Kenai River dipnetting closing two days early

Jul 26, 2018

 

Dipnetters on the south shore beach at the mouth of the Kenai River, Thursday, July 26, 2018. Due to a weak sockeye run the Alaska Department of Fish and Game is closing the fishery at 12:01 a.m. Monday, July 30, two days early.
Credit City of Kenai Dipnet app

The Alaska Department of Fish and Game has issued two emergency orders restricting the harvest of sockeye salmon on the Kenai River.

The orders, released Thursday afternoon, will close the Kenai River Personal Use Dipnet Fishery after the weekend, and reduce the bag limit for sport-caught sockeye over 16 inches to one fish per day and two in possession. That is down from three per day and six in possession. 

The dipnet fishery was set to close Tuesday night.

The department reevaluated its Kenai sockeye run on Tuesday and projected the run will be less than 2.3 million fish. Without added restrictions, the emergency order continues, the sustainable escapement range of 700,000 to 1.2 million may not be reached.

Cook Inlet Management Coordinator Matt Miller held out hope that the run was just late, but the reassessment indicated it may actually be a weak run.

Dipnetting is still open on the Kasilof River and at Fish Creek on Knik Arm north of Anchorage.