Today, the Board of Fisheries voted on 21 Kenai River proposals that dealt with management plans, regulations, habitat issues, and guide regulations. For the most part it was status quo. The biggest change, and I feel for the better, was passing a conservative, early run Kenai king management plan. This plan not only helps protect the recovery of the early king run, it gives stability to the industry that makes a living off of the resource (that would be me and Jane).
The new, early run Kenai king management plan moving forward is:
- If ADFG's preseason forecast is below the large fish goal of 3900-6600, the season will start off closed.
- If the goal is forecasted to be met, the season will start off catch and release only, single hook lure with no bait, or/with possible retention if the projection is within the optimum escapement range. An angler can retain one king a day, two for the year. All king salmon over 36" must be released.
- Once in season research is under way (sonar counts, test netting, log book info, etc.) and ADFG is confident the escape goals will be met, an angler can use a single hook lure with no bait. An angler can retain one king a day, two for the year. All kings over 36" must be released.
- If the early run will exceed the escapement goal, a single hook lure with bait will be allowed. An angler can retain one king a day, two for the year. All kings over 36" must be released.
This plan was supported by the guide association, the sportfish association, and a private angler association. As long as I can remember, there has never been a united effort like this from the three associations. The Board took notice, and voted 7-0 to adopt this new plan.
Long live the kings!
Beaver Creek Cabins & Guide Service