ANCHORAGE, Alaska—The lower Kenai River saw fresh bait and hook restrictions imposed by state officials Wednesday, the latest in a series of drastic steps statewide to protect poor king salmon runs.
According to the Alaska Department of Fish and Game, bait and multiple hooks are banned on the river from its mouth upstream to the Sterling Highway bridge in Soldotna, effective Thursday through Wednesday, Aug. 15. Anglers may only use single unbaited hooks.
“Anglers should exercise good sportsmanship by avoiding fishing for coho salmon in areas of the river where king salmon are concentrated and cut leaders or lines to avoid stressing incidentally hooked king salmon,” biologists wrote.
Fish and Game says indicators through July 30 show that this year’s run of Kenai River kings is the worst on record.