(Released: June 18, 2018 - Expired: July 14, 2018)

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: Matt Miller, Cook Inlet Management Coordinator
(907) 262-9368

Russian River Sanctuary Opens Early for Sport Fishing

(Soldotna) – The Alaska Department of Fish and Game (ADF&G) is implementing the following sport fishing regulation liberalization by opening the Russian River Sanctuary area early for anglers to sport fish for sockeye salmon. This regulatory change is effective 8:00 a.m. Tuesday, June 19, 2018, through 11:59 p.m. Saturday, July 14, 2018. Please review the Upper Kenai River and Russian River Confluence area map (Area B) on page 60 of the 2018 Southcentral Sport Fishing Regulations Summary booklet.

The following sockeye salmon regulations apply for the Russian River Sanctuary area:

June 19 – July 14, 2018:

  • Sockeye salmon
    • 16 inches or greater in length; 3 per day, 6 in possession
    • Less than 16 inches in length, 10 per day, 10 in possession

July 15 – August 20, 2018:

  • fly-fishing-only waters
  • Sockeye or coho salmon
    • 16 inches or longer, 3 per day 6 in possession in combination, of which only 1 per day, 1 in possession may be a coho salmon
    • Less than 16 inches in length, 10 per day, 10 in possession;

Anglers are reminded, after August 20, 2018, the retention of sockeye salmon is prohibited in this area.

Through Sunday, June 17, 2018, approximately 7,759 sockeye salmon have passed the Russian River weir. Average run timing to this date is 15%. ADF&G estimates that the early-run sockeye salmon biological escapement goal of 22,000-42,000 sockeye salmon will be met.

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. In addition, if you intend to clean your catch at the river, please take your 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.

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