The Alaska Department of Fish and Game has issued an emergency order prohibiting anglers from filleting Kenai River king salmon until the fish have been offloaded from a boat or removed from the shoreline fishing site.
The emergency order takes effect Saturday at 12:01 a.m. and will remain in place through July 14.
According to a Fish and Game press release, "anglers may not fillet, mutilate, remove the head or otherwise disfigure a Kenai River king salmon in such a manner that would prevent determination of the length of the fish."
The regulation already is in place on the Kasilof River where hatchery kings, identifiable by a healed adipose fin clip, must be differentiated from wild salmon. Anglers may not fillet or disfigure a fish in such a way that prevents the fin clip from being recognizable until it has been offloaded from a boat or removed from the shoreline fishing site.
Anglers will still be able to gut their fish and remove the gills before leaving the boat or riverbank.
Fish and Game issued the emergency order to ensure the accurate collection of biological information in order to improve estimates of the number of fish harvested, the overall size of the Kenai River king salmon population and to help determine if slot limit regulations have been successful.
The emergency order also will assist officers enforcing the slot limit regulations. Anglers who disregard the emergency order will be subject to citations.
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