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
Cumulative
2017
Notes for
2021
Aug-20 - 4,142 11,499 11,868 16,957 22,133  
Aug-19 - 4,142 11,486 11,747 16,672 21,844  
Aug-18 - 4,142 11,413 11,723 16,430 21,440  
Aug-17 - 4,142 11,292 11,687 16,213 21,097  
Aug-16 - 4,142 11,062 11,571 16,062 20,922  
Aug-15 - 4,142 10,813 11,413 15,839 20,687  
Aug-14 - 4,142 10,491 11,298 15,525 20,452  
Aug-13 - 4,142 10,254 11,074 15,296 20,272  
Aug-12 - 4,142 10,066 11,013 15,133 19,917  
Aug-11 - 4,142 9,867 10,898 14,722 19,634  
Aug-10 - 4,142 9,719 10,753 14,415 19,307  
Aug-09 - 4,142 9,616 10,629 14,101 19,102  
Aug-08 - 4,142 9,483 10,538 13,830 18,704  
Aug-07 - 4,142 9,325 10,410 13,552 18,112  
Aug-06 - 4,142 9,185 10,198 12,853 17,587  
Aug-05 - 4,142 8,827 10,059 12,440 16,920  
Aug-04 - 4,142 8,494 9,889 11,848 16,166  
Aug-03 - 4,142 8,089 9,586 11,411 15,429  
Aug-02 - 4,142 7,932 9,434 10,855 14,952  
Aug-01 - 4,142 7,647 9,258 10,434 14,350  
Jul-31 - 4,142 7,465 9,118 9,879 13,916  
Jul-30 - 4,142 7,112 8,906 9,391 12,993  
Jul-29 - 4,142 6,681 8,615 8,969 12,613  
Jul-28 - 4,142 6,456 8,373 8,518 12,070  
Jul-27 - 4,142 6,019 8,118 8,101 11,448  
Jul-26 - 4,142 5,692 7,876 7,675 11,050  
Jul-25 - 4,142 5,438 7,543 7,222 10,374  
Jul-24 - 4,142 5,146 7,213 6,575 9,813  
Jul-23 - 4,142 4,970 6,849 6,176 8,828  
Jul-22 189 4,142 4,787 6,473 5,675 8,439  
Jul-21 236 3,953 4,520 5,970 5,258 8,041  
Jul-20 510 3,717 4,164 5,424 4,878 7,556  
Jul-19 335 3,207 3,879 4,921 4,311 7,206  
Jul-18 291 2,872 3,615 4,551 3,798 6,706  
Jul-17 218 2,581 3,404 4,132 3,439 6,024  
Jul-16 250 2,363 3,153 3,647 3,170 5,385  
Jul-15 242 2,113 2,941 3,343 2,898 4,770  
Jul-14 157 1,871 2,680 3,021 2,770 4,330  
Jul-13 176 1,714 2,220 2,657 2,619 3,938  
Jul-12 115 1,538 1,699 2,397 2,396 3,540  
Jul-11 120 1,423 1,407 2,067 2,100 3,119  
Jul-10 182 1,303 1,249 1,734 1,978 2,715  
Jul-09 127 1,121 989 1,455 1,885 2,323  
Jul-08 182 994 831 1,252 1,637 1,852  
Jul-07 103 812 728 1,053 1,413 1,484  
Jul-06 103 709 583 890 1,051 1,194  
Jul-05 91 606 407 630 798 1,031  
Jul-04 146 515 304 473 598 820  
Jul-03 116 369 219 314 399 609  
Jul-02 113 253 146 235 278 437  
Jul-01 140 140 73 97 115 181  

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


Late Run Kenai River Chinook Inseason Summary for Wed. Jul 21

KENAI RIVER LATE-RUN KING SALMON SUMMARY #04

King Salmon Run Update:

The cumulative estimated passage through July 22 is 4,142 large king salmon. The optimal escapement goal is 15,000 – 30,000 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. Figure 1 is a table of the 2021 projections using data that is available through July 20. The inseason projection of escapement using the historical mean run timing is approximately 10,748 large fish. Inseason run projections do fluctuate while we are still at this point in the run (39% AVG run timing) and should start to solidify and confidence intervals will narrow as the run approaches the average midpoint on July 26.

In response to the inseason projections of escapement being less than 15,000 large king salmon, ADF&G issued emergency order 2-KS-1-46-21, which closes sport fishing for king salmon on the Kenai River drainage, including catch-and-release, effective 12:01 a.m. Wednesday, July 21 through 11:59 p.m. Saturday, July 31, 2021. The Kenai River Late-Run King Salmon Management Plan states: if the projected late run escapement is less than 15,000 king salmon 75 cm mid eye to tail fork the department shall close the sport fisheries in the Kenai River and the salt waters of Cook Inlet north of the latitude of Bluff Point to the taking of king salmon. In addition, it shall close the commercial drift gillnet fishery in the Central District within one mile of the Kenai Peninsula shoreline north of the Kenai River and within one and one-half miles of the Kenai Peninsula shoreline south of the Kenai river; and close the commercial set gillnet fishery in the Upper Subdistrict and the Central District.

Fishery Update:

Fishing success was reported as slow this week prior to the closure. CPUE data collected from the netting program indicates a catch of all sizes and large king salmon are below average. The creel survey program indicated that catch was below average.

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

Water Conditions: 

Water levels as of July 21 in the Kenai River are average throughout the lower and middle river and rising. The Upper River is above average and falling. Water temperature is below average.

CFS at Soldotna Bridge was 14,700 and 9.55 ft

CFS at Skilak Lake Outlet was 12,800 and 11.19 ft

CFS at Cooper Landing was 6,980 and 10.89 ft

Water Temperature was 55 degrees Fahrenheit at the sonar site.

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

Final data is subject to change.

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

Sonar data thru: 22-Jul   ESSN Summary          
Current Inriver Chinook Assessment Information ESSN Total Chinook Salmon harvest 1,234 (Fish Ticket Catch Report)
Most Recent Daily Sonar  189 ESSN Large Chinook Harvests (all stocks) Based on Inseason Length Data 271
Cumulative Sonar to Date 4,142 Percentage Large Chinook in ESSN Sample Thru  22-Jul 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  163 187 214  
Creel All Sizes of Chinook  342 ESSN Projected Kenai Large Harvest 186 187 245  
                     
                     
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 39.60% 10,461 10,970 10,748 143 79 223 187 11,081 3.70%
                     
Early Timing Scenarios                
1 early 42.20% 9,815 10,298 10,075 143 79 223 187 10,435 3.93%
2 early 44.95% 9,214 9,671 9,449 143 79 223 187 9,834 4.17%
                     
Late Timing Scenarios                
1 late 37.07% 11,174 11,727 11,491 143 79 223 187 11,794 3.48%
2 late 34.44% 12,027 12,615 12,367 143 79 223 187 12,647 3.24%
* Retention of king salmon is prohibited in personal use fisheries for 2021