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)

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 wrapping up, coho still on the way

Northern Kenai Fishing Report for Aug. 25, 2023

A Northern Kenai Fishing report published by the Department of Fish and Game on Friday says coho fishing has become fair in the Kenai River, but Kasilof and Russian Rivers are still waiting to see improvement.

Freshwater Fishing

Kenai River

The report says that in the Lower Kenai River, fishing for sockeye salmon “has slowed.” The department says that limits can still be caught. Daily fish counts for the species last week largely held around 30,000, with 28,000 being reported on Thursday.

An emergency order issued last week extended a restriction that limits Kenai River anglers to the use of only one, unbaited single-hook artificial lure through the end of the month.

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 “fair.” Upstream of the Powerline near Sportsman’s Landing, the limit is one per day and one in possession, in other waters of the Upper Kenai River the limit is two per day and two in possession.

Fishing for rainbow trout and Dolly Varden in the middle and upper Kenai River, as well as Kenai River tributaries, “has been good.”

Kasilof River

Coho fishing is good and “should improve.” The department recommends fishing from the shore at Crooked Creek State Recreation Site. The bag limit is two per day and two in possession.

Russian River

Sockeye fishing on the Russian River mainstem above a marker located around 100 yards from the mouth closed on Sunday, the report says.

Coho salmon fishing “should improve over the next couple of weeks.” The bag limit is one per day and one in possession. All coho removed from the water must be retained and becomes part of the bag limit of the person who hooked the fish. Coho that are 16 inches or longer may not be removed from the water before being released.

Russian River Recreational Area is closed to all traffic and users for construction on its access road. Anglers and users can still access the Russian River via the Russian River Ferry through Sept. 5.

Resurrection Creek

The report says that coho salmon are “fair.”

Swanson River

Swanson River coho fishing “is good.”

Personal Use

Kenai and Kasilof River dipnet fisheries have been closed. Personal use harvest reports were due on Aug. 15.

Local Lakes

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.

Emergency Orders

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

Kenai River

Emergency Order 2-KS-1-58-23 order supersedes emergency order 2-KS-1-51-23 that prohibits the use of bait and restricts sport fishing gear to one unbaited, single-hook, artificial lure while sport fishing in the Kenai River from its mouth upstream to the outlet of Skilak Lake through Aug. 15 and extends these restrictions though Aug. 31, 2023.

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.

Kasilof River

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 two salmon per day and two in possession may be coho salmon.

Local Lakes

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.

For more information about fishing regulations and opportunity, visit adfg.alaska.gov.

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