Russian, Kenai Rivers Get Increase In Sockeye Limits

The following is courtesy of the Alaska Department of Fish and Game:

Russian River & Upper Kenai River Sockeye Salmon Limits Increased

(Soldotna) – The Alaska Department of Fish and Game (ADF&G) is implementing the following sport fishing regulation liberalization by increasing the limits of sockeye salmon to six per day and twelve in possession for the Russian River and a section of the mainstem Upper Kenai River. This regulatory change is effective from 12:01 a.m. Saturday, June 25 through 11:59 p.m. Thursday, July 14, 2022.

The section of the mainstem Upper Kenai River with the increased sockeye salmon limits includes the area that extends upstream from Skilak Lake to ADF&G regulatory markers located approximately 300 yards upstream of the public boat launch at Sportsman’s Landing (this includes the Russian River Sanctuary Area) and the Russian River from its mouth upstream to an ADF&G marker located approximately 600 yards downstream from the Russian River Falls. Anglers are reminded that they may possess only the limit allowed for the waters they are actively fishing. If a Russian River angler has more than six sockeye salmon in possession, then that angler may not fish in waters with a possession limit of six.

As of Wednesday, June 22 a total of 17,334 sockeye salmon have passed the Russian River weir, located upstream of the falls. ADF&G estimates that the escapement will exceed the early-run Russian River sockeye salmon biological escapement goal of 22,000 – 42,000 sockeye salmon.

“Inseason projections of escapement from the Russian River weir indicate the escapement goal is likely to be exceeded, therefore increasing the bag and possession limits will allow anglers the opportunity to harvest more sockeye salmon,” stated Area Management Biologist Colton Lipka.

Anglers are reminded to remove fish carcasses whole or gutted/gilled from the Russian River clear water. If you clean your catch, take 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 respect habitat and cultural resource protection sites that are fenced or roped off, stay on the established trails and boardwalks, and use public restroom facilities in the campgrounds and ferry areas. Please keep all personal belongings, including stringers of fish closely attended.

For additional information, please contact Area Management Biologist Colton Lipka or Assistant Area Management Biologist Jenny Gates at (907) 262-9368.