2020 Deshka and Kenai Rivers King Salmon Outlooks Available

The following is courtesy of the Alaska Department of Fish and Game:

(Anchorage) – The Alaska Department of Fish and Game (ADF&G) Division of Sport Fish has published the 2020 Season King Salmon Outlooks for the Deshka River and Kenai River early and late runs. The preseason forecast total run for the Deshka River is 10,570 king salmon which is within the biological escapement goal of 9,000 to 18,000 fish. The outlook covers three classes of models that statistically have the greatest accuracy and precision. The outlook also includes tables depicting forecasts of the previous year’s runs and actual runs for specific age classes.

The outlook for the early run of Kenai River king salmon in 2020 is below average, with a large fish forecast of 4,794 fish. The Kenai River king salmon goal is based on large fish meaning a king salmon greater than 75 cm mideye-to-tail-fork-length or approximately 34 inches in total length. The 2020 forecasted total run of large fish is within the optimum escapement goal of 3,900 to 6,600 fish; however, it is less than the recent 5-year average total run of 5,110 fish. If realized, the 2020 run will be slightly larger (577 fish) than the preliminary estimate of the 2019 total run of 4,216 large fish.

The outlook for the late run of Kenai River king salmon in 2020 is a forecast of 22,707 large fish. The 2020 forecasted total run of large fish is within the large fish sustainable escapement goal of 13,500 to 27,000 fish. If realized, this run will be approximately 60% (8,900 fish) larger than the 2019 preliminary estimated total run of 12,780 large fish and be comparable to the recent 5-year (2015-2019) average total run of about 21,600 large fish.

The Board of Fisheries (BOF) has several proposals before it that may affect management decisions that could impact local fisheries; therefore, ADF&G is not making any management decisions at this time for the Upper Cook Inlet areas. The BOF Upper Cook Inlet Finfish meeting is scheduled for February 7 – February 19, 2020, at the Egan Convention Center. The public is welcome to attend the meeting.

“ADF&G understands that anglers, guides, and local businesses are better served by preseason and timely management decisions,” stated Sport Fish Cook Inlet Coordinator Matt Miller. “However, it is prudent to hold off making any preseason management decisions prior to the Board of Fisheries meeting. The board will be considering actions that could impact these fisheries.”

Anglers can review the 2020 Deshka River King Salmon Outlook, the 2020 Kenai River King Salmon Early-run and Late-run outlooks, and the 2019-2020 Proposal Book on the ADF&G webpage.

For additional information about management actions, please contact Palmer Area Management Biologist Sam Ivey at (907) 746-6300, or Soldotna Area Management Biologist Colton Lipka at (907) 260-2920. For information about the BOF meeting and proposals, please contact the Boards Support Section at (907) 465-4110.