Area Sport Fishing Reports
July 30, 2020
* Just a reminder to all our anglers, please do your part to help slow the spread of Covid-19 by following and reviewing the current State of Alaska Health Mandates in effect. This includes practicing social distancing while sport and personal use fishing and wearing a face covering when fishing and if you are needing fishing supplies from your local store as indicated in Health Alert 010.
* The Alaska Board of Fisheries adopted several proposals establishing new sport fish regulations for the Kenai River and the Northern Kenai Peninsula Area at its Anchorage February 2020 meeting. Please see the 2020 Southcentral Sport Fishing Regulation Summary booklet for a complete summary of the Kenai Peninsula sport fisheries regulations.
Please review the Emergency Orders and News Releases below in their entirety before heading out on your next fishing trip.
- Emergency Order 2-KS-1-43-20 prohibits the use of bait and limits sport fishing gear to one unbaited, single-hook, artificial lure while sport fishing in the Kenai River from its mouth upstream to the outlet of Skilak Lake beginning 12:01 a.m. Saturday, August 1 through 11:59 p.m. Saturday, August 15, 2020.
- Emergency Order 2-KS-1-41-20 closes the Kenai River drainage to fishing for king salmon and prohibits the use of bait in the Kenai River from its mouth upstream to ADF&G markers located at the outlet of Skilak Lake. This closure prohibits all sport fishing for king salmon, including catch-and-release fishing, effective 12:01 a.m. Friday, July 24 through 11:59 p.m. Friday, July 31, 2020. 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-RS-1-36-20 increases the bag and possession limit for sockeye salmon, 16 inches or longer, from three to six fish per day and twelve in possession in all portions of the Kasilof River open to salmon fishing. No more than two salmon per day and two in possession may be coho salmon. This regulation change is effective through 11:59 p.m. Thursday, December 31, 2020.
- Emergency Order 2-KS-1-35-20 prohibits the retention of king salmon while sport fishing in the Kasilof River downstream of the Sterling Highway Bridge. Only one unbaited, single-hook artificial lure may be used when sport fishing. King salmon may not be retained or possessed, may not be removed from the water, and must be released immediately. This regulation change is effective through 11:59 p.m. Friday, July 31, 2020.
- Emergency Order 2-KS-1-30-20 prohibits the retention of king salmon in the Kenai River personal use dipnet fishery effective through 11:00 p.m. Friday, July 31.
- Emergency Order 2-RS-1-27-20 expands the personal use salmon dipnet fishing area on the Kasilof River effective through 11:59 p.m. Friday, August 7, 2020. Salmon may be harvested from the shore from ADF&G markers located on Cook Inlet beaches outside the terminus of the river upstream to the Sterling Highway Bridge. Salmon may be harvested from a boat from ADF&G markers located on Cook Inlet beaches outside the terminus of the river upstream to ADF&G markers placed at approximately river mile 3.
- Emergency Order 2-NP-1-02-20 prohibits the retention of any species of fish in East Mackey, West Mackey, Sevena, Union, and Derks lakes for the 2020 season.
- Emergency Order 2-DV-1-01-20 prohibits the retention of Arctic char/Dolly Varden in Stormy Lake for the 2020 season.
- Kenai River king salmon sport fishing closed at 12:01 a.m. Friday, July 24, 2020. (See Emergency Order 2-KS-1-41-20.) This includes catch-and-release fishing for king salmon. All king salmon caught while fishing for other species must not be removed from the water and must be released immediately.
- Lower Kenai River sockeye salmon fishing has been fair to good and should improve as late-run fish continue to enter the river. Please visit the 2020 Southcentral Sport Fishing Regulations Summary booklet for maps denoting riverbank closures and public access locations on the lower Kenai River.
- Sockeye fishing on upper Kenai River, Russian River, and Russian River Sanctuary is fair to good and should continue to improve.
- Kasilof River sockeye salmon sport fishing is good. Bag and possession limits for sockeye salmon on the Kasilof have been liberalized. Please refer to Emergency Order 2-RS-1-36-20 for more information.
- Rainbow trout fishing on the Middle and Upper Kenai River is good.
- Pink salmon fishing at Resurrection Creek in Hope is good to excellent.
- Rainbow trout and Dolly Varden sport fishing on clearwater tributaries of the Kenai River have been improving as salmon begin to spawn.
Personal Use Fishing
- Kasilof River dipnet fishery opened June 25 and fishing has been reported as good. A sport fishing license and Upper Cook Inlet Personal Use permit is required. No retention of king salmon is allowed. Please see page 14 of the 2020 Southcentral Alaska Sport Fishing Regulations Summary booklet. The personal use area for boat and shore fisherman has been expanded. Please refer to Emergency Order 2-RS-1-27-20. Anglers are reminded personal use fishing on the Kasilof River closes at 11:59 p.m., Friday, August 7.
- Kenai River dipnet fishery opened on Friday, July 10 and fishing has been reported as fair to good. A resident sport fishing license and Upper Cook Inlet Personal Use permit are required. Only Alaska residents may participate in this fishery. Please see page 14 of the 2020 Southcentral Alaska Sport Fishing Regulations Summary booklet. Anglers are reminded king salmon may not be retained and must be released immediately (See Emergency Order 2-KS-1-30-20.) Dipnetters are also reminded personal use fishing on the Kenai River closes at 11:00 p.m., Friday, July 31.
- The City of Kenai is making a number of changes to its operations during this year’s personal use dipnet fishery in response to COVID-19. Please visit the City of Kenai's dipnet webpage for information regarding cashless payments, hand washing stations, dumpsters, camping, and City recommended preventative measures.
- Additionally, beach and boating access fees, live fishery web cameras, and dipnet app information, can also be found on the City of Kenai's dipnet webpage.
- Lake fishing for rainbow trout, Arctic char, Arctic grayling, and land locked salmon is good. 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.
- Stocked lakes continue to fish well! Not familiar with all the stocked lakes in the area? Check out the ADF&G brochure with locations, access, and other valuable information on Kenai Peninsula area lakes.
- Interested in recent stocking activities at lakes? Check out the ADF&G stocking database online.
Don’t forget to bring your 2020 sport fishing license! Help maximize social distancing and purchase your 2020 sport fishing license through the ADF&G online store and print it off from the comfort of your own home. Also, make sure to review Emergency Orders and the 2020 Southcentral Sport Fishing Regulations Summary booklet for the area you are fishing before you head out.
For additional information, please contact the ADF&G Soldotna Area Office at (907) 262-9368.