Killin' two birds with one stone...
Due to a high level of uncertainty whether the early-run king salmon escapement of 5,300 to 9,000 fish was achieved, it is warranted to continue to conserve Kenai River early-run king salmon that may still be transiting in areas outside of designated sanctuaries. In addition, all five indices used to assess the abundance of late-run king salmon in the Kenai River indicate a run that is well below average. All department assessment methods indicate the late run is similar to the runs of 2009 and 2010. The final 2009 escapement estimate was slightly below the sustainable escapement goal range and the 2010 escapement was likely below lower bound of the sustainable escapement goal of 17,800 to 35,700 late-run king salmon. Therefore, it is warranted to continue to manage the early run conservatively and begin to slow down the harvest of late-run king salmon while the run continues to develop.
Anglers are advised that in the Kenai River drainage from ADF&G regulatory markers located approximately 300 yards downstream from the mouth of Slikok Creek, upstream to the outlet of Skilak Lake, and in the Moose River from its confluence with the Kenai River upstream to the northern-most edge of the Sterling Highway Bridge, the Kenai River early-run king salmon sport fishery will be restricted as follows:
• Only king salmon less than 20 inches in length or 55 inches or greater in length may be retained. King salmon 20 inches or greater in length and less than 55 inches in length may not be possessed or retained, may not be removed from the water and must be released immediately from 12:01 a.m., Friday, July 15, through 11:59 p.m., Sunday, July 31, 2011. Harvest of king salmon less than 20 inches in length or 55 inches or greater in length is still allowed.
• Use of bait is not allowed while fishing for any species of fish from 12:01 a.m., Friday, July 15, through 11:59 p.m., Sunday, July 31, 2011.
Although bait continues to be allowed downstream of the ADF&G regulatory markers located approximately 300 yards downstream from the mouth of Slikok Creek, additional restrictions for this area are possible if the run does not improve.
For information of inseason assessment of Kenai River king salmon visit our website at: http://www.adfg.alaska.gov/sf/FishCo...ADFG=main.home.