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Title 5 . Fish and Game
Chapter 21 . Transportation, Possession and Release of Live Fish; Aquatic Farming
Section 360. Kenai River Late-Run Sockeye Salmon Management Plan

5 AAC 21.360. Kenai River Late-Run Sockeye Salmon Management Plan

(a) The department shall manage the Kenai River late-run sockeye salmon stocks primarily for commercial uses based on abundance. The department shall also manage the commercial fisheries to minimize the harvest of Northern District coho, late-run Kenai River king, and Kenai River coho salmon stocks to provide personal use, sport, and guided sport fishermen with a reasonable opportunity to harvest salmon resources.

(b) The Kenai River late-run sockeye salmon commercial, sport, and personal use fisheries shall be managed to

(1) meet an optimum escapement goal (OEG) range of 500,000 - 1,000,000 late-run sockeye salmon;

(2) achieve inriver goals as established by the board and measured at the Kenai River sonar counter located at river mile 19; and

(3) distribute the escapement of sockeye salmon evenly with the OEG range, in proportion to the size of the run.

(c) Based on preseason forecasts and inseason evaluations of the total Kenai River late-run sockeye salmon return during the fishing season, the run will be managed as follows:

(1) at run strengths of less than 2,000,000 sockeye salmon,

(A) the department shall manage for an inriver goal range of 650,000 - 850,000 sockeye salmon past the sonar counter at river mile 19; and

(B) subject to the provisions of other management plans, the Upper Subdistrict set gillnet fishery will fish regular weekly fishing periods, as specified in 5 AAC 21.320, through July 20, unless the department determines that the minimum inriver goal will not be met, at which time the fishery shall be closed or restricted as necessary; the commissioner may, by emergency order, allow extra fishing periods of no more than 24-hours per week, except as provided in 5 AAC 21.365;

(2) at run strengths of 2,000,000 to 4,000,000 sockeye salmon,

(A) the department shall manage for an inriver goal range of 750,000 - 950,000 sockeye salmon past the sonar counter at river mile 19; and

(B) subject to the provisions of other management plans, the Upper Subdistrict set gillnet fishery will fish regular weekly fishing periods, as specified in 5 AAC 21.320, through July 20, or until the department makes a determination of run strength, whichever occurs first; if the department determines that the minimum inriver goal will not be met, the fishery shall be closed or restricted as necessary; the commissioner may, by emergency order, allow extra fishing periods of no more than 51-hours per week, except as provided in 5 AAC 21.365;

(C) the Upper Subdistrict set gillnet fishery will be closed for one continuous 36-hour period per week beginning between 7:00 p.m. Thursday and 7:00 a.m. Friday and for an additional 24-hour period during the same management week;

(3) at run strengths greater than 4,000,000 sockeye salmon,

(A) the department shall manage for an inriver goal range of 850,000 - 1,100,000 sockeye salmon past the sonar counter at river mile 19; and

(B) subject to the provisions of other management plans, the Upper Subdistrict set gillnet fishery will fish regular weekly fishing periods, as specified in 5 AAC 21.320, through July 20, or until the department makes a determination of run strength, whichever occurs first; if the department determines that the minimum inriver goal will not be met, the fishery shall be closed or restricted as necessary; the commissioner may, by emergency order, allow extra fishing periods of no more than 84-hours per week, except as provided in 5 AAC 21.365;

(C) the Upper Subdistrict set gillnet fishery will be closed for one continuous 36-hour period per week, beginning between 7:00 p.m. Thursday and 7:00 a.m. Friday.

(d) The sonar count levels established in this section may be lowered by the board if noncommercial fishing, after consideration of mitigation efforts, results in a net loss of riparian habitat on the Kenai River. The department will, to the extent practicable, conduct habitat assessments on a schedule that conforms to the Board of Fisheries (board) triennial meeting cycle. If the assessments demonstrate a net loss of riparian habitat caused by noncommercial fishermen, the department is requested to report those findings to the board and submit proposals to the board for appropriate modification of the Kenai River late-run sockeye salmon inriver goal.

(e) Repealed 6/11/2005.

(f) Repealed 6/11/2005.

(g) Subject to the requirement of achieving the lower end of the optimal escapement goal, the department shall provide for a personal use dip net fishery in the lower Kenai River as specified in 5 AAC 77.540.

(h) Subject to the requirement of achieving the lower end of the optimal escapement goal, the department shall manage the sport fishery on the Kenai River, except that portion of the Kenai River from its confluence with the Russian River to an ADF&G regulatory marker located 1,800 yards downstream, as follows:

(1) fishing will occur seven days per week, 24 hours per day; and

(2) the bag and possession limit for the sport fishery is three sockeye salmon, unless the department determines that the abundance of late-run sockeye exceeds 2,000,000 salmon, at which time the commissioner may, by emergency order, increase the bag and possession limit to six sockeye salmon.

(i) For the purposes of this section, "week" means a calendar week, a period of time beginning at 12:00:01 a.m. Sunday and ending at 12:00 midnight the following Saturday.

History: In effect before 1984; am 5/3/84, Register 90; am 5/11/85, Register 94; am 6/10/89, Register 110; am 6/15/95, Register 134; am 5/31/96, Register 138; am 5/8/98, Register 146; am 6/13/99, Register 150; am 6/22/2002, Register 162; em am 7/20/2004 - 11/16/2004, Register 171; am 6/11/2005, Register 174; am 7/9/2005, Register 175

Authority: AS 16.05.060

AS 16.05.251


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Last modified 7/05/2006