(Released: March 19, 2020)

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

2020 Kenai River Early-run King Salmon Season Starts Under General Regulation

(Soldotna) - The 2020 Kenai River early-run king salmon preseason projection is for approximately 4,800 large (> 34 inches) king salmon. This projection falls within the optimal escapement goal (OEG) of 3,900 to 6,600 large king salmon. As directed by 5 AAC 57.160 Kenai River and Kasilof River Early-run King Salmon Management Plan, if the Kenai River early-run king salmon preseason projection falls within or above the OEG, the early-run king salmon sport fishery may start under general regulations for the Kenai River (5 AAC 57.120) until an inseason projection is available. Please see pages 50-65 of the 2020 Southcentral Sport Fishing Regulations Summary booklet for additional information.

Kenai River king salmon sport fishing general regulations for January 1 through June 30, 2020, in Kenai River waters downstream of Skilak Lake are as follows:

  • Bait is prohibited, and only one single-hook, artificial lure may be used.
  • The bag and possession limit for king salmon 20 inches or greater in length is one king salmon. Only king salmon 34 inches or less in length may be retained. King salmon greater than 34 inches in length may not be removed from the water and must be released immediately.
  • There is a five fish annual limit for king salmon over 20 inches from all Cook Inlet Drainage waters in combination, which includes only two fish per year over 20 inches from the Kenai River, except fish under 28 inches in length caught in the Kenai River prior to July 1 do not count towards the annual limit. All harvested fish that count towards an annual limit must be recorded on a harvest record card or your license.
  • The bag and possession limit for king salmon less than 20 inches (jacks) is 10 fish.

Anglers are reminded that regulations may be liberalized or restricted inseason by emergency order if subsequent inseason projections, based on the sonar counts at river mile 14, suggest that the king salmon OEG may not be achieved. Sufficient inseason information is typically available by approximately June 15.

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