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:

  • 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 (Graphed above)
Sustainable Escapement Goal for Chinook - Late Run: 13,500 - 27,000

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
2019
Count
2019
Cumulative
2019
Cumulative
2018
Cumulative
2017
Cumulative
2016
Notes for
2019
Jun-30 67 4,186 3,000 7,237 6,391  
Jun-29 95 4,119 2,903 7,128 6,241  
Jun-28 49 4,024 2,855 7,001 6,030  
Jun-27 97 3,975 2,734 6,917 5,902  
Jun-26 103 3,878 2,668 6,790 5,739  
Jun-25 118 3,775 2,614 6,621 5,636  
Jun-24 103 3,657 2,542 6,507 5,534  
Jun-23 91 3,554 2,494 6,423 5,374  
Jun-22 73 3,463 2,447 6,332 5,237  
Jun-21 67 3,390 2,387 6,242 5,152  
Jun-20 147 3,323 2,326 6,109 5,025  
Jun-19 91 3,176 2,267 6,043 4,944  
Jun-18 74 3,085 2,243 5,922 4,853  
Jun-17 67 3,011 2,182 5,663 4,720  
Jun-16 43 2,944 2,116 5,470 4,593  
Jun-15 127 2,901 2,098 5,277 4,412  
Jun-14 103 2,774 2,013 4,963 4,234  
Jun-13 218 2,671 1,892 4,589 3,957  
Jun-12 121 2,453 1,820 4,282 3,674  
Jun-11 206 2,332 1,742 4,010 3,403  
Jun-10 145 2,126 1,609 3,726 3,162  
Jun-09 163 1,981 1,488 3,473 2,993  
Jun-08 157 1,818 1,385 3,298 2,785  
Jun-07 137 1,661 1,282 3,027 2,574  
Jun-06 220 1,524 1,161 2,820 2,249  
Jun-05 230 1,304 1,041 2,619 2,034  
Jun-04 176 1,074 932 2,335 1,907  
Jun-03 199 898 805 2,135 1,684  
Jun-02 115 699 702 1,767 1,503  
Jun-01 127 584 587 1,495 1,382  
May-31 48 457 478 1,260 1,243  
May-30 66 409 417 1,091 1,026  
May-29 60 343 338 892 844  
May-28 80 283 290 741 675  
May-27 47 203 241 650 434  
May-26 36 156 192 552 356  
May-25 36 120 186 422 265  
May-24 36 84 174 319 229  
May-23 24 48 138 259 199  
May-22 6 24 96 168 133  
May-21 18 18 66 150 121  
May-20 -6 0 48 144 91 One Large Target observed going downstream at the RM14 Site
May-19 6 6 42 108 49  
May-18 0 0 18 66 36  
May-17 0 0 0 36 30 Reduced Eulachon passage. Smolt still observed
May-16 0 0 0 6 12 Eulachon and smolt prevalent

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.