The following is courtesy of the Alaska Department of Fish and Game:
Kenai River Early-Run King Salmon Sport Fishery is Closed
(Soldotna) – In favor of protecting returning king salmon and ensuring sport fishing opportunities in the future, the Alaska Department of Fish and Game (ADF&G) is closing the early-run king salmon sport fishery in the Kenai River drainage downstream of the outlet of Skilak Lake effective 12:01 a.m. Wednesday, June 8, 2022. From June 8 through June 30, fishing for king salmon of any size, including catch-and-release, is closed in the Kenai River from its mouth upstream to the outlet of Skilak Lake. The closure for king salmon fishing will continue July 1 through July 31, in waters from an ADF&G regulatory marker located approximately 300 yards downstream from the mouth of Slikok Creek upstream to the outlet of Skilak Lake. King salmon caught while fishing for other species may not be removed from the water and must be released immediately.
In addition, for the Kenai River late-run of king salmon, from 12:01 a.m. Friday, July 1 through 11:59 p.m. Sunday, July 31, 2022, from the mouth of the Kenai River upstream to an ADF&G regulatory marker located approximately 300 yards downstream from the mouth of Slikok Creek, king salmon sport fishing is restricted to catch-and-release only for king salmon of all sizes. Only one unbaited, single-hook may be used. King salmon caught while fishing for other species may not be removed from the water and must be released immediately.
“In an effort to protect Kenai River early-run king salmon and as directed by the regulatory management plan, the early-run king salmon fishery is closed to sport fishing in an effort to meet the early-run escapement goal of 3,900 to 6,600 large king salmon,” stated Area Management Biologist Colton Lipka.
Through June 6, 2022, an estimated 265 large king salmon have passed the RM 13.7 king salmon sonar, which is well below the preseason forecast of ~4,300 large king salmon. The inseason escapement projection ranges from approximately 929 large king salmon based on average run timing to 2,129 large king salmon based on a run timing of five days late.
For additional information, please contact Area Management Biologist Colton Lipka at (907) 262-9368.