KRSMA Advisory Board

Kenai River Special Management Area explained.
Man fishing on the Kenai The Kenai River Special Management Area (KRSMA) consists of more than 105 linear miles of rivers and lakes, including Kenai Lake, Skilak Lake, and the Kenai River from river mile 82 downstream to four miles above the river's mouth on Cook Inlet. Adjacent to these waters are fifteen state park sub-units and land owned by cities, the borough and the federal government, as well as private and native lands.

The popularity of the Kenai River, one of the most heavily used fresh-water fisheries in Alaska, puts a strain on its resources. In response to increasing threats to the river system's health, the legislature established the Kenai River Special Management Area in 1984 as a unit of the state park system.

A comprehensive management plan for the area, developed by agencies and a public advisory board, guides the cooperative efforts of the land managers. The plan's goal is to protect the natural resources and fish and wildlife habitat, manage the river's recreational and commercial uses, and provided public facilities.

What is the Kenai River Special Management Area Advisory Board?
The Kenai River Special Management Area Advisory Board was originally created in 1985 under the authority of A.S. 41.21.510. The original Board was charged with developing a comprehensive management plan for the Kenai River. The original Comprehensive Plan was completed and the Board disbanded in 1986. In 1988, a new Board was appointed to help advise the Department of Natural Resources on implementation of the Plan. In 1997, the Board worked to update the Kenai River Comprehensive Management Plan, and it was adopted in December 1997. In May 2004, the Alaska Legislature passed a bill that changed the composition of the board from what the law had directed in the original 1984 KRSMA statute.

The Kenai River Special Management Area Advisory Board meets the second Thursday of each month from September to May. The meetings are held at the Donald R. Gilman River Center, 514 Funny River Road, Soldotna and begin at 5:30 p.m. For copies of the latest agenda and minutes please contact the Kenai Area Office at 907-714-2470.

KRSMA Board Meeting Minutes:

May 9, 2013 Apr. 11, 2013 - Draft Feb. 14, 2013 Jan 10, 2013
Dec. 13, 2012 Nov. 8, 2012 Oct. 11, 2012 May 10, 2012
Apr. 12, 2012 Mar. 8, 2012 Feb. 9, 2012 Jan. 12, 2012

KRSMA Committees
Committee Meetings

Action Items:
Committee Purposes & Objectives
Criterion for Public Members of Board Committees
Nomination Policy and Procedures
50 Foot Ordinance

Kenai River Special Management Area Information

New KRSMA Horsepower Regulations
The new regulations will be effective on March 1, 2008 and will permit the use of 50 horsepower motors, as long as any motor that is larger than 35 horsepower is one of the cleaner burning four-stroke or Direct Fuel Injected (DFI) two-stroke motors. Additionally, all motors used within the Kenai River Special Management Area during the month of July must also be either four-stroke or DFI two-stroke motors. The proposed full phase out of all older two-stroke engines that was to go into effect in 2010 has been removed from the approved regulations.

In recognition that most of the hydrocarbon pollution problems have been concentrated in July, and that a good many Alaskans do not have the immediate resources to transition to the new cleaner burning motors right away, the decision was made to remove the date by which all older two-stroke motors would be banned. DNR plans to re-propose the year-round ban on older two-stroke motors with a 2013 effective date to give river users a longer period to complete this transition.

In addition to the changes on motors, the approved regulations also limit overall boat size to no more than 21 feet long and 106 inches wide, with a limited provision to allow owners of larger boats to be permitted to use their boats until 2010.

Final Regulations 01-31-2008

Kenai River Recreation Study - Major Findings and Implications - October 2010

2009 Kenai River Recreation Use Study

U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Boat Waves on Johnson Lake and Kenai River 2001 (PDF)

Kenai River SMA Comprehensive Management Plan: December 1997

Kenai River Guide Academy

Kenai River Commercial Guide Permit

Map of the River

Kenai River Special Management Area brochure

1982-2011 Commercial Operator Trends

Contact information


Kenai Area Office (located at Morgan's Landing)
PO Box 1247
Soldotna, Alaska 99669
(907) 262-5581


Donald R. Gilman River Center
514 Funny River Road
Soldotna, Alaska 99669
(907) 714-2471