Anglers fish on the Kenai River on Tuesday, June 29, 2021, in Soldotna, Alaska. (Ashlyn O’Hara/Peninsula Clarion)

Anglers fish on the Kenai River on Tuesday, June 29, 2021, in Soldotna, Alaska. (Ashlyn O’Hara/Peninsula Clarion)

Northern Kenai fishing report

Opportunities for anglers in the north Kenai area

The Alaska Department of Fish and Game Division of Sport Fish in a May 31 fishing report outlined opportunities for anglers in the north Kenai area.

Freshwater

The early-run Kenai River king salmon fishery was restricted to catch and release only earlier this week to protect the species. Kings of any size may not be retained and bait is prohibited, but one single-hook artificial lure may be used. The department stated king fishing is currently slow on the Kenai.

Fishing is also closed through June 10 in the Kenai River mainstem upstream of the Lower Killey River marker, as well as all Kenai River tributary streams. This is to protect spawning rainbow trout.

King fishing in the Kasilof River is slow but improving, the department reported. Anglers may only retain one hatchery-produced fish in the Kasilof, and only one single hook, either baited or unbaited, or an artificial lure may be used. The department recommends fishing for kings at the Crooked Creek State Recreation Site.

For Dolly Varden, the department said fishing should be picking up at the mouth of Resurrection Creek in Hope. Anglers are advised to use pink fry patter flies.

Local Lakes

Anglers are doing well for rainbow trout, Arctic char, Arctic grayling and land-locked salmon in area lakes. The department recommends fishing with dry or wet flies such as an egg-sucking leech, bead head nymph or mosquito pattern, small spoons and spinners size zero or two, or small bait under a bobber.

The Spirit Lake access gate is open, and the lake was recently stocked with around 42,000 coho salmon fingerling.

Saltwater

The department reported that surf fishing along the beaches of Cook Inlet south of the Kenai River has been fair.

Emergency Orders

Kasilof River

Emergency Order 2-KS-1-20-22 prohibits the retention of naturally produced king salmon effective 12:01 a.m. Sunday, May 1 through 11:59 p.m. Thursday, June 30, 2022, on the Kasilof River. In addition, the use of bait in the Kasilof River downstream of the Sterling Highway Bridge is not allowed until May 16 when bait is allowed by regulation. Effective 12:01 a.m. Monday, May 16 through 11:59 p.m. Thursday, June 30 only one single-hook, artificial lure or fly may be used, and bait is allowed in the Kasilof River. The bag and possession limit for king salmon 20 inches or greater in length is two hatchery-produced fish.

Kenai River

Emergency Order 2-KS-1-21-22 prohibits the retention of king salmon of all sizes in the Kenai River from the mouth upstream to the outlet of Skilak Lake from June 1 through June 30, 2022. Retention of king salmon will remain prohibited July 1 through July 31 in waters of the Kenai River drainage from an ADF&G regulatory marker located approximately 300 yards downstream from the mouth of Slikok Creek, upstream to the outlet of Skilak Lake.

Local Lakes

Emergency Order 2-NP-1-04-22 prohibits the retention of any species of fish in East Mackey, West Mackey, Sevena, Union, and Derks lakes for the 2022 season.

Emergency Order 2-DV-1-03-22 establishes a bag and possession limit of Arctic char/Dolly Varden in Stormy Lake of one fish, less than 16 inches in length for the 2022 season.

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

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