Kenai River sport fishing closed to early-run kings
Anglers looking to catch a king in the Kenai River anytime soon will have to wait.
On Thursday, the state Department of Fish and Game barred the use of bait on the river throughout the month of July, extending from its mouth to a regulatory marker about 300 yards downstream from the mouth of Slikok Creek.
Earlier this week, Fish and Game announced it has closed the river to sport fishing for king salmon in the Kenai River drainage area starting at 12:01 a.m. on Wednesday through the end of July.
This order replaces an earlier one that allowed catch and release. Officials say it hopes the restrictions will allow more kings to enter the river and increase future fishing opportunities.
Here's a look at the details:
June 20 – June 30, 2018:
Anglers may not fish for king salmon of any size in the Kenai River from its mouth upstream to an ADF&G regulatory marker at the outlet of Skilak Lake.
July 1 – July 31, 2018:
Anglers may not fish for king salmon of any size in the Kenai River from that portion of the Kenai River from an ADF&G regulatory marker located approximately 300 yards downstream from the mouth of Slikok Creek, upstream to an ADF&G regulatory marker at the outlet of Skilak Lake.
“As of June 17, 2018, an estimated 2,116 large king salmon have past the River Mile 13.7 king salmon sonar. This closure is not an easy decision; however, even after prohibiting harvest of king salmon in the fishery last week, we are not projecting to meet the escapement goal and need to take this next step,” stated Cook Inlet Management Coordinator Matt Miller. “King salmon stocks throughout Cook Inlet, including the Kenai River runs, are experiencing a period of low productivity and the restrictions and closures are being felt across the state.”
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