Alaska Salmon Fishing Regulation Orders In Kenai, Kasilof Rivers

Kenai River photo by Randy King.

The following press releases are courtesy of the Alaska Department of Fish and Game:

Early-run King Salmon Sport Fishery Restrictions on the Kasilof River

(Soldotna) – In favor of protecting returning king salmon and increased fishing opportunities in the future, the Alaska Department of Fish and Game (ADF&G) is prohibiting the retention of naturally-produced king salmon, reducing the bag and possession limit of hatchery-produced king salmon 20 inches or greater in length to one fish, and limiting sport fishing gear to one unbaited, single-hook, artificial lure on the Kasilof River. Naturally-produced king salmon caught may not be removed from the water and must be released immediately. A naturally-produced king salmon is a king salmon with an adipose fin intact. These sport fishing restrictions on the Kasilof River are effective 12:01 a.m.Wednesday, June 13 through 11:50 p.m., Saturday, June 30, 2018.

On June 11, 2018, the ADF&G issued a sport fishing regulation restriction prohibiting the retention of early-run, tributary spawning king salmon on the Kenai River drainage. This action will likely result in an increase in the sport fishing effort and catch of king salmon on the Kasilof River. ADF&G manages the Kasilof River king salmon sport fishery to achieve a sustainable escapement goal of 650 to 1,700 naturally-produced king salmon as monitored through a weir located on Crooked Creek.

Production of hatchery-produced king salmon to enhance the Kasilof River early-run king salmon fishery originates from naturally-produced king salmon that are surplus to Crooked Creek escapement needs. In addition, hatchery-produced fish that reach the weir may be used to supplement king salmon stocking programs at other Southcentral Alaska locations; therefore, providing increased harvest opportunity in the Kasilof River early-run king salmon sport fishery as well as other Southcentral Alaska king salmon sport fisheries. ADF&G staff will be closely monitoring this fishery as the season progresses and additional actions may be taken if necessary.

Kenai River King Salmon Limited to Catch-and-Release

(Soldotna) – In favor of protecting returning king salmon and increased fishing opportunities in the future, the Alaska Department of Fish and Game (ADF&G) is implementing the following sport fishing regulation restriction on the Kenai River effective 12:01 a.m. Wednesday, June 13 through 11:59 p.m., Friday, July 15, 2018:

June 13 – June 30, 2018:

Anglers may not harvest a king salmon of any size in the Kenai River from its mouth upstream to an ADF&G regulatory marker at the outlet of Skilak Lake. Anglers may fish for king salmon with one unbaited, single-hook, artificial lure but may not remove a king salmon from the water before releasing it.

July 1 – July 15, 2018:

Anglers may not harvest a king salmon of any size in the Kenai River from that portion of the Kenai River from an ADF&G regulatory marker located approximately 300 yards downstream from the mouth of Slikok Creek, upstream to an ADF&G regulatory marker at the outlet of Skilak Lake Anglers may fish for king salmon with one unbaited, single-hook, artificial lure but may not remove a king salmon from the water before releasing it.

“Kenai River king salmon and other king salmon stocks throughout Cook Inlet are experiencing a period of low productivity and, since 2009, a below average run strength,” stated Cook Inlet Management Coordinator Matt Miller. “As of June 10, 2018, an estimated 1,609 large king salmon have past the River Mile 13.7 king salmon sonar. Therefore, based upon the current inseason inriver run projections, it is warranted to reduce king salmon mortality until run projections solidify.”

The optimal escapement goal (OEG) for early-run Kenai River king salmon is 3,900 to 6,600 king salmon 75 cm mid eye to tail fork length and longer. The inseason inriver run projection ranges from approximately 3,500 large king salmon based upon average run timing to approximately 4,700 large king salmon based upon a run timing of three days late. ADF&G staff will be closely monitoring this fishery as the season progresses and additional actions may be taken if necessary.

 

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