The summer of 2012 was tough for king salmon runs. Economic disasters were declared in the wake of poor returns on the Yukon and Kuskokwim rivers, and in Cook Inlet. Users in all of those areas faced severe restrictions.
Although setnetters and sport anglers on the Kenai River were allowed more fishing opportunity than the near-complete shutdown in 2012, this past summer was a record-low return for king salmon. The minimum escapement goal of 15,000 kings to the Kenai River spawning grounds was achieved, however, but not until early August.