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From an ADFG News Release:

Fishing for rainbow/steelhead trout, including catch-and-release, in the flowing waters of the lower Kenai River and in Skilak Lake is closed by regulation from May 2 – June 10, to protect spawning fish.

As a result, and to provide protection for these stocks, an Emergency Order was issued in 2006 to prohibit anglers from removing rainbow trout from the water during the spawning closure.

In order to continue to provide protection for Kenai River rainbow trout, ADF&G has again issued an Emergency Order that prohibits anglers from removing rainbow/steelhead trout from May 2 through June 10. This Emergency Order applies to the flowing waters of the Kenai River from its mouth upstream to Skilak Lake, and in Skilak Lake, except for the lake waters within a one-half mile radius of the Kenai River inlet. The lake waters within a one-half mile radius of the Kenai River inlet, and the rest of the upper river, are closed by regulation to all fishing from May 2 to June 11, again, to protect spawning rainbow/steelhead trout.

Prohibiting anglers from removing rainbow trout from the water during the spawning closure will reduce mortality of these incidentally-caught trout, during the time when spawning fish may be more susceptible to handling mortality.

Other streams on the Kenai Peninsula, such as the Kasilof River and the Anchor River, have a similar regulation.

To avoid accidentally catching spawning rainbows, anglers fishing for Dolly Varden should fish downstream of spawning trout where the Dolly Varden tend to hold and feed on drifting eggs.

For additional information contact Larry Marsh, Assistant Area Management Staff Biologist, (907) 262-9368.

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