Emergency Orders and News Releases
Sport Fishing


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ALASKA DEPARTMENT OF FISH AND GAME
Sam Cotten, Commissioner

DIVISION OF SPORT FISH
Tom Brookover, Director

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

February 18, 2016

KENAI RIVER EARLY-RUN KING SALMON FISHERY CLOSURE

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

From 12:01 a.m. Sunday, May 1 through 11:59 p.m. Thursday, June 30, 2016:

  • King salmon fishing is closed from the mouth of the Kenai River upstream to an ADF&G regulatory marker at the outlet of Skilak Lake. 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. Friday, July 1 through 11:59 p.m. Sunday, July 31, 2016:

  • King salmon fishing is closed in the Kenai River from ADF&G regulatory markers located approximately 300 yards downstream from the mouth of Slikok Creek, upstream to an ADF&G regulatory marker at the outlet of Skilak Lake. 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.

The 2016 preseason forecast for early-run Kenai River king salmon is for a total run of approximately 5,206 fish. If realized, the 2016 run would rank as one of the lowest runs measured (29th out of 31 years). The 2016 preseason forecast is available here:

http://www.adfg.alaska.gov/index.cfm?ADFG=fishingSport.main

 “The forecast for 2016 is similar to the 2015 forecast,” Jason Pawluk, the Assistant Area Management Biologist in Soldotna said, noting the 2015 forecast was for a total run of approximately 5,265 fish. “The lower end of the optimal escapement goal for the early-run is 5,300 fish. It’s important to implement these preseason restrictions to this fishery until data from inseason assessment projects indicate that fishing opportunity can be afforded without jeopardizing achievement of the optimal escapement goal.”

While the optimal escapement goal was met in 2015, the run was not sufficient to provide harvest opportunity.

At this time, fishing for king salmon will be open on July 1 from the mouth of the Kenai River to an ADF&G regulatory marker located approximately 300 yards below Slikok Creek. This equates to roughly 18 river miles of fishable area.