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

Advisory Announcement
(Released: June 16, 2021 - Expired: July 31, 2021)

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

Kenai River King Salmon Starting July with No Bait

(Soldotna) - To protect returning king salmon and ensure fishing opportunities in the future, the Alaska Department of Fish and Game (ADF&G) is implementing the following sport fishing regulation restriction on the Kenai River late-run king salmon fishery effective 12:01 a.m. Thursday, July 1 through 11:59 p.m. Saturday, July 31, 2021. The use of bait is prohibited on the Kenai River from its mouth upstream to the outlet of Skilak Lake.

The Kenai River early-run king salmon sport fishing restrictions issued June 15, 2021, will remain in effect to reduce the harvest of early-run king salmon as they move upriver. Those restrictions prohibited the retention of king salmon of any size in the Kenai River from an ADF&G regulatory marker located approximately 300 yards downstream from the mouth of Slikok Creek upstream to the outlet of Skilak Lake and will remain in effect through July 31, 2021.

“In order to achieve the Kenai River late-run king salmon escapement goal, we are starting the July fishery without bait,” stated Area Management Biologist Colton Lipka. “Based upon the preseason forecast and recent king salmon return performance, restrictions are warranted in order to meet the escapement goal and still provide fishing opportunity for Kenai River late-run king salmon.”

In conjunction with this restriction, Emergency Order 2-KS-1-25-21 was issued starting the Kasilof River late-run king salmon fishery with no bait and only one, single-hook, artificial lure in the Kasilof River from its mouth upstream to the Sterling Highway Bridge.

The optimal escapement goal for late-run Kenai River king salmon is 15,000 to 30,000 king salmon 75 cm mid-eye to tail fork length and longer. ADF&G will continue to monitor the Kenai River run as it develops and additional actions may be taken depending on run strength. Anglers are reminded that the management plan indicates if the bait is prohibited in the sport fishery, then the personal use and commercial fisheries are also restricted to share the burden of conservation across all user groups.

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