A man fishes on the Kenai River on July 16, 2018, in Soldotna, Alaska. (Peninsula Clarion/file)

A man fishes on the Kenai River on July 16, 2018, in Soldotna, Alaska. (Peninsula Clarion/file)

New bait restrictions on Kenai and Kasilof king fishing

On the Kenai River, bait will be prohibited from the mouth upstream to the outlet of Skilak Lake.

The Alaska Department of Fish and Game announced new sport fishing restrictions on the use of bait for king salmon in the Kenai and Kasilof rivers today, which take effect starting in July.

On the Kenai River, bait will be prohibited from the mouth upstream to the outlet of Skilak Lake in an effort to reduce the harvest of early-run king salmon as they move upriver and achieve the Kenai River late-run king salmon escapement goal.

According to the press release from ADF&G, the restrictions prohibit the retention of king salmon of any size from the agency regulatory marker located approximately 300 yards downstream from the mouth of Slikok Creek upstream to the outlet of Skilak Lake.

This restriction on the Kenai River takes effect at 12:01 a.m. on July 1 and will remain enforced through 11:59 p.m. on July 31.

On the Kasilof River the use of bait will be prohibited and only one unbaited single-hook artificial lure may be used from the mouth of the river upstream to the Sterling Highway Bridge, effective 12:01 a.m. July 1 through 11:59 p.m. July 31.

A single-hook lure refers to one with only one point.

The ADF&G press release stated that anglers may harvest either one naturally produced or hatchery-produced king salmon per day on this stretch of the Kasilof River starting July 1.

This restriction is being imposed in an effort to protect returning king salmon and ensure fishing opportunities in the future, as well as meet the Crooked Creek king salmon escapement goal and reduce mortality of Kasilof mainstem wild king salmon, according to Fish and Game.

For more information, contact Area Management Biologist Colton Lipka at 907-262-9368.

Reach reporter Camille Botello at camille.botello@peninsulaclarion.com.

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