The following is courtesy of the Alaska Department of Fish and Game:
Kenai River Personal Use Dip Net Fishery Opens July 10 with No Retention of King Salmon
(Soldotna) – To conserve returning king salmon and ensure fishing opportunities in the future, the Alaska Department of Fish and Game (ADF&G) is implementing the following regulatory restriction for the Kenai River personal use dipnet fishery, effective 6:00 a.m. Monday, July 10 through 11:00 p.m. Monday, July 31, 2023, the retention of king salmon is prohibited in the dipnet fishery. Any king salmon caught incidentally may not be removed from the water, must be released immediately, and returned to the water unharmed.
ADF&G closed the Kenai River to fishing for king salmon and prohibited the use of bait and multiple hooks in the Kenai River from its mouth upstream to ADF&G markers located at the outlet of Skilak Lake on March 2, 2023. Per the Kenai River Late-Run King Salmon Management Plan if bait is prohibited in the Kenai River sport fishery the retention of king salmon is prohibited in the personal use fishery.
“Preseason actions were taken earlier this year closing the Kenai River late-run king salmon fishery,” stated Acting Area Management Biologist Jenny Gates. “It is necessary and warranted to take additional conservation measures in the personal use dipnet fishery and prohibit the retention of king salmon.”
Dipnetting on the Kenai River is allowed from 6:00 a.m. to 11:00 p.m. each day, from July 10 through July 31. An Upper Cook Inlet Personal Use permit and a 2023 Alaska Sport Fishing license are required to participate. Only Alaska residents may participate in this fishery. Upper Cook Inlet Personal Use permit harvest and participation must be reported online no later than August 15 through the ADF&G harvest reporting webpage. Permit holders who fail to report will be denied an Upper Cook Inlet Personal Use Salmon permit for the 2024 personal use fishing season and are subject to a $200 fine. If you did not use the permit or if you used the permit but did not catch anything you still have to report. Returning permits by mail or hand-delivery is no longer an acceptable means for reporting.
For additional information, please contact Acting Area Management Biologist Jenny Gates at (907) 262-9368.