Kenai River

    The emergency order from Fish and Game prohibiting the use of bait in the Lower Kenai River expires Thursday night at midnight. The expiration includes the use of multiple hooks and scent on lures.

Even with the restrictions lifting, incidentally hooked 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.

        It's been a week since king salmon fishing closed by regulation on the Kenai River. It was characteristically slow at the end, though the 2019 run kept pace with 2018 until the last week of July.

Fish and Game records show the run peaked on July 21st when 546 kings passed the sonar. Through Saturday, the run stood at 9,586, about 2,000 less than last year, and 6,000 less than 2017.

Redoubt Reporter

 

Sockeye salmon are still pouring into the Russian river, but the real big fishery on the Kenai Peninsula will get started Wednesday.

Even though commercial cannabis sales have been legal in Alaska for a couple of years, the state’s position is still in conflict with federal law. That message was brought home by the U.S. Coast Guard at a recent Kenai City Council meeting.

Lt. Scott Peters told the council that the Coast Guard Auxiliary will be doing boating safety checks at the Kenai Dock duding low tide, while he and rangers from State Parks will be out on the Kenai River doing boating safety checks.

Kings and sockeye are running on the main stem of the Kenai River, and soon tributary streams will open for rainbow trout fishing.

The latest report from the Alaska Department of Fish and Game indicates fishing is expected to be good.

The confluence of the Upper Kenai and Russian rivers will open for early run sockeye fishing on Tuesday.

Kasilof River king salmon fishing is good and should continue to improve over the next week or two.

Alaska Department of Fish and Game

The Alaska Department of Fish and Game began counting the early run a couple weeks ago and as of Wednesday, 343 chinook had gone past sonar counters. That number is on pace with two of the last three years. The early return was a little higher at this point last year.

Shaylon Cochran/KDLL

 

Now that spring is more or less here, it's time for the annual sprucing up and cleaning rituals. Volunteers across the Peninsula can be found along highways and lakes and rivers, picking up what’s been left under the snow all winter. KDLL’s Shaylon Cochran caught up with a few students from Soldotna who were cleaning up at recently at Centennial Park.

 

 


Alaska Department of Fish and Game

There can be a lot to get ready for this time of year. If you live along one of the peninsula’s many rivers and streams, maybe it’s a good time to think about how to protect that area. That’s what a handful of property owners were doing Monday at the Kenai River Center.


For a time during Wednesday night’s Kenai City Council meeting, the passage of funds to pay for water quality testing in the Kenai River this summer was uncertain. Council members felt burned by press reports last year that there was an elevated level of bacteria levels on the beaches during the dipnet season, and they blamed the Kenai Watershed Forum, which is the contractor hired to collect the water samples.

Councilman Jim Glendening explained.

A months long review of escapement goals for salmon in the Upper Cook Inlet won’t immediately affect the king salmon fishery on the Kenai River, but some fisheries at the Kasilof might be affected.

Fish and Games sports fish and commercial fish divisions met five times since November for an interdivisional escapement goal review. Because the recommendations were needed before a board of fisheries deadline for comments on April 10.

King salmon sports fishing on the Kenai Peninsula’s two main rivers will open again this year with restrictions.

 

In two announcements from the Alaska Department of Fish and Game in Soldotna this week, the Kenai River early run of kings will be restricted to catch-and-release only, while on the Kasilof River anglers may only keep one hatchery-bred king salmon longer than 20 inches in length.

 

It’s been nearly 30 years since the oil tanker Exxon Valdez ran aground in Prince William Sound, and mitigation projects that sprang up as a result of the spill are still going on around the state and here on the peninsula. 


John Reed/USGS

 

The salmon run has gone from red to silver, but some summer projects are still being wrapped up on the Kenai River. The Kenai Watershed Forum will conduct its last sample of the season Friday, searching for bacteria and their sources in the river.

 

 


Alaska Department of Fish and Game

 

For more than 20 years, the Alaska Department of Fish and Game has teamed with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to promote health fish habitat through a cost share program that helps landowners pay for rehabilitation work along the Kenai river.

Efforts continue to locate a Wisconsin man who went missing when his boat capsized on the Kenai River Monday evening.

The missing man was identified by Alaska State Troopers as 68-year-old Daniel Hass of Algoma, Wisconsin.

Two other men were rescued after their boat overturned near Moose Medows. Troopers ID'd them as 68-year-old Charles Bohman and 64-year-old Lawrence Paul, both also of Algoma.

It looks like there's suddenly plenty of fishing opportunity on the Kenai River. Not only has fishing for red salmon reopened on Thursday last week, but Fish and Game says the other shades of salmon are plentiful as well.

Fishing for silver salmon has been reported as good, with additional catch of pinks also being caught.

From the ‘Better Late than Never’ files we have this item: sockeye salmon fishing on the Kenai River will open once again this year.

The announcement came Tuesday afternoon from the Alaska Department of Fish and Game after the escapement exceeded 900,000 late run red salmon passing the river mile 19 sonar.

Sports Fish Cook Inlet Management Coordinator Matt Miller said the department was glad to be able to offer another opportunity for folks to fish for sockeye as the season winds down.

With all the closures and restrictions lately, one wouldn’t be blamed if they thought there were no more angling opportunities in the central Kenai Peninsula. But they'd be wrong.

First of all, dip-netting is still open at the mouth of the Kasilof River, with just a couple caveats: One, any king salmon caught must be immediately returned to the water, and two, the fishery is for Alaska residents only. Other than that, Fish and Game says dip-netting success on the Kasilof remains good.

This week’s Central Kenai sportsfishing report is more of a list of things one cannot do on the water in pursuit of a salmon.

Of course the Kenai River personal use dipnet fishery closed at 12:01 a.m. Monday morning, which is two days earlier than scheduled.

Meanwhile, from the mouth of the river to Skilak Lake, the bag and possession limit for sockeye 16 inches or longer is reduced to one per day and two in possession effective Monday as well.

City of Kenai Dipnet app

 

The Alaska Department of Fish and Game has issued two emergency orders restricting the harvest of sockeye salmon on the Kenai River.

Shaylon Cochran/KDLL

It’s the midway point for the Kenai river personal-use fishery and the sockeye are still just trickling in. KDLL’s Shaylon Cochran caught up with some dipnetters fishing near the Warren Ames Bridge late Friday morning, achieving various levels of success.


City of Kenai officials will be closing access to the Kenai River's Soth Beach tonight and are warning dipnetters not to camp there or on the North Beach.

The reason are extreme high tides overnight that could pose hazards to campers. 

The morning tide Thursday at 3:54 a.m. is forecast to be 23 feet, followed by Friday morning's 4:44 a.m. high tide of 24 feet, and Saturday morning’s high tide at 5:44 will be nearly 25 feet.

Late Tuesday night the National Weather Service in Anchorage issued a special weather statement for high water levels expected on the Kenai River below Skilak Lake.

Water levels on the Kenai River are reported at bank-full just below Skilak Lake and at Kenai Keys, and they are expected to continue rising over the next few days, potentially peaking less than a foot over minor flood stage.

No widespread flooding is expected at this time, but low lying areas may have standing water ponding on them.

ADF&G

The annual personal use dipnet fishery at the mouth of the Kenai River begins Tuesday. But amid expectations of an underperforming salmon return, the City of Kenai, which is host to the fishery, is ready, according to City Manager Paul Ostrander.

Late run king salmon fishing reopened on the lower Kenai River on July 1st, however no bait is allowed. King fishing above the ADF&G markers at Slikok Creek is still prohibited.

The Department sonar shows 598 kings have escaped this season. That compares to 820 at this time last year, 1,066 in 2016 and 498 in 2015.

Meanwhile, fishing for king salmon on the Kasilof River has been fair, according to Fish and Game's weekly fishing report.

Pages