Alaska: Kenai King salmon fishery closed because of poor numbers
The 2010 Kenai River early king salmon run is currently the lowest on record. Through Wednesday, June 2, 2010, an estimated 739 king salmon have passed the Kenai River sonar station, well below the historical average of 3,114 fish through this date. Based on historic run timing models, it is expected that 3,800 early-run king salmon are to return to the Kenai River in 2010.
The department has determined that, due to this low run, the lower end of the biological escapement goal (5,300 fish) cannot be achieved with a harvest or a catch-and-release fishery. Anglers are advised that the Kenai River king salmon sport fishery will be closed as follows:
• The Kenai River from its mouth upstream to the Soldotna Bridge is closed to sport fishing for all king salmon from 12:01 am, Saturday, June 5, through 11:59 pm, Wednesday, June 30, 2010.
• The Kenai River from the Soldotna Bridge upstream to the outlet of Skilak Lake is closed to sport fishing for all king salmon from 12:01 am, Saturday, June 5 through 11:59 pm, Wednesday, July 14, 2010.
• The Moose River from its confluence with the Kenai River upstream to the northernmost edge of the Sterling Highway bridge is closed to sport fishing for all king salmon from 12:01 am, Saturday, June 5 through 11:59 pm, Wednesday, July 14, 2010.
The early run fishery is managed to achieve a spawning escapement of 5,300 – 9,000 king salmon under the Kenai River and Kasilof River Early- Run King Salmon Management Plan. Department staff will continue to closely monitor the Kenai River early-run king salmon run. In order to re-open the early-run fishery, the department must project that a minimum of 5,300 king salmon will escape to spawn.