(Released: March 23, 2017)

Division of Sport Fish
Tom Brookover, Director
Anchorage Headquarters Office
333 Raspberry Road
Anchorage, AK 99518

Alaska Department of Fish and Game
Sam Cotten, Commissioner
P.O. Box 115526
Juneau, AK 99811-5526

Contact: Brian Marston, Area Management Biologist
(907) 262-9368

New Sport/personal Use Fishing Regulations For Kenai River And Northern Kenai Peninsula Area In 2017

The Alaska Board of Fisheries approved changes to sport fishing regulations for the Kenai River and Northern Peninsula area in 2017. Changes affecting various freshwater fisheries are summarized below as a service to anglers, and not as a complete digest of all fishing regulations.

All Kenai Peninsula Freshwaters

  • Bench/Bishop Creek fishing closure from May 1 through June 10.
  • Swanson River fishing closure from May 1 through June 10.
  • In the Kasilof River drainage, retention of rainbow trout/steelhead is prohibited.
  • All tributaries of Tustumena Lake and Upper and Lower Kasilof River drainage are closed to fishing for rainbow trout/steelhead from May 1 through June 10 (existing Crooked Crk. regulations apply).
  • In the Kasilof River, a person may not fillet, mutilate, or otherwise disfigure a king salmon in such a manner that prevents determination whether the fish is a wild or hatchery fish until the person has stopped fishing in the Kasilof River drainage for the day and has moved more than 100 yards away from the Kasilof River.

Kenai River Drainage

  • Only king salmon less than 36" may be retained:
    • January 1 through June 30 downstream of Skilak Lake,
    • January 1 through July 31 downstream of Skilak Lake to the lower boundary of the Slikok Creek king salmon sanctuary.
    • Bait is prohibited in these waters during the time the size limit is in effect.
  • From July l – August 15, additional Kenai River shoreline will be closed to fishing on the northbank near Honeymoon Cove at river mile 13, upstream to approximately river mile 14 near Stewarts Landing.
  • Coho salmon season shortened upstream of Bings Landing, closing on November 1.
  • Gear restricted to only one unbaited single-hook, artificial lure upstream of Bings Landing from November 1 through December 31.
  • Size limit of rainbow trout/Dolly Varden reduced to one less than 16" in total length in the Upper Kenai River drainage.
  • The Kenai River including Skilak Lake is closed to rainbow trout fishing from May 1 through June 10 upstream of the ADF&G markers located approximately one mile upstream of the Lower Killey River. Note: This area except SKilak Lake is closed to all fishing over the same dates.
  • King salmon sanctuaries in effect from May 1 through July 31.
  • All Kenai River tributaries, except for the Russian River:
    • closed to fishing for salmon, only one unbaited, single-hook, artificial lure, with a gap between point and shank of 3/8 inch or less is allowed.
    • have new periods closed to all fishing (see 2017 regulatory summary).
  • All king salmon sanctuaries and fly-fishing areas (except for the Russian River fly-fishing only area) now changed to artificial fly waters, where only single-hook artificial flies may be used, for this purpose an artificial fly means a fly that is constructed by common methods known as fly-tying, including a dry fly, wet fly, and nymph, or a bare single hook, and that is free of bait.
  • Hidden Lake lake trout restricted to one per day, less than 16" in total length.
  • Liberal pike regulations repealed in Mackey Lakes, Derks Lake, Sevena Lake, and Union Lake.
  • Personal use household permits allowed to harvest one king salmon 20" or greater in length, and up to 10 king salmon under 20" in length.
  • The area closed to dipnetting from shore in the Kenai River personal use fishery was increased from the mouth upstream to the Warren Ames Bridge on the north bank, and from the mouth upstream to the Kenai Landing dock on the south bank.

For more information refer to the Sportfishing Regulations or contact Fisheries Biologists Brian Marston or Jason Pawluk in Soldotna at (907) 262-9368.