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Alaska Department of Fish and Game

Sport Fish Area Fishing Report

Current Report

Seasonal Summary

September - March

Emergency Orders and regulation reminders 

  • There are no emergency orders in effect at the present time.
  • Anglers are reminded to check the regulations booklet before heading out to fish for the remainder of fall and winter as the regulations governing use of bait and number of hooks may change by regulation as the autumn fishing season progresses.
  • The bag and possession limit for coho (“silver”) salmon in the Kenai River increased to three fish on September 1. Anglers should review the regulations booklet for more information.
Salmon – Kenai, Kasilof & Russian Rivers 
  • Plenty of good fishing opportunities are available through the fall. 
  • Water levels in all rivers are within the historical averages for the first week of September.
Kenai River
  • In the Kenai River, coho salmon fishing will continue through October below Skilak Lake. Fishing is currently good and coho salmon are being caught throughout the drainage. Fishing for coho salmon is expected to remain good throughout September. A variety of techniques have been producing catches, including salmon roe fished on the bottom or under a bobber, plugs wrapped with sardines, and casting medium to larger spinners. 
Kasilof River
  • Coho have made their way into the river in good numbers and fishing is reported to be good.  Fishing for coho in the Kasilof River will slow down considerably by the end of September.
  • Steelhead trout fishing in the Kasilof River is presently reported to be poor with some steelhead being caught. Anglers should review the regulations on page 44 of the Sport Fishing Regulation Booklet for Southcentral Alaska regarding use-of-bait date changes and drainage-specific steelhead trout fishing regulations.
Russian River
  • Anglers are reminded that sockeye salmon fishing is closed in the Russian River, the Russian River Sanctuary Area, and an area from ADF&G markers placed just downstream of the ferry crossing downstream to the power line. 
  • Coho salmon are present in the Russian River in modest numbers.  The limit is one coho salmon per day in the Russian River and Kenai-Russian River Sanctuary Area. Anglers should review page 51 of the Sport Fishing Regulation Booklet for Southcentral Alaska. The last day to fish for coho salmon on the Russian River is September 30.
Swanson River & Resurrection Creek
  • Coho salmon fishing in the Swanson River has been fair to good recently and will remain fair through mid-September. The pink and coho salmon runs at Resurrection Creek are finished for the year.
Resident Fish — Kenai & Russian rivers
  • Many anglers are now targeting rainbow trout. King salmon are nearly finished spawning and sockeye salmon are in progress of spawning in many areas of the Kenai River. Consequently, anglers are using medium-size beads to mimic drifting salmon eggs to entice rainbow trout as well as Dolly Varden. Fishing for resident species has improved recently and should remain good for the rest of the fall and into winter. Anglers can fish many ice-free waters of the Kenai River through the winter until the spawning season closure on May 2, 2010. 
  • The Kenai River between the Upper Killey River and the outlet of Skilak Lake, as well as the Upper Kenai River from Skilak Lake upstream to Kenai Lake, has been providing good rainbow trout fishing.
  • In the Russian River, decreasing water levels and spawning sockeye salmon have also been providing great fishing opportunity and fast action for trout anglers. Fishing in both rivers will get better as fall progresses.
  • In other streams on the Kenai Peninsula, such as Quartz Creek, anglers are having fair success fishing for Dolly Varden. Anglers should review the regulations as waters in several areas close to Dolly Varden fishing during late fall to protect them when they spawn.
  • Fishing in several areas for resident species is going to get better as fall progresses into winter fishing through the ice. 
Lake Fishing
  • Numerous Kenai Peninsula lakes provide great fishing opportunity.  Fishing on many of the Kenai Peninsula area lakes for rainbow trout has been good recently. Anglers are reminded that in Hidden Lake, the bag and possession limit for lake trout is one fish.
Northern Pike
  • Stormy Lake has northern pike. The lake public access is temporarily closed for reconstruction. Anglers who are interested in fishing for northern pike on the Kenai Peninsula should try Stormy Lake for northern pike later this fall or winter fishing through the ice.
  • Many other area lakes have northern pike, but public access is limited.  Private property owners may allow access, but get permission first.
  • Pike can be taken using spears, bow and arrow (with arrow attached by a line), bait, spin, and fly-fishing gear.  Try fish-shaped and fish-colored lures and flies.
  • There is no closed season for pike and no bag limit. Wanton waste laws apply, so be sure to use or donate to charity all the pike you harvest.