ANCHORAGE, Alaska — The lower Kenai River will again be legal for bait and multiple hooks effective Thursday, as state officials lifted a previous emergency order banning their usebut imposed new bag and possession limits for coho salmon on Jim Creek.
According to the Alaska Department of Fish and Game, the restrictions downstream of the Sterling Highway bridge in Soldotna are no longer necessary, after sonar recorded an estimated 16,869 king salmon on the river as of Monday.
“The (sonar-based) king salmon escapement will be larger than the past two years and will likely provide for an adequate spawning escapement based on comparison with previous years,” state biologists wrote in a Wednesday statement. “This determination could not have been made without the relatively strong and sustained passage of fish observed since July 25.”
In a second order Wednesday, Fish and Game reduced bag and possession limits for Jim Creek cohos from from two fish to one, effective at 6 a.m. Friday. Anglers may harvest up to three non-king salmon, one of which may be a coho, during fishing hours from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m.