ADF&G North Kenai Weekly Fishing Report
Alaska Department of Fish and Game
Weekly Fishing Report
North Kenai Peninsula Management Area
Week of June 18 to June 24
Issued June 21, 2006
Emergency Orders and regulation reminders
At this time, four Emergency Orders are in effect for this area.
By Emergency Order, the Russian River Sanctuary Area is open to fishing as of 6:00 a.m., Wednesday, June 21 as a result of the Department’s projection that the low end of the escapement goal of 14,000 red salmon through the weir will be exceeded.
By Emergency Order, anglers that they may not fillet or otherwise disfigure Kenai River king salmon in such a manner that would prevent determination of the length of the fish. Boat anglers cannot fillet a king salmon until the fish is brought to shore and offloaded from the vessel. Shore anglers cannot fillet a Kenai River king salmon before removing it from the fishing site. The Emergency Order still allows gilling and/or gutting the king salmon.
By Emergency Order, Kasilof River anglers may keep either a naturally-produced king salmon OR a hatchery king salmon on an additional day, Thursday, in addition to Tuesdays and Saturdays. A naturally-produced king salmon is a fish that still has its adipose fin. Hatchery king salmon, which are fish that are missing their adipose fin, can be kept seven days per week.
By Emergency Order, Kenai River anglers may use bait in the Kenai River from the mouth upstream to a point about 100 yards below the confluence of the Moose and Kenai rivers. Anglers are reminded that the slot limit and that the single hook restrictions remain in effect.
A news release was issued on May 8 closing a 300 foot section of the Kenai River to all sport fishing at river mile 44.75. Two floating smolt traps and sonar equipment have been deployed in the Kenai River near the area called the “Kenai Keys.” The area closed to all sport fishing until June 25 includes the waters and the shoreline from the deployed smolt traps upstream 300 feet. Anglers and boaters should use extreme caution when transiting the area since floating smolt traps and sonar equipment will be anchored to the river bottom with large anchors and steel cables. If going downstream, stay to the left of center of the river. If going upstream, stay to the right of center of the river.
All flowing waters in the Kenai River watershed are now OPEN to fishing for rainbow trout and Dolly Varden char.
There may be other areas closed to all fishing. Check your regulation booklet.
Salmon – Kenai & Kasilof rivers
Anglers fishing for Russian River red salmon have reported excellent to “as good as it gets” success, with many anglers catching their limits in less than one hour. Anglers who fillet their fish in the Russian River area are asked to chop up the carcasses into small pieces and toss the small pieces into fast moving currents. Chopping up carcasses into small pieces will likely help reduce the tendency of the carcasses to accumulate in piles and eventually become bear attractants. Please remember to “Stop, Chop, and Throw” your carcass pieces into fast moving currents.
Kasilof River king salmon anglers fishing from boats reported that success rates have leveled out in recent days, but would still rate fishing as fair to good. Shore anglers have consistently experienced much lower success rates.
Historically, the numbers of king salmon entering the Kasilof River reach their peak by last week, so angler success should continue to decline this week Water temperatures and height in the Kasilof River have reached normal levels.
On the Kenai River through midnight, June 20, an estimated total of 16,858 king salmon passed the station. The last 10 years’ average through midnight, June 20, is about 11,681 king salmon past the sonar station. Red salmon have also been observed passing by the king salmon sonar station and may be influencing the estimates of king salmon passage.
Angler reports and the ADF&G creel survey indicate that many Kenai River king salmon are caught daily, and recent fishing is considered fair. Angler success should remain steady for the remainder of June.
Kenai River water levels are continuing to rise and are approaching average for this time of year. Water clarity in the Kenai River was considered only fair on June 19.
Resident Fish — Kenai River
All flowing waters in the Kenai River watershed re-opened to fishing for rainbow trout on June 11. Anglers fishing for rainbow trout in the Kenai River above Skilak Lake have reported good success.
Fishing for Dolly Varden is also now open in the Kenai River watershed.
Many streams have special tackle restrictions, so please check the regulation booklet before fishing.
Resident Fish — Kasilof River
Rainbow/steelhead fishing is reported as very slow. Anglers putting in enough time to work the holes and drifts have had the best success.
All rainbow/steelhead trout caught downstream of the Sterling Highway bridge must be immediately released without removing them from the water.
See below for links to stocking information, as well as maps to the area lakes.
Johnson Lake in the Kasilof area is a great place to try for stocked rainbow trout. On May 1, 3,000 catchable sized rainbow trout were stocked into Johnson Lake.
Try Stormy Lake, Arc Lake, or Union Lake.
Many other area lakes have northern pike, but public access is limited. Private property owners may allow access, but get permission first.
Pike can be taken using spears, bow and arrow (with arrow attached by a line), bait, spinning, and fly-fishing gear. Try fish-shaped and fish-colored lures and flies.
There is no closed season for pike, and the bag limit is unlimited. Wanton waste laws apply, so be sure to use, or donate to charity, all the pike you harvest.
The Kasilof River personal use set gillnet fishery opened Thursday, June 15. Personal use gill netters have reported fair catch rates, with a few reports of good success. Complete regulations are on pages 16 through 18 of the Southcentral Alaska regulation booklet. A free permit is required, in addition to an Alaska resident fishing license. Permits are available from many grocery stores, tackle shops, ADF&G offices, and even some gasoline stations.
You must hold an Alaskan resident sport fishing license (or ADF&G senior license or ADF&G Disabled Veteran’s license) in order to participate in any personal use fishery, including set netting at the Kasilof.
A very informative personal use website has been set up, with information from both the Division of Sport Fish and the Division of Commercial Fisheries. Go to the Sport Fish home page and click on “Cook Inlet Personal Use.”
Helpful Internet Links
Area webpage: http://www.sf.adfg.state.ak.us/Regio...ai/kenhome.cfm
Cook Inlet Personal Use: http://www.sf.adfg.state.ak.us/regio...i/cipuhome.cfm
Fishing regulations: HYPERLINK "http://www.sf.adfg.state.ak.us/statewide/reghome.cfm" www.sf.adfg.state.ak.us/statewide/reghome.cfm
Enforcement of fishing regulations: www.dps.state.ak.us/fwp/index.asp
Fish identification: HYPERLINK "http://www.sf.adfg.state.ak.us/statewide/regulations/salmonid.pdf" http://www.sf.adfg.state.ak.us/state...s/salmonid.pdf
Rockfish identification: http://www.sf.adfg.state.ak.us/state...rockfishID.pdf
Weir counts and sonar estimates: http://www.sf.adfg.state.ak.us/Regio...HTML/query.cfm
River levels: HYPERLINK "http://aprfc.arh.noaa.gov/" http://aprfc.arh.noaa.gov/
Lake stocking: http://www.sf.adfg.state.ak.us/state...ock_search.cfm
Maps to stocked lakes: http://www.sf.adfg.state.ak.us/Regio...L/LAKEMAP1.stm
Informational brochures: www.sf.adfg.state.ak.us/region2/pubs.cfm
Safety in bear country: HYPERLINK "http://www.sf.adfg.state.ak.us/statewide/regulations/bears.cfm" http://www.sf.adfg.state.ak.us/state...ions/bears.cfm
OEO/ADA statement: HYPERLINK "http://www.adfg.state.ak.us/oeostate.php" www.adfg.state.ak.us/oeostate.php
Copyright and reproduction information: HYPERLINK "http://www.adfg.state.ak.us/copyright.php" www.adfg.state.ak.us/copyright.php