The Alaska Department of Fish and Game has put more restrictions in place for the Kenai River. Robert Begich, Sport fisheries biologist with the Soldotna Office of Fish and Game said that the new regs went into effect at 12:01am this morning…
Begich: “The areas of the Kenai that’s still open to king salmon fishing to harvest will be catch and release for the remainder of the season. So you can keep a real small king, those less than 20-inches or a king salmon that’s 55-inches or greater. But everything else needs to stay in the water, you cannot retain it.”
Begich said that as of July 22, indices used to assess inriver abundance indicate a run that is below average. The sustainable escapement goal (SEG) for Kenai River late-run king salmon is 15,000 to 30,000 king salmon.
The DIDSON sonar cumulative estimate of king salmon passage into the Kenai River was 8,291 fish. The sport harvest of king salmon in the Kenai River as estimated by an in-season creel survey was 1,341 fish.
Begich said that at the current rate of harvest, the projected escapement will be below the SEG.