A freshly stocked rainbow trout swims in Johnson Lake during Salmon Celebration on Wednesday, May 10, 2023, at Johnson Lake in Kasilof, Alaska. (Jake Dye/Peninsula Clarion)

A freshly stocked rainbow trout swims in Johnson Lake during Salmon Celebration on Wednesday, May 10, 2023, at Johnson Lake in Kasilof, Alaska. (Jake Dye/Peninsula Clarion)

Low king passage on Kenai River, good fishing at lakes

Northern Kenai Fishing Report

A Northern Kenai Fishing Report published by the State Department of Fish and Game on Wednesday says that king passage on the Kenai River is low, but fishers are successful seeking hatchery kings in Kasilof or halibut and cod on local beaches.

Freshwater Fishing

Kenai Lake and parts of the Kenai River and its tributaries are closed to fishing until June 11 to protect spawning rainbow trout. The closure is effective from Kenai Lake downstream to the Lower Killey River, the report says.

Kasilof River is open to fishing for hatchery king salmon, identifiable by a missing adipose fin. Fishers “are beginning to have success as the run develops,” according to the report. Wild king salmon, with an intact adipose fin, may not be retained and must be immediately released.

The weir at Crooked Creek is in place, and king smolt were stocked on Monday. They will be released next week, then the weir will begin counting and collecting adult kings.

Daily count of king salmon at Kenai River sonar near river mile 14 “remains low.” Information available from the department says that 139 large king salmon have been counted in the early run so far, trailing each of the last four years. No kings were counted on Sunday, and seven were counted on Thursday.

The Russian River weir is being installed on Wednesday, the report says, and counts should begin to be posted by the end of the week.

Saltwater Fishing

Fishers have been successful shore fishing for both halibut and cod at local beaches, the report says.

The saltwater personal use fishing season for herring and hooligan has closed in saltwater, and the river is “beginning to taper off,” with low harvest and few fishers.

Local Lakes

John Hedberg, Longmere and Sport Lakes have all recently been stocked, and fishing “has been good.”

Emergency Orders

Please review the emergency orders and advisory announcements below in their entirety before heading out on your next fishing trip.

Emergency Order 2-KS-1-18-24 prohibits the retention of naturally produced king salmon and reduces the gear to one single hook, artificial lure or fly, with the allowance of bait, on the Kasilof River.

Emergency Order 2-KS-1-08-24 closes the Kenai River to sport fishing for king salmon and prohibits the use of bait and multiple hooks in the Kenai River from its mouth upstream to ADF&G markers located at the outlet of Skilak Lake from 12:01 a.m. Wednesday, May 1 through 11:59 p.m. Sunday, June 30, 2024.

Emergency Order 2-KS-1-09-24 closes the Kenai River to fishing for king salmon and prohibits the use of bait and multiple hooks in the Kenai River from its mouth upstream to ADF&G markers located at the outlet of Skilak Lake from 12:01 a.m. Monday, July 1 through 11:59 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 15, 2024.

The 2024 sport fishing license can be purchased through the Alaska Department of Fish and game mobile app, or at their website, adfg.alaska.gov.

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