A Northern Kenai Fishing report published by the Department of Fish and Game on Thursday says sockeye salmon fishing has slowed on the Kenai, Kasilof and Russian Rivers, but limits can still be caught.
The report says that in the Lower Kenai River, fishing for sockeye salmon “has slowed.” The department says that limits can still be caught. Fish counts have largely held around 40,000 per day since July 31.
Bag limits are six per day and 12 in possession. The department recommends fishing at Centennial Park, Rotary Park, Donald E. Gilman River Center, the Soldotna Visitors Center, Moose Range Meadows or Soldotna Creek Park.
Coho salmon fishing “is improving and should continue to improve.”
Fishing for rainbow trout and Dolly Varden in the middle Kenai River is “good.”
The water conditions are high, “making fishing from shore challenging in some areas.”
Bait is not allowed on the Kenai River from its mouth to Skilak Lake, per an emergency order issued two weeks ago.
Sockeye salmon fishing on the Kasilof “has slowed down.” The bag limits are six per day and 12 in possession. Only two may be coho salmon. The department recommends fishing from the shore at Crooked Creek State Recreation Site.
On Thursday, only 7,000 sockeye were counted by sonar on the Kasilof River, down from counts of between 10,000 and 18,000 last week.
Coho salmon fishing is slow, “but should improve over the next couple of weeks.” The department recommends fishing from shore at the Crooked Creek State Recreations Site.
Sockeye fishing on the Russian River is “good,” the report says. The bag limit is six per day and 12 in possession.
Last weekend, Aug. 4, sockeye counts on the Russian River soared above 10,000, from under 1,000 on Aug. 1. Since, counts have fallen considerably — on Thursday, only around 3,000 were counted.
The report also reminds anglers that fish carcasses need to be removed from Russian River clear water and taken to cleaning tables near the mainstem Kenai River.
“Please respect habitat and cultural resource protection sites that are fenced or roped off, stay on the established trails and boardwalks, and use public restroom facilities in the campgrounds and ferry areas,” the report reads.
Pink salmon “are plentiful” at Resurrection Creek in Hope, and fishing “has been good.”
Kenai and Kasilof River dipnet fisheries have been closed. Personal use harvest reports need to be submitted online by midnight on Monday.
Fishing on local lakes for rainbow trout, Arctic char, Arctic grayling and landlocked salmon “is good to excellent.” The report recommends fishing with dry or wet flies such as an egg sucking leech, bead head nymph, or mosquito pattern; small spoons and spinners size #0 or #2; or small bait under a bobber.
Johnson Lake is “fishing excellent,” and is a good choice for young anglers, the report says.
John Hedberg Lake is also fishing excellent, and the department says it’s a nice place for a picnic or a hike as well.
Please review the emergency orders and advisory announcements below in their entirety before heading out on your next fishing trip.
Emergency Order 2-RS-1-54-23 order increases the bag and possession limits for salmon, other than king salmon, to six fish per day and 12 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 Wednesday, Aug. 20, 2023.
Emergency Order 2-KS-1-51-23 prohibiting the use of bait and multiple hooks in the Kenai River from its mouth upstream to the ADF&G marker at the outlet of Skilak Lake, effective 12:01 a.m. Tuesday, Aug. 1 through 11:59 p.m. Tuesday, Aug. 15, 2023. Anglers may use only one unbaited, single-hook, artificial lure in these waters. “Single-hook” means a fishhook with only one point.
Emergency Order 2-RS-1-47-23 increases the bag and possession limit for salmon, 16 inches or longer, other than king, pink and coho salmon, from three per day, six in possession to six per day, 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 effective 12:01 a.m. Friday, July 21, 2023.
Emergency Order 2-RS-1-32-23 increases the bag and possession limit for sockeye salmon, 16 inches or longer, to six fish per day and 12 in possession in all portions of the Kasilof River open to salmon fishing effective 12:01 a.m. Friday June 30, 2023. No more than 2 salmon per day and 2 in possession may be coho salmon.
Emergency Order 2-NP-1-04-23 prohibits the retention of any species of fish in East Mackey, West Mackey and Derks lakes for the 2023 season.
Emergency Order 2-DV-1-03-23 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 2023 season.