Kenai River Special Management Area Regulations

The following list of regulations help govern the management of the Kenai River.   For the complete list of State Park and additional Kenai River specific regulations contact Alaska State Parks at (907) 262-5581 or visit the Alaska Statutes and Regulations web page at


  • Aircraft - Aircraft landings are prohibited on Alaska State Park land within the Kenai River Special Management Area.  Practice landings are allowed only on Kenai and Skilak Lakes. The waters of the Kenai River, between the Warren Ames Bridge at river mile 5 and the Soldotna Bridge at river mile 21, are closed to the use of aircraft during the months of June and July.  11 AAC 20.855

  • Anchoring - A person may not anchor a boat on the Kenai River in a manner that obstructs a primary traffic channel or drift fishing channel in any section of the river.  Anchor Buoys are allowed although they must be attended except while pursuing a hooked fish as long as the person returns to the anchored buoy within 20 minutes.  11 AAC 20.862

  • Boat Specifications - A person may not operate a motorized boat in the Kenai River Special Management Area that exceeds 21 feet in overall length and 106 inches in overall width. 11 AAC 20.861

  • Camping is allowed only in developed campsites. All undeveloped lands and islands are closed to camping. There are many areas, including the islands below Skilak Lake, which are closed to camping and bank fishing during sockeye season. 11 AAC 20.880

  • Drift Areas, Motor Use Prohibited - Operating a boat by use of a motor is prohibited year-round on the Kenai River from Skilak Lake upstream to river mile 80.7 near Cooper Landing. From March 15 to June 14, operating a boat by use of a motor on the Kenai River is also prohibited from river mile 47 upstream to the outlet of Skilak Lake.  A person may not launch or operate an airboat, hovercraft, hydroplane, or a personal watercraft except as described under Personal Watercraft regulations.  11 AAC 20.865

  • Fires must be in a portable camp stove or confined to a structure provided by the Division for fires.  11 AAC 12.180

  • Fireworks may not be discharged in a state park.  11 AAC 12.197

  • Horsepower Restrictions -  No one may operate a boat in the Kenai River Special Management Area with an outboard, or combination of outboards, having a total propshaft rating greater than 50 HP.  Adding a jet drive to any boat does not change its equivalent propshaft HP rating. These HP restrictions do not apply to Kenai and Skilak lakes, or the river between RM 80.7 and Kenai Lake.  11 AAC 20.860

  • Horsepower Markings - No one may operate a boat on the Kenai River unless the original or altered horsepower of the motor is clearly labeled by the manufactures cowling decal appropriate to the rated propshaft horsepower. 11 AAC 20.860

  • Litter -  Carry out everything you bring into the park, including food scraps, packaging, cigarette butts and fishing line.  11 AAC 12.050

  • No Wake Areas - A person may not operate a boat or aircraft at a speed greater than five miles per hour in the following no wake areas: between the Kenai Lake Bridge and river mile 80.7 in Cooper Landing, within the Moose River between the Sterling Highway Bridge and the confluence with the Kenai River, the north channel of the Kenai River from river mile 11 downstream through lower Beaver Creek to its confluence with the main channel of the Kenai River at approximately river mile 10.  11 AAC 20.870

  • Passenger Limits - No more than six persons are allowed on board a powerboat on the river, including the operator.  During the month of July, guided vessels may not have more than five persons on board, including the operator.  11 AAC 20.862

  • Personal Watercraft -A person may operate a personal watercraft only on Kenai Lake on the portion of the lake that is north of a line running from the Primrose Campground boat launch to a prominent marker on the east shore of Kenai Lake, and east of a line running from the Chugach Electric Association powerhouse to a marker on the south side of Porcupine Island, and north to the Forest Service campground on the north side of Porcupine Island between the hours of 10:00a.m. and 10:00 p.m.  A person may not operate a personal watercraft within 300 feet of shore at speeds greater than five miles per hour or in a manner that creates a wake.  11 AAC 20.867

  • Pets must be on a leash in developed campgrounds and day-use areas and under control at all times.  11 AAC 12.130

  • Snowmobiles are only allowed on Kenai Lake from December 1 through April 30 annually when the snow depth is adequate to protect the underlying vegetation on upland approaches and on Skilak Lake in accordance with 50 C.F.R. 36.39(i)(4).  11 AAC 20.857

  • Tying Up -  No one may tie up a boat to state land, easements, or right-of-ways for more than 24 consecutive hours.  11 AAC 20.862

  • Use of Weapons - The use and discharge of a weapon for the purpose of lawful hunting or trapping is allowed in the KRSMA only on Skilak Lake and Kenai Lake, except that a person may use and discharge a shotgun below Skilak Lake for the purpose of lawful hunting or trapping from September 1 to April 30 annually, the discharge of any firearm is prohibited within one-half mile of a developed facility or dwelling. A person may discharge a shotgun using steel shot no larger than size T, 0.2 inches in diameter, at a distance of no less than one-quarter mile from a developed facility or dwelling. 11 AAC 20.850

  • Water Skiing - Except for Kenai Lake, no person may water ski on waters of the Kenai River Special Management Area.  11 AAC 20.875

  • 4-stroke or Direct Fuel Injected 2-stroke motors required - Motors larger than 35 horsepower, or any motors used in the KRSMA during the month of July, are required to be either a 4-stroke or direct fuel injected 2-stroke motor.  11 AAC 20.860

  • Kenai River Guide Permits- A person may not provide professional guide services without first obtaining a permit issued by the division.   11 AAC 20.885

Motor Regulations Fact Sheet for Kenai River Special Management Area