Kenai River to close to bait

The Alaska Department of Fish and Game has issued an emergency order prohibiting the use of bait in the Kenai River beginning at 12:01 a.m. Monday and extending through the close of the fishery at 11:59 p.m. on July 31.

From regulatory markers at the outlet of Skilak Lake, downstream to its mouth, sport fishing gear will be limited to not more than one unbaited, single-hook artificial lure. Bait may not be used in this 50-mile stretch of river when fishing for any species.

According to a Fish and Game press release, indices used to measure king salmon escapement indicate a run that is well below average. Fish and Game does not expect escapement goals to be achieved, warranting the restriction.

Anglers are reminded that catch-and-release restrictions remain in place from regulatory markers 300 yards downstream from Slikok Creek, upstream to Skilak Lake, and in the Moose River from its confluence with the Kenai River upstream to the Sterling Highway bridge. In that area, only king salmon less than 20 inches or greater than 55 inches in length may be retained. King salmon between 20 and 55 inches may not be possessed, retained or removed from the water and must be released immediately.

For more information on the inseason assessment of Kenai River king salmon visit the Fish and Game website.