The following press releases are courtesy of the Alaska Department of Fish and Game:
Kenai River Sockeye Salmon Bag Limits Increased
(Soldotna) – The Alaska Department of Fish and Game (ADF&G) is increasing the sport fishing bag and possession limits for salmon, 16 inches or longer, except for king, pink, and coho salmon, in the Kenai River downstream of Skilak Lake to six per day and twelve in possession effective 12:01 a.m. Friday, July 22 through 11:59 p.m. Saturday, December 31, 2022. This includes the flowing waters of the Kenai River from its mouth upstream to ADF&G regulatory marker located at the outlet of Skilak Lake.
The Kenai River Late-Run Sockeye Salmon Management Plan allows ADF&G to increase bag and possession limits for sockeye salmon when the abundance of late-run Kenai River sockeye salmon exceeds 2.3 million salmon, and the escapement goal is anticipated to be achieved. As of July 20, 2022, ADF&G projects the Kenai River sockeye salmon late-run to exceed 2.3 million fish and anticipates the escapement goal (750,000 – 1,300,000 sockeye salmon) will be achieved. Therefore, it is warranted to increase the bag and possession limits for salmon, other than king, pink, and coho salmon, to six per day and twelve in possession, of which no more than two per day and in possession may be coho salmon.
“In order to provide anglers additional opportunity to harvest late-run sockeye the department has increased the bag limit for the Kenai River downstream of Skilak Lake,” stated Area Management Biologist Colton Lipka.
Anglers are reminded to review the Kenai River riverbank closures for habitat protection regulations described on pages 55-57, as well as the fly-fishing only waters downstream of Skilak Lake described on pages 52-53 of the 2022 Southcentral Alaska Sport Fishing Regulations Summary booklet.
For additional information, please contact Area Management Biologist Colton Lipka at (907) 262-9368.
Kenai River Personal Use Dip Net Fishery Open 24 Hours Per Day
(Soldotna) – The Kenai River personal use dip net fishery will be open 24 hours per day, beginning 11:00 p.m. Friday, July 22 through 11:59 p.m. Sunday, July 31, 2022.
The area of the Kenai River open to personal use dipnetting remains the same. Please review pages 13-15 of the 2022 Southcentral Alaska Sport Fishing Regulations Summary booklet for a complete description of the area open to dipnetting, along with harvest limits and permit requirements. Participants are reminded that retention of king salmon is prohibited, and any king salmon caught must be returned immediately to the water. Additionally, to participate in the Upper Cook Inlet personal fisheries participants must be Alaska residents and have in their possession a current sport fishing license and an Upper Cook Inlet Personal Use permit. Nonresidents are not allowed to participate in personal use fisheries.
The Upper Cook Inlet Personal Use Salmon Fishery Management Plan allows ADF&G to increase the hours open to dipnetting in the Kenai River personal use fishery to 24 hours per day, if ADF&G is projecting a run size that exceeds 2.3 million late-run Kenai River sockeye salmon and anticipates the escapement goal (750,000 – 1,300,000 sockeye salmon) will be achieved.
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 2023 and 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 to report.
Please respect all private property adjacent to public beaches and follow applicable rules and regulations when on lands owned by the City of Kenai.
For additional information, please Area Management Biologist Colton Lipka at (907) 262-9368.