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Area Sport Fishing Reports
Northern Kenai

December through March Season

Don't forget: your fishing license expires Dec. 31! A sport fishing license makes a great gift -- lasts all year. (Neither the ADF&G Permanent ID license nor the ADF&G Disabled Veteran's license expire.)

The sport fishing regulations are good through April 15 of the new year. Look for new booklets around March or early April.

Anglers are reminded that the silver salmon season closed November 30. No fishing, including no catch-and-release fishing for silver salmon is allowed on the entire Kenai River drainage until July 1.

The Upper Kenai River and the Russian River are open to fishing through 11:59 pm., May 1, as is that part of Kenai Lake just upstream of the bridge at Cooper Landing. If you are fishing at the Russian River ferry area or at Jim's Landing, you are fishing in open waters that close at 11:59 pm, May 1.

These waters are single hook, no bait, and the gap on the hook can be no larger than 3/8-inch. A single hook has only 1 point, with or without barb.

The Kasilof River is also single-hook, no bait, through May 15.

In all flowing waters, a pegged bead must be either fixed directly to the hook, or fixed within 2 inches of the hook. Beads cannot be fixed further than 2 inches from the hook. Beads may also be free-sliding along the length of the line or leader.

Fishing for rainbow trout and Dolly Varden can be slow to fair, if weather and water conditions allow.

Lake Fishing

By December, the ice on the smaller lakes is usually thick enough for safe travel (6” for foot traffic, 12” for vehicle). Hidden Lake may also have safe ice. Ice conditions on Kenai Lake and Skilak Lake are extremely variable from year to year. Some years, there is open water all winter. Other years there can be 3 feet of ice, especially near shore. Drill or chop test holes before going out too far on any ice-covered waterway.

Travel on the ice is at your own risk. ADF&G does not monitor ice thickness. For ice and snow pack conditions on state or federal lands, call Alaska State Parks in Soldotna at (907) 262-5581 or the Kenai National Wildlife Refuge at (907) 262-7021.

Once there is enough ice, fishing for rainbows, Dollies, and stocked landlocked salmon is excellent. There are over 25 lakes throughout the northern Kenai Peninsula area stocked with trout and/or salmon. Anglers use small jigs, spinners, flies, or, where legal, fresh shrimp or preserved salmon roe. A free pamphlet describing these lakes is available from Department of Fish and Game offices in Anchorage, Soldotna and Homer. Also check out our Fish Stocking Updates page and our Stocked Lakes Map page.

Many ice fishermen target northern pike during the winter months. All of the lakes known to have northern pike present in the North Kenai Peninsula area were illegally introduced over the last several decades. In an attempt to reduce the numbers of northern pike on the Kenai Peninsula, the bag and possession limits for northern pike in the following lakes has been lifted and ice fishermen are allowed to use five lines at a time in these lakes to target pike:

* Mackey Lakes
* Derks Lake
* Sevena lake
* Cisca Lake
* Union Lake
* Unnamed lakes on Tote Road
* Scout Lake
* Arc Lake
* Stormy Lake