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:

  • 2017
  • 2016
  • 2015
  • 2014
  • 2013
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.

Contact: Northern Kenai Sport Fish Area Manager,
(907) 262-9368

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]

Date
2017
Count
2017
Cumulative
2017
Cumulative
2016
Cumulative
2015
Cumulative
2014
Notes for
2017
Jun-30 109 7,237 6,391 4,212 2,391  
Jun-29 127 7,128 6,241 4,170 2,354  
Jun-28 84 7,001 6,030 4,072 2,330  
Jun-27 127 6,917 5,902 4,024 2,294  
Jun-26 169 6,790 5,739 3,952 2,228  
Jun-25 114 6,621 5,636 3,837 2,179  
Jun-24 84 6,507 5,534 3,752 2,149  
Jun-23 91 6,423 5,374 3,667 2,125  
Jun-22 90 6,332 5,237 3,637 2,070  
Jun-21 133 6,242 5,152 3,546 1,985  
Jun-20 66 6,109 5,025 3,473 1,931  
Jun-19 121 6,043 4,944 3,352 1,853  
Jun-18 259 5,922 4,853 3,301 1,775  
Jun-17 193 5,663 4,720 3,159 1,703  
Jun-16 193 5,470 4,593 3,080 1,616  
Jun-15 314 5,277 4,412 3,032 1,555  
Jun-14 374 4,963 4,234 2,934 1,476  
Jun-13 307 4,589 3,957 2,830 1,365  
Jun-12 272 4,282 3,674 2,695 1,299  
Jun-11 284 4,010 3,403 2,452 1,206  
Jun-10 253 3,726 3,162 2,281 1,085  
Jun-09 175 3,473 2,993 2,142 1,025  
Jun-08 271 3,298 2,785 1,955 916  
Jun-07 207 3,027 2,574 1,798 819  
Jun-06 201 2,820 2,249 1,551 690  
Jun-05 284 2,619 2,034 1,346 487  
Jun-04 200 2,335 1,907 1,219 384  
Jun-03 368 2,135 1,684 1,056 251  
Jun-02 272 1,767 1,503 923 172  
Jun-01 235 1,495 1,382 736 146  
May-31 169 1,260 1,243 603 115  
May-30 199 1,091 1,026 531 97  
May-29 151 892 844 465 67  
May-28 91 741 675 344 61  
May-27 98 650 434 290 43  
May-26 130 552 356 236 37  
May-25 103 422 265 194 37  
May-24 60 319 229 176 37  
May-23 91 259 199 128 37  
May-22 18 168 133 98 31  
May-21 6 150 121 92 24  
May-20 36 144 91 68 12  
May-19 42 108 49 56 12  
May-18 30 66 36 18 6  
May-17 30 36 30 6 0  
May-16 6 6 12 6 0 First Day of Sonar Counts

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.

Weekly Sportfish Fishing Report for this area


Final Early Run Kenai River Chinook Inseason Summary

Chinook salmon run update: 

On June 30 the daily estimated sonar passage of Chinook salmon greater than 34 inches in length was 109 fish for a final preliminary season total of 7,237 Chinook salmon greater than 34 inches in length. The 2017 early-run of Chinook salmon greater than 34 inches in length ranks as the highest run since 2013. Based on 5 years of sonar data at river mile 13.7 it was 1 day early with the midpoint on June 10.

Fishery Update:

The final preliminary creel survey estimate of Chinook salmon sport fish harvest (including catch-and-release mortality) downstream of Soldotna was approximately 768 fish. The preliminary estimate of sport fish harvest (including catch-and-release mortality) upstream of Soldotna was 195 fish. By summation of harvest estimates upstream and downstream of Soldotna results in a preliminary estimate of total inriver sport fish harvest for 2017 of 963 Chinook salmon. Inriver harvest estimates will be refined upon publication of the 2017 Statewide Harvest Survey and 2017 Freshwater Sport Fish Guide Logbook data during September of 2018. The inriver sport fishery for Chinook salmon was liberalized twice on June 12 and June 21 by increasing the maximum size to less than 46” and allowing bait respectively.

Escapement:

The optimal escapement goal (OEG) for early-run Kenai River Chinook salmon greater than 34 inches in length is 3,900-6,600 fish. The preliminary total estimated inriver mortality (harvest and catch and release mortality) above the sonar is 676 fish. The final preliminary escapement estimate is 6,561 Chinook salmon.

Additional Information:

Based on these preliminary inriver run and harvest estimates and considering marine recreational harvests the final preliminary estimated total run of early-run Chinook salmon is ~7,500 fish and will be slightly above the preseason total run forecast of approximately 6,500 Chinook salmon.
Data collected from the Chinook salmon netting project at river mile 8.6 and the inriver creel survey of Chinook salmon harvest indicate the size and gender composition of the 2017 late-run more closely resembled historic size and gender compositions. Preliminary information based on using length of fish captured and measured in the test netting project as proxy for age showed that about 82% of Chinook salmon were 3-ocean age Chinook salmon or older (1-ocean 0%, 2-ocean 18%, 3-ocean 51%, 4-ocean 31%, 5-ocean 0%). In addition, the preliminary sex composition was approximately 52% female and 48% male Chinook salmon from the netting program. These preliminary netting compositions were not reflected in the preliminary results of fish sampled in the creel survey using length as a proxy for age, where about 71% of the sport harvest was comprised of 3-ocean age or older Chinook salmon and the sex composition of the harvest was 48% female and 52% male. Scales from both the netting project and the creel survey are being processed and final estimates of the age, sex and length composition of early-run Chinook salmon are still forthcoming.

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