWF family.
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It is Invasive Species Awareness Week in Alaska! To highlight this week, please meet Derek and Ashley, fisheries technicians and pike slayers! Ashley and Derek are working this season at Whiskey and Hewitt lakes in the Susitna watershed to harvest invasive northern pike. In Southcentral Alaska, northern pike are not native and have already caused severe environmental and economic impacts to once highly-productive salmon streams. For several years now, CIAA has invested significant resources in trying to save natural salmon runs from invaders such as pike. You can learn more about the Whiskey/Hewitt lakes project at: www.akssf.org/Default.aspx?id=3468. ... See MoreSee Less