The Kenai River will open for catch-and-release king salmon fishing at midnight from the river mouth to the Soldotna Bridge.
State Department of Fish and Game wrote in a press Friday afternoon that kings between the lengths of greater than 20 inches in length up[ to 55 inches must be released immediately and not removed from the water. The policy is in effect through June 30.
From July 1 - 14 the same rules will apply to the river from the Soldotna Bridge upstream to the outlet of Skilak Lake and in the Moose River from its confluence with the Kenai River upstream to the northernmost edge of the Sterling Highway Bridge.
Biologists determined that, based on counts as of Thursday of nearly 3,500 fish passing through so far, a catch-and-release fishery won't play against Fish and Game's escapement goal of 5,300-9,000 kings.
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