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:

  • 2019
  • 2018
  • 2017
  • 2016
  • 2015
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 new early-run king salmon optimal escapement goal range is 3,900 to 6,600 large king salmon (> 34 inches). The new late-run king salmon sustainable escapement goal range is 13,500 to 27,000 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: 13,500 - 27,000 (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
2019
Count
2019
Cumulative
2019
Cumulative
2018
Cumulative
2017
Cumulative
2016
Notes for
2019
Aug-20 - 3,647 16,957 22,133 17,447  
Aug-19 - 3,647 16,672 21,844 17,447  
Aug-18 - 3,647 16,430 21,440 17,254  
Aug-17 - 3,647 16,213 21,097 17,091  
Aug-16 - 3,647 16,062 20,922 17,012  
Aug-15 - 3,647 15,839 20,687 16,698  
Aug-14 - 3,647 15,525 20,452 16,517  
Aug-13 - 3,647 15,296 20,272 16,227  
Aug-12 - 3,647 15,133 19,917 15,847  
Aug-11 - 3,647 14,722 19,634 15,503  
Aug-10 - 3,647 14,415 19,307 15,401  
Aug-09 - 3,647 14,101 19,102 15,027  
Aug-08 - 3,647 13,830 18,704 14,762  
Aug-07 - 3,647 13,552 18,112 14,485  
Aug-06 - 3,647 12,853 17,587 14,126  
Aug-05 - 3,647 12,440 16,920 13,860  
Aug-04 - 3,647 11,848 16,166 13,468  
Aug-03 - 3,647 11,411 15,429 13,051  
Aug-02 - 3,647 10,855 14,952 12,729  
Aug-01 - 3,647 10,434 14,350 12,551  
Jul-31 - 3,647 9,879 13,916 12,266  
Jul-30 - 3,647 9,391 12,993 12,036  
Jul-29 - 3,647 8,969 12,613 11,605  
Jul-28 - 3,647 8,518 12,070 11,121  
Jul-27 - 3,647 8,101 11,448 10,580  
Jul-26 - 3,647 7,675 11,050 10,028  
Jul-25 - 3,647 7,222 10,374 9,669  
Jul-24 - 3,647 6,575 9,813 9,226  
Jul-23 - 3,647 6,176 8,828 8,785  
Jul-22 - 3,647 5,675 8,439 8,350  
Jul-21 - 3,647 5,258 8,041 7,843  
Jul-20 - 3,647 4,878 7,556 7,505  
Jul-19 - 3,647 4,311 7,206 7,207  
Jul-18 - 3,647 3,798 6,706 6,824  
Jul-17 - 3,647 3,439 6,024 6,330  
Jul-16 304 3,647 3,170 5,385 5,967  
Jul-15 322 3,343 2,898 4,770 5,727  
Jul-14 364 3,021 2,770 4,330 5,329  
Jul-13 260 2,657 2,619 3,938 4,751  
Jul-12 330 2,397 2,396 3,540 4,178  
Jul-11 333 2,067 2,100 3,119 3,400  
Jul-10 279 1,734 1,978 2,715 2,803  
Jul-09 203 1,455 1,885 2,323 2,347  
Jul-08 199 1,252 1,637 1,852 2,094  
Jul-07 163 1,053 1,413 1,484 1,817  
Jul-06 260 890 1,051 1,194 1,609  
Jul-05 157 630 798 1,031 1,403  
Jul-04 159 473 598 820 1,066  
Jul-03 79 314 399 609 867  
Jul-02 138 235 278 437 638  
Jul-01 97 97 115 181 264  

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 Eastside Setnet CPUE Index

The Eastside Setnet Catch per Unit Effort (CPUE) is an index of the total number of late-run Kenai River Chinook salmon.

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


Late Run Kenai River Chinook Inseason Summary for Tue. Jul 16

Kenai River Late-run King Salmon Inseason Summary #3

King Salmon Run Update:

Abundance estimation of Kenai River late-run king salmon began on July 1. The cumulative estimated passage thru July 15th was 3,021 large king salmon (≥ 75 cm mid-eye-to-tail-fork-length or ~ 34 inches in total length). The preseason forecast of 21,700 large king salmon is well below average. The sustainable escapement goal is 13,500– 27,000 large king salmon. Inseason assessment of the king salmon run consists of the sonar at RM 14 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 ongoing 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 2019 projection using data that is available on July 14.

In response to the low forecast, inseason projections, and general performance of king salmon runs throughout Cook Inlet, ADF&G has restricted the king salmon fishery downstream from Slikok Creek by prohibiting the use of bait and multiple hooks. King salmon fishing upstream from ADF&G markers downstream of Slikok Creek to the outlet of Skilak Lake will be under general regulation, which allows for 1 king salmon per a day, in possession that is less than 36 inches in total length using a single, unbaited hook, or artificial lure. Additionally, in the Kenai River personal use dip net fishery the retention of king salmon is prohibited by emergency order.

Inseason run projections continue to fluctuate while we are still early in the run and confidence intervals remain fairly broad. These projections should start to solidify and confidence intervals will narrow as the run approaches the average midpoint of the run on July 27th. If inseason abundance indicators warrant further management actions these will likely occur the week of July 22–26. The next inseason summary will be provided on Thursday, July 25th.

Fishery Update:

Fishing effort and catch rates have been below average as water conditions have been unfavorable to anglers. The Kenai River is experiencing high and turbid water conditions which has greatly diminished angler success rate for king and sockeye salmon. Overall effort has remained low since July 1.

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

http://www.adfg.alaska.gov/static/fishing/pdfs/sport/byarea/southcentral/2019KenaiLateRunOutlook.pdf

Water Conditions:

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

CFS at Soldotna Bridge was 18,500, Gauge Height was 10.3 ft on July 16. (Flood Stage is 12 ft)

CFS at Skilak Lake Outlet was 17,200, Gauge Height was 12.44 ft on July 16. (Flood Stage is 13 ft)

CFS at Cooper Landing was 8,370, Gauge Height was 11.49 ft on July 16. (Flood Stage is 13 ft)

Water Temperature was 55.6 degrees Fahrenheit (13.1 deg C) at the Soldotna Bridge on July 16.

Table 1. 2019 Inseason Summary Estimates for Kenai River Late-run Large Chinook Salmon

The Department switched to a large fish (≥34”) escapement goal for Kenai king salmon beginning with the 2017 season.  Smaller king salmon are also important and contribute to the escapement, but our current ability to accurately apportion counts to all species in a timely manner is lacking. A fish length of ≥34” was chosen because fish in that size range are nearly all king salmon.

Footnotes

  • Estimates and projections provided in the table are preliminary and will change as the season progresses. Each component is an estimate and has uncertainty associated with it.
  • The size of distribution of king salmon is not constant over the run; larger kings typically become more abundant in the harvest and the run as the season progresses.
  • The inseason estimated number of large kings in the ESSN harvest is likely biased.  Post-season analysis is used to produce unbiased estimates.
  • Genetic samples collected from the ESSN are NOT analyzed inseason
  • Estimates of large Kenai kings in the ESSN harvest provided in the table are based on minimum, mean, and maximum annual estimates from prior years (2010-2018).
  • ADF&G estimates that the harvest of king Salmon in the PU fishery will be negligible in 2019 since the harvest of kings in the PU fishery was closed by EO preseason.

This information was compiled based on raw and historical data for inseason management purposes.
Final data is subject to change.