The following is courtesy of the Alaska Department of Fish and Game:
(Soldotna) – Kenai River anglers are advised that, in an effort to continue protection of late-run king salmon, the Alaska Department of Fish and Game (ADF&G) is prohibiting the use of bait and multiple hooks in the Kenai River from its mouth upstream to Skilak Lake, effective 12:01 a.m. Tuesday, August 6 through 11:59 p.m. Thursday, August 15, 2019. Anglers may use only one unbaited, single-hook, artificial lure in these waters. “Single hook” means a fishhook with only one point.
Anglers are reminded that king salmon fishing closed August 1, 2019, including catch-and-release fishing. Incidentally hooked king salmon may not be retained or possessed. King salmon caught while fishing for other species may not be removed from the water and must be released immediately. Anglers should avoid fishing for coho salmon in areas of the river where king salmon are concentrated and to cut leaders or lines to avoid stressing incidentally hooked king salmon.
As of August 3, 2019, the sonar cumulative estimate of king salmon passage into the Kenai River was 9,586 fish. The projected sport harvest and catch-and-release mortality of king salmon in the Kenai River upstream of the sonar through the end of the season as estimated by an inseason creel survey is approximately 507 fish. Projections to achieve the sustainable escapement goal (SEG) have been dropping in August with lower than anticipated entry of king salmon past the sonar. Based on early run timing assessment of the inriver return, the SEG is not projected to be achieved. Restrictive actions to reduce harvest of Kenai River king salmon are being taken in the commercial fishery as well. Therefore, these measures are warranted to continue to conserve late-run Kenai River king salmon needed for escapement.