The Kenai River trophy king salmon fishery will be shut down tomorrow (Thursday). The Alaska Department of Fish and Game made that announcement via emergency order on Tuesday. King salmon runs throughout the state have been at historic low levels all season.
Earlier this week, king salmon fishing in the saltwater of Cook Inlet was closed in an area where late run kings were transiting in an effort to ensure enough trophy size kings made it into the river for the benefit of sport anglers. A trophy king is one 55-inches in length or longer.
The in-river sport fishery on the Kenai River had allowed the keeping of king salmon less than 20 inches in length and for trophy fish greater than 55 inches in length. Now, no king of any size may be targeted – including catch-and-release fishing. Any king caught while fishing for other species must be released immediately without taking them from the water.