Fish and Game increases Kasilof sockeye bag limit

With the Kasilof River sockeye run safely within the optimum escapement goal, the Alaska Department of Fish and Game will allow anglers to keep more fish.

An emergency order issued Friday, Aug. 3, increases the bag and possession limits for sockeye on the Kasilof River effective Saturday at 12:01 a.m. to six per day with 12 in possession.

That’s up from the usual three with six in possession, according to the 2018 sportfishing regulations.

The increase is linked to a simultaneous sockeye salmon closure on the Kenai River, which was announced Wednesday to take effect 12:01 a.m. Saturday.

The same concern led Fish and Game to close the personal-use dipnet fishery on the Kenai two days early.

While the Kenai River’s sockeye run has been poorer than expected, the Kasilof River sockeye run has been strong enough to meet the escapement goal and provide surplus fish for harvest.

“The poor sockeye salmon return to the Kenai River this year has impacted a lot of people,” said Cook Inlet Management Coordinator Matt Miller in the Friday announcement. “However, there is still an opportunity for anglers to get out and fish for sockeye salmon on the Kasilof River.”

The announcement reminds anglers that only two salmon per day and two in possession can be coho salmon.

As of Thursday, 316,492 sockeye had passed the sonar on the Kasilof River. The optimum escapement goal on that river is between 160,000–390,000 sockeye.

The Kasilof River dipnet fishery will be open until Aug. 7.

Reach Elizabeth Earl at