Division of Sport Fish
Alaska Department of Fish and Game
Contact: Matt Miller, Cook Inlet Management Coordinator
(Soldotna) – In favor of protecting returning king salmon and increased fishing opportunities in the future, the Alaska Department of Fish and Game (ADF&G) is implementing the following sport fishing regulation restriction on the Kenai River effective 12:01 a.m. Wednesday, June 13 through 11:59 p.m., Friday, July 15, 2018:
June 13 – June 30, 2018:
Anglers may not harvest a king salmon of any size in the Kenai River from its mouth upstream to an ADF&G regulatory marker at the outlet of Skilak Lake. Anglers may fish for king salmon with one unbaited, single-hook, artificial lure but may not remove a king salmon from the water before releasing it.
July 1 – July 15, 2018:
Anglers may not harvest a king salmon of any size in the Kenai River from that portion of the Kenai River from an ADF&G regulatory marker located approximately 300 yards downstream from the mouth of Slikok Creek, upstream to an ADF&G regulatory marker at the outlet of Skilak Lake Anglers may fish for king salmon with one unbaited, single-hook, artificial lure but may not remove a king salmon from the water before releasing it.
“Kenai River king salmon and other king salmon stocks throughout Cook Inlet are experiencing a period of low productivity and, since 2009, a below average run strength,” stated Cook Inlet Management Coordinator Matt Miller. “As of June 10, 2018, an estimated 1,609 large king salmon have past the River Mile 13.7 king salmon sonar. Therefore, based upon the current inseason inriver run projections, it is warranted to reduce king salmon mortality until run projections solidify.”
The optimal escapement goal (OEG) for early-run Kenai River king salmon is 3,900 to 6,600 king salmon 75 cm mid eye to tail fork length and longer. The inseason inriver run projection ranges from approximately 3,500 large king salmon based upon average run timing to approximately 4,700 large king salmon based upon a run timing of three days late. ADF&G staff will be closely monitoring this fishery as the season progresses and additional actions may be taken if necessary.
For additional information, please contact Cook Inlet Management Coordinator Matt Miller at (907) 262-9368.