Anglers hoping to hook that world-record Kenai River king salmon have one more weekend to try as the fishery closes at midnight Sunday.
Anglers should have a good opportunity to pick up a king as the Alaska Department of Fish and Game has reported the current run of king salmon to be the seventh best in the past 18 years. Through Wednesday, the run was estimated at 32,100 fish using the corrected data collected at the sonar counter located 8.6 miles from the mouth of the Kenai River.
King salmon still are entering the river in good numbers; the counter recorded 862 king salmon on Wednesday and 886 Tuesday.
Fish and Game cited angler reports that fishing for king salmon has been fair throughout the past week, with several periods of “fantastic” angler success. According to an inseason report posted on the Fish and Game Web site, guided anglers are averaging eight hours of fishing effort before catching a king while unguided anglers are averaging 11 hours.
Fishing for red salmon on the lower Kenai River also has been steady, with an estimated 756,074 sockeyes recorded by the sonar counter located 19 miles from the mouth of the river.
Those reds are just starting to make their way into the upper Kenai River and the Russian River.
“They're coming, though the run is late,” said Robert Gibson at Kenai Lake Tackle in Cooper Landing.
Gibson said salmon should travel between eight and 10 miles per day and expected to see late-run reds begin to show up in the Russian River earlier this week.
“They're not there yet,” Gibson said Thursday. “They're late, and that is reflected also by the lack of people here.”
Anglers pursuing Dolly Varden and rainbow trout have been doing well in Quartz Creek, Gibson said, while grayling fishing in Crescent Lake and Dolly fishing in Cooper Lake have been great.
Gibson also said there are some big lake trout in Kenai Lake for anglers who know how to fish that body of water.
“I get many requests for how to fish the lake. There are many big lunkers 40-pound lake trout to be had if you can find where they are,” Gibson said.
In Seward, fishing for silver salmon has been excellent inside and outside of Resurrection Bay, according to Fish and Game. Fishing from shore has been slow but is expected to pick up in the next couple of weeks. The Seward Silver Salmon Derby, now in its 50th year, begins Aug. 13.
Halibut fishing has been reported as excellent out of Seward, and fishing for lingcod and rockfish also has been good. Anglers should be sure to check sport fishing regulations as the rules vary by species.
In Homer, the fishing hole on the Homer Spit has been renamed the Nick Dudiak Fishing Lagoon in honor of the retired fish and game biologist who established the fishery. Fishing for silvers in the lagoon has been good for anglers drifting salmon eggs and is expected to improve.
Halibut fishing in lower Cook Inlet has been reported as good to excellent.
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