Kenai Chinook Estimates, Indices and Inseason Run Summaries

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

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

  • 2020
  • 2019
  • 2018
  • 2017
  • 2016
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 (Graphed above)
Optimal Escapement Goal for Chinook - Late Run: 15,000 - 30,000

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

Weekly Sportfish Fishing Report for this area

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

Date
2020
Count
2020
Cumulative
2020
Cumulative
2019
Cumulative
2018
Cumulative
2017
Notes for
2020
Jun-30 - 176 4,186 3,000 7,237  
Jun-29 - 176 4,119 2,903 7,128  
Jun-28 - 176 4,024 2,855 7,001  
Jun-27 - 176 3,975 2,734 6,917  
Jun-26 - 176 3,878 2,668 6,790  
Jun-25 - 176 3,775 2,614 6,621  
Jun-24 - 176 3,657 2,542 6,507  
Jun-23 - 176 3,554 2,494 6,423  
Jun-22 - 176 3,463 2,447 6,332  
Jun-21 - 176 3,390 2,387 6,242  
Jun-20 - 176 3,323 2,326 6,109  
Jun-19 - 176 3,176 2,267 6,043  
Jun-18 - 176 3,085 2,243 5,922  
Jun-17 - 176 3,011 2,182 5,663  
Jun-16 - 176 2,944 2,116 5,470  
Jun-15 - 176 2,901 2,098 5,277  
Jun-14 - 176 2,774 2,013 4,963  
Jun-13 - 176 2,671 1,892 4,589  
Jun-12 - 176 2,453 1,820 4,282  
Jun-11 - 176 2,332 1,742 4,010  
Jun-10 - 176 2,126 1,609 3,726  
Jun-09 - 176 1,981 1,488 3,473  
Jun-08 - 176 1,818 1,385 3,298  
Jun-07 - 176 1,661 1,282 3,027  
Jun-06 - 176 1,524 1,161 2,820  
Jun-05 - 176 1,304 1,041 2,619  
Jun-04 - 176 1,074 932 2,335  
Jun-03 - 176 898 805 2,135  
Jun-02 - 176 699 702 1,767  
Jun-01 - 176 584 587 1,495  
May-31 67 176 457 478 1,260  
May-30 24 109 409 417 1,091  
May-29 25 85 343 338 892  
May-28 12 60 283 290 741  
May-27 0 48 203 241 650  
May-26 0 48 156 192 552  
May-25 18 48 120 186 422  
May-24 18 30 84 174 319  
May-23 12 12 48 138 259  
May-22 0 0 24 96 168  
May-21 0 0 18 66 150  
May-20 0 0 0 48 144  
May-19 0 0 6 42 108  
May-18 0 0 0 18 66  
May-17 0 0 0 0 36  
May-16 0 0 0 0 6  

Non-Sonar Tools

Early 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.


Early 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.

Early 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


Early Run Kenai River Chinook Inseason Summary for Thu. May 28

KENAI RIVER EARLY-RUN KING SALMON SUMMARY #02

King Salmon Run Update:

The Kenai River King salmon sonar began counting on May 16, 2020.  The total estimated passage as of May 27th is 48 large king salmon. The historic quarter point of the run on June 4th, is generally the earliest the department has sufficient data to interpret run strength.  The optimal escapement goal for the early-run is 3,900-6,600 large fish. In response to a forecast of ~ 4,800 large king salmon, the fishery is under general regulation which allows for the use of only one unbaited, single hook, artificial lure, or fly. Angler’s limits are 1 per a day, 1 in possession of king salmon less than 34 inches, and greater than 20 inches in length. The limit for king salmon less than 20 inches in length is 10 per day, 10 in possession. King salmon 34 inches and greater in length may not be retained and must be released immediately. King salmon less than 28 inches in length are not included in the Cook Inlet annual limit during the early-run.

The next update will be on Thursday, June 4.

Fishery Update:

Fishing success has been reported as slow to fair in the lower river as it is early in the season but a few fish have been caught early in the morning. The ADF&G creel survey and netting programs began operations on May 16. Data collected so far from these projects indicates below average CPUE’s for netting of all sizes of Chinook salmon. The creel survey indicates average success rates for this time of year.

ADF&G would like to remind anglers to adhere to all current State of Alaska health mandates while participating in the Kenai River salmon fisheries.

The preseason outlook for the 2020 early-run can be found at:

http://www.adfg.alaska.gov/static/fishing/pdfs/sport/byarea/southcentral/2020KenaiEarlyRunOutlook.pdf

Water Conditions: 

Water levels in the Kenai River are above average and water temperature is average.

CFS at Soldotna Bridge was 5,940 and 7.30 ft on May 28.

CFS at Skilak Lake Outlet was 4,650 and 8.48 ft on May 28.

CFS at Cooper Landing was 3,620 and 9.02 ft on May 28.

Water Temperature was 46 degrees Fahrenheit at the sonar site on May 28.

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

Final data is subject to change.