Success with Sockeyes



Fishing on the Russian river has yielded nothing but success for anglers since it’s opening one week ago, said Alaska Department of Fish and Games assistant management biologist Jason Pawluk.

Catches have been particularly good in the confluence area above the sanctuary (which is completely closed to fishing) on the Russian River and below the sanctuary on the Upper Kenai river, Pawluk said.

Part of the reason for the success is likely the low water on the Russian river this past week, Pawluk said.

However, the sockeye salmon population that have been holding in the Upper Kenai River downstream of the mouth of the Russian River may start to head further up the Russian river as the water levels rise.

Pawluk said the numbers of sockeye salmon coming through would likely remain stable in the near future.

Reports of sockeye salmon fishing on the Kasilof has also been very positive, Pawluk said.

The bag limit for sockeye salmon is three per day with six in possession; meaning anglers can retain three sockeye salmon per day- three caught before midnight and three after- may be in possession

Sockeye salmon can only be fished between the Fish and Game markers placed just downstream of the Russian Ferry crossing, up to the power lines.

Sockeye salmon can also be fished on the mainstem of the Kenai and Kasilof rivers, but little success is likely.


Another big opening last week was for resident species in the area between Skilak Lake and Torpedo Hole on the Kenai river, however this yielded fewer successes, Pawluk said.

Rainbow trout and Dolly Varden trout are the two resident species most anglers have been after, Pawluk said.

Pawluk believes the two species of trout spawned early this summer, and so have already dispersed among the river, which means they are more difficult to catch, Pawluk said.

The bag limit for both species is one per day and one in possession, and the fish must be less than 18 inches long.


The only option for fishing king salmon currently is on the Kasilof Kasilof river, Pawluk said. While king salmon fishing was good the second week of June, successful catches have since declined, Pawluk said.

This is common for this time of year as the first run of king salmon dwindles until later in the summer, Pawluk said.

Fishing for king salmon on the Kenai river is closed until June 30.

Only one hatchery king salmon can be fished on the Kasilof river, and no more than one can be kept per day.

Hatchery king salmon are distinguished from natural king salmon by their missing adipose fin. A healed scar will be in its place.

The annual limit for king salmon larger than 20-inches in the Cook Inlet is five.

No treble hooks, baiting or scents are allowed. Anlgers must use single hook on king salmon.

Important regulations

Changes to the king salmon regulations on the lower Kenai Peninsula streams are in effect through June 30:

■ Crooked Creek is closed to all fishing through July 31.

■ The combined annual limit of king salmon 20-inches or greater in length has been reduced to two from May 1-June 30 in Deep Creek and the Ninilchik River.

■ The Anchor river has been closed to sport fishing, and marine waters south of the latitude line of the Ninilchik River down to the latitude line at Bluff Point are closed to king salmon fishing within one mile of shore.

■ After harvesting a king salmon 20 inches or greater from either the Deep Creek, or the Ninilchik river, anglers must stop fishing in those streams for the rest of the day.

■ Anglers may only use one unbaited, single-hook with an artificial lure on the Anchor River, Deep Creek and Ninilchik River.

■ The Ninilchik River king salmon bag and possession limit is one wild or hatchery-reared fish during regular weekend openings in May and June but beginning July 1, it is reduced to one hatchery-reared king salmon.


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