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Kenai River subsistence restricted

Russian River an alternative for fishery users

Posted: June 19, 2013 - 10:35pm  |  Updated: June 20, 2013 - 8:24am

The federal subsistence fishery for king salmon has been restricted, mirroring state restrictions issued Tuesday in response to low numbers of kings during the early run on the Kenai River.

Beginning today through July 14, anglers will be prohibited from subsistence fishing for king salmon using dipnet and rod and reel fisheries on the Kenai River.

While the federal subsistence fishery, located within the Kenai Wildlife Refuge is not heavily used — there have been no kings harvested in the fishery to date according to a Fish and Wildlife representative — the closure was warranted.

“It is a conservation concern right now and people could take advantage of (the fishery) if they chose if we leave it open,” he said.

Fewer than 1,100 kings have been counted in the early run on the Kenai and Alaska Department of Fish and Game biologists said Tuesday projections show that less than half of the river’s escapement goal will return.

Jeffry Anderson, Cook Inlet Area inseason manager for Fish and Wildlife, said while the Kenai and Kasilof rivers do not typically have robust subsistence use, the Russian River has an active subsistence sockeye fishery for rural residents of Hope, Cooper Landing and Ninilchik.

For residents from those three areas who have a subsistence permit, the daily bag limit for rod and reel fishing is six sockeye and the dipnetting harvest limit is 25 sockeye per permit holder annually.

Anderson said those dipnetted sockeye in the subsistence fishery could not be taken in addition to the personal-use dipnet allowance in other parts of the state and anglers had to choose one or the other.


Rashah McChesney can be reached at

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KenaiKardinal88 06/20/13 - 06:27 pm
Out with the Feds

Federal subsistence - total abuse of federal power.

Thank the Dems and weak Republicans like Murkowski for this abuse of the average, non-native Alaskan.

kenai123 06/22/13 - 03:59 pm
ADF&G has caused our fisheries problems.

Stopping people from subsistence fishing for king salmon is only the beginning of the fall-out from our ADF&G not knowing what they are doing. This run is the results of fisheries management not knowing what it was doing between 2002 - 2012. Our ADF&G is claiming a "natural low abundance situation". It is a low abundance situation but it is NOT "natural". It is ADF&G caused.

1950 lower 48 east coast commercial fisheries caught so many cod that they caused their cod fisheries collapse by 1970. 1930 depression era farmers plowed up the grassy prairies but caused The Great Dust Bowl. World War 2 era dam builders produced cheap electricity but killed most of their salmon. The lower 48 west coast timber industry cut so many trees that they eroded and silted their river thus killing most of their salmon. 1990 lower 48 west coast commercial salmon fisheries caught so many salmon that they help cause their salmon fisheries collapse by 2000. Before 1980 Florida had a massive tarpon resource but they allowed excess commercial harvest of tarpon prey like blue crab, pink shrimp and toadfish, thus causing their tarpon to collapse by 1990. Many claimed these losses were the result of "a natural cycle". Excess commercial harvest has depleted Alaska's herring, crab and now king salmon resources. Our ADF&G is claiming "a natural low abundance" but we are compelled to ask if this is in fact "a natural cycle" or the direct results of the same excessive commercial activities and mis-management which has plagued our past?

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