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)

Slow sockeye fishing at Russian River, good rainbow trout at Kenai Lake

A Northern Kenai Fishing Report published by the State Department of Fish and Game on Thursday says Kenai Lake rainbow trout fishing is good and Russian River sockeye fishing is slow. Several local lakes were recently stocked.

Freshwater Fishing

Kenai Lake and parts of the Kenai River and its tributaries opened Tuesday. The report says that early indications are that rainbow trout fishing is good “and should continue to produce in the coming weeks.”

Russian River is open to sockeye harvest, the report says. The daily limit is three and the possession limit is six. Reports from the opening are that catch rates are slow, but there are “fish to find.” The Russian River Confluence is not open for fishing.

The Russian River weir is counting fish, with 2,500 sockeye counted as of Wednesday. That count outpaces each of the last four years.

Kasilof River is open to fishing for hatchery king salmon, identifiable by a missing adipose fin. Fishers are “having some 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 last week. They will be released this weekend, 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 586 large king salmon have been counted in the early run so far, outpacing last year but trailing the three before it. On Wednesday, 90 large kings were counted, the most in one day so far this season.

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

Island, Scout, Upper Summit and Thetis Lake were also recently stocked. Fishing on local lakes “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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