Kenai River Late-Run Sockeye Salmon Fish Counts
Daily Fish Counts & Escapement Averages
The Kenai River sockeye salmon late-run begins on July 1st and continues until August 31st. There is actually an earlier run of sockeye salmon that migrate up this river but because those fish are primarily spawning at the Russian River, a tributary of the Kenai, those fish are counted as Russian River Sockeye. There is an early-run and late-run of Russian River sockeye but that fishery is detailed on a dedicated page.
The Kenai River late-run sockeye salmon are known for their size and sheer volume. These world-record sockeye salmon was caught on the Kenai River by Stan Roach on August 9, 1987 and weighed in at a whopping 15lbs 3oz.
Kenai River Sockeye Salmon Fish Counts
Escapement & Daily Fish Count Averages
The graph on the left shows the escapement of the late-run Kenai River Sockeye Salmon. The run begins July 1st and ends August 31st. The Kenai River sockeye salmon run is generally very healthy and strong, and rarely are there concerns about meeting the targeted escapement goals to sustain the fishery. In fact, in most years, folks wonder when Alaska Department of Fish and Game will liberalize the fishery and allow for sport fisherman to harvest more fish. As you can see from the graph the minimum escapement goal is usually reached around August 5th. There are so many fish coming into the river at this point that usually the optimum escapement goal is achieved only a few days later. That’s what happens when 50,000 – 100,000 fish enter the river every day!
If you look at the graph to right showing the daily Kenai River sockeye salmon fish counts, you can see the sockeye really start showing up in good number around July 12th and then it just takes off for the next 6 weeks. Due to size of the Kenai River we generally consider 20,000 fish per day to be good fishing.
one thing that is so fun to think about is that around August 9th, there are 900,000 sockeye spread out over the 82 miles of Kenai River. Over the next month that number will become 1.5 Million sockeye. That really makes for spectacular fishing.
The normal daily limit for Kenai River sockeye salmon is 3 per person per day. When the run is particularly strong it’s not uncommon for Alaska Department of Fish and Game to up that limit to 6.
Kenai River Sockeye Salmon Fish Counts - Sonar & Location
Kenai River sockeye salmon are some of the most prized table fare in the world. Their firm, deep red fillets are definitely something all our guests love taking home.
The Kenai River sockeye salmon fish counts are achieved through the use of an underwater sonar located at RM 19. The photo above shows what RM19 looks like in relation to the 19 miles of river downstream as it empties into Cook Inlet. The second photo shows a magnified view of the sonar location and the surrounding geography.
The second photo was taken during early spring when the water levels were still very low and there was still significant snow and ice. This particular location on the inside turn of the Kenai River creates just the right depth and water current for these fish and they run right up through this area.
Sockeye salmon are counted on both sides of this river. Also nearby is a fish wheel, powered by the current, that grabs fish as they make their way up the river and deposits them in a holding tank in the river. Alaska Department of Fish and Game then samples these fish to determine a wide variety of things including statistically sampling how many of them are sockeye and how many of them are pink salmon on even numbered years.
Kenai River King Salmon Fish Counts
Kenai River Late Run Sockeye Salmon Fish Counts
Russian River Sockeye Salmon Fishcounts
More About Alaska FishTopia Mobile App
The Alaska Fishtopia fishing app is one of the best mobile companions you could want for Alaska fishing. When it comes to successfully planning a fishing trip in Alaska an angler needs every piece of information he can get.
Built for the entire state of Alaska, the Alaska FishTopia mobile app is unmatched in features and information:
- Fish Counts & Fish Count Sonar locations
- Sport Fishing Regulations
- Fish Species Info
- Tides & Currents
- Marine Weather Forecast & Live Buoys
- Halibut, Salmon, Rockfish, and Lingcod Fishing Spots
- Events & Entertainment