Late season salmon and on to the ice

The Alaska Department of Fish and Game is asking fishermen to review the regulations regarding use of bait in the Kenai and Kasilof rivers.

Bait is now prohibited in the Kasilof River.

Through Nov. 30, anglers can use bait and treble/multiple hooks in the Kenai from its mouth upstream to the Upper Killey River.

As the season goes into winter and you fish ice-free waters of the rivers or later this winter on ice-covered lakes, review the regulation booklet for gear and bag limit restrictions.

For now, on all Cook Inlet freshwaters, coho salmon may not be removed from the water prior to being released. Any coho salmon removed from the water counts towards that anglers daily bag limit.

Anglers can find late season coho salmon in the Kenai River, which closes on November 30.

All other salmon runs in the Northern Kenai Peninsula are closed to fishing.

Resident fish, such as Kenai River
rainbow trout will continue through the winter in several areas which may remain ice-free, such as the Kenai River around the outlet of Kenai Lake and the outlet at Skilak Lake.

A clear cold day, something to knock the ice from your guides, and the right terminal tackle can spell excellent flowing water action for rainbow trout and the occasional Dolly Varden.

Fishing on area lakes – once sufficient ice has formed – is often excellent. Several lakes offer excellent fishing for rainbow and lake trout, Dolly Varden and landlocked salmon.

Ice formation can vary from lake to lake and vary from one area of a lake to another depending on many factors — use caution. About six inches of ice is sufficient for foot traffic, while at least 12 inches or more is necessary for a vehicle. For ice and snow pack conditions on lakes call Alaska State Parks in Soldotna at (907) 262-5581 or the Kenai National Wildlife Refuge at (907) 262-7021.

The state stocks 27 lakes with a selection of rainbow trout, landlocked salmon, Arctic Char or Arctic grayling.

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