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(a) The purposes of this management plan are to ensure an adequate escapement of late-run king salmon into the Kenai River system and to provide management guidelines to the department. The department shall manage the late-run Kenai River king salmon stocks primarily for sport and guided sport uses in order to provide the sport and guided sport fishermen with a reasonable opportunity to harvest these salmon resources over the entire run, as measured by the frequency or inriver restrictions.
(b) The department shall manage the late run of Kenai River king salmon to achieve a biological escapement goal of 17,800 - 35,700 king salmon, as follows:
(1) in the sport fishery,
(A) if the biological escapement goal is projected to be exceeded, the commissioner may, by emergency order, extend the sport fishing season up to seven days during the first week of August;
(B) from July 1 through July 31, a person may not use more than one single hook in the Kenai River downstream from Skilak Lake;
(2) in the sport fishery, that portion of the Kenai River downstream from Skilak Lake is open to unguided sport fishing from a non-motorized vessel on Mondays in July; for purposes of this section a non-motorized vessel is one that does not have a motor on board;
(3) if the projected inriver return is less than 17,800 king salmon, the department shall
(A) close the sport fisheries in the Kenai River and in the salt waters of Cook Inlet north of the latitude of Bluff Point to the taking of king salmon;
(B) close the commercial drift gillnet fishery in the Central District within one mile of the Kenai Peninsula shoreline north of the Kenai River and within one and one-half miles of the Kenai Peninsula shoreline south of the Kenai River; and
(C) close the commercial set gillnet fishery in the Upper Subdistrict of the Central District.
(c) From July 20 through July 31,
(1) repealed 6/22/2002;
(2) if the projected inriver return of late-run king salmon is less than 40,000 fish and the inriver sport fishery harvest is projected to result in an escapement below 17,800 king salmon, the department may restrict the inriver sport fishery;
(3) repealed 6/22/2002;
(4) if the inriver sport fishery is closed under (2) of this subsection, the commercial set gillnet fishery in the Upper Subdistrict shall be closed;
(5) repealed 6/11/2005.
(d) Repealed 6/22/2002.
(e) Consistent with the purposes of this management plan and 5 AAC 21.360, if the projected inriver return of king salmon is less than 40,000 fish, the department may not reduce the closed waters at the mouth of the Kenai River described in 5 AAC 21.350(b) .
(f) The provisions of the Kasilof River Salmon Management Plan (5 AAC 21.365) are exempt from the provisions of this section.
(g) 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 this plan.
History: Eff. 6/10/89, Register 110; em am 4/30/91 - 5/30/91, Register 118 [not printed]; am 7/21/91, Register 119; am 5/31/96, Register 138; am 5/14/97, Register 142; am 2/25/98, Register 145; am 6/13/99, Register 150; am 6/22/2002, Register 162; am 6/30/2002, Register 162; am 6/11/2005, Register 174
Authority: AS 16.05.060
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Last modified 7/05/2006