KRSA Requests Harvest Restrictions For Late-Run Kenai River King Salmon
The Board of Directors of Kenai River Sportfishing Association (KRSA) passed a resolution that strongly recommends the Alaska Department of Fish and Game (ADFG) restrict harvest of late-run Kenai River king salmon, beginning Sunday, July 1. Dangerously low returns of king salmon in the Kenai River prompted KRSA to request the Commissioner of Fish & Game to take a more conservative approach and restrict fishing for late run kings to catch and release and limit east side set net fishing to no more than 24 hours per week. This request seeks to avoid excessive harvest of a potentially weak run which could result in a disastrous closure of both sport and commercial fisheries later in the season.
Salmon returns throughout Alaska to date in 2018 are struggling to meet minimum escapement goals. Critically low numbers of king salmon in Cook Inlet have already required the closure of the Anchor, Deshka, Susitna and early run Kenai River king salmon. Historically, the early run king salmon return is a strong indicator of run strength for the late run of Kenai River king salmon, and this run will fail to meet its minimum escapement goal this year.
“It’s time for action as currently fewer than 100 large king salmon are passing the counter each day and the forecast for the second run of Kenai kings is the third lowest run size on record,” said Ricky Gease, KRSA Executive Director. “We ask that these restrictions remain in place until in-season data warrants a more liberal approach.”