Current weather

  • Clear sky
  • 57°
    Clear sky
  • Comment

Sockeye salmon run slows, still good fishing

Posted: July 24, 2013 - 7:01pm  |  Updated: July 25, 2013 - 9:09am

After several days of hard hitting red salmon jumping up the rivers, anglers have reported a slowdown in catch.

Jason Pawluk, assistant area management biologist for the Alaska Department of Fish and Game, said sockeye fishing has slowed dramatically.

“All indicators out in the inlet are that we’re seeing a decline in sockeye abundance, so what we expect to see enter the river over the next few days probably isn’t going to change from what’s happening now,” he said.

According to fish and game sonar counts, the last three days have seen fewer than 40,000 sockeye a day swimming upriver.

Despite the drop Scott Miller, co-owner of Trustworthy Hardware in Soldotna, said it was still possible to hit the limit of red salmon allowed to anglers.

Miller said he had seen people limit out in less than four hours, depsite the slowdown.

Miller said there was a ball of red salmon near Bing’s Landing and Morgan’s Landing was doing well.

The red salmon may have moved upriver from Sterling toward Skilak Lake, he said.

“We’re starting to hear some reds at the Russian (River) are hitting up there,” Miller said.

Weir counts on the Russian river showed a slight uptick in the number of sockeye salmon, Pawuluk said.

“Weir counts for yesterday jumped up to 1,300 reds, it had been averaging around 400 a day,” he said.

King fishing is still slow, but Miller said it was fair. “We went out the other night and got three kings, in about four hours of fishing,” he said. “Some good size fish.”

Among other things, Miller suggest Spin-N-Glos to target the king salmon.

The Kenai River king fishery is set to go to catch-and-release and trophy king salmon fishing today and Pawluk said anglers should be aware fo the regulation before they go out.

“Technically you’re allowed to retain a king salmon that is under 20 inches and if you’re fortunate enough to catch a king salmon over 55 inches and decide to harvest that fish, it must be brought into the department (of Fish and Game) to be sealed,” he said.

Miller said halibut fishing was still doing well and suggested that anglers check out the weekend’s clamming tides if they wanted a change of pace.

Inriver trout fishing is also doing well, Miller said.

“This time of year, people don’t focus on that, but ... even in the lower river rainbows and Dollies are doing well,” he said.

He suggested using drifting beads or flesh flies to lure the elusive trout.

“Flesh colors are going to work really well right now because of all the carcasses in the river,” he said. “Ginger color or pink color would work,” he said.

For anglers looking to take a break, Miller said lake fishing was a good escape.

“People get so focused on filling freezers and it’s just kind of nice to sit back and relax,” he said.

So, this weekend, he took his daughters to Scout Lake in Sterling for a quiet day of fishing. “We caught 20 or 30 grayling and that’s pretty simple to do because they bite pretty easy on a little mosquito fly,” he said.

Fish and Game stocks 28 lakes on the Kenai Peninsula and Miller said anglers shouldn’t rule out the option for a less crowded fishery.

“Fly fishing along the shorelines in the evenings or the mornings are really good,” he said.


Reach Rashah McChesney at

  • Comment

Comments (5) Add comment
ADVISORY: Users are solely responsible for opinions they post here and for following agreed-upon rules of civility. Posts and comments do not reflect the views of this site. Posts and comments are automatically checked for inappropriate language, but readers might find some comments offensive or inaccurate. If you believe a comment violates our rules, click the "Flag as offensive" link below the comment.
KenaiKardinal88 07/25/13 - 04:36 pm
Sport Catch May Set Record Low

ADFG mismanaged the fishery so poorly this year that the king run is in real trouble and the red run was hammered by the commercial interests.

If you want information beyond puff pieces above, read angler reports. The red dipping has been so poor lately that many dippers are coming back with no fish.

I'm sure the businesses and Chamber of Commerce to not want their clients staying away from the peninsula due to rotten fishing, but people deserve the truth before they waste another weekend on the Kenai.

Beach Boss
Beach Boss 07/25/13 - 08:24 pm
Dipnet Fishery

More of your BS KK88.

5,000 dipnets at the mouth of the river and each net wants about an average of 20 fish. Thats 100,000 sockeye needed in 1 day. So the dipnetters have about 30% exp rate on sockeye. The Kenai River would need 350,000 sockeye to come in one day to support all the dipnetters and make them happy. THAT HAS HAPPENED NEVER!!! Sorry the river can't support the growth of this out of control dipnet fishery. Fish don't look at the calendar and say oh its Saturday I need to head to mouth of the river!! There was very successful dipnetting on Mon-Fri during peak of run.

kenai123 07/27/13 - 04:26 pm
The actual reason Beach Boss is here posting Dipnet comments?

The actual reason Beach Boss is here posting Dipnet comments is because he sees the day when the Alaskan public will be able to fully harvest 100% of our salmon and leave limited entry nothing to harvest. He know this is the truth, I know this is the truth, everyone can see it in the future. His comments here are intended to slow that eventual reality. He knows completely that our state constitution has been constructed with our public fisheries being satisfied first and left-overs going to limited entry fisheries. Knowing this truth he throws out the doom and gloom, ohhhhhh.... the river can't support, ohhhhh its not my fault that the fish are there on Monday but not Saturday.

The truth is that many many residents have gone dip netting this year and came up with LITTLE OR NOTHING. The truth is that the fish they should have dip netted, were caught and sold by commercial fisheries. This is a completely unconstitutional move by our ADF&G but you have to understand that our ADF&G see what they want to see. Get your red hot Fish&Game Glasses, only $9.95, you put them on and sockeye's just appear in the water for our dip netters. Take them off and those sockeyes go right through the dip nets.

Roger104 07/27/13 - 08:45 pm
Kenai123 + Kenai Kardinal88 = 2 peas in a pod of insanity

Seriously, you guys are something else.

KK88, your site of "fishing reports" is nothing more than a bunch of misinforming BS. Seriously, 'fishermen' literally complaining that they got their panties wet. Other fishing reports from real anglers are than inriver fishing is pretty good if you have any skill or determination at all. At a time when there is over 1,000,000 fish in the Kenai, with tens of thousands entering every day, you are telling people that there are no fish in the river because the drifters are fishing. What a load of crap.

123, I love how you can see the future. I also love how you contradict youself in the same paragraph and don't even realize it. You claim a PU will do something physically impossible and catch 100% of the abundance, and then tell us that many people came up empty handed on a great sockeye year when there were millions of fish available to catch. Fact is, many people did come up short because they expected the fish to hit on a weekend. Turns out, the fish don't really care what day of the week it is. The main wad hit on Mon-Wed, and by the time the hoards of 'residents' got here, the bulk of the fish were upriver.

I don't know what you guys are smoking, but please, don't share.

granny 07/28/13 - 11:19 pm
The commercial fishermen have

The commercial fishermen have not had a great year. A great day does not make for a great year. there were several record breaking days of reds past the counters, but it will not be anywhere near a record breaking year for total return. each year the salmon return varies, this year it was pretty much in one massive school it seems. Other years the return is more spread out. Bottom line is, if you're out fishing when they make a run for the river you do well whether you're commercial, sport, or personal use. People need to understand that poor fishing on any given day is not automatically the fault of salt-water commercial fishers. M Schrag

Back to Top


Please Note: You may have disabled JavaScript and/or CSS. Although this news content will be accessible, certain functionality is unavailable.

Skip to News

« back

next »

  • title
  • title
  • title
My Gallery


  • 150 Trading Bay Rd, Kenai, AK 99611
  • Switchboard: 907-283-7551
  • Circulation and Delivery: 907-283-3584
  • Newsroom Fax: 907-283-3299
  • Business Fax: 907-283-3299
  • Accounts Receivable: 907-335-1257
  • View the Staff Directory
  • or Send feedback