Division of Sport Fish
Israel Payton, Director

Anchorage Headquarters Office
333 Raspberry Road
Anchorage, AK 99518

Alaska Department of Fish and Game
Doug Vincent-Lang, Commissioner

P.O. Box 115526
Juneau, AK 99811-5526

Advisory Announcement
(Released: June 22, 2023 - Expired: July 14, 2023)

CONTACT: Jenny Gates
Acting Area Management Biologist
(907) 262-9368

Russian River & Upper Kenai River Sockeye Salmon Bag Limits Increased to 9 Fish

(Soldotna) - The Alaska Department of Fish and Game (ADF&G) is implementing the following sport fishing regulation liberalization by increasing limits of sockeye salmon to nine per day, 18 in possession for the Russian River and a section of the mainstem Upper Kenai River. This regulatory change is effective 12:01 a.m. Saturday, June 24 through 11:59 p.m. Friday, July 14, 2023. This liberalization supersedes Emergency Order 2-RS-1-27-23 issued on Thursday, June 15, which increased sockeye salmon bag and possession limits in the Russian River and Upper Kenai River to six and 12 fish, respectively.

The section of the mainstem Upper Kenai River includes the area that extends from Skilak Lake upstream 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. For additional information on the Upper Kenai River and Russian River Area, please review pages 59-61 of the 2023 Southcentral Alaska Sport Fishing Regulations Summary booklet.

As of June 21, 2023, 30,430 sockeye salmon have passed the Russian River weir, located upstream of the falls. The early-run Russian River sockeye salmon biological escapement goal of 22,000 - 42,000 sockeye salmon is expected to be exceeded within the next few days.

“Fish passage at the weir is strong and projected to exceed the escapement goal” stated Acting Area Management Biologist Jenny Gates. “Given the strength of the run, it is appropriate to increase bag limits and give anglers increased opportunity to harvest more fish.”

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 Acting Area Management Biologist Jenny Gates at
(907) 262-9368.