Chinook salmon. Photo courtesy Michael Humling, US Fish & Wildlife Service

Chinook salmon. Photo courtesy Michael Humling, US Fish & Wildlife Service

Kings fishing further restricted

Officials say king salmon runs have significantly underperformed preseason expectations.

Alaska’s Department of Fish and Game have further restricted king salmon fishing on the Kasilof River and the Lower Kenai River, now limiting the fishing to catch and release only in both fisheries in an attempt to protect future king salmon runs.

“The 2020 king salmon runs across the Kenai Peninsula consistently and significantly underperformed preseason expectations resulting in restrictions and closures of inriver and marine sport fisheries,” ADF&G area management biologist Colton Lipka said in a Monday release. “Through July 12, 2020, approximately 1,699 large king salmon have passed the river mile 13.7 king salmon sonar. Without further restrictions to harvest, the goal for Kenai River late-run king salmon is not expected to be achieved.”

Kenai River

Effective July 15 through July 31, the retention of king salmon is prohibited while sport fishing on the Kenai River from its mouth upstream to the ADF&G regulatory marker located 300 yards downstream from the mouth of Slikok Creek.

In addition, only one unbaited, single-hook, artificial lure is allowed when sport fishing in these waters. King salmon cannot be retained or possessed, cannot be removed from the water and must be released immediately.

Sport fishing for king salmon also remains closed from the ADF&G regulatory marker upstream to Skilak Lake.

The Kenai-Soldotna Fish and Game Advisory Committee will be meeting tonight to consider requesting an emergency closure of all king salmon fishing on the Kenai River in response to low king salmon counts. The meeting will take place at the Soldotna Regional Sports Complex at 8 p.m.

Kasilof River

Effective July 15 through July 31, the retention of king salmon is prohibited while sport fishing on the Kasilof River downstream of the Sterling Highway Bridge. Only one unbaited, single-hook, artificial lure may be used when fishing for king salmon, and any king salmon caught must be released immediately.

While king salmon counts on the Kenai and Kasilof Rivers continue to be below expectations, the sockeye salmon run on the Kasilof River has been strong enough to warrant an increase in bag and possession limits for these fish, according to a separate Monday release.

As of July 12, 188,596 sockeye salmon were recorded passing the Kasilof River sonar site. Because this number falls within the river’s biological escapement goal of between 140,000 and 320,000 sockeye salmon, ADF&G is increasing the bag limits to allow more opportunities for fishing.

From July 15 through Dec. 31 of this year, the bag and possession limit for sockeye salmon caught on the Kasilof River will be increased to six fish per day and 12 in possession. For every part of the Kasilof River, the coho salmon limit is still limited to two per day and two in possession.

In addition, the area open to personal use dipnetting on the Kasilof River was expanded through Aug. 7.

For more information on these management actions, contact Lipka at 907-262-9368 or visit adfg.alaska.gov.’

^Reach reporter Brian Mazurek at bmazurek@peninsulaclarion.com.

More in News

COVID-19. (Image courtesy CDC)
503 new cases; borough positivity rate hits 14.65%

Affected peninsula communities include Kenai, Other North, Soldotna and Seward

In this March 18, 2020 file photo, Thomas Waerner, of Norway, celebrates his win in the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race in Nome, Alaska. The world’s most famous sled dog race will go forward in 2021 officials are preparing for every potential contingency now for what the coronavirus and the world might look like in March when the Iditarod starts. It’s not the mushers that worry Iditarod CEO Rob Urbach; they’re used to social distancing along the 1,000 mile trail. The headaches start with what to do with hundreds of volunteers needed to run the race, some scattered in villages along the trail between Anchorage and Nome, to protect them and the village populations. (Marc Lester/Anchorage Daily News via AP, File)
Virus restrictions lead Norwegian champ to drop Iditarod

“I cannot find a way to get the dogs to Alaska.”

Dr. Anne Zink, Alaska’s chief medical officer, addresses reporters during a Wendesday, March 25, 2020 press conference in the Atwood Building in Anchorage, Alaska. (Photo courtesy Office of the Governor)
First COVID vaccines could arrive in Alaska next month

Pfizer announced their COVID-19 vaccine candidate earlier this month, with Moderna not long after

File
DHSS encourages COVID-positive Alaskans to do their own contact tracing

In a Monday release, DHSS said that surging COVID-19 cases are creating a data backlog

Public input sought on proposed Skilak-area boat launch changes

The public scoping period will last from Dec. 8, 2020 to Jan. 8, 2021

Risk levels
Schools status: Nov. 23

34 KPBSD schools continue to operate 100% remotely through at least Nov. 25

Dr. Anne Zink, Alaska’s chief medical officer, addresses reporters during a Wendesday, March 25, 2020 press conference in the Atwood Building in Anchorage, Alaska. (Photo courtesy Office of the Governor)
State COVID officials brief Soldotna City Council in work session

The council was joined by Chief Medical Officer Dr. Anne Zink and State Testing Coordinator Dr. Coleman Cutchins

COVID-19. (Image courtesy CDC)
State reports more than 4,000 cases this week, 357 on peninsula

The state reported 462 new COVID-19 cases on Friday

Seward junior Lydia Jacoby swims in August 2019 at the Speedo Junior National Championships in Stanford, California. (Photo by Jack Spitser)
Improving through challenging times

Seward junior swimmer Jacoby wins national title at U.S. Open

Most Read