Kenai River dipnet fishery open 24 hours through July

Anchorage Daily NewsJuly 20, 2012 

Aaron Osterback displays his catch from the Kenai River on July 14, 2012.

SHELISE HAGUE / ADN READER SUBMISSION

Until the end of the month, Kenai River anglers can start catching reds around the clock.

From 11 p.m. Friday until one minute before midnight Tuesday, July 31, the river's personal- use sockeye dipnet fishery will be open 24 hours a day, Department of Fish & Game announced Friday afternoon.

Beginning Saturday, the sport fishing bag and possession limit for salmon 16 inches or longer, except for king and coho salmon, in the Kenai River downstream of Skilak Lake, will be increased to six per day, 12 in possession.

The extension of dipnet hours -- which are usually 6 a.m. to 11 p.m. -- is due to Fish & Game's projections that the Kenai's late-run sockeye numbers exceed 2.3 million, the number required to increase dipnetting hours. In a press release, Fish & Game said the optimal escapement goal of 700,000 to 1.4 million reds will be met.

The bag-and-possession limit for reds was increased for the same reason. Fish & Game officials noted, however, that the more liberal limits do not mean fishing success will dramatically increase. The number of fish entering the river fluctuates daily, making some fishing days better than others.

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