(Released: July 02, 2019 - Expired: July 31, 2019)

Division of Sport Fish
Dave Rutz, Director
Anchorage Headquarters Office
333 Raspberry Road
Anchorage, AK 99518

Alaska Department of Fish and Game
Doug Vincent-Lang, Commissioner
P.O. Box 115526
Juneau, AK 99811-5526

Contact: Colton Lipka, Area Management Biologist
(907) 262-9368

Kenai River Above Slikok Creek Reopens to Fishing for Early-Run King Salmon Less than 36 Inches in Length

(Soldotna) - Sport fishing for king salmon in the Kenai River from an Alaska Department of Fish and Game (ADF&G) regulatory marker located approximately 300 yards downstream of the mouth of Slikok Creek upstream to an ADF&G regulatory marker located at the outlet of Skilak Lake will reopen to the retention of king salmon under general regulations effective 12:01 a.m. Thursday, July 4 through 11:59 p.m. Wednesday, July 31, 2019. Please review the Lower Kenai River General Regulations on page 50 of the 2019 Southcentral Alaska Sport Fishing Regulations Summary booklet.

Anglers may keep one king salmon less than 36 inches in length per day and cannot have more than one king salmon in possession. Sport fishing gear is limited to one, unbaited, single-hook, artificial fly or lure.

Anglers are reminded that from Monday, July 1 through Wednesday, July 31, 2019, retention of king salmon of all sizes is allowed from the mouth of the Kenai River upstream to the ADF&G regulatory marker approximately 300 yards downstream of Slikok Creek, but the use of bait and multiple hooks is prohibited by Emergency Order 2-KS-1-23-19 issued on Tuesday, June 18, 2019.

As of June 30, 2019, the 2019 escapement estimate for early-run Kenai River king salmon is approximately 4,186 fish, which is within the optimal escapement range of 3,900 - 6,600 large (greater than 34 inches) king salmon. Allowing a limited harvest of king salmon under 36 inches in total length in the middle Kenai River is consistent with the Board of Fisheries adopted management plan and will not prevent achievement of the escapement goal. ADF&G has now moved into assessment of the Kenai River late-run king salmon return as of July 1 and will be closely monitoring this return.

For additional information, please contact Area Management Biologist Colton Lipka at (907) 262-9368.