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:

  • 2022
  • 2021
  • 2020
  • 2019
  • 2018
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
2022
Count
2022
Cumulative
2022
Cumulative
2021
Cumulative
2020
Cumulative
2019
Cumulative
2018
Notes for
2022
Aug-20 - 13,253 11,832 11,499 11,868 16,957  
Aug-19 - 13,253 11,754 11,486 11,747 16,672  
Aug-18 - 13,253 11,656 11,413 11,723 16,430  
Aug-17 129 13,253 11,486 11,292 11,687 16,213  
Aug-16 163 13,124 11,419 11,062 11,571 16,062  
Aug-15 182 12,961 11,279 10,813 11,413 15,839  
Aug-14 212 12,779 11,151 10,491 11,298 15,525  
Aug-13 310 12,567 10,884 10,254 11,074 15,296  
Aug-12 370 12,257 10,684 10,066 11,013 15,133  
Aug-11 261 11,887 10,491 9,867 10,898 14,722  
Aug-10 219 11,626 10,303 9,719 10,753 14,415  
Aug-09 137 11,407 9,757 9,616 10,629 14,101  
Aug-08 146 11,270 9,248 9,483 10,538 13,830  
Aug-07 249 11,124 8,872 9,325 10,410 13,552  
Aug-06 388 10,875 8,419 9,185 10,198 12,853  
Aug-05 463 10,487 8,064 8,827 10,059 12,440  
Aug-04 313 10,024 7,747 8,494 9,889 11,848  
Aug-03 334 9,711 7,504 8,089 9,586 11,411  
Aug-02 376 9,377 6,729 7,932 9,434 10,855  
Aug-01 315 9,001 6,420 7,647 9,258 10,434  
Jul-31 497 8,686 6,189 7,465 9,118 9,879  
Jul-30 364 8,189 5,818 7,112 8,906 9,391  
Jul-29 431 7,825 5,636 6,681 8,615 8,969  
Jul-28 317 7,394 5,296 6,456 8,373 8,518  
Jul-27 546 7,077 5,077 6,019 8,118 8,101  
Jul-26 395 6,531 4,864 5,692 7,876 7,675  
Jul-25 461 6,136 4,610 5,438 7,543 7,222  
Jul-24 346 5,675 4,452 5,146 7,213 6,575  
Jul-23 402 5,329 4,270 4,970 6,849 6,176  
Jul-22 388 4,927 4,142 4,787 6,473 5,675  
Jul-21 397 4,539 3,953 4,520 5,970 5,258  
Jul-20 310 4,142 3,717 4,164 5,424 4,878  
Jul-19 413 3,832 3,207 3,879 4,921 4,311  
Jul-18 437 3,419 2,872 3,615 4,551 3,798  
Jul-17 327 2,982 2,581 3,404 4,132 3,439  
Jul-16 303 2,655 2,363 3,153 3,647 3,170  
Jul-15 205 2,352 2,113 2,941 3,343 2,898  
Jul-14 257 2,147 1,871 2,680 3,021 2,770  
Jul-13 139 1,890 1,714 2,220 2,657 2,619  
Jul-12 154 1,751 1,538 1,699 2,397 2,396  
Jul-11 122 1,597 1,423 1,407 2,067 2,100  
Jul-10 313 1,475 1,303 1,249 1,734 1,978  
Jul-09 212 1,162 1,121 989 1,455 1,885  
Jul-08 219 950 994 831 1,252 1,637  
Jul-07 194 731 812 728 1,053 1,413  
Jul-06 133 537 709 583 890 1,051  
Jul-05 97 404 606 407 630 798  
Jul-04 85 307 515 304 473 598  
Jul-03 50 222 369 219 314 399  
Jul-02 49 172 253 146 235 278  
Jul-01 123 123 140 73 97 115  

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 Mon. Jul 29

KENAI RIVER LATE-RUN KING SALMON INSEASON SUMMARY #7

FRIDAY JULY 29

King Salmon Run Update:

Abundance estimation of Kenai River late-run king salmon began on July 1. The cumulative estimated passage thru July 28th was 8,373 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 28.

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 increased early in the week but have declined recently. No management actions are anticipated at this time. The final inseason summary will be provided on Thursday, August 1st.

Fishery Update:

Fishing effort and catch rates have been below average as water conditions have been unfavorable to anglers. The Kenai River is experiencing above average temperatures and turbid water conditions which have diminished angler success rate for king salmon. Water levels have started to drop and clarity is improving. 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 14,600, Gauge Height was 9.48 ft on July 29. (Flood Stage is 12 ft)

CFS at Skilak Lake Outlet was 13,300, Gauge Height was 11.33 ft on July 29. (Flood Stage is 13 ft)

CFS at Cooper Landing was 5,840, Gauge Height was 10.27 ft on July 29. (Flood Stage is 13 ft)

Water Temperature was 57.6 degrees Fahrenheit (14.2 deg C) at the Soldotna Bridge on July 19.

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.