(Released: June 23, 2017 - Expired: July 14, 2017)

Division of Sport Fish
Tom Brookover, Director
Anchorage Headquarters Office
333 Raspberry Road
Anchorage, AK 99518

Alaska Department of Fish and Game
Sam Cotten, Commissioner
P.O. Box 115526
Juneau, AK 99811-5526

Contact: Brian Marston, Area Management Biologist
(907) 262-9368

Russian River Sanctuary Open to Fishing and Russian/ Upper Kenai River Sockeye Salmon Limits to Increase

(Kenai) - The Russian River Sanctuary area will be open to sockeye salmon sport fishing beginning at 8:00 a.m. Saturday, June 24. Please review the Upper Kenai River and Russian River Confluence area map on page 58 of the 2017 Southcentral Sport Fishing Regulations Summary booklet.

Also, beginning at 12:01 a.m. Saturday, June 24, the bag limit will increase to six (6) sockeye salmon with a possession limit of twelve (12) sockeye salmon in the Russian River and a section of the Upper Kenai River mainstem. This area extends from Skilak Lake upstream to ADF&G regulatory markers located approximately 300 yards upstream of the public boat launch at Sportsman’s Landing and the Russian River from its mouth upstream to an ADF&G marker located approximately 600 yards downstream from the Russian River Falls. Anglers are reminded that they may possess only the limit allowed for the waters they are actively fishing. If a Russian River angler has more than six sockeye salmon in possession, then that angler may not fish in waters with a possession limit of six.

Through Thursday, June 22, approximately 14,911 sockeye salmon have passed the Russian River weir. Average run timing to this date is 30%. The department estimates that the escapement will be approximately 49,000 fish and the early-run sockeye salmon biological escapement goal (BEG) of 22,000 - 42,000 sockeye salmon will be exceeded.

Sport fishing for sockeye salmon in the Russian River area will likely remain good to excellent for the next several days. Anglers are reminded to remove fish carcasses whole or gutted/gilled from the clear waters of the Russian River. If you clean your catch, take fish to the mainstem Kenai River cleaning tables located at the confluence and ferry crossing to fillet and chop-up sockeye salmon carcasses into small pieces and throw the pieces into deep, flowing waters. Please keep all personal belongings, including stringers of fish closely attended. Please respect the riverbank restoration projects and stay on the established pathways in the Sanctuary, campground, and Russian River ferry areas.