HOT OFF THE PRESS!
June 25, 2015
BAIT PROHIBITED IN THE KENAI RIVER SPORT FISHERY
The use of bait will be prohibited in the Kenai River from its mouth upstream to an Alaska Department of Fish and Game marker at the outlet of Skilak Lake from 12:01 a.m. on Wednesday, July 1 through 11:59 p.m., Friday, July 31.
Sport fish anglers may use only one unbaited, single-hook, artificial lure; multiple hooks are prohibited by regulation in the Kenai River. “Single hook” means a fish hook with only one point (with or without a barb).
The Kenai River late-run king salmon fishery opens July 1. Harvest will be allowed in a portion of the lower Kenai River from its mouth upstream to ADF&G regulatory markers located approximately 300 yards downstream from the mouth of Slikok Creek. Anglers are reminded that an emergency order issued Thursday, February 27, 2015 which closed a portion of the Kenai River Drainage to sport fishing for king salmon through July 31, 2015, remains in effect.
Sport fishing for king salmon, including catch and release fishing, is closed from ADF&G regulatory markers located approximately 300 yards downstream from the mouth of Slikok Creek, upstream to an ADF&G marker at the outlet of Skilak Lake. In this portion of the river, no king salmon of any size may be retained. King salmon may not be targeted and any king salmon caught incidentally while fishing for other species may not be removed from the water and must be released immediately.
Kenai River king salmon and other king salmon stocks are in a period of low productivity and have been below average run strength since 2009. That trend has continued during 2015. The 2015 preseason forecast for late-run Kenai River king salmon is for a total run of approximately 22,000 fish. This is less than one-half of the 1986–2014 average total run of approximately 57,000 fish and is insufficient to provide harvest in an unrestricted fishery without jeopardizing attainment of the sustainable escapement goal. Considering the small run forecast and direction provided in the management plan, prohibiting bait in the sport fishery is warranted.