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Catch limits increase as sockeye runs hit highs on Kenai and Kasilof rivers

sockeye update.jfif
Redoubt Reporter
Starting Friday, anglers on the Kenai can catch six sockeye per day and possess 12. The dipnet fishery will also be open 24 hours a day.

A record number of sockeye salmon passed through the sonar on the Kasilof River on Wednesday.

About 125,628 sockeye were recorded at the sonar there — a new daily record for the run, according to Brian Marston, Alaska Department of Fish and Game's area manager for Upper Cook Inlet commercial fisheries. The surge brings the sockeye run on the Kasilof to 568,703 fish this run.

While the Kenai River didn’t hit a daily record that day, Marston said it was the eighth highest daily count recorded since 1979.

Nearly 189,420 sockeye passed through the sonar at mile 19 of the Kenai Wednesday. Over 519,247 late-run sockeye have been recorded in the river so far this run — bringing the department halfway to its in-river goal for the run of 1.1 to 1.4 million sockeye. The Kenai River run historically peaks in early August.

Meanwhile, Fish and Game is loosening limits on the personal-use and sport fisheries on the Kenai so anglers can get after those large numbers of sockeye. Starting Friday, anglers on the Kenai can catch six sockeye per day and possess 12.

The dipnet fishery will also be open 24 hours a day starting Friday.

The sockeye run on the Kenai has surpassed the upper limits of the department’s goals for the previous several seasons. Last year, over 2.4 million sockeye passed through the sonar, raising concerns among commercial fishermen about over escapement.

Anglers are not allowed to catch king salmon. Fish and Game closed the Kenai and Kasilof to king fishing Saturday. That also triggered the closure of the set-net fishery July 16.

You can find the original story here.

Sabine Poux is the news director at KDLL in Kenai. Originally from New York, she's lived and reported in Argentina and Vermont, where she fell in love with local news. She covers all things central peninsula at KDLL, but is especially interested in stories related to energy and fishing. She'd love to hear your ideas at
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