Kenai River Chinook Salmon Federal Subsistence Fishery Closed to Protect the Early Run
Credit: United States Department of the Interior
This closure prohibits all subsistence fishing for Chinook salmon, including both dip net and rod and reel fisheries. Chinook salmon may not be retained or possessed. Chinook salmon accidentally caught while fishing for other species may not be removed from the water and must be released immediately.
The State of Alaska’s 5 AAC 57.160 Kenai River and Kasilof River Early-run King Salmon Management Plan identifies an optimal escapement goal (OEG) of 5,300 to 9,000 Chinook salmon for the Kenai River. As of June 16, the Alaska Department of Fish and Game estimates that only 3,533 Chinook salmon have passed their DIDSON sonar site in the lower Kenai River. The run to date is likely showing early timing as are other Chinook salmon stocks throughout the state. Projections using early run-timing models indicate the early-run of Kenai River Chinook salmon will be near or below the minimum escapement goal of 5,300 fish by the end of the season on June 30. Therefore, it is warranted to close the Federal subsistence fishery for early-run Chinook salmon.