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)

Slow sockeye fishing on Kenai, Russian Rivers

Northern Kenai Fishing Report for June 20

A Northern Kenai Fishing Report published by the State Department of Fish and Game on Thursday says that sockeye salmon fishing is slow.

Freshwater Fishing

Kenai Lake, the Kenai River and its tributaries are open for fishing for all species other than king salmon. The report says fishers are saying that sockeye fishing is “very slow, but those that put in the effort are able to go home with fish.”

Russian River fishing rates “continue to be slow,” the report says. The daily limit is three and the possession limit is six. The Russian River Confluence is not open for fishing.

As of Wednesday, 11,000 sockeye have been counted in the Russian River’s early run. This year’s counts are outpacing 2020, 2021 and 2022, but in at this time in 2023, the run was nearing 20,000. The escapement goal for the run is 22,000 to 42,000.

Kasilof River is open to fishing for hatchery king salmon, identifiable by a missing adipose fin. Wild king salmon, with an intact adipose fin, may not be retained and must be immediately released.

On the Kasilof River, 53,000 sockeye salmon have been counted as of Wednesday. That’s more than twice as many as had been counted at this time last year, and similarly far outpaces the three years before that. On Wednesday alone, 15,000 fish were counted.

The weir at Crooked Creek is in place and “ready to receive adult king salmon,” but no fish have arrived yet. The report says “we expect to see them soon.”

Daily count of king salmon at Kenai River sonar near River Mile 14 “remains low.” Information available from the department says that 989 large king salmon have been counted in the early run so far, trailing each of the last four years.

Saltwater Fishing

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

The Kasilof Personal Use gillnet fishery opened Thursday, with fishing allowed from 6 a.m. to 11 p.m. on Monday.

Local Lakes

Island, Scout, Upper Summit and Thetis Lake were 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-1-25-24 Effective 12:01 a.m. Friday, June 21 through 11:59 p.m. Wednesday, July 31 on the Kasilof River from its mouth upstream to ADF&G markers at the outlet of Tustumena Lake only one unbaited, single-hook, artificial lure is allowed. Single hook means a fish hook with only one point.

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.

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.

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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