Kenai Chinook Estimates, Indices and Inseason Run Summaries


Location: Kenai River (Chinook)
Species: Chinook - Late Run
Method: Sonar

The selected years are color-coded in the graphs below:

  • 2022
  • 2021
  • 2020
  • 2019
  • 2018
Daily Counts
Cumulative

Description: In 2015 the department began managing Kenai River king salmon runs using an ARIS sonar station located at river mile 14. In 2017 the Department modified the Kenai River king salmon escapement goals from goals based on king salmon of all sizes, to escapement goals based on large king salmon (fish over 34 inches) only. The early-run king salmon optimal escapement goal range is 3,900 to 6,600 large king salmon (> 34 inches). In 2020 the late-run king salmon escapement goal was modified to an optimal escapement goal range is 15,000 to 30,000 large king salmon (> 34 inches). The ARIS sonar counts found on this page are the daily and seasonal cumulative passage estimates of the number of large king salmon passing the sonar site. Additionally, the past years counts displayed on this page have been converted to large fish counts for comparison. These estimated numbers of large king salmon passing the sonar site are the primary tool for the Kenai River king salmon assessment program that also includes a sport angler harvest survey, and a netting program. The data gathered in these assessments are used together to determine king salmon run strength. This data in conjunction with Fishery Management Plans, allows fishery managers to determine if emergency order regulation changes to the fisheries are needed during the season to help ensure that the escapement goals are achieved. These abundance assessments as well as information about the status of the run and inseason management actions can be viewed via this website on the above tabs. Information is also available by telephone at (907)262-9097.

Optimal Escapement Goal for Chinook - Early Run: 3,900 - 6,600
Optimal Escapement Goal for Chinook - Late Run: 15,000 - 30,000 (Graphed above)

Contact: Northern Kenai Sport Fish Area Manager,
(907) 260-2920

Weekly Sportfish Fishing Report for this area

51 records returned for the years selected. Dashes indicate days with no count.
[Export results in Excel format or JSON format]

Date
2022
Count
2022
Cumulative
2022
Cumulative
2021
Cumulative
2020
Cumulative
2019
Cumulative
2018
Notes for
2022
Aug-20 - 0 11,832 11,499 11,868 16,957  
Aug-19 - 0 11,754 11,486 11,747 16,672  
Aug-18 - 0 11,656 11,413 11,723 16,430  
Aug-17 - 0 11,486 11,292 11,687 16,213  
Aug-16 - 0 11,419 11,062 11,571 16,062  
Aug-15 - 0 11,279 10,813 11,413 15,839  
Aug-14 - 0 11,151 10,491 11,298 15,525  
Aug-13 - 0 10,884 10,254 11,074 15,296  
Aug-12 - 0 10,684 10,066 11,013 15,133  
Aug-11 - 0 10,491 9,867 10,898 14,722  
Aug-10 - 0 10,303 9,719 10,753 14,415  
Aug-09 - 0 9,757 9,616 10,629 14,101  
Aug-08 - 0 9,248 9,483 10,538 13,830  
Aug-07 - 0 8,872 9,325 10,410 13,552  
Aug-06 - 0 8,419 9,185 10,198 12,853  
Aug-05 - 0 8,064 8,827 10,059 12,440  
Aug-04 - 0 7,747 8,494 9,889 11,848  
Aug-03 - 0 7,504 8,089 9,586 11,411  
Aug-02 - 0 6,729 7,932 9,434 10,855  
Aug-01 - 0 6,420 7,647 9,258 10,434  
Jul-31 - 0 6,189 7,465 9,118 9,879  
Jul-30 - 0 5,818 7,112 8,906 9,391  
Jul-29 - 0 5,636 6,681 8,615 8,969  
Jul-28 - 0 5,296 6,456 8,373 8,518  
Jul-27 - 0 5,077 6,019 8,118 8,101  
Jul-26 - 0 4,864 5,692 7,876 7,675  
Jul-25 - 0 4,610 5,438 7,543 7,222  
Jul-24 - 0 4,452 5,146 7,213 6,575  
Jul-23 - 0 4,270 4,970 6,849 6,176  
Jul-22 - 0 4,142 4,787 6,473 5,675  
Jul-21 - 0 3,953 4,520 5,970 5,258  
Jul-20 - 0 3,717 4,164 5,424 4,878  
Jul-19 - 0 3,207 3,879 4,921 4,311  
Jul-18 - 0 2,872 3,615 4,551 3,798  
Jul-17 - 0 2,581 3,404 4,132 3,439  
Jul-16 - 0 2,363 3,153 3,647 3,170  
Jul-15 - 0 2,113 2,941 3,343 2,898  
Jul-14 - 0 1,871 2,680 3,021 2,770  
Jul-13 - 0 1,714 2,220 2,657 2,619  
Jul-12 - 0 1,538 1,699 2,397 2,396  
Jul-11 - 0 1,423 1,407 2,067 2,100  
Jul-10 - 0 1,303 1,249 1,734 1,978  
Jul-09 - 0 1,121 989 1,455 1,885  
Jul-08 - 0 994 831 1,252 1,637  
Jul-07 - 0 812 728 1,053 1,413  
Jul-06 - 0 709 583 890 1,051  
Jul-05 - 0 606 407 630 798  
Jul-04 - 0 515 304 473 598  
Jul-03 - 0 369 219 314 399  
Jul-02 - 0 253 146 235 278  
Jul-01 - 0 140 73 97 115  

Non-Sonar Tools

Late Run Netting Project CPUE Index

The Net Catch Per Unit Effort (CPUE) is an index of the numbers of Chinook salmon moving into the Kenai River and is based on the rate at which Chinook salmon are captured by the netting project conducted at river mile 8.6.


Late Run Sport CPUE Index

The Sport Catch Per Unit Effort (CPUE) is an index of the numbers of Chinook salmon in the lower Kenai River and is based on the success rate of anglers fishing downstream of the Sterling Highway Bridge Crossing in Soldotna.

Late Run Netting Project Large Fish CPUE Index

The Net Catch Per Unit Effort (CPUE) is an index of the numbers of Chinook salmon moving into the Kenai River and is based on the rate at which Chinook salmon are captured by the netting project conducted at the sonar station located at river mile 8.6.

Weekly Sportfish Fishing Report for this area


Final Late Run Kenai River Chinook Inseason Summary

KENAI RIVER LATE-RUN KING SALMON FINAL 2021 INSEASON SUMMARY

King Salmon Run Update:

Abundance estimation of Kenai River late-run king salmon began on July 1 and concluded August 20. The preliminary estimated escapement 2021 is 12,176 large king salmon (≥ 75 cm mid-eye-to-tail-fork-length or ~ 34 inches in total length). The return is well below the preseason forecast of 18,400 large king salmon and did not achieve the optimal escapement goal (15,000 – 30,000 large fish) or the sustainable escapement goal (13,500 – 27,000 large fish). Based upon inseason assessment, preliminary estimated sport fish harvest, including catch-and-release mortality, is 222 large king salmon and the preliminary estimated eastside set net harvest is 189 large king salmon (Table 1). Inseason assessment of the king salmon run consists of the sonar at RM 13.7 on the Kenai River mainstem, a sport angler creel survey of the lower river, inriver test netting for age, sex, length composition, and sampling of king salmon harvest in the east side set net commercial fishery. These information sources, along with historical data allow ADF&G managers to formulate inseason run projections of estimated escapement, harvest, and total run of large Kenai River king salmon. Table 1 displays the final 2021 projection data. The inseason assessment data suggest that the run was 4-days late run timing. Based on sampling from the RM 8 netting project there was an even distribution across the dominate age classes of total age 4, 5, and 6 fish.  Finalized harvest and escapement data will be published this coming winter after post-season analysis is complete.

Inseason Management:

The following management actions were issued to conserve late-run king salmon:

  • July 1, 2021 – EO 2-KS-1-24-21 prohibited the use of bait downstream of Slikok Creek to begin the late-run fishery.
    • Preseason Forecast: 18,400 large fish
  • July 14, 2021 – EO 2-KS-1-42-21 prohibited the retention of king salmon of all sizes.
    • Inseason Projection: 10,778 large fish
  • July 21, 2021 – EO 2-KS-1-46-21 closed the king salmon sport fishery.
    • Inseason Projection: 10,068 large fish
  • August 1, 2021 – EO-2-KS-1-51-21 prohibited the use of bait and multiple hooks until August 15.
    • Inseason Projection: 9,800 large fish

The preseason outlook for the 2021 late-run can be found at:

http://www.adfg.alaska.gov/static/fishing/pdfs/sport/byarea/southcentral/2021KenaiLateRunOutlook.pdf

Table 1. 2021 Inseason Summary Estimates for Kenai River Late-run Large Chinook Salmon

Sonar data thru: 20-Aug   ESSN Summary          
Current Inriver Chinook Assessment Information ESSN Total Chinook Salmon harvest 1,247 (Fish Ticket Catch Report)
Most Recent Daily Sonar  78 ESSN Large Chinook Harvests (all stocks) Based on Inseason Length Data 274
Cumulative Sonar to Date 11,832 Percentage Large Chinook in ESSN Sample Thru  20-Aug 22%  
Est. Creel Harvest to Date  134 Min, mean, and max of Large ESSN Chinook that were of Kenai origin (2010-2018 data)        
Creel Harvest Above Sonar  70 Kenai Large Contribution   60% 69% 79%  
Creel Harvest Below Sonar  64 ESSN Large Kenai Harvest to Date  165 189 217  
Creel All Sizes of Chinook  342 ESSN Projected Kenai Large Harvest 165 189 217  
                     
                     
Projected end of season estimates for large late-run Kenai River Chinook salmon.          
Run Timing Run to Date Estimated run to Sonar RM14 Estimated inriver run (includes spawning & harvet below sonar) Estimated Escapement (includes spawners below sonar) Estimated Sport Harvest Above Sonar RM 14 to Skilak Lake Estimated Sport Harvest Below Sonar RM 14 Estimated Total Inriver Sport Harvest Estimated ESSN Harvest Estimated Total Run Estimated Exploitation
On time 100.00% 11,832 12,417 12,176 143 79 222 189 12,519 3.28%
* Retention of king salmon is prohibited in personal use fisheries for 2021          

This information was compiled based on raw and historical data for inseason management purposes.

Final data is subject to change.