Fishing still strong on Russian river

Sockeye

Reports of sockeye salmon catches on the Russian River are still ranging between “good and excellent” two weeks after the opening of the fishery, said Alaska Department of Fish and Game assistant management biologist Jason Pawluk.

An emergency order opened the Russian River Sanctuary Area to fishing for sockeye salmon on Tuesday.

The emergency order also increased the sockeye salmon bag limit to 6 per day and 12 in possession upstream from Skilak Lake to Fish and Game regulatory markers located approximately 300 yards upstream of the public boat launch at Sportsman’s Landing and the Russian River from its mouth upstream to an Fish and Game marker located approximately 600 yards downstream from the Russian River.

Last Thursday, in a foot survey taken between the Russian River Falls and Halfway Hole, biologists counted more than 10,000 sockeye salmon in that area, indicating the run is still strong, Pawluk said.

Logbook reports indicate sport-fishing efforts in the Kasilof have mostly shifted toward sockeye salmon, which also indicates successful fishing in that area, Pawluk said.

Resident species

The best option for rainbow trout and Dolly Varden fishing is on the upper Kenai River, Pawluk said.

Discarded carcasses from the sockeye salmon fishery are now heavy in the confluence area of the Russian River into the Kenai River. The concentrated food source draws trout and Dollies to the area, making for a good place for catching the resident species, Pawluk said.

The bag limit for both species is one per day and one in possession, and the fish must be less than 18 inches long.

Salmon

It is safe to say the early run king salmon fishery on the Kasilof River is coming to a close, Pawluk said. Reports of success are low and will likely continue to dwindle.

Fishing for king salmon on the Kenai River is closed through June 30.

On the Kasilof, the bag and possession limit is restricted to one hatchery king salmon.

Hatchery king salmon are distinguished from natural king salmon by their missing adipose fin. A healed scar will be in its place.

The annual limit for king salmon larger than 20 inches in the Cook Inlet is five.

Treble hooks, baiting or scents are prohibited on the Kasilof. Anglers must use single hooks on king salmon.

In the salt water, anglers have had success trolling for feeder king salmon near Flat Island, Point Pogibshi and Bluff Point. Anglers are also reporting catches of sockeye, chum and pink salmon in those areas, according to the Fish and Game Lower Cook Inlet fishing report.

Popular trolling set-ups for king salmon include herring, hootchies, tube flies and spoons with dodgers or flashers for extra attraction.

In Homer, king salmon fishing in the Nick Dudiak Fishing Lagoon is good, anglers have had success with salmon eggs, herring and blue Vibrax spinners, according to the report.

King salmon have also been returning to Seldovia and the Halibut Cove Lagoon.

Personal-use fisheries

The Kasilof River personal use gill net fishery closed Tuesday.

The Kasilof River dipnet fishery opened Wednesday. Fish may be taken from the bank or from a boat. To use personal fisheries a resident fishing license and a permit is required.

The China Poot personal use dipnet fishery opens July 1. Personal-use caught sockeye must have both tips of the tail fin removed.

Clamming

The next series of clamming tides run from June 25-30.

For razor clams, try beaches on the west side of Cook Inlet where they tend to be more abundant.

For beaches on the east side, those North of Clam Gulch access road have been the most productive this season, according to the Lower Cook Inlet fishing report.

Harvesters should be aware of a recent report of Paralytic Shellfish Poisoning from a Kenai Peninsula resident from a person who harvested from the Clam Gulch area.

 

Kelly Sullivan can be reached at kelly.sullivan@peninsulaclarion.com, Rashah McChesney can be reached at rashah.mcchesney@peninsulaclarion.com

More in News

Data from the state of Alaska show a steep increase in COVID-19 cases in January 2022. (Department of Health and Social Services)
Omicron drives COVID spike in Alaska as officials point to decreasing cases in eastern US

On Friday, the seven-day average number of daily cases skyrocketed to 2,234.6 per 100,000 people

Dana Zigmund/Juneau Empire
Dan Blanchard, CEO of UnCruise Adventures, stands in front of a ship on May 14, 2021.
Smooth sailing for the 2022 season?

Cautious optimism reigns, but operators say it’s too early to tell.

Former Alaska Assistant Attorney General Elizabeth Bakalar speaks a news conference on Jan. 10, 2019, in Anchorage, Alaska, after she sued the state. A federal judge on Thursday, Jan. 20, 2022, ruled that Bakalar was wrongfully terminated by the then-new administration of Alaska Gov. Mike Dunleavy for violating her freedom of speech rights. (AP File Photo/Mark Thiessen, File)
Judge sides with attorney who alleged wrongful firing

Alaska judge says the firing violated free speech and associational rights under the U.S. and state constitutions.

Kenai Mayor Brian Gabriel (left) swears in student representative Silas Thibodeau at the Kenai City Council meeting on Wednesday, Jan. 19, 2022. (Camille Botello/Peninsula Clarion)
Kenai junior sworn in as council student rep

Thibodeau says he wants to focus on inclusivity and kindness during his term

Branden Bornemann, executive director of the Kenai Watershed Forum, celebrates the 25th anniversary of the forum on Thursday, Jan. 20, 2022. (Camille Botello/Peninsula Clarion)
‘A voice for this river’

Forum reflects on 25 years protecting peninsula watershed

The University of Alaska Fairbanks Alaska Earthquake Center provides information on a 5.1 magnitude earthquake that struck at approximately 8:18 p.m. on Thursday, Jan. 20, 2022. The quake struck approximately 17 miles southeast of Redoubt volcano or 41 miles southwest of Kenai, Alaska, at a depth of 72.8 miles. (Screenshot)
Quake near Redoubt shakes peninsula

The quake was centered 41 miles southwest of Kenai.

Most Read