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Area Sport Fishing Reports
April 20, 2016
North Kenai Peninsula Management Area
Emergency Orders and regulation reminders
Emergency Orders are in effect for the following areas:
- In Stormy Lake: The retention of Arctic char/Dolly Varden is prohibited all year long, as part of an effort to restore this native fish.
- In the Kenai River: This emergency order closes Kenai River to king salmon fishing from Sunday, May 1 through Thursday, June 30, 2016. In addition, from Friday, July 1 through Sunday, July 31, 2016 king salmon fishing will be closed from an ADF&G regulatory marker located approximately 300 yards downstream from the mouth of Slikok Creek, upstream to the outlet of Skilak Lake.
- In the Kasilof River: Beginning Sunday, May 1 through Thursday, June 30, 2016, anglers will be allowed to harvest only hatchery-produced king salmon during Monday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, and Sunday each week. Naturally-produced king salmon may be retained only on Tuesdays and Saturdays each week. Hatchery-produced king salmon are distinguished from naturally-produced king salmon in the Kasilof River by a healed adipose fin-clip scar. The adipose fin is the small fleshy fin on the back just ahead of the tail. The bag and possession limit will be two fish in the Kasilof River of which only one fish may be a naturally-produced king salmon on Tuesdays and Saturdays. In addition, the use of bait and multiple hooks will be prohibited in the Kasilof River from its mouth upstream to the Sterling Highway bridge. Anglers may use only one unbaited, single-hook, artificial lure. “Single hook” means a fishhook with only one point (with or without a barb).
- Ice has receded on most area lakes and lakes ice-free. Lakes at higher elevations remain ice-covered.
- The 2016 Southcentral Alaska Sport Fishing Regulations Summary is available at Fish and Game offices as well as from many sport fishing license vendors. The regulations can also be viewed or download from the department’s web page.
- Many flowing waters close on May 2 to sport fishing by regulation. Anglers are reminded to check the regulation booklet as the water they may intend to fish may be closed to all fishing.
- The Alaska Department of Fish and Game is proposing to stock 5,000 catchable (approximately 9 inches long) Arctic char into Spirit Lake during the summer of 2016. This stocking is a change from stocking plans for Spirit Lake outlined in the department’s statewide stocking plan. The Arctic char stocked would be in addition to the 42,000 coho salmon fingerling and 28,000 rainbow trout fingerling annually stocked in to Spirit Lake. To comment on the stocking of Arctic char into Spirit Lake please contact the Sport Fish Area Management Biologist in Soldotna at 262-9368 by May 6, 2016.
Salmon – Kenai & Kasilof rivers
- It is too early to try salmon fishing in the rivers.
- The Russian River opens to sockeye salmon fishing June 11.
- Beginning May 1, 2015 the Kenai River will be closed to fishing for early-run king salmon.
- The early-run of king salmon to the Kasilof River is not forecasted and part of the run is hatchery king salmon. Small early-run hatchery king salmon (those less than 30 inches in length) are expected to be abundant.
Resident Fish — Kenai River
- Fishing opportunities on the Kenai River are good at this time because of the lack of snow and lack of extended periods of cold temperatures this past winter. Presently the Kenai River from Cooper Landing downstream to the Moose River is ice-free. Many anglers are taking advantage of this unique situation by fishing for rainbow trout on the Kenai River.
- Some of the best lake fishing of the year is here because the ice has recently “gone-out” at many area lakes providing open water fishing opportunity from the shore while some area lakes are nearly ice-free providing opportunity to fish from a boat. Fishing conditions at area lakes are good and will improve over the next two weeks as water temperatures continue to get warmer. Stocked Kenai Peninsula lakes as well as numerous lakes support natural populations of rainbow trout, lake trout and Dolly Varden. Numerous Kenai Peninsula Lakes provide great fishing opportunity in the spring while flowing waters are closed to fishing. Bait fished under a bobber, small spinners and spoons or fly fishing from a float tube or watercraft all produce great catch rates during the spring during as well as immediately after ice-out.
- A couple 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 the bag limit is unlimited. Wanton waste laws apply so be sure to use, or donate to charity, all the pike you harvest.