(Released: June 18, 2019 - Expired: July 31, 2019)
Division of Sport Fish
Alaska Department of Fish and Game
Contact: Colton Lipka, Area Management Biologist
(Soldotna) - In favor of protecting returning king salmon and ensuring fishing opportunities in the future, the Alaska Department of Fish and Game (ADF&G) is implementing the following sport fishing regulation restrictions on the Kenai River late-run king salmon fishery effective 12:01 a.m. Monday, July 1 through 11:59 p.m. Wednesday, July 31, 2019. The use of bait is prohibited but harvest is still allowed on the Kenai River from its mouth upstream to an ADF&G regulatory marker located approximately 300 yards downstream from the mouth of Slikok Creek.
This sport fishing restriction is in conjunction with the Kenai River early-run king salmon sport fishing restrictions issued February 14, 2019. The retention of king salmon of any size in the Kenai River is prohibited from an ADF&G regulatory marker located approximately 300 yards downstream from the mouth of Slikok Creek, upstream to the outlet of Skilak Lake will remain in effect through July 31, 2019.
“In order to achieve the Kenai River late-run king salmon escapement goal, we are starting the July fishery off without bait,” stated Area Management Biologist Colton Lipka. “Based upon the preseason forecast and recent king salmon performance around Cook Inlet, restrictions are warranted in order to meet the escapement goal and still provide fishing opportunity for Kenai River late-run king salmon.”
In conjunction with this restriction, an additional sport fishing restriction EO 2-KS-1-22-19 was issued starting the Kasilof River king salmon fishery off with no bait and only one, single-hook, artificial lure may be used in the Kasilof River from its mouth upstream to the Sterling Highway Bridge.
The sustainable escapement goal for late-run Kenai River king salmon is 13,500 to 27,000 king salmon 75 cm mid eye to tail fork length and longer. ADF&G will continue to monitor the Kenai River run as it develops and additional actions may be taken depending on the run strength. Anglers are reminded that the management plan indicates if bait is prohibited in the sport fishery then the personal use and commercial fishery are also restricted to help share the burden of conservation across all user groups.
For additional information, please contact Area Management Biologist Colton Lipka at (907) 262-9368.