An Alaska Department of Fish and Game regulatory marker is seen at the outlet of Skilak Lake near Cooper Landing, Alaska, on Saturday, March 23, 2024. (Jake Dye/Peninsula Clarion)

An Alaska Department of Fish and Game regulatory marker is seen at the outlet of Skilak Lake near Cooper Landing, Alaska, on Saturday, March 23, 2024. (Jake Dye/Peninsula Clarion)

Sockeye runs strong on Russian, Kasilof rivers

Northern Kenai Fishing Report

A Northern Kenai Fishing Report published by the State Department of Fish and Game on Wednesday says sockeye salmon fishing in local waters is continuing to improve.

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 “beginning to increase.”

Russian River confluence opened Wednesday. The daily limit for sockeye salmon on the Russian River and in Russian River Sanctuary is three and the possession limit is six.

As of Tuesday, nearly 30,000 sockeye have been counted in the Russian River’s early run. 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, 201,000 sockeye salmon have been counted as of Tuesday. This year’s count is far outpacing the last four years. Roughly 10,000 fish have been counted each day since June 24. The escapement goal for sockeye on the river is 140,000-370,000, and the department wrote last week that they project the goal to be wholly exceeded.

Department counting of early-run Kenai River king salmon concluded Sunday, with only 1,365 salmon counted in preliminary numbers. That number is far below the escapement goal of 3,900-6,600 and also falls below early run counts for each of the last four years.

With only two days of data available so far, 36 king salmon have been counted in the Kenai River’s late run.

Similarly, only two days of data are available for Kenai River sockeye salmon, which began to be counted Monday, but 12,000 fish were counted as of Tuesday. The escapement goal for the species is 750,000-1.3 million.

Saltwater Fishing

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

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.

NEW: Emergency Order 2-RS-1-32-24 opens the Russian River Sanctuary Area to sport fishing for sockeye salmon.

Emergency Order 2-RS-1-26-24 expands the personal use salmon dipnet fishing area on the Kasilof River. Salmon may be harvested from the shore from ADF&G markers located on Cook Inlet beaches outside the terminus of the river upstream to the Sterling Highway Bridge.

Emergency Order 2-RS-1-27-24 order increases the bag and possession limit for sockeye salmon, 16 inches or longer, to six fish per day and twelve in possession in all portions of the Kasilof River open to salmon fishing.

Emergency Order 2-KS-1-25-24 Effective 12:01 a.m. Friday, June 21 through 11:59 p.m. Wednesday, July 31, 2024 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, 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, August 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.

More in News

Jake Dye/Peninsula Clarion
Central Emergency Services Chief Roy Browning and other dignitaries toss dirt into the air at a groundbreaking for the new Central Emergency Services Station 1 in Soldotna on Wednesday.
Central Emergency Services celebrates start of work on new Station 1

Construction might begin at the site as soon as Monday

A sockeye salmon rests atop a cooler at the mouth of the Kasilof River on Monday, June 26, 2023, in Kasilof, Alaska. (Jake Dye/Peninsula Clarion)
Sockeye ‘good’ on Kenai, Kasilof

Northern Kenai Fishing Report

Kelsey Gravelle shows a hen named Frego and Abigail Price shows a goose named Sarah to Judge Mary Tryon at the Kenai Peninsula District 4-H Agriculture Expo on Friday, Aug. 4, 2023, at the Soldotna Regional Sports Complex in Soldotna, Alaska. (Jake Dye/Peninsula Clarion)
4-H ag expo returns this weekend with animal shows, auction

The events take place at the Soldotna Regional Sports Complex from Friday, July 26 to Sunday, July 28

Amandine Testu. Photo courtesy of Delta Wind
Missing hiker in Kachemak Bay State Park found

Park rangers reported Amandine Testu as ‘overdue’ Wednesday morning

Voters fill out their ballots at the Challenger Learning Center in Kenai, Alaska on Election Day, Nov. 8, 2022. (Jake Dye/Peninsula Clarion)
Incumbents show lead in fundraising for state offices

Candidate spending is detailed in disclosure forms due Monday

Alaska State Troopers logo.
Anchorage man dies after being found floating in Kenai River

The man had been fishing in the area with friends, according to troopers

Alaska State Troopers logo.
Anchor Point woman dead after ATV rollover

Troopers were called around 9 p.m. on July 16 and told of a rollover on Anchor River Road

Alaska State Troopers logo.
Kenai man dead after weekend collision

The crash took place at the intersection of Treasure Chest Street and the Kenai Spur Highway

Most Read