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)

Nothern Kenai Fishing report: Weak runs, closures continue

Alaska Department of Fish and Game Division of Sport Fish June 15 fishing report

The Alaska Department of Fish and Game Division of Sport Fish in a June 15 fishing report outlined opportunities for anglers in the north Kenai area.

Freshwater

The department closed the early-run Kenai River king sport fishery this week, citing weak runs. Although fishing for kings of any size in the Kenai River is prohibited, the department reported rainbow trout fishing in the Kenai has been fair.

The king salmon fishery in the Kasilof River from the mouth upstream to Tustumena Lake is also closed, which includes hatchery-produced kings and natural kings of any size. The Russian River Sanctuary area is also closed to all fishing.

Sockeye fishing in the Upper Kenai and Russian rivers opened last weekend. The department said sockeye fishing is slow, but expected to improve as the water levels rise over the next week.

Local Lakes

Fishing for rainbow trout, Arctic char, Arctic grayling and land-locked salmon in area lakes is between good and excellent, the department said. Anglers are recommended to fish 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 was recently stocked with around 5,500 Arctic char averaging 9.3 inches long. Island Lake was also recently stocked with approximately 5,500 Arctic char averaging 9.3 inches long.

In addition, John Hedberg Lake was also recently stocked with 1,000 rainbow trout, and the department reported that fishing has been excellent.

Personal Use

The personal use set gillnet fishery at the mouth of the Kasilof River opened Wednesday, and is limited to 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily.

Emergency Orders

Kasilof River

Emergency Order 2-RS-1-31-22 reduces the hours open during the personal use set gillnet fishery at the mouth of the Kasilof River. The hours open to fishing in the personal use set gillnet fishery will be reduced to 11 a.m. until 5 p.m. daily from Wednesday, June 15 through Friday, June 24, 2022.

Emergency Order 2-KS-1-30-22 prohibits the retention of king salmon in the Kasilof River effective 12:01 a.m. Wednesday, June 15 through 11:59 p.m. Friday, July 15, 2022. Fishing for king salmon of any size, including hatchery-origin fish is prohibited. Effective 12:01 a.m. Saturday, July 16 through 11:59 p.m. Sunday, July 31, 2022, from its mouth upstream to the Sterling Highway Bridge will be open to catch and release. Waters from the Sterling Highway Bridge upstream to the outlet of Tustumena Lake, from 12:01 a.m. Saturday, July 16 through 11:59 p.m. Sunday, July 31, 2022, will remain closed to king salmon fishing and anglers are limited to only one unbaited, single-hook, artificial lure while fishing for other species.

Kenai River

Emergency Order 2-KS-1-22-22 supersedes prior Emergency Orders and will prohibit the retention of king salmon of all sizes in the Kenai River from the mouth upstream to the outlet of Skilak effective 12:01 a.m. Wednesday, June 8 through 11:59 p.m. Thursday, June 30. Fishing for king salmon will remain closed from 12:01 a.m. Friday, July 1 through 11:59 p.m. Sunday, July 31, 2022, 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. This closure prohibits all sport fishing for king salmon, including catch and release fishing. King salmon may not be retained or possessed; king salmon accidentally caught while fishing for other species may not be removed from the water and must be released immediately. Additionally, in the Kenai River from its mouth upstream to an ADF&G regulatory marker located approximately 300 yards downstream from the mouth of Slikok Creek from 12:01 a.m. Friday July 1, through 11:59 p.m. Sunday, July 31, 2022, is restricted to the use of only one unbaited, single-hook artificial lure, and anglers may not retain king salmon of any size. King salmon may not be removed from the water and must be released immediately.

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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