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Alaska Department of Fish and Game


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:

  • 2017
  • 2016
  • 2015
  • 2014
  • 2013
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 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]

Date
2017
Count
2017
Cumulative
2017
Cumulative
2016
Cumulative
2015
Cumulative
2014
Notes for
2017
Jun-30 - 6,507 6,391 4,212 2,391  
Jun-29 - 6,507 6,241 4,170 2,354  
Jun-28 - 6,507 6,030 4,072 2,330  
Jun-27 - 6,507 5,902 4,024 2,294  
Jun-26 - 6,507 5,739 3,952 2,228  
Jun-25 - 6,507 5,636 3,837 2,179  
Jun-24 84 6,507 5,534 3,752 2,149  
Jun-23 91 6,423 5,374 3,667 2,125  
Jun-22 90 6,332 5,237 3,637 2,070  
Jun-21 133 6,242 5,152 3,546 1,985  
Jun-20 66 6,109 5,025 3,473 1,931  
Jun-19 121 6,043 4,944 3,352 1,853  
Jun-18 259 5,922 4,853 3,301 1,775  
Jun-17 193 5,663 4,720 3,159 1,703  
Jun-16 193 5,470 4,593 3,080 1,616  
Jun-15 314 5,277 4,412 3,032 1,555  
Jun-14 374 4,963 4,234 2,934 1,476  
Jun-13 307 4,589 3,957 2,830 1,365  
Jun-12 272 4,282 3,674 2,695 1,299  
Jun-11 284 4,010 3,403 2,452 1,206  
Jun-10 253 3,726 3,162 2,281 1,085  
Jun-09 175 3,473 2,993 2,142 1,025  
Jun-08 271 3,298 2,785 1,955 916  
Jun-07 207 3,027 2,574 1,798 819  
Jun-06 201 2,820 2,249 1,551 690  
Jun-05 284 2,619 2,034 1,346 487  
Jun-04 200 2,335 1,907 1,219 384  
Jun-03 368 2,135 1,684 1,056 251  
Jun-02 272 1,767 1,503 923 172  
Jun-01 235 1,495 1,382 736 146  
May-31 169 1,260 1,243 603 115  
May-30 199 1,091 1,026 531 97  
May-29 151 892 844 465 67  
May-28 91 741 675 344 61  
May-27 98 650 434 290 43  
May-26 130 552 356 236 37  
May-25 103 422 265 194 37  
May-24 60 319 229 176 37  
May-23 91 259 199 128 37  
May-22 18 168 133 98 31  
May-21 6 150 121 92 24  
May-20 36 144 91 68 12  
May-19 42 108 49 56 12  
May-18 30 66 36 18 6  
May-17 30 36 30 6 0  
May-16 6 6 12 6 0 First Day of Sonar Counts

Sonar Tools

Early Run DIDSON Threshold (>30 in.) Sonar Estimate

The DIDSON threshold estimate is an estimate for fish targets that are measured to be 750 millimeters (30 inches) or greater in total length. These estimates are a daily index of the relative abundance of king salmon passage between the transducers at the mile 8.6 sonar and are not expanded to estimate passage of fish outside the ensonified zone.

Show DIDSON Threshold Data Table ↓

Date 2014 2013 2012 2011
May-16 - 0 12 27
May-17 - 6 36 34
May-18 - 12 48 41
May-19 - 18 84 47
May-20 - 30 114 53
May-21 - 42 134 83
May-22 - 78 152 155
May-23 - 102 237 240
May-24 - 131 268 312
May-25 - 144 298 445
May-26 - 150 342 511
May-27 - 150 366 565
May-28 - 150 463 662
May-29 - 156 545 740
May-30 - 168 593 831
May-31 - 168 635 909
Jun-01 - 191 692 940
Jun-02 - 209 776 964
Jun-03 - 221 848 1,018
Jun-04 - 227 920 1,096
Jun-05 - 245 968 1,235
Jun-06 - 257 1,022 1,458
Jun-07 - 269 1,064 1,585
Jun-08 - 311 1,142 1,845
Jun-09 - 329 1,230 1,930
Jun-10 - 341 1,333 2,075
Jun-11 - 353 1,387 2,160
Jun-12 - 365 1,471 2,214
Jun-13 - 401 1,549 2,371
Jun-14 - 437 1,597 2,504
Jun-15 - 455 1,675 2,626
Jun-16 - 479 1,766 2,771
Jun-17 - 503 1,808 2,904
Jun-18 - 515 1,874 3,055
Jun-19 - 541 1,940 3,248
Jun-20 - 561 2,019 3,393
Jun-21 - 597 2,061 3,556
Jun-22 - 633 2,103 3,707
Jun-23 - 651 2,157 3,967
Jun-24 - 675 2,175 4,130
Jun-25 - 776 2,207 4,390
Jun-26 - 818 2,243 4,481
Jun-27 - 848 2,321 4,528
Jun-28 - 902 2,375 4,655
Jun-29 - 992 2,447 4,836
Jun-30 - 1,082 2,556 5,130

Early Run Sonar Net Apportioned Cumulative Passage Estimates

The Net Apportioned sonar estimate of Chinook salmon passage is based on the combination of the number of fish detected by sonar and number of Chinook salmon captured by the netting project conducted at the sonar station located at river mile 8.6.


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 the sonar station located at river mile 8.6. The 2014 netting project is different from the previous years and may not be comparable. In 2014 the amount of time spent netting doubled and some netting is also being conducted nearshore


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.

Weekly Sportfish Fishing Report for this area


Final Early Run Kenai River Chinook Inseason Summary

King salmon run update: 

On June 30 the daily estimated passage was 174 king salmon for a season total of 2,038 king salmon. Through June 30 the cumulative values for all four indices of king salmon abundance were the lowest on record. Given the unprecedented low run, an emergency order was issued Tuesday, June 18 closing the Kenai River to king salmon fishing on June 20 for the remainder of June and, for the Kenai River above the lower Slikok Creek sanctuary markers, until July 14.

Based on the low abundance of the Kenai River early-run king salmon stock, the late-run king salmon fishery began July 1 without the use of bait. Prohibiting use of bait during July is intended to reduce harvest of both early- and late-run stocks. The department has issued the following emergency orders:

From 12:01 a.m., Thursday, June 20, through 11:59 p.m., Sunday, June 30, 2013:

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, and no king salmon of any size may be retained. 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., Monday, July 1, through 11:59 p.m., Sunday, July 14, 2013:

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, and no king salmon of any size may be retained. 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., Monday, July 1, through 11:59 p.m., Sunday, July 31, 2013:

In the Kenai River drainage, 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, only one unbaited, single-hook, artificial lure is allowed. The use of bait/scent is not allowed.

The news releases and emergency orders can be found at the following links:

http://www.adfg.alaska.gov/index.cfm?adfg=fishingSportFishingInfo.NR&NRID=1797&year=2013

http://www.adfg.alaska.gov/static-sf/EONR/PDFs/2013/R2/EO-2-KS-1-22-13%20Close%20ERKenaiKing_Final.pdf

http://www.adfg.alaska.gov/index.cfm?adfg=fishingSportFishingInfo.NR&NRID=1802&year=2013

The first late-run update will be on Friday, July 5.

Fishery Update:

The king salmon sport fishery closed at 11:59 p.m., Wednesday, June 19. Fishing effort and catch rates remained unusually low when the river was open to fishing. From May 16 through June 19 the total catch of king salmon below the Soldotna Bridge estimated by creel survey was a total of 40 fish. Harvest was not allowed due to the catch and release emergency order.


Water Conditions:

Water clarity: Fair; last visibility readings 0.7 meters at river mile 15.3, and 0.7 meters at the river mile 8.6 sonar station.

Water flow/current: Stable 15,100 ft3/sec today vs 48 yr median (11,700 ft3 / sec). Water is higher than average.

Water temperature: June 30 at sonar station 50° F.

Summary of cumulative raw information collected thru Jul 1 (by year) that is used to assess Kenai River king salmon run strength.
Year Number Chinook Captured in Test Net at Sonar Station Number Sockeye Captured in Test Net at Sonar Station Chinook Sport Harvest Below Soldotna Estimated by Creel Survey Cumulative DIDSON Sonar Estimate Cumulative Net Apportioned Sonar Estimate Commercial Set Net Harvest
2002 369 662 376 * 9,013 N/A
2003 874 840 1,948 * 18,616 N/A
2004 448 460 2,285 * 26,468 N/A
2005 471 1,560 2,876 * 18,139 N/A
2006 304 1,417 3,397 * 10,955 N/A
2007 266 1,167 2,645 * 6,641 N/A
2008 205 1,033 2,602 * 7,091 N/A
2009 167 931 2,023 * 4,168 N/A
2010 164 1,125 837 7,738 3,732 N/A
2011 221 1,688 816 10,099 6,836 N/A
2012 105 953 316 5,171 2,786 N/A
2013 55 555 0 2,038 2,190 N/A

NOTE: N/A means that there is no fishery for that date, and an asterisk (*) means that there is no data for that date.