Kenai sockeye and lakes the best options

Editor's note: This fishing report has been corrected to reflect the area in the Kenai River where rainbow trout fishing is legal. 



Fishing this week is still slow for king salmon on the Kasilof river, assistant management biologist with the Department of Fish and Game Jason Pawluk said.

According to Kasilof river logbook reports, many of the caught king salmon are being released, which suggests most catches are naturally produced, not hatchery kings, Pawluk said.

However, the numbers near the sonar site on the mouth of the Kenai river show a slight increase in numbers coming through.

“It is an increase when we should have one,” Pawluk said. “The numbers are still not anywhere near (where) they need to be.”

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

Hatchery king salmon can be fished on the Kasilof river, but no more than one can be kept per day. Their missing adipose fin distinguishes hatchery salmon. A healed scar will be in its place.

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

No treble hooks, baiting or scents are allowed. Only single hooks can be used to fish with.

For better success, try fishing in the early morning and at the mouth of these streams on the incoming tide.

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 the Anchor River, Deep Creek, Ninilchik River and all marine waters south of the mouth of the Ninilchik River down to Bluff Point.

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

■ Anglers may only use one un-baited, 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.


Fishing for sockeye salmon between Skilak Lake and the mouth of the Kenai river will likely yield some success for anglers, Pawluk said.

Catching sockeye salmon has been common this last week, due to the early runs coming in, Pawluk said.


Successful fishing for resident species should be picking up soon, Pawluk said. Spawning is almost over for dolly varden and rainbow trout.

Anglers are allowed to fish for rainbows and dolly varden trout on the Kenai River downstream of Torpedo Hole to the mouth of the Kenai River all year long.  The Kenai river is closed for all fishing upstream of Torpedo Hole until June 11. 

Allowed to fish for rainbows and dollies downstream from Torpedo Hole to the mouth of the Kenai River. 

There is a one-bag limit per day and the fish has to be smaller than 18 inches.

Stocked Lakes

Hooligan fishing will be peaking this week, Pawluk said.

The most successful fishing at this point in the season will take place on the 27 lakes Fish and Game stocks with fish, Pawluk said.

Trout can be taken on dry or wet flies with small spoons, spinners or bait.

A few lake areas have northern pike. Pike can be taken using spears, bow and arrow (with arrow attached by a line), bait, spin, and fly-fishing gear.

Try fish-shaped and fish-colored lures and flies.

There is no closed season for pike and the bag limit is unlimited. The numbers, kinds and locations of where to fish can be found at, or free packets are available in the office on Kalifornsky Beach Road.


Kelly Sullivan can be reached at


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