Early King Salmon Run
ANGLERS PLEASE NOTE: Fish & Game no longer provides daily sonar counts to the public for the Kenai River Early King Salmon Run. Instead they have changed their reporting "policy" to offer a number of cryptic charts on their own website page and a "hindsight" summary report of what has already occurred. Because this information is only presented Twice Weekly on Tuesday and Friday AOJ has nothing to offer its readers that has any real time planning value. Those anglers interested in this run (and the July run will most likely be reported the same way) can visit the ADFG Kenai King Run Summary page at http://www.adfg.alaska.gov/sf/FishCounts/index.cfm?ADFG=main.kenaiChinook and see what you can find of value in the information. Good Luck!
The 2010 chart is presented here as a reference to what the run characteristics are for general planning purposes.
REGULATIONS IN EFFECT
Sonar counts begin May 16th. Data for Friday & Saturday counts may or may not be available on the weekends depending on biologists' workload.
This is the first of two chinook salmon runs on the Kenai River and also the smallest run.
Many Fish & Game regulations have been implemented to protect the salmon runs on the Kenai and this early king run is perhaps the most vulnerable. The returning numbers vary a great deal from year to year and when escapement goals appear to be in jeopardy, Fish & Game will restrict this fishery in several ways.
Fish & Game manages this fishery quite often on a day to day basis so that maximum opportunities are provided when conditions warrant it. Emergency Orders restricting the fishery can be changed back or relaxed again if returning fish numbers take a sudden jump as can happen when environmental conditions may be affecting the normal timing of the fishery.
Guided boat anglers may only fish the Kenai River on Tuesday through Saturday during the month of July. All motorized boat fishing is prohibited on Mondays, whether guided or private boats. Regulations will now allow unguided anglers the opportunity to fish on Mondays from non-motorized boats, i.e. primarily drift boats, although rafts and canoes fall into this category too. This regulation is intended to offer the private angler a chance for some excellent fishing on the Kenai on a day when no motorized anglers will be competing. Consult the Sport Fish Regulations booklet for further details.
For the angler traveling a great distance for a fishing opportunity on the Kenai, this run poses the highest gamble. Restrictions can be implemented by Fish & Game within a two day notice....far too short for anglers planning their vacation to make scheduling changes. Most visitors choose to fish the second run of Kings due to the higher number of fish present and larger average size.
One last note: Fishing the Kenai River for kings is easy.....catching a fish is the challenge. We provide the statistics on angler success on the Kenai for each of the two King salmon runs.
We suggest that traveling anglers become familiar with their chances of catching a king by reviewing our Kenai River King Salmon Angler Success in the Fishing section of AOJ.
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