(Soldotna) – To conserve returning king salmon and ensure fishing opportunities in the future, the Alaska Department of Fish and Game (ADF&G) is implementing the following regulatory restriction for the Kenai River personal use dipnet fishery, effective 6:00 a.m. Sunday, July 10 through 11:00 p.m. Sunday, July 31, 2022, the retention of king salmon is prohibited in the dipnet fishery. Any king salmon caught incidentally may not be removed from the water and must be released immediately.
ADF&G has issued a regulatory restriction prohibiting the retention of king salmon and the use of multiple hooks and bait on the Kenai River effective July 1 from its mouth upstream to an ADF&G regulatory marker located approximately 300 yards downstream from the mouth of Slikok Creek. Per the Kenai River Late-Run King Salmon Management Plan, the retention of king salmon in the personal use fishery is prohibited, if bait is prohibited in the Kenai River sport fishery. Restrictions were also implemented on the commercial fisheries per the management plan.
“The 2022 king salmon runs throughout Cook Inlet have continued low abundance trends resulting in restrictions and closures of inriver and marine sport fisheries,” stated Area Management Biologist Colton Lipka. “ADF&G will continue to monitor the Kenai River run as it develops and additional actions may be taken depending on the run strength.”
Dipnetting on the Kenai River is allowed from 6:00 a.m. to 11:00 p.m. each day, from July 10 through July 31. An Upper Cook Inlet Personal Use permit and a 2022 Alaska Sport Fishing license are required to participate. Only Alaska residents may participate in this fishery. Upper Cook Inlet Personal Use permit harvest and participation must be reported online no later than August 15 through the ADF&G harvest reporting webpage. Permit holders who fail to report will be denied an Upper Cook Inlet Personal Use Salmon permit for 2023 and subject to a $200 fine. If you did not use the permit or if you used the permit but did not catch anything you still have to report. Returning permits by mail or hand-delivery is no longer an acceptable means to report.
For additional information, please contact Area Management Biologist Colton Lipka at (907) 262-9368.