ADFG Shuts Down Kenai River To Early-Run King Fishing
The following press releases are courtesy of the Alaska Department of Fish and Game:
Kenai River Closed to Sport Fishing for Early Run King Salmon
(Soldotna) – In favor of protecting returning king salmon and increasing fishing opportunities in the future, the Alaska Department of Fish and Game (ADF&G) is implementing the following sport fishing regulation closure for the Kenai River drainage area effective 12:01 a.m. Wednesday, June 20 through 11:59 p.m., Tuesday, July 31, 2018:
June 20 – June 30, 2018:
Anglers may not fish for 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.
July 1 – July 31, 2018:
Anglers may not fish for 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.
This sport fishing regulation closure supersedes the Kenai River king salmon limited to catch-and-release only restriction issued on June 11, 2018.
“As of June 17, 2018, an estimated 2,116 large king salmon have past the River Mile 13.7 king salmon sonar. This closure is not an easy decision; however, even after prohibiting harvest of king salmon in the fishery last week, we are not projecting to meet the escapement goal and need to take this next step,” stated Cook Inlet Management Coordinator Matt Miller. “King salmon stocks throughout Cook Inlet, including the Kenai River runs, are experiencing a period of low productivity and the restrictions and closures are being felt across the state.”
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 3,095 large king salmon based upon average run timing to approximately 3,609 large king salmon based upon a run timing of three days late.
(Soldotna) – The Alaska Department of Fish and Game (ADF&G) is implementing the following sport fishing regulation liberalization by opening the Russian River Sanctuary area early for anglers to sport fish for sockeye salmon. This regulatory change is effective 8:00 a.m. Tuesday, June 19, 2018, through 11:59 p.m. Saturday, July 14, 2018. Please review the Upper Kenai River and Russian River Confluence area map (Area B) on page 60 of the 2018 Southcentral Sport Fishing Regulations Summary booklet.
The following sockeye salmon regulations apply for the Russian River Sanctuary area:
June 19 – July 14, 2018:
- o Sockeye salmon
- ? 16 inches or greater in length; 3 per day, 6 in possession
- ? Less than 16 inches in length, 10 per day, 10 in possession
July 15 – August 20, 2018:
- o fly-fishing-only waters
- o Sockeye or coho salmon
- ? 16 inches or longer, 3 per day 6 in possession in combination, of which only 1 per day, 1 in possession may be a coho salmon
- ? Less than 16 inches in length, 10 per day, 10 in possession;
Anglers are reminded, after August 20, 2018, the retention of sockeye salmon is prohibited in this area.
Through Sunday, June 17, 2018, approximately 7,759 sockeye salmon have passed the Russian River weir. Average run timing to this date is 15%. ADF&G estimates that the early-run sockeye salmon biological escapement goal of 22,000-42,000 sockeye salmon will be met.
Sport fishing for sockeye salmon in the Russian River area will likely remain good to excellent for the next several days. Anglers are reminded to remove fish carcasses whole or gutted/gilled from the clear waters of the Russian River. In addition, if you intend to clean your catch at the river, please take your fish to the mainstem Kenai River cleaning tables located at the confluence and ferry crossing to fillet and chop-up sockeye salmon carcasses into small pieces and throw the pieces into deep, flowing waters. Please keep all personal belongings, including stringers of fish closely attended. Please respect the riverbank restoration projects and stay on the established pathways in the Sanctuary, campground, and Russian River ferry areas.
Beginning Wednesday, June 20, at 12:01 a.m. through Tuesday, July 31st 2018; Bear Cove near Medvejie Hatchery is closed to sport fishing. The closure includes all waters of Bear Cove east of a line from a point on the Baranof Island shoreline at 57°00.63′ N. latitude, 135°09.80′ W. longitude to a point on the Baranof Island Shoreline at 57°01.07′ N. latitude, 135°09.93′ W. longitude; (see below map),
King salmon returning to Medvejie Hatchery are not expected to meet the broodstock goal of 4,500 fish in 2018 due to expected harvest and low marine survival. This closure is necessary to provide sufficient numbers of king salmon to meet broodstock needs.
For further information, contact the Sitka ADF&G office or visit: http://www.adfg.alaska.