(Released: July 02, 2019 - Expired: July 31, 2019)
Division of Sport Fish
Alaska Department of Fish and Game
Contact: Colton Lipka, Area Management Biologist
(Soldotna) - The Alaska Department of Fish and Game (ADF&G) reminds Alaska residents the Kenai River personal use dipnet fishery opens on July 10 and continues through July 31, 2019. However, because of anticipated low returns, the retention of king salmon in the Kenai River personal use fishery will be prohibited. Any king salmon caught incidentally may not be removed from the water and must be released immediately unharmed to the water.
On June 18, 2019, ADF&G issued a regulation restriction prohibiting the use of bait on the Kenai River effective July 1, 2019, from its mouth upstream to an ADF&G regulatory marker located approximately 300 yards downstream from the mouth of Slikok Creek. Per the Kenai River Late-Run King Salmon Management Plan, the retention of king salmon in the personal use fishery is prohibited, if bait is prohibited in the Kenai River sport fishery. Restrictions were also implemented on the commercial fisheries per the management plan.
“The paired restrictions were included in the king salmon plan to help share the burden of conservation among the user groups - sport, commercial, and personal use,” stated Area Management Biologist Colton Lipka. “We started the July king salmon sport fishery with no bait but we may be able to relax those restrictions as we start seeing kings inriver.”
The 2019 Kenai River late-run king salmon preseason forecasts is for a below average run, resulting in restrictions of inriver sport fisheries. ADF&G will continue to monitor the Kenai River run as it develops and additional actions may be taken depending on the run strength.
Dipnetting on the Kenai River is allowed from 6:00 a.m. to 11:00 p.m. each day, from July 10 through July 31, 2019. An Upper Cook Inlet Personal Use permit and a 2019 Resident Sport Fishing license are required to participate. Only Alaska residents can participate. The Upper Cook Inlet Personal Use permits are available at local ADF&G offices, vendors, and the ADF&G online. Please review the Kenai River Dipnet Fishery regulations on page 14 of the 2019 Southcentral Alaska Sport Fishing Regulations Summary booklet for the dipnet areas.
For additional information, please contact Area Management Biologist Colton Lipka at (907) 262-9368.