(Soldotna) – The passage of sockeye salmon into the Kenai River has achieved the sustainable escapement goal (SEG) of 700,000 to 1,200,000 Kenai River late-run sockeye salmon, so the Alaska Department of Fish and Game (ADF&G) is reopening sport fishing for sockeye salmon on the Kenai River and restoring the bag limit of three fish per day, six in possession effective 12:01 a.m. Thursday, August 23, 2018.
Poor performance by Kenai River late-run sockeye salmon resulted in sport, personal use and commercial closures and restrictions starting in July and continuing through August. As of August 20, 926,917 sockeye salmon have passed the department’s sonar at river mile 19. Sockeye salmon harvest that occurred prior to the closure August 1 and any additional harvest that may occur for the remainder of the season are not expected to result in escapement below the SEG.
“With sockeye passage exceeding 900,000 we’re glad to be able to return an opportunity for folks to fish for sockeye as the season winds down.” said Sport Fish Cook Inlet Management Coordinator Matt Miller.
Anglers are reminded this does not affect sockeye salmon fishing in the waters of the Upper Kenai and Russian River confluence (see map in regulations summary page 60). These waters are managed for Russian River sockeye stocks and closed to the retention of sockeye salmon by regulation August 20.
For additional information, please contact Cook Inlet Management Coordinator Matt Miller at (907) 267-2415.