Sockeye limit increased, dipnet hours expanded

The Alaska Department of Fish and Game issued emergency orders on Wednesday increasing the sportfishing bag limit for sockeye salmon on the Kenai River, and expanding the hours for the Kenai personal-use dipnet fishery.

The emergency order raises the sport fishing bag and possession limit for sockeye salmon from three to six beginning Thursday. However, the increase does not include the Russian River and the upper Kenai River “fly-fishing-only waters” near the Russian River.

According to press release, the Kenai River Late-Run Sockeye Salmon Management Plan allows Fish and Game to increase bag and possession limits for sockeye salmon when the late-run of Kenai River sockeye salmon exceeds 2.3 million salmon. As of Wednesday, Fish and Game projects the Kenai River sockeye salmon late-run to exceed 2.3 million fish and anticipates the optimal escapement goal of 700,000 to 1.4 million salmon will be achieved. 

Beginning Wednesday, the Kenai River personal-use dipnet fishery will be open 24 hours a day through the end of the fishery at 11:59 p.m. July 31. Participants should expect to see variability in catch rates as the large pulse of fish that entered the river last weekend has already passed through the lower river. Participants are reminded to respect public property adjacent to public beaches and to follow applicable rules and regulations when on lands owned by the city of Kenai.

For more information, contact the Department of Fish and Game office in Soldotna at 907-262-9368, or the Kenai/Kasilof dipnetting hotline at 907-267-2512.