(Released: June 18, 2018 - Expired: July 31, 2018)
Division of Sport Fish
Alaska Department of Fish and Game
Contact: Matt Miller, Cook Inlet Management Coordinator
(Soldotna) – In favor of protecting returning king salmon and increasing fishing opportunities in the future, the Alaska Department of Fish and Game (ADF&G) is implementing the following sport fishing regulation closure for the Kenai River drainage area effective 12:01 a.m. Wednesday, June 20 through 11:59 p.m., Tuesday, July 31, 2018:
June 20 – June 30, 2018:
Anglers may not fish for king salmon of any size in the Kenai River from its mouth upstream to an ADF&G regulatory marker at the outlet of Skilak Lake.
July 1 – July 31, 2018:
Anglers may not fish for king salmon of any size in the Kenai River from that portion of the Kenai River from an ADF&G regulatory marker located approximately 300 yards downstream from the mouth of Slikok Creek, upstream to an ADF&G regulatory marker at the outlet of Skilak Lake.
This sport fishing regulation closure supersedes the Kenai River king salmon limited to catch-and-release only restriction issued on June 11, 2018.
“As of June 17, 2018, an estimated 2,116 large king salmon have past the River Mile 13.7 king salmon sonar. This closure is not an easy decision; however, even after prohibiting harvest of king salmon in the fishery last week, we are not projecting to meet the escapement goal and need to take this next step,” stated Cook Inlet Management Coordinator Matt Miller. “King salmon stocks throughout Cook Inlet, including the Kenai River runs, are experiencing a period of low productivity and the restrictions and closures are being felt across the state.”
The optimal escapement goal (OEG) for early-run Kenai River king salmon is 3,900 to 6,600 king salmon 75 cm mid eye to tail fork length and longer. The inseason inriver run projection ranges from approximately 3,095 large king salmon based upon average run timing to approximately 3,609 large king salmon based upon a run timing of three days late.
For additional information, please contact Cook Inlet Management Coordinator Matt Miller at (907) 262-9368.