(Released: June 12, 2017 - Expired: June 30, 2017)
Division of Sport Fish
Alaska Department of Fish and Game
Contact: Brian Marston, Sport Fisheries Area Management Biologist
(Kenai) – The Alaska Department of Fish and Game (ADF&G) manages the Kenai River early-run king salmon run in order to achieve an escapement goal of 3,900 to 6,600 large king salmon. In order to help achieve the escapement goal, and rebuild the abundance of older and larger fish, ADF&G has increased the maximum size limit to less than 46 inches in waters below the markers at Slikok Creek, effective Tuesday, June 13, 2017, at 12:01 a.m.
As of June 11, 2017, approximately 4,010 large king salmon have been counted through the sonar site located at river mile 14. During normal run timing, 51% of the run would have passed the river mile 14 sonar site by this date. ADF&G currently projects that the run of large king salmon will be 7,870 fish. Even after taking into consideration the projected sport fish harvest above the sonar site, including catch-and-release mortality, the escapement goal of the early-run king salmon will exceed 7,660 large fish, which is well above the established goal. Abundance indices from ADF&G sport harvest creel and size distribution netting projects are also above average.
This size limit increase to king salmon less than 46 inches continues to protect the majority of the age 7 fish, while increasing harvest potential to help achieve the escapement goal. As per 5 AAC 57.160 Kenai River and Kasilof River Early-run King Salmon Management Plan the harvest of king salmon above the Slikok Creek markers shall remain limited to fish less than 36 inches.