The Alaska Department of Fish and Game, as a part of the Kenai River late run king salmon management plan, will continue restrictions that have been in place for king salmon fishing in Kenai River. Sport Fisheries Biologist Robert Begich…
Begich: “We’re going to be extending the king salmon closure that’s from Slikok upstream to Skikak Lake by emergency order, that will be effective on Monday, because that expired on Sunday evening at midnight, so that will be extended though the month of July.”
Begich said that King salmon runs to Cook Inlet, including early-run Kenai River king salmon, and throughout Alaska, are experiencing a period of low productivity and low run strength. The final in-season estimate of king salmon passage into the Kenai River during the early-run was below the lower bound of the optimum escapement goal. Information available from an early-run king salmon project utilizing radio telemetry shows that early-run king salmon are present in some areas of the mainstream Kenai River upstream of the Slikok Creek king salmon sanctuary area and are transiting to spawning areas.
As of July 12, inseason information, including data from inriver assessment programs as well as king salmon catch data in the Cook Inlet Central District Upper Subdistrict set gillnet fishery, indicates that the Kenai River late-run is also experiencing low run strength.
Anglers are also advised that in an effort to meet minimum king salmon escapement and egg-take goals in the Ninilchik River, the river will remain closed to sport fishing for king salmon through 11:59 p.m., Thursday, October 31, 2013.
Anglers are reminded that when the Ninilchik River, Anchor River, Deep Creek, and Stariski Creek reopen to sport fishing on tomorrow, king salmon may not be targeted, and any king salmon caught while fishing for other species may not be removed from the water and must be released immediately.