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


Final Early Run Kenai River Chinook Inseason Summary

KENAI RIVER EARLY-RUN CHINOOK SALMON FINAL INSEASON SUMMARY

WEDNESDAY JULY 3

Chinook salmon run update:

The Kenai River King salmon sonar began counting on May 16, 2019. The total estimated passage through June 30th was 4,186 large king salmon (> 75 cm mid-eye-to-tail-fork-length or ~ 34 inches in total length). The return is above the preseason forecast estimate of 3,168 large fish but remains well below the historical average. The department applies a catch-and-release mortality rate of 8% to the catch of king salmon above the sonar to generate a preliminary spawning escapement estimate of 4,173 large early-run king salmon. The optimal escapement goal of 3,900-6,600 large fish was achieved.

Kenai River late-run king salmon updates will begin on July 5th.

Management of the Kenai River king salmon sport fishery transitions to late-run management July 1. Emergency order (EO 2-KS-1-23-19) issued June 18, 2019 opens the July sport fishery with no bait from the mouth of the Kenai River upstream to an ADF&G regulatory marker located approximately 300 yards downstream from the mouth of Slikok Creek. From Slikok Creek upstream to the Skilak Lake general regulation applies. Please review regulations on page 50 of the 2019 Southcentral Alaska sport fishing regulation summary booklet.

Fishery Update:  

Fishing success has been reported as fair to poor as water conditions have been unfavorable to sport fishing. 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 below average success rates for catch and release fishing on the Kenai River. Water levels continue raise and water clarity is poor which could affect angler success for this coming weekend.

The preseason outlook for the 2019 early-run can be found at:

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

Water Conditions: 

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

CFS at Soldotna Bridge was 17,100 on July 3.

CFS at Skilak Lake Outlet was 15,700 on July 3.

CFS at Cooper Landing was 10,200 on July 3.

Water Temperature was 58.0 degrees Fahrenheit at the sonar site on July 3.

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

Final data is subject to change.