The sockeye salmon limits are being increased for sport fishing anglers to six per day and 12 in possession on the Russian and Upper Kenai rivers effective 12:01 a.m. July 1, according to a press release from the Alaska Department of Fish and Game.
The Upper Kenai River area encompasses the section that extends from Skilak Lake upstream to regulatory markers about 300 yards upstream from the Sportsman’s Landing boat launch. This includes the Russian River sanctuary area.
On the Russian River, the area for increased limits stretches from the river mouth upstream to regulatory markers about 600 yards downstream from the Russian River Falls.
According to the press release, anglers may possess only the limit allowed in the waters they are actively fishing. For example, if a sport fishing angler already has six sockeye salmon in possession, the individual may not fish in waters with a possession limit of six.
The increase is effective through 11:59 p.m. on July 14.
ADF&G reported that a total of 26,016 sockeye salmon have passed by the Russian River weir as of Monday. The agency estimates early-run Russian River sockeye salmon biological escapement goal — between 22,000 and 42,000 fish — will be exceeded.
Additionally, ADF&G wants to remind sport fishing anglers to partake in proper salmon cleaning practices. There are tables designated for filleting and gutting fish, and both whole or gutted and gilled carcasses should generally not be left in the river, although smaller pieces can be thrown into deeper waters. For riverbank restoration purposes, anglers are asked to remain on established pathways.
For more information contact Area Management Biologist Colton Lipka at 907-262-9368.