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Sport Fish Area Fishing Report
Salmon — Kenai River and drainages
Downstream of Skilak Lake, red (sockeye) salmon fishing usually winds down quickly in the Kenai River by mid- August. In the Kenai above Skilak Lake, however, early to mid-August is usually the best time to catch reds in this section of river and at the Russian River as well.
Silver salmon start showing up in the lower Kenai River in late July and early August, continuing through the season closure on November 30. In the Russian River area, silver fishing is usually good around the third week of August, and peaks during the second week of September.
Bait and treble/multiple hooks are allowed downstream of Skilak Lake through August 31. In the mainstem Kenai River (including Skilak Lake), as well as the Russian River area, once you keep your bag limit of silvers, you are done fishing for the day in those waters.
Bag and possession limits for silvers vary depending on the waters you are fishing. Be sure to check regulations before you go fishing.
On even-numbered years, lots of pink salmon provide an excellent angling opportunity during August and into September. Most people targeting pinks concentrate on the intertidal areas of the Kenai, from the Swiftwater boat launch area downstream to Cunningham Park in Kenai.
Salmon — Kasilof River
Sockeye salmon fishing on the Kasilof River also is pretty much over by the first week of August. Silvers start showing up in August, and peak around the second week of August. This is a small run, but fun fishing. Bait and treble/multiple hooks are allowed through Aug. 31.
Rainbow Trout and Dolly Varden — Flowing Waters
Rainbow fishing in August on the Upper Kenai Peninsula can be slow to fair. Sometimes enticing a rainbow full of salmon eggs to hit your lure is a challenge, but many sport anglers find that's part of the fun. This is the time of year when you may have to try every trick in your tackle box to entice a strike.
Dolly Varden fishing in August can also be challenging, depending on where and when you fish.
There are over 25 lakes throughout the northern Kenai Peninsula area stocked with trout and/or salmon. Fishing is usually excellent in these lakes in August, using small 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.
All other lakes of the Kenai River drainage are open to fishing in August, including Crescent Lake and Hidden Lake. Bait may be used in all lakes except in a few areas of Kenai Lake: check the regulations carefully!