Anglers fish on the Kenai River on Tuesday, June 29, 2021, in Soldotna, Alaska. (Ashlyn O’Hara/Peninsula Clarion)

Anglers fish on the Kenai River on Tuesday, June 29, 2021, in Soldotna, Alaska. (Ashlyn O’Hara/Peninsula Clarion)

Low early-run king numbers prompt restrictions

The cumulative sonar estimate is 72 large king salmon through May 29

The Alaska Department of Fish and Game is restricting king salmon sport fishing to catch and release only in the Kenai River, in an effort to protect kings returning to the watershed, according to a press release from the department.

Effective June 1-30, anglers may not retain any early-run king salmon of any size in the fishery in the Kenai River drainage downstream of the outlet of Skilak Lake. According to ADF&G, the restriction will continue July 1-31 as well, in the waters from the regulatory marker about 300 yards downstream from the mouth of Slikok Creek upstream to the outlet of Skilak Lake.

[JDHS teams sweep state soccer championships]

Additionally, only one unbaited single-hook artificial lure may be used in the waters restricted to catch and release, however, kings caught may not be removed from the water and must be released immediately.

“The 2022 run is off to a very slow start with the cumulative sonar estimate of 72 large king salmon through May 29 being the lowest estimate for this date in the large king salmon dataset,” Area Management Biologist Colton Lipka said in the release.

For more information, access the 2022 Kenai River King Salmon Early-Run Forecast on the ADF&G website or call Lipka at 907-262-9368.

Reach reporter Camille Botello at

More in News

The Aurora Borealis glows over the Mendenhall Glacier in 2014. (Michael Penn / Juneau Empire File)
Aurora forecast

Forecasts from the University of Alaska Fairbanks’ Geophysical Institute for the week of Dec. 3

Clarise Larson / Juneau Empire 
Teachers and school board members talk during the Juneau Board of Education and Juneau Education Association’s annual meet and greet in mid November. JEA contract negotiation team declared impasse last Friday and are in the process of filing for federal mediation.
Juneau teachers union declares impasse amid drawn-out negotiations

Still, the teachers union and district express optimism about working toward agreement.

This photo shows an Alaska State Trooper patrol vehicle (Juneau Empire File)
Troopers: Man killed raven, consumed its tongue

No arrests or citations made at this time, but investigation is underway.

Gavel (Courtesy photo)
Man sentenced to 30 years in prison after pleading guilty to sex abuse of a minor

DNA and sex offender registration required as part of sentence.

Writers’ Weir: A window into the sea

A nonfiction story by Rodger Painter.

(Michael Penn / Juneau Empire File)
Police calls for Thursday, Dec. 8

This report contains information from law enforcement and public safety agencies.

Kéet and Oscar wait patiently to play on the beach in winter in Wrangell. (Vivian Faith Prescott / For the Capital City Weekly)
Planet Alaska: Winter words

Phrases and words to use to create a Lingít language immersion outing in the winter.

Most Read