The Russian River Sanctuary Area is seen in the area labeled B in this map provided by the Alaska Department of Fish and Game. (courtesy)

The Russian River Sanctuary Area is seen in the area labeled B in this map provided by the Alaska Department of Fish and Game. (courtesy)

Sockeye sport fishing to open early in Russian River Sanctuary Area

The move comes after widespread closures announced

The Russian River Sanctuary Area will open earlier this year for anglers looking to sport fish for sockeye salmon, the Alaska Department of Fish & Game announced Monday. The Russian River Sanctuary area runs from about the Russian River Ferry to three ADF&G markers located to the east, where the Upper Kenai and Russian rivers converge.

Between June 22 and July 14, the Russian River Sanctuary will be open to fly fishing for sockeye salmon. For fish larger than 16 inches, anglers are limited to three per day with six in possession. For fish less than 16 inches, anglers are limited to 10 per day with 10 in possession.

From July 15 to Aug. 20, the sanctuary will be open to fly fishing for sockeye or coho salmon. For fish less than 16 inches, anglers are limited to 10 per day with 10 in possession. For fish longer than 16 inches, anglers are limited to three per day with six in possession in combination. Of those, only one per day and one in possession can be a coho salmon.

In fly-fishing-only waters, anglers are limited to one unweighted, single hook, unbaited fly with a gap between point and shank of three-eighths of an inch or less. The fly must weigh less than one quarter of an ounce and weights, if used, must be located at least 18 inches ahead of the fly, the division said.

Area management biologist Colton Lipka wrote in the division announcement that, as of June 19, about 9,160 sockeye salmon have passed through the Russian River weir. He wrote that it is expected to be “an average-sized run” and that the projected escapement goal will be achieved.

The division asked that anglers remove fish carcasses from the clear waters of the Russian River and to take fish to the mainstem Kenai River cleaning tables if they wish to clean a catch at the river. Carcasses should be cut into small pieces and thrown into deep, flowing waters of the river.

The fishery’s early opening comes a week after the division announced a wave of sweeping closures affecting king salmon on the peninsula. Those closures, announced in response to continued low king salmon runs, affect fisheries in Ninilchik, Kenai, Kasilof and Cook Inlet.

More information about fisheries closures and regulations can be found on the division’s website.

Reach reporter Ashlyn O’Hara at ashlyn.ohara@peninsulaclarion.com.

More in News

Mary Peltola responds to a question during a forum at the Kenai Visitor Center on Aug. 3, 2022, in Kenai, Alaska. With less than two weeks to go before Alaska’s Aug. 16 election, the three candidates seeking to temporarily replace Congressman Don Young in Alaska’s U.S. House seat have made clear their positions on abortion. (Peninsula Clarion/Jake Dye)
Here’s where Alaska’s U.S. House candidates stand on access to abortion

Palin and Begich oppose congressional efforts to guarantee abortion rights, Peltola supports abortion access

The Sterling Highway crosses the Kenai River near the Russian River Campground on March 15, 2020, near Cooper Landing, Alaska. (Jeff Helminiak/Peninsula Clarion)
Russian River Campground to be closed until June 2023 beginning next week

Resurfacing and reinforcement work will occur along about 1 mile of the Russian River Campground Road

Alaska State Troopers logo.
Hikers rescued near Cooper Landing

They became trapped in a steep ravine after taking a canoe over Kenai Lake and climbing a mountain, troopers say

Vials of empty monkeypox vaccines sit at a table at Seattle Central College in Seattle, Saturday, Aug. 6, 2022. (Daniel Kim/The Seattle Times via AP)
State announces two-tiered system for monkeypox vaccine

Due to low availability, the monkeypox vaccine is administered only in response to potential exposure

Rep. Ben Carpenter, R-Nikiski, leads an informational town hall about ranked choice voting inside the Betty J. Glick Assembly Chambers on Thursday, Aug. 4, 2022 in Soldotna, Alaska. (Ashlyn O’Hara/Peninsula Clarion)
Carpenter holds forum on ranked choice voting

Don’t “overthink it,” representative says

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

The Kasilof River dipnet fishery is reportedly slow, but fish are being caught

Silver salmon hang in the Seward Boat Harbor during the 2018 Seward Silver Salmon Derby. (Photo courtesy of Seward Chamber of Commerce)
Seward Silver Salmon derby runs Aug. 13-21

Last year’s derby featured 1,800 contestants competing across eight days

Rayna Reynolds tends to her cow at the 4-H Agriculture Expo in Soldotna, Alaska on Aug. 5, 2022. (Jake Dye/Peninsula Clarion)
Animals take the stage at 4-H expo

Contestants were judged on the quality of the animal or showmanship of the handler

Emily Matthews and Andy Kowalczyk pose outside the Center for Alaskan Coastal Studies headquarters on Friday, July 29, 2022, in Homer, Alaska. (Photo by Charlie Menke/Homer News)
AmeriCorps volunteers aid Center for Alaskan Coastal Studies

The 10-month commitment pushed them outside of comfort zones

Most Read