The Kenai River can be seen from the Funny River Campground on Sunday, June 23, 2019, in Funny River, Alaska. (Photo by Erin Thompson/Peninsula Clarion)

The Kenai River can be seen from the Funny River Campground on Sunday, June 23, 2019, in Funny River, Alaska. (Photo by Erin Thompson/Peninsula Clarion)

Multiple hooks, bait restricted in Kenai River

The ban is effective until 11:59 p.m. Aug. 15.

The use of bait and multiple hooks in the Kenai River is prohibited starting Tuesday, a press release from the Alaska Department of Fish and Game said.

The ban is effective until 11:59 p.m. Aug. 15, and includes an area from the river’s mouth upstream to Skilak Lake. The ban on bait and multiple hooks is an effort to continue protection of the late-run king salmon, the release said.

Anglers are only allowed to use one unbaited, single-hook, artificial lure in the Kenai River.

Anglers are also reminded that king salmon fishing closed Aug. 1, including catch and release fishing. Hooked king salmon may not be retained or possessed, and king salmon may not be removed from the water. When fishing for coho salmon, the Alaska Department of Fish and Game advises residents to avoid fishing in areas of the river where king salmon are concentrated, and to cut leaders and lines to avoid stressing incidentally hooked king salmon.

As of Aug. 3, the sonar estimate of the king salmon passage into the Kenai River was 9,586 fish. The projected sport harvest and catch and release mortality of king salmon in the Kenai River upstream of the sonar through the end of the season is estimated to be approximately 507 fish, the release said. Projections to achieve the sustainable escapement goal have been dropping in August, with a lower than anticipated entry of king salmon past the sonar. The Alaska Department of Fish and Game is restricting the harvest of Kenai River king salmon in the commercial fishery as well.

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