Raymond Bradbury preserves his salmon while dipnetting in the mouth of the Kenai River on Saturday, July 10, 2021. (Camille Botello / Peninsula Clarion)

Raymond Bradbury preserves his salmon while dipnetting in the mouth of the Kenai River on Saturday, July 10, 2021. (Camille Botello / Peninsula Clarion)

Sockeye fishing still good in upper Kenai, slowing in lower

Northern Kenai fishing report

The Alaska Department of Fish and Game’s Division of Sport Fish reminded anglers Tuesday that dipnetting has closed and that personal use harvest reports were required to be submitted by Monday.

Permit holders who fail to report will be denied an Upper Cook Inlet Personal Use Salmon permit next year, and may also be subject to a $200 fine, the division said. Even if a permit was not used or if nothing was caught, individuals are still required to report.

Freshwater fishing

Kenai River

Rainbow trout and Dolly Varden fishing in the middle and upper Kenai River is reportedly “good.” Sockeye salmon fishing is reportedly good in the upper Kenai River, but has slowed in the lower Kenai River. ADF&G says that limits can still be caught for those willing to put the time in. The bag limit for sockeye salmon is six per day and 12 in possession.

Coho salmon fishing on the lower Kenai River is slow, but expected to improve over the coming weeks. On the upper Kenai River, fishing is expected to improve for coho salmon, but ADF&G reminds anglers that the bag and possession limit for coho salmon is one per day and one in possession upstream of the power line near Sportsman’s Landing, and two per day and two in possession in other areas of the upper Kenai River.

Any king salmon caught while fishing for other species may not be retained or possessed and must be immediately released. Anglers should avoid fishing for coho salmon in areas of the river where king salmon are concentrated.

ADF&G recommends fishing at Centennial Park, Rotary Park, Donald E. Gilman River Center, the Soldotna Visitors Center, Moose Range Meadows or Soldotna Creek Park.

Kasilof River

The Kasilof River king salmon sport fishery remains closed.

Sockeye salmon fishing has reportedly slowed in Kasilof River. Coho salmon fishing is slow but expected to improve “over the next couple of weeks,” according to the division. The ADF&G Division of Sport Fish suggests fishing from the shore at Crooked Creek State Recreation Site. The bag limit for sockeye salmon is six per day and 12 in possession.

Other

Coho salmon should be arriving soon in Resurrection Creek. Swanson River coho salmon sport fishing should improve over the coming weeks. Sockeye salmon fishing in the Russian River is reportedly good, while coho salmon fishing should improve in the coming weeks.

Local Lakes

John Hedberg Lake in Nikiski is reporting “excellent” fishing, while fishing for rainbow trout, Arctic char, Arctic grayling and landlocked salmon “should be good to excellent.” It is suggested by the Division of Sport Fish that anglers try fishing with dry or wet flies, like an egg sucking leech, bead head nymph or mosquito pattern. Small spoons and spinners size #0 or #2 as well as small bait under a bobber, are recommended.

Emergency Orders

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

Kenai River and Russian River

Emergency Order 2-RS-1-63-22 increases the bag and possession limits for salmon, other than king salmon, to six fish per day and twelve fish in possession in that area of the Kenai River upstream from Skilak Lake to ADF&G regulatory markers located approximately 300 yards upstream of the public boat launch at Sportsman’s Landing and the Russian River from its mouth upstream to an ADF&G marker located approximately 600 yards downstream from the Russian River Falls through August 20, 2022.

Emergency Order 2-RS-1-60-22 increases the bag and possession limit for salmon, 16 inches or longer, other than king, pink and coho salmon, from three per day and six in possession to six per day and 12 in possession, in the Kenai River from its mouth upstream to an ADF&G regulatory marker located at the outlet of Skilak Lake. No more than two salmon, 16 inches or longer, per day and in possession may be coho salmon. This regulatory change is effective 12:01 a.m. Friday, July 2022 through 11:59 p.m. Saturday, December 31, 2022.

Kasilof River

Emergency Order 2-RS-1-44-22 increases the bag and possession limit for salmon, 16 inches or longer, to six fish per and 12 in possession in all portions of the Kasilof River open to salmon fishing. No more than two salmon per day and two in possession may be coho salmon. This regulatory change is effective through 11:59 p.m. Saturday, December 31, 2022.

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.

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