Kenai Chinook Estimates, Indices and Inseason Run Summaries


Location: Kenai River (Chinook)
Species: Chinook - Late Run
Method: Sonar

The selected years are color-coded in the graphs below:

  • 2023
  • 2022
  • 2021
  • 2020
  • 2019
Daily Counts
Cumulative

Description: In 2015 the department began managing Kenai River king salmon runs using an ARIS sonar station located at river mile 14. In 2017 the Department modified the Kenai River king salmon escapement goals from goals based on king salmon of all sizes, to escapement goals based on large king salmon (fish over 34 inches) only. The early-run king salmon optimal escapement goal range is 3,900 to 6,600 large king salmon (> 34 inches). In 2020 the late-run king salmon escapement goal was modified to an optimal escapement goal range is 15,000 to 30,000 large king salmon (> 34 inches). The ARIS sonar counts found on this page are the daily and seasonal cumulative passage estimates of the number of large king salmon passing the sonar site. Additionally, the past years counts displayed on this page have been converted to large fish counts for comparison. These estimated numbers of large king salmon passing the sonar site are the primary tool for the Kenai River king salmon assessment program that also includes a sport angler harvest survey, and a netting program. The data gathered in these assessments are used together to determine king salmon run strength. This data in conjunction with Fishery Management Plans, allows fishery managers to determine if emergency order regulation changes to the fisheries are needed during the season to help ensure that the escapement goals are achieved. These abundance assessments as well as information about the status of the run and inseason management actions can be viewed via this website on the above tabs. Information is also available by telephone at (907)262-9097.

Optimal Escapement Goal for Chinook - Early Run: 3,900 - 6,600
Optimal Escapement Goal for Chinook - Late Run: 15,000 - 30,000 (Graphed above)

Contact: Northern Kenai Sport Fish Area Manager,
(907) 260-2920

Weekly Sportfish Fishing Report for this area

51 records returned for the years selected. Dashes indicate days with no count.
[Export results in Excel format or JSON format]

Date
2023
Count
2023
Cumulative
2023
Cumulative
2022
Cumulative
2021
Cumulative
2020
Cumulative
2019
Notes for
2023
Aug-20 - 0 13,425 11,832 11,499 11,868  
Aug-19 - 0 13,425 11,754 11,486 11,747  
Aug-18 - 0 13,338 11,656 11,413 11,723  
Aug-17 - 0 13,253 11,486 11,292 11,687  
Aug-16 - 0 13,124 11,419 11,062 11,571  
Aug-15 - 0 12,961 11,279 10,813 11,413  
Aug-14 - 0 12,779 11,151 10,491 11,298  
Aug-13 - 0 12,567 10,884 10,254 11,074  
Aug-12 - 0 12,257 10,684 10,066 11,013  
Aug-11 - 0 11,887 10,491 9,867 10,898  
Aug-10 - 0 11,626 10,303 9,719 10,753  
Aug-09 - 0 11,407 9,757 9,616 10,629  
Aug-08 - 0 11,270 9,248 9,483 10,538  
Aug-07 - 0 11,124 8,872 9,325 10,410  
Aug-06 - 0 10,875 8,419 9,185 10,198  
Aug-05 - 0 10,487 8,064 8,827 10,059  
Aug-04 - 0 10,024 7,747 8,494 9,889  
Aug-03 - 0 9,711 7,504 8,089 9,586  
Aug-02 - 0 9,377 6,729 7,932 9,434  
Aug-01 - 0 9,001 6,420 7,647 9,258  
Jul-31 - 0 8,686 6,189 7,465 9,118  
Jul-30 - 0 8,189 5,818 7,112 8,906  
Jul-29 - 0 7,825 5,636 6,681 8,615  
Jul-28 - 0 7,394 5,296 6,456 8,373  
Jul-27 - 0 7,077 5,077 6,019 8,118  
Jul-26 - 0 6,531 4,864 5,692 7,876  
Jul-25 - 0 6,136 4,610 5,438 7,543  
Jul-24 - 0 5,675 4,452 5,146 7,213  
Jul-23 - 0 5,329 4,270 4,970 6,849  
Jul-22 - 0 4,927 4,142 4,787 6,473  
Jul-21 - 0 4,539 3,953 4,520 5,970  
Jul-20 - 0 4,142 3,717 4,164 5,424  
Jul-19 - 0 3,832 3,207 3,879 4,921  
Jul-18 - 0 3,419 2,872 3,615 4,551  
Jul-17 - 0 2,982 2,581 3,404 4,132  
Jul-16 - 0 2,655 2,363 3,153 3,647  
Jul-15 - 0 2,352 2,113 2,941 3,343  
Jul-14 - 0 2,147 1,871 2,680 3,021  
Jul-13 - 0 1,890 1,714 2,220 2,657  
Jul-12 - 0 1,751 1,538 1,699 2,397  
Jul-11 - 0 1,597 1,423 1,407 2,067  
Jul-10 - 0 1,475 1,303 1,249 1,734  
Jul-09 - 0 1,162 1,121 989 1,455  
Jul-08 - 0 950 994 831 1,252  
Jul-07 - 0 731 812 728 1,053  
Jul-06 - 0 537 709 583 890  
Jul-05 - 0 404 606 407 630  
Jul-04 - 0 307 515 304 473  
Jul-03 - 0 222 369 219 314  
Jul-02 - 0 172 253 146 235  
Jul-01 - 0 123 140 73 97  

Non-Sonar Tools

Late Run Netting Project CPUE Index

The Net Catch Per Unit Effort (CPUE) is an index of the numbers of Chinook salmon moving into the Kenai River and is based on the rate at which Chinook salmon are captured by the netting project conducted at river mile 8.6.


Late Run Sport CPUE Index

The Sport Catch Per Unit Effort (CPUE) is an index of the numbers of Chinook salmon in the lower Kenai River and is based on the success rate of anglers fishing downstream of the Sterling Highway Bridge Crossing in Soldotna.

Late Run Netting Project Large Fish CPUE Index

The Net Catch Per Unit Effort (CPUE) is an index of the numbers of Chinook salmon moving into the Kenai River and is based on the rate at which Chinook salmon are captured by the netting project conducted at the sonar station located at river mile 8.6.

Weekly Sportfish Fishing Report for this area


Final Late Run Kenai River Chinook Inseason Summary

KENAI RIVER LATE-RUN KING SALMON FINAL 2021 INSEASON SUMMARY

King Salmon Run Update:

Abundance estimation of Kenai River late-run king salmon began on July 1 and concluded August 20. The preliminary estimated escapement 2021 is 12,176 large king salmon (≥ 75 cm mid-eye-to-tail-fork-length or ~ 34 inches in total length). The return is well below the preseason forecast of 18,400 large king salmon and did not achieve the optimal escapement goal (15,000 – 30,000 large fish) or the sustainable escapement goal (13,500 – 27,000 large fish). Based upon inseason assessment, preliminary estimated sport fish harvest, including catch-and-release mortality, is 222 large king salmon and the preliminary estimated eastside set net harvest is 189 large king salmon (Table 1). Inseason assessment of the king salmon run consists of the sonar at RM 13.7 on the Kenai River mainstem, a sport angler creel survey of the lower river, inriver test netting for age, sex, length composition, and sampling of king salmon harvest in the east side set net commercial fishery. These information sources, along with historical data allow ADF&G managers to formulate inseason run projections of estimated escapement, harvest, and total run of large Kenai River king salmon. Table 1 displays the final 2021 projection data. The inseason assessment data suggest that the run was 4-days late run timing. Based on sampling from the RM 8 netting project there was an even distribution across the dominate age classes of total age 4, 5, and 6 fish.  Finalized harvest and escapement data will be published this coming winter after post-season analysis is complete.

Inseason Management:

The following management actions were issued to conserve late-run king salmon:

  • July 1, 2021 – EO 2-KS-1-24-21 prohibited the use of bait downstream of Slikok Creek to begin the late-run fishery.
    • Preseason Forecast: 18,400 large fish
  • July 14, 2021 – EO 2-KS-1-42-21 prohibited the retention of king salmon of all sizes.
    • Inseason Projection: 10,778 large fish
  • July 21, 2021 – EO 2-KS-1-46-21 closed the king salmon sport fishery.
    • Inseason Projection: 10,068 large fish
  • August 1, 2021 – EO-2-KS-1-51-21 prohibited the use of bait and multiple hooks until August 15.
    • Inseason Projection: 9,800 large fish

The preseason outlook for the 2021 late-run can be found at:

http://www.adfg.alaska.gov/static/fishing/pdfs/sport/byarea/southcentral/2021KenaiLateRunOutlook.pdf

Table 1. 2021 Inseason Summary Estimates for Kenai River Late-run Large Chinook Salmon

Sonar data thru: 20-Aug   ESSN Summary          
Current Inriver Chinook Assessment Information ESSN Total Chinook Salmon harvest 1,247 (Fish Ticket Catch Report)
Most Recent Daily Sonar  78 ESSN Large Chinook Harvests (all stocks) Based on Inseason Length Data 274
Cumulative Sonar to Date 11,832 Percentage Large Chinook in ESSN Sample Thru  20-Aug 22%  
Est. Creel Harvest to Date  134 Min, mean, and max of Large ESSN Chinook that were of Kenai origin (2010-2018 data)        
Creel Harvest Above Sonar  70 Kenai Large Contribution   60% 69% 79%  
Creel Harvest Below Sonar  64 ESSN Large Kenai Harvest to Date  165 189 217  
Creel All Sizes of Chinook  342 ESSN Projected Kenai Large Harvest 165 189 217  
                     
                     
Projected end of season estimates for large late-run Kenai River Chinook salmon.          
Run Timing Run to Date Estimated run to Sonar RM14 Estimated inriver run (includes spawning & harvet below sonar) Estimated Escapement (includes spawners below sonar) Estimated Sport Harvest Above Sonar RM 14 to Skilak Lake Estimated Sport Harvest Below Sonar RM 14 Estimated Total Inriver Sport Harvest Estimated ESSN Harvest Estimated Total Run Estimated Exploitation
On time 100.00% 11,832 12,417 12,176 143 79 222 189 12,519 3.28%
* Retention of king salmon is prohibited in personal use fisheries for 2021          

This information was compiled based on raw and historical data for inseason management purposes.

Final data is subject to change.