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Thread: Specifically Kokanee - as in freshwater landlocked sockeye/reds

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    Default Specifically Kokanee - as in freshwater landlocked sockeye/reds

    I used to love Kokanee fishing in Oregon ...12" to 16" Kokes in beautiful mountain lakes ...loved it. We now live in Alaska, north of Anchorage (near Knik / Wasilla). Are there any nice kokanee lakes within 2 or 3 hours of this area? I know Eklutna has kokes in it, but they tend to run small and the silt keeps them from growing much. Seems like there must be a clear water lake somewhere up here that has kokes in it, no? Anyone? Not asking for secret spots or anything, just general guidelines ...but if you want to protect even the name or location of the lake ...PM me. I never forward info to others if it is intended to be private for me alone.

    Thanks,
    Brian

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    Moderator AKmud's Avatar
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    Finger Lake, but you probably won't find any much over 10-12".
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    Premium Member kasilofchrisn's Avatar
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    Plenty of lakes with landlocked Salmon.
    I don't know of very many with "True" Kokanees though. Most have silvers and/or king salmon.
    I know some lakes that hold decent sized landlocked Silvers here on the Peninsula.
    I think Hidden lake may have Kokanees in it. Then again it does have a population of river run red Salmon so I'm not sure if they really are Kokanees or not.
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    Quote Originally Posted by kasilofchrisn View Post
    Plenty of lakes with landlocked Salmon.
    I don't know of very many with "True" Kokanees though. Most have silvers and/or king salmon.
    I know some lakes that hold decent sized landlocked Silvers here on the Peninsula.
    I think Hidden lake may have Kokanees in it. Then again it does have a population of river run red Salmon so I'm not sure if they really are Kokanees or not.
    Yeah, Hidden Lake has some nice "true" Kokanees. That would probably be your best bet in Southcentral.
    Your bait stinks and your boat is ugly

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    Quote Originally Posted by kasilofchrisn View Post
    Plenty of lakes with landlocked Salmon.
    I don't know of very many with "True" Kokanees though. Most have silvers and/or king salmon.
    I know some lakes that hold decent sized landlocked Silvers here on the Peninsula.
    I think Hidden lake may have Kokanees in it. Then again it does have a population of river run red Salmon so I'm not sure if they really are Kokanees or not.
    Yeah ..Kokes, at least where I come from (Oregon), are freshwater red salmon (Sockeye) that never see salt ...they spawn in feeder creeks around the perimeter of a lake and live out their lives in the lake ...no route to the salt, and just feed on plankton-like food in the lake. You often find them in high clear mountain lakes with steep sides and deep water ...no weed beds and other environment that feeds the bugs that trout and other fish might live on. The kokes only grow to 14" to about 18" from what I can see, although a friend of mine has pix of some pretty big ones. Generally, koke lakes only have kokes in them ...maybe some stocked trout that don't winter over, depending on the State DOR. Kokes are generally challenging to catch, at least until you've paid your dues, and have soft mouths ...easy to lose. For these reasons, they are exciting to catch and successfully land ...great eating, great smokers, good all 'round. Kind of a unique fishery ...NOT the same thing as stocked land-locked chinook and silvers etc.

    Thanks,
    Brian

    PS: Just called ADFW and they connected me through to a biologist who might know... had to leave a message, but it sounds like he's the guy for answers on Kokes. I'll update when I get answers from him...

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    I feel your pain Brian. I moved up here from Washington last year and miss good Kokanee fishing. I haven't spent much time looking for them but would love to find a good lake with a fishable population. Such a great fish to target and eat. If you end up finding some, let me know. I'll do the same!

    Scott

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    Quote Originally Posted by Fin Chaser View Post
    I feel your pain Brian. I moved up here from Washington last year and miss good Kokanee fishing. I haven't spent much time looking for them but would love to find a good lake with a fishable population. Such a great fish to target and eat. If you end up finding some, let me know. I'll do the same!

    Scott
    Deal! You see, the kids have all flown the coop and there's no need for moose (too big) in our household, and caribou generally require too large of an investment in both time and $$ ...and I even get picky about halibut anymore, having eaten so much of it, and about the only salmon that I can look in the face anymore is a smoked one ...take that and combine it with what I used to do in Oregon (blacktail, kokes, crabbing, occasional salmon) and I miss a lot of those things. The wife and I will retire outside the state within about a half dozen years, probably to Idaho, and I can pick up much of the missing things again then ...assuming a drive down to Oregon for crabbing now and then is good enough ...but thought I'd once again see what I could find up here (of those things that are generally associated with the Lower 48 that is). My sporting adventures are mostly about fun now, not about harvest, and I miss what was originally 'home' to me ...that's all.

    bd

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    I will let out a secret, you can choose to believe it or not. There is a lake out at Pt. Mac with real koks in it that are good size.

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    OK ...Dan Bosch (sp?) at the Anchorage ADFG department made a valiant effort to get in contact with me and shared Kokanee info with me, so I'm keeping my promise and sharing it with you:

    - Hidden Lake has some Kokanee (Kenai peninsula, off Skilak loop road)

    - Engineer Lake has some Kokanee (Kenai peninsula, off Skilak loop road)

    - Tree Lake (headwater to Soldotna Creek) tends to be blocked off from the salt due to beaver dams and what not, and has landlocked reds that probably ran in from the ocean and got trapped - not true Kokanee - but who can tell?

    - Border Lake (south of west end of Tustumena Lake) ...same story ast Tree Lake.

    Tree Lake and Border Lake are most easily accessed by snow machine for ice fishing - too much mushy and wet land for summer access (unless you're pretty persistent).

    Have fun and post fishing reports!

    Brian

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    Excellent info, thank you Brian! I'll try to hit a few of those soon and report back.

    Little Dave, if you want to post or pm me that lake out in the Point Mac area I would appreciate it. That's very close to home for me. Thanks!

    Scott

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