Area Management Biologist
Phone: (907) 262-9368
February 18, 2016
Anglers are advised that the Alaska Department of Fish and Game is implementing the following regulations for the 2016 early-run king salmon fishery on the Kasilof River:
Effective 12:01 a.m. Sunday, May 1 through 11:59 p.m. Thursday, June 30, 2016
• Anglers will be allowed to harvest a naturally-produced king salmon on Tuesdays and Saturdays only. Naturally-produced king salmon are distinguished from hatchery-produced king salmon in the Kasilof River by the presence of an adipose fin. The adipose fin is the small fleshy fin on the back just ahead of the tail. The king salmon bag and possession limit is 2 fish, but only one may be a naturally produced king salmon.
• On days of the week when the retention of naturally-produced king salmon will be prohibited, naturally-produced may not be removed from the water and must be released immediately. A naturally-produced king salmon is a king salmon with an adipose fin intact. Hatchery-produced king salmon are distinguished from naturally-produced king salmon by a healed scar where the adipose fin was clipped.
• The use of bait and multiple hooks will be prohibited in the Kasilof River from its mouth upstream to the Sterling Highway bridge. Anglers may use only one unbaited, single-hook, artificial lure. “Single hook” means a fishhook with only one point (with or without a barb).
Kasilof River early-run king salmon are experiencing a period of low productivity and, since 2009, below average run strength. Monitoring of the run under various restrictions from 2009 through 2015 indicates the run may be progressing from low to more average production levels.
The department manages the Kasilof River king salmon sport fishery to achieve a sustainable escapement goal (SEG) of 650–1,700 naturally-produced king salmon and broodstock collection goals for naturally- and hatchery-produced fish as monitored through the Crooked Creek weir. To ensure another successful season in 2016, the department has determined these restrictions will provide the best chance to achieve the SEG for naturally-produced king salmon in Crooked Creek and to meet king salmon stocking goals that have increased since 2014.