Area Sport Fishing Reports
Archived Sport Fishing Report
August 25, 2023
- The Soldotna ADF&G office offers a fishing rod loaner program and has salmon fishing poles and a limited amount of tackle anglers can borrow for up to three days. This is a first come, first served program and fishing poles cannot be reserved. For more information, check out the Rod Loaner Program webpage or contact Jenny Gates at (907) 262-9368.
- ADF&G is mobile. You can purchase and display your fishing license and king stamp, record your annual harvest (i.e., king salmon, rainbow/steelhead trout, sharks), access sport fishing regulations and locations, and so much more on your mobile device. Download the ADF&G Mobile App today.
- Sport fishing gear is limited to one unbaited, single-hook, artificial lure while sport fishing and bait and multiple hooks are prohibited in the Kenai River from its mouth upstream to Skilak Lake until 11:59 p.m., Thursday, August 31. Anglers are reminded that king salmon incidentally caught while fishing for other species may not be removed from the water and must be released immediately, unharmed. Please see emergency order below for more information.
- Lower Kenai River sockeye salmon fishing has slowed but limits are still being caught and continues to be good in some areas for anglers willing to put in the time.
- Bag limits are 6 per day and 12 in possession. Please see emergency order below for more information.
- Try fishing at Centennial Park, Rotary Park, Donald E. Gilman River Center, Soldotna Visitors Center, Moose Range Meadows, Swiftwater Park or Soldotna Creek Park.
- Resident species fishing for rainbow trout and Dolly Varden in the middle and upper Kenai River and Kenai River tributaries has been good.
- Kenai River coho salmon fishing is reported as fair. Try fishing at Cunningham Park, Centennial Park, Rotary Park, Donald E. Gilman River Center, Soldotna Visitors Center, Moose Range Meadows, Swiftwater Park, Morgan’s Landing State Recreation Area or Soldotna Creek Park.
- Sockeye salmon fishing on the upper Kenai River is reported as good. Please see emergency order below for more information.
- Coho salmon fishing on the upper Kenai River is fair and should improve over the next couple of weeks. Anglers are reminded that the bag and possession limit for coho salmon in the Russian River Sanctuary Area and that area of the Kenai River upstream of the Powerline near Sportsman’s Landing is 1 per day and 1 in possession and in other waters of the Upper Kenai River it is 2 per day and 2 in possession (in combination). Please refer pages 59-60 of the Southcentral Alaska Sport Fishing Regulations Summary booklet for more information.
Coho salmon fishing is good and should improve over the next couple of weeks. Try fishing from shore at the Crooked Creek State Recreation Site.
- The Russian River mainstem above an ADF&G marker located approximately 100 yards upstream from the mouth, the Sanctuary Area and the Upper Kenai River upstream of the Powerline to ADF&G markers placed just downstream of the ferry crossing closed to sockeye salmon fishing at 11:59 p.m., Sunday, August 20. Please refer to pages 60-61 of the Southcentral Sport Fishing Regulations Summary Booklet and refer to the emergency order below for more information.
- Coho salmon fishing should improve over the next couple of weeks. Anglers are reminded that bag and possession limits are 1 per day and 1 in possession. Coho salmon that are removed from the water must be retained and becomes part of the bag limit of the person who originally hooked the fish. You must not remove coho salmon 16 inches or longer from the water before releasing it.
- The Russian River Recreational Area will be closed to all traffic and users beginning August 16 due to road construction on the access road. This closure includes access to Lower Russian Lake Trailhead and the campground. Anglers and users can access the Russian River from the Russian River Ferry Service located near Sportman’s Landing through Labor Day weekend September 5, 2023. For more information, please contact the United States Forest Service at (907) 288-3178.
Coho salmon is reported as fair at Resurrection Creek in Hope.
Swanson River coho salmon fishing is reported as good.
Upper Cook Inlet Personal Use permit harvest and participation must be reported online no later than Tuesday, August 15 through the ADF&G harvest reporting webpage. Permit holders who fail to report will be denied an Upper Cook Inlet Personal Use Salmon permit the following year and may be subject to a $200 fine. If you did not use the permit or if you used the permit but did not catch anything you still have to report. Returning permits by mail or hand-delivery is no longer acceptable means to report.
- Lake fishing for rainbow trout, Arctic char, Arctic grayling, and land locked salmon is good to excellent. Try fishing with dry or wet flies such as an egg sucking leech, bead head nymph, or mosquito pattern; small spoons and spinners size #0 or #2; or small bait under a bobber.
- Johnson Lake is fishing excellent. This is a great lake to take youth anglers fishing at!
- John Hedberg Lake located in Nikiski is fishing excellent! This is a nice lake to picnic at or enjoy a hike along the trail system!
- Not familiar with all the stocked lakes in the area? Check out the ADF&G publication with locations, access, and other valuable information on Kenai Peninsula area lakes. More lake information can be found on the ADF&G Alaska Lakes Database.
- Many local lakes have been stocked with rainbow trout and coho salmon fingerling recently. For specific lake stocking information including species stocked and numbers of fish stocked, directions, bathymetric maps, and amenities, please visit the ADF&G Alaska Lakes Database.
- ATTENTION: Spirit/Elephant Lake access gate closed 8/21/23 for a seasonal closure and will not reopen until September 30, 2023.
Please review the emergency orders and advisory announcements below in their entirety before heading out on your next fishing trip.
- Emergency Order 2-KS-1-58-23 order supersedes emergency order 2-KS-1-51-23 that prohibits the use of bait and restricts sport fishing gear to one unbaited, single-hook, artificial lure while sport fishing in the Kenai River from its mouth upstream to the outlet of Skilak Lake through August 15 and extends these restrictions though August 31, 2023.
- Emergency Order 2-RS-1-47-23 increases the bag and possession limit for salmon, 16 inches or longer, other than king, pink, and coho salmon, from 3 per day, 6 in possession to 6 per day, 12 in possession in the Kenai River from its mouth upstream to an ADF&G regulatory marker located at the outlet of Skilak Lake. No more than two salmon, 16 inches or longer, per day and in possession may be coho salmon effective 12:01 a.m. Friday, July 21, 2023.
- Emergency Order 2-RS-1-32-23 increases the bag and possession limit for sockeye salmon, 16 inches or longer, to 6 fish per day and 12 in possession in all portions of the Kasilof River open to salmon fishing effective 12:01 a.m. Friday June 30, 2023. No more than 2 salmon per day and 2 in possession may be coho salmon.
- Emergency Order 2-NP-1-04-23 prohibits the retention of any species of fish in East Mackey, West Mackey and Derks lakes for the 2023 season.
- Emergency Order 2-DV-1-03-23 establishes a bag and possession limit of Arctic char/Dolly Varden in Stormy Lake of one fish, less than 16 inches in length for the 2023 season.
Don’t forget to purchase your 2023 sport fishing license and king stamp! You can purchase your 2023 sport fishing license and king stamp through the ADF&G online store and print it off from the comfort of your own home. Also, make sure to review emergency orders, advisory announcements, and the 2023 Southcentral Alaska Sport Fishing Regulations Summary booklet for the area you are fishing in before you head out.
For additional information, please contact the ADF&G Soldotna Area Office at (907) 262-9368.