With King Fishing Restricted, Here Are Other Northern Kenai Options
The following is courtesy of the Alaska Department of Fish and Game:
Northern Kenai Fishing Report
August 11, 2022
- The Soldotna ADF&G office is now offering a fishing rod loaner program and has salmon fishing gear anglers can borrow for up to three days. This is a first come, first served program and rods cannot be reserved. For more information, check out the Rod Loaner Program webpage or contact Jenny Gates at
- ADF&G is mobile. You can purchase and display your fishing license and king stamp, record your annual harvest (i.e., king salmon, halibut), access sport fishing regulations and locations, and so much more on your mobile device. Download the ADF&G Mobile App today.
- Sport fishing gear is limited to one unbaited, single-hook, artificial lure while sport fishing and bait is prohibited in the Kenai River from its mouth upstream to Skilak Lake until 11:59 p.m., Monday, August 15. Anglers are reminded that king salmon incidentally caught while fishing for other species may not be removed from the water and must be released immediately. Please see emergency order below for more information.
- Resident species fishing for rainbow trout and Dolly Varden is good on the Middle, Upper, and Kenai River tributaries.
- Lower Kenai River sockeye salmon fishing has slowed but limits are still being caught for those willing to put the time in. The bag limit is six per day and twelve in possession. Please see emergency order below for more information.
- Refer to pages 55 and 56 of the 2022 Southcentral Alaska Sport Fishing Regulations Summary for maps denoting riverbank closures on the lower Kenai River. These riverbank closures are effective through August 15. In areas where the riverbank is closed to fishing, anglers may fish while standing in the water at least 10 feet from the shoreline and anchored boats must be more than 10 feet from the shore and not connected to the shore.
- Try fishing at Centennial Park, Rotary Park, Donald E. Gilman River Center, Soldotna Visitors Center, Moose Range Meadows, or Soldotna Creek Park.
- Upper Kenai River sockeye salmon fishing is good. The bag limit is six per day and twelve in possession for that area of the Kenai River from Skilak Lake to a marker located approximately 300 yards upstream of Sportsman’s Landing (including the Russian River Sanctuary Area). Please see emergency order below for more information.
- Coho salmon fishing on the Lower Kenai River is slow.
- Kasilof River king salmon sport fishery is closed. King salmon incidentally caught while fishing for other species may not be removed from the water and must be released immediately.
- Kasilof River sockeye salmon fishing has slowed down.
- Coho salmon fishing is slow but should improve over the next couple of weeks. Try fishing from shore at the Crooked Creek State Recreation Site. Anglers are reminded that Crooked Creek is closed to salmon fishing. Bag and possession limits are six per day and twelve in possession. Please see the emergency order below for more information.
Pink salmon are plentiful at Resurrection Creek in Hope and fishing has been good.
Swanson River coho salmon sport fishing should improve over the coming weeks.
- Sockeye salmon fishing on the Upper Kenai and Russian rivers is good. The bag and possession limit is six per day and twelve in possession. Please see the emergency order below for more information.
- The Russian River Recreational Area will be closed to all traffic and users beginning August 16 due to road construction on the access road. This closure includes access to Lower Russian Lake Trailhead and the campground. Anglers and users can access the Russian River from the Russian River Ferry Service located near Sportman’s Landing. For more information, please contact the United States Forest Service at 907-288-3178.
Upper Cook Inlet Personal Use permit harvest and participation must be reported online no later than August 15 through the ADF&G harvest reporting webpage. Permit holders who fail to report will be denied an Upper Cook Inlet Personal Use Salmon permit the following year and may be subject to a $200 fine. If you did not use the permit or if you used the permit, but did not catch anything, you still have to report. Returning permits by mail or hand-delivery is no longer an acceptable means to report.
The Kenai River dipnet fishery closed on July 31. Don’t forget to submit your personal use harvest reports online by Monday, August 15.
The Kasilof River dipnet fishery closed on August 7. Don’t forget to submit your personal use harvest reports online by Monday, August 15.
- Lake fishing for rainbow trout, Arctic char, Arctic grayling, and land locked salmon should be good to excellent. 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.
- John Hedberg Lake located in Nikiski is fishing excellent.
- 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 recent stocking activities at lakes? Check out the ADF&G stocking database online.
- For specific lake stocking information including species stocked and numbers of fish stocked, directions, bathymetric maps, and amenities, please visit the ADF&G Alaska Lakes Database.
Please review the emergency orders and advisory announcements below in their entirety before heading out on your next fishing trip.
Kenai River and Russian River
- Emergency Order 2-RS-1-63-22 increases the bag and possession limits for salmon, other than king salmon, to six fish per day and twelve fish in possession in that area of the Kenai River upstream from Skilak Lake to ADF&G regulatory markers located approximately 300 yards upstream of the public boat launch at Sportsman’s Landing and the Russian River from its mouth upstream to an ADF&G marker located approximately 600 yards downstream from the Russian River Falls through August 20, 2022.
- Emergency Order 2-KS-61-22 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 effective 12:01 Monday, August 1, 2022, through 11:59 p.m., Monday, August 15, 2022.
- Emergency Order 2-RS-1-60-22 increases the bag and possession limit for salmon, 16 inches or longer, other than king, pink and coho salmon, from three per day and six in possession to six per day and 12 in possession, in the Kenai River from its mouth upstream to an ADF&G regulatory marker located at the outlet of Skilak Lake. No more than two salmon, 16 inches or longer, per day and in possession may be coho salmon. This regulatory change is effective 12:01 a.m. Friday, July 2022 through 11:59 p.m. Saturday, December 31, 2022.
Emergency Order 2-RS-1-44-22 increases the bag and possession limit for salmon, 16 inches or longer, to six fish per and 12 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 regulatory change is effective through 11:59 p.m. Saturday, December 31, 2022.
- Emergency Order 2-NP-1-04-22 prohibits the retention of any species of fish in East Mackey, West Mackey, Sevena, Union, and Derks lakes for the 2022 season.
- Emergency Order 2-DV-1-03-22 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 2022 season.
Don’t forget to purchase your 2022 sport fishing license and king stamp! Purchase your 2022 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 2022 Southcentral Alaska 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.