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Alaska Department of Fish and Game


Emergency Orders and News Releases
Sport Fishing

Region 2-Southcentral News Release

(Released: February 27, 2014)


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ALASKA DEPARTMENT OF FISH AND GAME
Cora Campbell, Commissioner

DIVISION OF SPORT FISH
Charles O. Swanton, Director

Contact:
Robert Begich
Area Management Biologist
Phone: 907-262-9368

February 27, 2014

2014 KENAI RIVER EARLY-RUN KING SALMON SPORT FISHERY CLOSURE

Kenai River anglers are advised that, in an effort to meet the early-run king salmon escapement goal in 2014, the early-run sport fishery will be closed as follows:

From 12:01 a.m., Thursday, May 1, through 11:59 p.m., Monday, June 30, 2014:
• In the Kenai River, from the mouth upstream to Skilak Lake, and in the Moose River from its confluence with the Kenai River upstream to the northernmost edge of the Sterling Highway bridge, king salmon fishing is closed. No king salmon of any size may be retained. King salmon may not be targeted and any king salmon caught while fishing for other species may not be removed from the water and must be released immediately.

From 12:01 a.m., Tuesday, July 1, through 11:59 p.m., Thursday, July 31, 2014:
• In the Kenai River, from ADF&G regulatory markers located approximately 300 yards downstream from the mouth of Slikok Creek, upstream to the outlet of Skilak Lake, and in the Moose River from its confluence with the Kenai River upstream to the northernmost edge of the Sterling Highway bridge, king salmon fishing is closed. No king salmon of any size may be retained. King salmon may not be targeted and any king salmon caught while fishing for other species may not be removed from the water and must be released immediately.

Kenai River king salmon and other king salmon stocks throughout Cook Inlet are experiencing a period of low productivity and, since 2009, below average strength. That trend is anticipated to continue during the 2014 season. The 2014 preseason forecast for early-run Kenai River king salmon is for a total run of approximately 2,230 fish. If realized the 2014 run would be similar in abundance to the 2013 run and rank as the lowest run measured (29th out of 29 years). Since the 2014 total run forecast is less than the lower end of the optimal escapement goal, and king salmon abundance in Cook Inlet is expected to be below average, closing the fishery is warranted until data from inseason assessment projects indicate that fishing opportunity can be afforded without jeopardizing achievement of the optimal escapement goal.
For information about the 2014 Kenai River early-run king salmon outlook visit our website at:

http://www.adfg.alaska.gov/index.cfm?adfg=ByAreaSouthcentralUpperKenai.fishingInfo#/outlook