Limit for Russian River reds to be reduced Monday

Beth Bragg

Anglers will get to keep fewer red salmon from the Russian River and Upper Kenai River beginning Monday, but the change in bag and possession limits has nothing to do with the number of sockeyes in the fishery.

It's because the early run season for reds officially ends Sunday, and so the emergency order issued last month allowing anglers to increase their daily haul expires.

That emergency order allowed anglers six reds a day and 12 in possession. Beginning Monday, all routine regulations are back in place -- three fish per day, three in possession -- in the Russian River and Kenai River fly-fishing only area, downstream to Skilak Lake.

"By regulation the early run ends July 14 and we erase all the numbers so we can start over again on July 15 for the Russian River late run," Alaska Department of Fish and Game biologist Jason Pawluk said.

A strong early run allowed the state to relax regulations. If the second run is similarly strong -- and early indications say it may be -- limits could again be increased.

"If we start passing 10,000 reds a day, we might say, 'Let's liberalize this run,' '' Pawluk said.