Sanctuary opening early to take advantage of strong early red run

Jun 11, 2019

The Russian River Sanctuary (area B on the map) is opening early for sockeye angling.
Credit ADF&G

  The early run of sockeye salmon on the Kenai River is off to a strong enough start that Fish and Game is going to give anglers an early opportunity to land some in the Russian River Sanctuary.

In opening the sanctuary early, Area Management Biologist Colton Lipka said in an announcement that the system, “hasn’t seen numbers like this for several years.”

Through Sunday, (June 9, 2019), approximately 4,700 sockeye salmon have passed the Russian River weir. ADF&G staff conducted stream surveys on June 7 and June 10 and estimated there are over 5,000 fish in both the Russian River and Russian River Sanctuary Area. As a result, the department estimates that the early-run sockeye salmon escapement goal of 22,000-42,000 fish will be met.

The regulatory change is effective from 8 a.m. Wednesday through July 14.

The bag limits vary according to the size of the fish. Sockeye 16-inches or greater have a three per day, six in possession limit, while smaller fish have a limit of 10 per day, 10 in possession.

Lipka says sport fishing for sockeye salmon in the Russian River area will “likely be good to excellent.”