Why are so many fish in the Kenai River?

Alaska Fishing Company

Why are so many fish in the Kenai River?

The Kenai River supports all five species of North American Pacific salmon and 29 other species of fish. It provides a source of chinook, coho, pink, and sockeye salmon for recreational and commercial fisheries. Fishery biologists believe that some of the reasons why the river may be one of the most productive salmon rivers in the world are linked to the following unique features:

(1) The river has sustained high flows for extended periods of time providing salmon adequate periods to spawn and migrate to the sea.

(2) Two large lakes along the river, Kenai and Skilak Lakes, regulate streamflow variations, reduce sediment movement, and provide salmon with rearing and overwintering habitat.

(3) Much of the Kenai River channel is stable, which helps maintain adequate spawning and rearing sites.

(4) Historically, development in the river’s watershed has been sparse and sources of water pollution have been few.

Information taken from U.S. Dept. of the Interior and the U.S. Geological Survey