Silvers dominate the tributaries

As silver salmon move into Kenai Peninsula streams, species from earlier runs are beginning to spawn, concentrating resident species, which are reaching the height of their catch rates for the season.



Silver salmon fishing on the Kenai and Kasilof rivers is yielding good to great results for anglers right now, said assistant area management biologist for the Alaska Department of Fish and Game, Jason Pawluk.

The most effort and best results are between the Soldotna bridge and the mouth of the Kenai River, Pawluk said. Guided anglers are consistently coming back with catches up to their limits, he said.


Pink salmon are still in the river, but no longer deterring fishermen from catching their silver salmon targets, Pawluk said. They are still definitely in the water, but their strength has lessened as they begin to spawn, he said.

The catches coming in are not quality, Pawluk said. A few decent, bright silver pink salmon are still being caught around the mouth of the Kenai and Kasilof rivers, but very few, he said.

Resident Species

The catch rates for rainbow trout and Dolly Varden are nearing, if not at, the height of the season, and will be for the next few weeks, Pawluk said.

King salmon have likely begun spawning and sockeye salmon are on their way, creating a plethora of resident species’ main food source in the streams, Pawluk said. They feed off the roe of spawning fish and the decaying carcasses floating in the river, concentrating their numbers.

Many anglers try beads and flesh patterns while drifting in the Kenai River, which look like natural food sources.


The fishing effort and yields continue to remain steady and relatively successful in Kachemak Bay in Homer for anglers targeting halibut, said Fish and Game Fishery Biologist II from the Division of Sport Fish in Homer, Barbi Failor. Success has also been had in the Lower Cook Inlet.

For the last few weeks anglers have reported consistently catching their daily limits, but often the fish being reeled in are on the smaller side, Failor said.


Kelly Sullivan can be reached at


An Outdoor View: When I went fishing

(Author’s note: This column, about springtime fishing for king salmon and halibut in Cook Inlet, first appeared in the Clarion on May 17, 2002. Dennis... Read more