The revised Bear Lake management plan developed in 1988 was soon followed by a cooperative agreement between ADF&G, Sport Fish Division, ADF&G Fisheries Rehabilitation, Enhancement and Development (FRED) Division, and the Cook Inlet Aquaculture Association (CIAA). The cooperative agreement, which became effective in August 1989, allowed CIAA to operate and maintain the Bear Lake coho salmon enhancement project and to begin sockeye enhancement activities in the lake. The agreement also provided CIAA with the responsibility of operating and maintaining the Bear Creek weir site. The objectives are to create a commercial sockeye fishery and to maintain the coho sport fishery enhancement program.
Between 1989 and 2005, CIAA released fry, pre-smolt and smolt into Bear Lake. In 2006, CIAA elected to discontinue the pre-smolt stocking and remove the smolt stocking from Bear Lake to net pens in Resurrection Bay. Currently CIAA releases 2.4 M fry and 1.5 M smolts each spring to Bear Lake and Resurrection Bay respectively.
To accomplish the objectives, CIAA monitors the number and age composition of marked fish resulting from fry and smolt releases in sockeye and coho adult migrations and evaluates the success of enhancement through the recovery of marked fish.