Pink salmon are still plentiful in Kenai River tributaries, but it may be time for anglers to move on to silver salmon entering the streams.
Silver salmon numbers have been on the rise since last Friday, said assistant area management biologist for the Alaska Department of Fish and Game, Jason Pawluk. Anglers are reporting the most success from the Soldotna bridge downstream to the mouth of the river, he said. The fish don’t seem to have moved far upstream yet.
Previously, few catches were being reported on the Kenai and Kasilof rivers, Pawluk said. Guides are now reporting their boats are catching the daily bag limit of two per day or two in possession on each trip. A number of factors are likely contributing to the increased success, he said.
The clarity of the water at the mouth of the Kenai River has improved greatly since last week. Additionally, the large tides that were keeping the silver salmon from being able to enter the mouth of the river have subsided and are now more manageable, Pawluk said.
The group currently moving up the river now may also be a part of the first pulse of silver salmon coming in, Pawluk said.
Most anglers catching the large numbers of remaining pink salmon are reporting they release them immediately, Pawluk said. There maybe still be a few bright, silver fish still in the streams, but finding them among the massive amounts of brown, olive colored salmon is a challenge, he said.
Rainbow trout and Dolly Varden fishing is still good, Pawluk said. The catch rates for the two resident species will reach their peak for the season very soon.
As king salmon and sockeye salmon are entering their spawning phases a major food source for resident species will be abundant in these areas, so trout will be more concentrated in parts of the tributaries, Pawluk said.
Kelly Sullivan can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.