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:

  • 2021
  • 2020
  • 2019
  • 2018
  • 2017
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
2021
Count
2021
Cumulative
2021
Cumulative
2020
Cumulative
2019
Cumulative
2018
Notes for
2021
Aug-20 - 0 11,499 11,868 16,957  
Aug-19 - 0 11,486 11,747 16,672  
Aug-18 - 0 11,413 11,723 16,430  
Aug-17 - 0 11,292 11,687 16,213  
Aug-16 - 0 11,062 11,571 16,062  
Aug-15 - 0 10,813 11,413 15,839  
Aug-14 - 0 10,491 11,298 15,525  
Aug-13 - 0 10,254 11,074 15,296  
Aug-12 - 0 10,066 11,013 15,133  
Aug-11 - 0 9,867 10,898 14,722  
Aug-10 - 0 9,719 10,753 14,415  
Aug-09 - 0 9,616 10,629 14,101  
Aug-08 - 0 9,483 10,538 13,830  
Aug-07 - 0 9,325 10,410 13,552  
Aug-06 - 0 9,185 10,198 12,853  
Aug-05 - 0 8,827 10,059 12,440  
Aug-04 - 0 8,494 9,889 11,848  
Aug-03 - 0 8,089 9,586 11,411  
Aug-02 - 0 7,932 9,434 10,855  
Aug-01 - 0 7,647 9,258 10,434  
Jul-31 - 0 7,465 9,118 9,879  
Jul-30 - 0 7,112 8,906 9,391  
Jul-29 - 0 6,681 8,615 8,969  
Jul-28 - 0 6,456 8,373 8,518  
Jul-27 - 0 6,019 8,118 8,101  
Jul-26 - 0 5,692 7,876 7,675  
Jul-25 - 0 5,438 7,543 7,222  
Jul-24 - 0 5,146 7,213 6,575  
Jul-23 - 0 4,970 6,849 6,176  
Jul-22 - 0 4,787 6,473 5,675  
Jul-21 - 0 4,520 5,970 5,258  
Jul-20 - 0 4,164 5,424 4,878  
Jul-19 - 0 3,879 4,921 4,311  
Jul-18 - 0 3,615 4,551 3,798  
Jul-17 - 0 3,404 4,132 3,439  
Jul-16 - 0 3,153 3,647 3,170  
Jul-15 - 0 2,941 3,343 2,898  
Jul-14 - 0 2,680 3,021 2,770  
Jul-13 - 0 2,220 2,657 2,619  
Jul-12 - 0 1,699 2,397 2,396  
Jul-11 - 0 1,407 2,067 2,100  
Jul-10 - 0 1,249 1,734 1,978  
Jul-09 - 0 989 1,455 1,885  
Jul-08 - 0 831 1,252 1,637  
Jul-07 - 0 728 1,053 1,413  
Jul-06 - 0 583 890 1,051  
Jul-05 - 0 407 630 798  
Jul-04 - 0 304 473 598  
Jul-03 - 0 219 314 399  
Jul-02 - 0 146 235 278  
Jul-01 - 0 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 2020 INSEASON SUMMARY

King Salmon Run Update:

Abundance estimation of Kenai River late-run king salmon began on July 1 and concluded August 20. The total estimated escapement thru August 20th was 11,908 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 22,700 large king salmon and did not achieve the optimal escapement goal (15,000–30,000 large fish).  Based upon inseason assessment, preliminary estimated sport fish harvest, including catch-and-release mortality, is 99 large king salmon and the preliminary estimated eastside set net harvest is 152 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 2020 projection data. The inseason assessment data suggest that the run had average run timing and weak returns of all large fish age classes. 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, 2020 – EO 2-KS-1-22-20 prohibited the use of bait and the retention of king salmon that are 34 inches and longer in length downstream of Slikok Creek to begin the late-run fishery.
    • Preseason Forecast: 22,700 large fish
  • July 15, 2020 – EO 2-KS-1-34-20 prohibited the retention of king salmon of all sizes.
    • Inseason Projection: 13,300 large fish
  • July 24, 2020 – EO 2-KS-1-41-20 closed the king salmon sport fishery.
    • Inseason Projection: 12,700 large fish
  • August 1, 2020 – EO-2-KS-1-43-20 prohibited the use of bait and multiple hooks until August 15.
    • Inseason Projection: 11,900 large fish

Fishery Update:

The king salmon sport fishery is closed by regulation on July 31.

For complete information about the late-run outlook please visit the following link:

https://www.adfg.alaska.gov/static/fishing/pdfs/sport/byarea/southcentral/2020KenaiLateRunOutlook.pdf

Table 1. 2020 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 818 (Fish Ticket Catch Report)
Most Recent Daily Sonar 13 ESSN Large Chinook Harvests (all stocks) Based on Inseason Length Data 221
Cumulative Sonar to Date 11,499 Percentage Large Chinook in ESSN Sample Thru 20-Aug 27%  
Est. Creel Harvest to Date 0 Min, mean, and max of Large ESSN Chinook that were of Kenai origin (2010-2018 data)        
Creel Harvest Above Sonar 0 Kenai Large Contribution   60% 69% 79%  
Creel Harvest Below Sonar 0 ESSN Large Kenai Harvest to Date 133 152 174  
Creel All Sizes of Chinook 67 ESSN Projected Kenai Large Harvest 133 152 174  
                     
                     
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% 11,499 12,112 11,908 67 32 99 152 12,132 2.07%
* Retention of king salmon is prohibited in personal use fisheries for 2020