A man fishes in the Kenai River on July 16, 2018, in Soldotna, Alaska. (Peninsula Clarion/file)

A man fishes in the Kenai River on July 16, 2018, in Soldotna, Alaska. (Peninsula Clarion/file)

Emergency orders, fishing conditions updated

The Alaska Department of Fish and Game Division of Sport Fish released a Northern Kenai fishing report Friday

The Alaska Department of Fish and Game Division of Sport Fish released a Northern Kenai fishing report Friday, with updates on conditions and emergency orders.

Freshwater

The waters of the Kenai River upstream of the Lower Killey River marker, and all Kenai River tributary streams are closed from May 1 through June 10 to protect spawning trout.

In the Kasilof, the report states that steelhead fishing is slowing down, and that all rainbow and steelhead trout caught must not be removed from the water and released immediately.

Hooligan fishing is picking up, the report states. Alaska residents with valid sport fishing licenses are encouraged to fish at the Kenai Flats State Recreation Site at the Warren Ames Bridge or at Cunningham Park off Beaver Loop.

Saltwater

The report states that surf fishing along Cook Inlet beaches south of the Kenai River is good.

Lakes

Different area lakes are supposed to be ice free soon, and should be good to excellent fishing for rainbow trout, Arctic char, Arctic grayling, and landlocked salmon, according to the report. Sport Lake and Johnson Lake were both stocked with rainbow trout this week. The department recommends using dry or wet flies such as an egg sucking leech, bead head nymph, or mosquito pattern; small spoons and spinners size #0 or #2; or small bait under a bobber.

Access sites

Crooked Creek, Kasilof River boat launch, Pillar’s boat launch, Bing’s Landing campground and boat launch, Johnson Lake west loop campground, Deep Creek, Clam Gulch, Anchor River, Striski, and Captain Cook recreation sites are open. Centennial Park campground and Swiftwater Campground are closed through approximately May 2020 for spruce bark beetle tree removal.

Emergency orders

In the Kasilof River, anglers are prohibited from retaining naturally produced king salmon through 11:59 p.m. on June 30. In addition, using bait on the Kasilof downstream of the Sterling Highway Bridge is not allowed until May 16, where at 12:01 a.m. only one single-hook, artificial lure or fly may be used. The bag and possession limit for kings 20 inches or longer is two hatchery-produced fish.

Similarly on the Kasilof, retention of naturally produced king salmon downstream of the Sterling Highway Bridge is prohibited effective 12:01 a.m. July 1 through 11:59 p.m. July 31. Only one unbaited, single-hook, artificial lure may be used when sport fishing.

In the Kenai River, the king salmon fishery on the river drainage is restricted to catch and release from 12:01 a.m. July 1 through 11:59 p.m. July 31. Only one unbaited, single-hook may be used, and retention of king salmon is prohibited while fishing from the mouth of the Kenai River upstream to an ADF&G regulatory marker at the outlet of Skilak Lake.

Retention of any species of fish in East Mackey, West Mackey, Sevena, Union, and Derks lakes is prohibited for the whole 2022 season.

The bag and possession limit of Arctic char and Dolly Varden in Stormy Lake is one fish under 16 inches for the 2022 season.

Reach reporter Camille Botello at camille.botello@peninsulaclarion.com.

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