Division of Sport Fish
Dave Rutz, 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: January 26, 2022 - Expired: July 31, 2022)

CONTACT: Colton Lipka
Area Management Biologist
(907) 262-9368

Kenai River Late-Run King Salmon Fishery Starting at Catch-and-Release

(Soldotna) - To protect returning king salmon and increase fishing opportunities in the future, the Alaska Department of Fish and Game (ADF&G) is restricting the king salmon fishery on the Kenai River drainage to catch-and-release only effective 12:01 a.m. Friday, July 1 through 11:59 p.m. Sunday, July 31, 2022. Only one unbaited, single-hook may be used, and retention of king salmon is prohibited while sport fishing on the Kenai River from its mouth upstream to an ADF&G regulatory marker at the outlet of Skilak Lake. King salmon of any size may not be retained or possessed, may not be removed from the water, and must be released immediately.

"In order to achieve the Kenai River late-run king salmon escapement goal, we are starting the July fishery season by limiting it to catch-and-release fishing only, based upon the preseason forecast of ~16,000 large fish and recent trends in abundance, these restrictions are warranted in order to meet the escapement goal," stated Area Management Biologist Colton Lipka. "We strongly encourage all anglers to use best practices when releasing king salmon."

The optimal escapement goal for late-run Kenai River king salmon is 15,000 to 30,000 king salmon 75 cm mid-eye to tail fork length and longer. ADF&G will closely monitor the Kenai River run as it develops and additional actions may be taken depending on run strength. Anglers are reminded that the management plan indicates if retention is prohibited in the sport fishery, then the personal use and commercial fisheries are also restricted to share the burden of conservation across all user groups.

In conjunction with this restriction, emergency order 2-KS-1-08-22 was issued on January 26, 2022; and starts off the Kasilof River late-run king salmon fishery by prohibiting the retention of naturally-produced king salmon in the Kasilof River from its mouth upstream to the Sterling Highway Bridge. In addition, only one unbaited, single-hook, artificial lure may be used when sport fishing in these waters. Please review these emergency orders and advisory announcements in their entirety for the specific regulatory changes.

For additional information, please contact Area Management Biologist Colton Lipka at (907) 262-9368 or Cook Inlet Management Coordinator Matt Miller at (907) 262-9368.