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Unbaited, Single-hook, Artificial Lures Only In The Kenai River

Kenai River anglers are advised that, to continue protection of late-run king salmon, the Alaska Department of Fish and Game (ADF&G) is extending the prohibition of bait and multiple hooks in the Kenai River.

Kenai River anglers are advised that, to continue protection of late-run king salmon, the Alaska Department of Fish and Game (ADF&G) is extending the prohibition of bait and multiple hooks in the Kenai River from its mouth upstream to the ADF&G marker at the outlet of Skilak Lake through 11:59 p.m. Thursday, August 31, 2023. Anglers may use only one unbaited, single-hook, artificial lure in these waters. “Single-hook” means a fish hook with only one point.

Fishing for king salmon in the Kenai River closed by regulation August 1, including catch-and-release fishing. Incidentally caught king salmon may not be retained or possessed; king salmon caught while fishing for other species may not be removed from the water and must be released immediately. Anglers should exercise good angling practices by avoiding fishing for coho salmon in areas of the river where king salmon are concentrated and to cut leaders or lines to avoid stressing incidentally hooked king salmon.

Through August 13, 2023, approximately 12,045 king salmon 75 cm mid eye to tail fork and longer have passed the river mile 13.7 king salmon sonar. Inseason projections estimate an escapement that would not achieve the optimal escapement goal established by the Alaska Board of Fisheries. Therefore, these measures are warranted to continue to conserve Kenai River king salmon needed for escapement.

“Projections for late-run Kenai River king salmon are not likely to meet the optimal escapement goal and it is necessary to extend the restriction of bait and multiple hooks to reduce mortality of incidentally caught king salmon that spawn throughout the lower and middle river. Coho salmon can be caught on a variety of spoons and lures in the Kenai River.” stated Acting Area Management Biologist Jenny Gates.

For additional information, please contact Fish and Game Coordinator Matt G. Miller at
(907) 267-2415.

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