Reds make way for silvers, pinks

Posted: Friday, August 09, 2002

Although this year's sockeye run is coming to a close, Alaska Department of Fish and Game reports there are still a few reds to be had.

"Reds are still entering the Kenai River up toward Skilak Lake and the Russian River fishery," said Fish and Game area biologist Mark Gamblin. "Sockeye numbers are declining, but we continue to see 4,000 to 8,000 per day."

As of Tuesday, the department counted 854,729 sockeye in the Kenai River.

Late-run red salmon are showing up in the Russian River and Kenai River confluence, with anglers reporting fair fishing conditions. On the Kenai, try "flipping" flies for best success. Sockeyes are dwindling to a fair to slow run in the Kasilof River, but the best fishing for reds is near the Sterling Highway bridge.

Pink salmon and early run silvers have begun to enter the peninsula rivers, so hope for salmon fishing remains through the end of the month. Gamblin said the pinks seem to have the run of the Kenai River, however.

"Pinks are really picking up, from Cunningham Park and the Warren Ames Bridge downstream," he said. "There are some silvers being caught, but it's predominantly pinks."

Kenai River anglers can keep six pinks per day in addition to other salmon caught, and the daily bag limit for Kenai River silvers is two of 16 inches or longer. Best fishing for the early run silvers is downstream from Soldotna, but a few have been caught near the Moose River confluence.

Metallic or brightly-colored spoons and spinners, and Spin-N-Glos with eggs work well for both pinks and silvers.

"Of course, people can be thinking about including the Kasilof in fishing plans for silvers and pinks," Gamblin said. "And the Swanson River has some decent silver and pink fishing."

Bait and multiple hooks may be used in the Kasilof River through Aug. 30, and Fish and Game officials said anglers may now fish from motorized boats throughout the river through Dec. 31.

Silvers are being caught at the Homer Spit Fishing Lagoon with spinners or salmon eggs. Many of the silvers are early run fish. The early run will end by Aug. 15, but by then, late-run silvers should be present through mid-September.

The daily bag and possession limit for silver salmon is six in the vicinity of the Fishing Lagoon.

Anglers have reported good fishing for rainbow trout and Dolly Varden in both the Russian and Upper Kenai rivers at this time, and "fly-fishing only" regulations apply.

"People can expect to have good to excellent fishing for rainbows and dollies," Gamblin said. "I don't sense that this season is any different than any other."

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