Area Sport Fishing Reports
Archived Sport Fishing Report
May 05, 2023
Upcoming ADF&G Events
- The Alaska Department of Fish and Game will be selling fishing, hunting, trapping licenses and issuing Cook Inlet Personal Use permits at the upcoming Kenai Peninsula Sport, Rec and Trade Show, May 5-7,2023 at the Soldotna Regional Sports Complex. Additionally, the department will have informational and educational brochures and a youth only rainbow trout fishing pond. The youth fishing pond is a great time for young anglers! Bring your child down to catch a rainbow trout! These fish are from the William Jack Hernandez Sport Fish Hatchery in Anchorage and fish not caught at the show will be stocked into Sport Lake on May 7th.
- The Alaska Department of Fish and Game, Division of Sport Fish, will be hosting the 22nd annual “Salmon Celebration” for Kenai Peninsula Borough School District elementary classes at Johnson Lake on Wednesday, May 10th. This event will have 30 educational activities including the opportunity for students to participate including the opportunity for students to stock rainbow trout into Johnson Lake. For more information, call Sara Faris at (907) 235-8191 or Jenny Gates at (907)-260-2930.
Kenai Peninsula Access Sites
- For information regarding Alaska State Park campgrounds, recreational areas, and boat launches, please contact Alaska State Parks at (907) 262-5581.
- For information regarding Kenai National Wildlife Refuge (KNWR) campgrounds, recreational areas, and boat launches, please contact the KNWR Visitors Center at (907) 260-2820.
- For information regarding City of Soldotna campgrounds, recreational areas, and boat launches, please contact the City at (907) 262-3151.
- The flowing waters of the Kenai River mainstem upstream of the Lower Killey River marker and all Kenai River tributary streams close to fishing from May 1 through June 10 to protect spawning rainbow trout.
- Kasilof River steelhead fishing is just beginning and is expected to improve over the next couple of weeks. All rainbow/steelhead trout caught may not be removed from the water and must be released immediately. See page 70 of the 2023 Southcentral Alaska Sport Fishing Regulations Summary booklet for more information. Please refer to the emergency orders below for more info.
- Hooligan (eulachon) fishing is just starting with angler reports that fish are being caught. Fishing will improve over the next couple of weeks.
- Surf fishing for halibut along the beaches of Cook Inlet south of the Kenai River is just beginning. Pacific halibut fisheries are managed by the federal government under an international treaty. Please consult federal regulations and see page 73 of the 2023 Southcentral Alaska Sport Fishing Regulations Summary booklet.
- Check out the Beach Fishing for Halibut on Alaska’s Kenai Peninsula video on our ADF&G YouTube channel to learn about beach fishing for halibut.
- Local lakes will be free of ice soon and lake fishing should be good to excellent. Lake fishing for rainbow trout, Arctic char, Arctic grayling, and land locked salmon will improve with warming water temperatures. Try fishing with dry or wet flies such as an egg sucking leech, bead head nymph, or mosquito pattern; small spoons and spinners size #0 or #2; or small bait under a bobber.
- Spirit (Elephant) Lake access gate is currently closed for spring breakup. For access gate closures and road conditions call the Salamatof Native Association at 907-283-7864.
- Not familiar with all the stocked lakes in the area? Check out the ADF&G publication with locations, access, and other valuable information on Kenai Peninsula area lakes. More lake information can be found on the ADF&G Alaska Lakes Database.
- Interested in stocking activities at lakes? Check out the ADF&G stocking database online.
Please review the emergency orders and advisory announcements below in their entirety before heading out on your next fishing trip.
- Emergency Order 2-KS-1-10-23 closes sport fishing for king salmon of all sizes in the Kenai River from the mouth upstream to the outlet of Skilak Lake from 12:01 a.m. Monday, May 1 through 11:59 p.m. Friday, June 30, 2023. Fishing for king salmon will remain closed from 12:01 a.m. Saturday, July 1 through 11:59 p.m. Monday, July 31, 2023, in waters of the Kenai River drainage from an ADF&G regulatory marker located approximately 300 yards downstream from the mouth of Slikok Creek, upstream to the outlet of Skilak Lake. This closure prohibits all sport fishing for king salmon, including catch-and-release fishing. King salmon may not be retained or possessed; king salmon accidentally caught while fishing for other species may not be removed from the water and must be released immediately.
- Emergency Order 2-KS-1-11-23 closes the Kenai River to fishing for king salmon and prohibits the use of bait and multiple hooks in the Kenai River from its mouth upstream to ADF&G markers located at the outlet of Skilak Lake from 12:01 a.m. Saturday, July 1 through 11:59 p.m. Monday, July 31, 2023. This closure prohibits all sport fishing for king salmon, including catch-and-release fishing. King salmon may not be retained or possessed; king salmon caught while fishing for other species may not be removed from the water and must be released immediately.
- Emergency Order 2-KS-1-08-23 prohibits the retention of naturally-produced king salmon beginning 12:01 a.m. Monday, May 1 through 11:59 p.m. Friday, June 30, 2023. Additionally, only one single hook either baited, unbaited, or on an artificial lure may be used beginning 12:01 a.m. Tuesday, May 16 through 11:59 p.m. Friday, June 30, 2023. Single-hook means a fishhook with only one point. and the use of multiple hooks while sport fishing in the Kasilof River. Naturally-produced king salmon have an adipose fin and may not be removed from the water and must be released immediately.
- Emergency Order 2-KS-1-09-23 restricts the duration of fishing periods in the personal use set gillnet fishery at the mouth of the Kasilof River. The hours open to fishing in the personal use set gillnet fishery shall be reduced from 6:00 a.m. until 11:00 p.m., to 1:00 p.m. until 7:00 p.m. Thursday, June 15 through Sunday, June 18 and 4:00 p.m. until 10:00 p.m. Monday, June 19 through Saturday, June 24, 2023.
Cook Inlet Salt Waters
- Emergency Order 2-KS-7-15-23 prohibits sport fishing for king salmon (including catch-and-release) in the salt waters of Cook Inlet north of the latitude of Bluff Point (59° 40.00' N. lat.) effective 12:01 a.m. Monday, May 15 through Monday, July 31. King salmon incidentally caught while fishing for other fish may not be removed from the water and must be released immediately.
- Emergency Order 2-NP-1-04-23 prohibits the retention of any species of fish in East Mackey, West Mackey and Derks lakes for the 2023 season.
- Emergency Order 2-DV-1-03-23 establishes a bag and possession limit of Arctic char/Dolly Varden in Stormy Lake of one fish, less than 16 inches in length for the 2023 season.
Don’t forget to purchase your 2023 sport fishing license and king stamp! You can purchase your 2023 sport fishing license and king stamp through the ADF&G online store and print it off from the comfort of your own home. Also, make sure to review emergency orders, advisory announcements, and the 2023 Southcentral Alaska Sport Fishing Regulations Summary booklet for the area you are fishing in before you head out.
For additional information, please contact the ADF&G Soldotna Area Office at (907) 262-9368.