Escapement lags as king angling opens for Kenai late run

Jul 6, 2018

Late run king salmon fishing reopened on the lower Kenai River on July 1st, however no bait is allowed. King fishing above the ADF&G markers at Slikok Creek is still prohibited.

The Department sonar shows 598 kings have escaped this season. That compares to 820 at this time last year, 1,066 in 2016 and 498 in 2015.

Meanwhile, fishing for king salmon on the Kasilof River has been fair, according to Fish and Game's weekly fishing report.

Fishing for sockeye salmon on the Upper Kenai and Russian rivers has been good to excellent, and bag limits were liberalized to try and limit over-escapement.

Fishing for sockeye salmon on the lower Kenai River has been productive in some areas but the department says fisherman should expect putting more effort in to fill bag limits.

With 4,551 sockeye passing the sonar on Wednesday, the cumulative total for the season is now 12,607 late run reds, though that lags behind last year's run, which had counted 20,544 by the same date.

Fishing for rainbow trout on the Kenai River has been good.

Water conditions on the Kenai River remain good.

Kasilof River dipnet fishery opened on June 25, and fishing has been reported as spotty with fluctuating levels of fish abundance. Nearly 61,000 sockeye have been counted at the Kasilof River sonar through July 4th. That compares to nearly 84,000 a year ago.

To participate in dipnet fisheries, a 2018 Upper Cook Inlet dipnet permit and a resident sport fishing license is required, and of course, only Alaska residents may take part.

When it begins next week, no king salmon may be kept if incidentally caught in the Kenai River dipnet fishery.