• No bait allowed when Kenai late-run opens July 1
The Alaska Department of Fish and Game, Division of Sport Fish, announced on Monday that the Kenai River Sport Fishery will re-open for late-run king salmon, but the use of bait and multiple hooks is prohibited.
This regulation is in effect for the Kenai River, from its mouth upstream to Skilak Lake, and in the Moose River from its confluence with the Kenai River upstream to the northernmost edge of the Sterling Highway Bridge.
The restrictions are effective 12:01 a.m., Monday, July 1, 2013 through 11:59 p.m., Wednesday, July 31, 2013.
Anglers may use only one unbaited, single-hook, artificial lure.
July 1 marks the opening of the late-run king salmon fishery on the Kenai River, and the run will be monitored closely for the need to restrict further. There is also the option to return regulations to normal should run strength allow. Updates on the run and fishery status can be found under “fish counts” on the department’s web site.
According to an ADF&G press release, king salmon runs to Cook Inlet, including early run Kenai River king salmon, and throughout Alaska are experiencing a period of low productivity. The department said 2013 runs are less than preseason forecasts and of low run strength.
Based on the relationship between early run king salmon abundance and late-run abundance, it is likely the Kenai River late-run will also experience below-average run strength and be well below the preseason forecast. The prohibition on the use of bait during July will reduce the harvest rate of both early and late-run stocks.
In addition to conserving these stocks, this action may delay or avoid further restrictions to the in-river sport fishery, as well as other fisheries harvesting late-run Kenai River king salmon. Therefore, these measures are warranted to ensure adequate escapement of Kenai River early- and late-run king salmon.
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