Salmon fishing on the Kenai River is currently in a bit of a lull, as king season has officially ended and a rapidly dwindling number of sockeye salmon are moving into the river each day. Silver salmon are present in the Kenai, but anglers have been having little success finding them.
The best time for fishing silvers is normally from mid-August through September, and it appears as if the bulk of the run is still making its way toward the river. Commercial fishers did report seeing some silvers showing up in their nets over the final week of fishing, though not enough to indicate the main thrust of the run has arrived.
On the lower peninsula, it's much the same story, with anglers anxiously awaiting the fall's salmon fishing. According to Stan Harrington, owner of the Anchor Angler in Anchor Point, both the Ninilchik and Anchor Rivers, as well as Deep Creek, have yet to see much silver action.
"We just haven't seen them moving into the river systems," Harrington said Thursday.
He said a few silvers are being picked up each day early in the morning, but overall, the fishing has been spotty at best.
Harrington said warm water conditions may be keeping the fish from entering the rivers.
Mark Oropallo, holding fish,from auburn N.Y., landed an 80-pound king salmon on July 30. Oropallo was fishing with Gary Chamberlin of Cahmberlin Alaskan Adventure. Oropallo hooked his fish at College Hole. He was visiting with his brothers and his father to celebrate his father's 70th birthday.
"A little rain would sure help us," he said.
That doesn't seem likely, as sunny skies are forecast through the weekend. However, Harrington said he's hopeful that the upcoming series of large tides will help push more fish into the rivers.
Anglers hoping to stock the freezer for winter might try the marine halibut fisheries out of Ninilchik, Anchor Point and Homer. Harrington said Thursday that big halibut continue to be hauled back to shore with regularity.
"The halibut has been real steady," he said.
If fishing for salmon is your top choice, the best bet this weekend will probably be at the confluence of the Russian and Kenai rivers. Anglers are still taking sockeye salmon from both the confluence and upstream along the Russian, although some fish are beginning to get a bit of color as they prepare to spawn.
Earlier this week, the Alaska Department of Fish and Game issued an emergency order upping the daily bag limit from three to six salmon, only one of which may be a silver salmon, on the Russian River and in the sanctuary area at its confluence with the Kenai River. A similar emergency order has been in place on the rest of the Kenai River for several weeks.
Remember, the confluence area is closed between the hours of 11 p.m. and 6 a.m., so plan accordingly. And it's always a good idea to consult the Alaska Department of Fish and Game's regulation booklet before taking to the water.
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