Kenai Chinook Estimates, Indices and Inseason Run Summaries

Location: Kenai River (Chinook)
Species: Chinook - Early Run
Method: Sonar

The selected years are color-coded in the graphs below:

  • 2019
  • 2018
  • 2017
  • 2016
  • 2015
Daily Counts
Cumulative

Description: In 2015 the department began managing Kenai River king salmon runs using an ARIS sonar station located at river mile 14. In 2017 The Department modified the Kenai River king salmon escapement goals from goals based on king salmon of all sizes, to escapement goals based on large king salmon (fish over 34 inches) only. The new early-run king salmon optimal escapement goal range is 3,900 to 6,600 large king salmon (> 34 inches). The new late-run king salmon sustainable escapement goal range is 13,500 to 27,000 large king salmon (> 34 inches). The ARIS sonar counts found on this page are the daily and seasonal cumulative passage estimates of the number of large king salmon passing the sonar site. Additionally, the past years counts displayed on this page have been converted to large fish counts for comparison. These estimated numbers of large king salmon passing the sonar site are the primary tool for the Kenai River king salmon assessment program that also includes a sport angler harvest survey, and a netting program. The data gathered in these assessments are used together to determine king salmon run strength. This data in conjunction with Fishery Management Plans, allows fishery managers to determine if emergency order regulation changes to the fisheries are needed during the season to help ensure that the escapement goals are achieved. These abundance assessments as well as information about the status of the run and inseason management actions can be viewed via this website on the above tabs. Information is also available by telephone at (907)262-9097.

Contact: Northern Kenai Sport Fish Assistant Area Manager,
(907) 262-9368

Weekly Sportfish Fishing Report for this area

46 records returned for the years selected. Dashes indicate days with no count.
[Export results in Excel format or JSON format]

Date
2019
Count
2019
Cumulative
2019
Cumulative
2018
Cumulative
2017
Cumulative
2016
Notes for
2019
Jun-30 - 0 3,000 7,237 6,391  
Jun-29 - 0 2,903 7,128 6,241  
Jun-28 - 0 2,855 7,001 6,030  
Jun-27 - 0 2,734 6,917 5,902  
Jun-26 - 0 2,668 6,790 5,739  
Jun-25 - 0 2,614 6,621 5,636  
Jun-24 - 0 2,542 6,507 5,534  
Jun-23 - 0 2,494 6,423 5,374  
Jun-22 - 0 2,447 6,332 5,237  
Jun-21 - 0 2,387 6,242 5,152  
Jun-20 - 0 2,326 6,109 5,025  
Jun-19 - 0 2,267 6,043 4,944  
Jun-18 - 0 2,243 5,922 4,853  
Jun-17 - 0 2,182 5,663 4,720  
Jun-16 - 0 2,116 5,470 4,593  
Jun-15 - 0 2,098 5,277 4,412  
Jun-14 - 0 2,013 4,963 4,234  
Jun-13 - 0 1,892 4,589 3,957  
Jun-12 - 0 1,820 4,282 3,674  
Jun-11 - 0 1,742 4,010 3,403  
Jun-10 - 0 1,609 3,726 3,162  
Jun-09 - 0 1,488 3,473 2,993  
Jun-08 - 0 1,385 3,298 2,785  
Jun-07 - 0 1,282 3,027 2,574  
Jun-06 - 0 1,161 2,820 2,249  
Jun-05 - 0 1,041 2,619 2,034  
Jun-04 - 0 932 2,335 1,907  
Jun-03 - 0 805 2,135 1,684  
Jun-02 - 0 702 1,767 1,503  
Jun-01 - 0 587 1,495 1,382  
May-31 - 0 478 1,260 1,243  
May-30 - 0 417 1,091 1,026  
May-29 - 0 338 892 844  
May-28 - 0 290 741 675  
May-27 - 0 241 650 434  
May-26 - 0 192 552 356  
May-25 - 0 186 422 265  
May-24 - 0 174 319 229  
May-23 - 0 138 259 199  
May-22 - 0 96 168 133  
May-21 - 0 66 150 121  
May-20 - 0 48 144 91  
May-19 - 0 42 108 49  
May-18 - 0 18 66 36  
May-17 - 0 0 36 30  
May-16 - 0 0 6 12  

Non-Sonar Tools

Early Run Netting Project CPUE Index

The Net Catch Per Unit Effort (CPUE) is an index of the numbers of Chinook salmon moving into the Kenai River and is based on the rate at which Chinook salmon are captured by the netting project conducted at river mile 8.6.


Early Run Sport CPUE Index

The Sport Catch Per Unit Effort (CPUE) is an index of the numbers of Chinook salmon in the lower Kenai River and is based on the success rate of anglers fishing downstream of the Sterling Highway Bridge Crossing in Soldotna.

Early Run Netting Project Large Fish CPUE Index

The Net Catch Per Unit Effort (CPUE) is an index of the numbers of Chinook salmon moving into the Kenai River and is based on the rate at which Chinook salmon are captured by the netting project conducted at the sonar station located at river mile 8.6.

Weekly Sportfish Fishing Report for this area


Final Early Run Kenai River Chinook Inseason Summary

Chinook salmon run update: 

On June 30 the daily estimated sonar passage of Chinook salmon greater than 34 inches in length was 109 fish for a final preliminary season total of 7,237 Chinook salmon greater than 34 inches in length. The 2017 early-run of Chinook salmon greater than 34 inches in length ranks as the highest run since 2013. Based on 5 years of sonar data at river mile 13.7 it was 1 day early with the midpoint on June 10.

Fishery Update:

The final preliminary creel survey estimate of Chinook salmon sport fish harvest (including catch-and-release mortality) downstream of Soldotna was approximately 768 fish. The preliminary estimate of sport fish harvest (including catch-and-release mortality) upstream of Soldotna was 195 fish. By summation of harvest estimates upstream and downstream of Soldotna results in a preliminary estimate of total inriver sport fish harvest for 2017 of 963 Chinook salmon. Inriver harvest estimates will be refined upon publication of the 2017 Statewide Harvest Survey and 2017 Freshwater Sport Fish Guide Logbook data during September of 2018. The inriver sport fishery for Chinook salmon was liberalized twice on June 12 and June 21 by increasing the maximum size to less than 46” and allowing bait respectively.

Escapement:

The optimal escapement goal (OEG) for early-run Kenai River Chinook salmon greater than 34 inches in length is 3,900-6,600 fish. The preliminary total estimated inriver mortality (harvest and catch and release mortality) above the sonar is 676 fish. The final preliminary escapement estimate is 6,561 Chinook salmon.

Additional Information:

Based on these preliminary inriver run and harvest estimates and considering marine recreational harvests the final preliminary estimated total run of early-run Chinook salmon is ~7,500 fish and will be slightly above the preseason total run forecast of approximately 6,500 Chinook salmon.
Data collected from the Chinook salmon netting project at river mile 8.6 and the inriver creel survey of Chinook salmon harvest indicate the size and gender composition of the 2017 late-run more closely resembled historic size and gender compositions. Preliminary information based on using length of fish captured and measured in the test netting project as proxy for age showed that about 82% of Chinook salmon were 3-ocean age Chinook salmon or older (1-ocean 0%, 2-ocean 18%, 3-ocean 51%, 4-ocean 31%, 5-ocean 0%). In addition, the preliminary sex composition was approximately 52% female and 48% male Chinook salmon from the netting program. These preliminary netting compositions were not reflected in the preliminary results of fish sampled in the creel survey using length as a proxy for age, where about 71% of the sport harvest was comprised of 3-ocean age or older Chinook salmon and the sex composition of the harvest was 48% female and 52% male. Scales from both the netting project and the creel survey are being processed and final estimates of the age, sex and length composition of early-run Chinook salmon are still forthcoming.