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(a) The purpose of this management plan is to ensure an adequate escapement of coho salmon into the Kenai River drainage and to provide management guidelines to the department. The department shall manage the Kenai River coho salmon stocks primarily to provide sport and guided sport fishermen with a reasonable opportunity to harvest these salmon resources over the entire run.
(b) Notwithstanding any other provisions in this chapter, for the conservation of coho salmon stocks, the department shall manage sport fishing in the Kenai River drainage as follows:
(1) coho salmon fishing is closed from November 1 through June 30; any coho salmon caught incidentally must be released immediately without further harm;
(2) from July 31 or the end of the king salmon season, whichever is later, through October 31, sport fishing from a vessel that is registered with the Department of Natural Resources, division of parks, as a guide vessel is restricted as follows:
(A) a person who is a sport fishing guide, as defined in 5 AAC 75.995, may not sport fish while a client is present or is within the guide's control or responsibility, except when guiding a client with a disability as defined in 5 AAC 61.036;
(B) the maximum number of fishing rods that may be operated may not exceed the number of clients on board the vessel;
(C) downstream from the confluence of the Moose and Kenai Rivers, sport fishing on Mondays is prohibited;
(D) upstream from the confluence of the Moose and Kenai Rivers, sport fishing for coho salmon on Mondays is prohibited; any coho salmon caught must be released immediately without further harm;
(3) coho salmon may be taken from July 1 - October 31; the daily bag and possession limit for coho salmon 16 inches or more in length is two fish.
(c) If the commissioner determines that additional conservation measures are necessary for the inriver sport or personal use fisheries, the commissioner may close, by emergency order, the season and immediately reopen a season during which any or a combination of the following restrictions may be applied:
(1) the daily bag and possession limits are one coho salmon;
(2) only unbaited artificial lures may be used;
(3) fishing time may be reduced;
(4) fishing areas may be reduced.
(d) 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 management plan.
History: Eff. 6/21/97, Register 142; am 6/11/2005, Register 174
Authority: AS 16.05.060
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Last modified 7/05/2006