ADF&G puts a halt on bait fishing on the Kenai for Chinook run

Copper River Salmon
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ANCHORAGE (KTUU) - ADF&G is worried about meeting the sustainable escapement goal (SEG) for late run Kenai Chinook again this year.

"Projections to achieve the sustainable escapement goal (SEG) have been dropping in August with lower than anticipated entry of king salmon past the sonar," says an emergency order released Monday, "Based on early run timing assessment of the inriver return, the SEG is not projected to be achieved."

The emergency order goes into effect on Tuesday at 12:00 a.m. that bars anglers from using bait and multiple hooks while fishing.

King salmon fishing already closed on the Kenai, but the new regulation is designed to prevent anglers from accidentally hooking Chinook as they seek out legal species like Sockeye or Coho.

Anglers can use just one unbaited, single-hook, artificial lure.

Managers are concerned because as of August 5, the King salmon run was at 9,586, well below the SEG for late-season Kings of 13,500.

Managers also closed the set-netting fishery to reduce the probability of bycatch -- but just for one day, at least for now.

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