sockeye salmon

The 2019 late Kenai River sockeye salmon run is officially twice as good as last year. Through August 19, the most recent date ADF-and-G has data for, 1.85 million sockeye have crossed the sonar at river mile 19, which is double the 900,000 the run stood at on the same date in 2018
The run has been steadily declining since its second peak on August 6th, when the daily count was over 76,000. The run’s first peak, on July 28th, was over 99,000.
Just over 10,000 reds were counted on the 19th, 16,000 on the 18th, and 18,000 the day before that.

        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.

There’s little more than one day left in the Kenai River king salmon sports fishery for the 2019 season. It closes late Wednesday night when the calendar turns to August.Fish and Game reports that king angling on the Lower Kenai has slowed, but still considered fair, and that water conditions are favorable. Gear is still limited to one, un-baited single-tool artificial fly or lure.

        The late run of sockeye salmon to the Kenai River has returned surprisingly strong this summer, prompting the Alaska Department of Fish and Game to liberalize fishing time and limits for several fisheries.

The Kenai River personal use dip net fishery has been thrown wide open and will remain open 24 hours per day through 11:59 p.m. Wednesday(July 31, 2019) when the fishery closes by regulation.

ADF&G

  The early run of sockeye salmon on the Kenai River is off to a strong enough start that Fish and Game is going to give anglers an early opportunity to land some in the Russian River Sanctuary.

In opening the sanctuary early, Area Management Biologist Colton Lipka said in an announcement that the system, “hasn’t seen numbers like this for several years.”

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.

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.

Here’s something we haven’t shared in the Central Kenai Peninsula sportsfishing report before. Angling for salmon on the Kenai River is exclusively fly fishing at the moment. The vast majority of the river is still closed from end-to-end, but, in that portion around the confluence of the Russian River, you can try your hand at fly casting.

Both Areas A and B are fly-fishing only. They are bounded by the power line crossing the river on the west end and ADF&G markers on the east. Sportsman’s Landing at Mile 55 is about in the middle.

In what is one of the few bright spots in an otherwise dismal sportsfishing season, the bag and possession limits on the Kasilof River has been liberalized in an effort to minimize what is now expected to be an over-escapement of sockeye salmon.

In an emergency order, the Alaska Department of Fish and Game increased the bag and possession limits to six fish per day and 12 fish in possession; however, no more than two salmon per day and two in possession may be coho salmon, in all portions of the Kasilof River open to salmon fishing.

The disastrous 2018 sockeye salmon run continues to claim its victims. First, Cook Inlet commercial fishermen were ordered to take their nets from the water, and then on Sunday it was the Kenai River dipnetters. 

Now, in an emergency order from Fish and Game, sports fishing for sockeye salmon is closed on the Kenai River from its mouth to Kenai Lake, starting at 12:01 a.m. Saturday.

There is still an exception around the confluence of the Russian River to fish that river’s late run sockeye, which looks good with an escapement of 70,000.

 

Thursday was a slightly better day for sockeye returns to the Kenai river. But some of those fish coming back have raised a little curiosity.

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.

While many river systems statewide are struggling to achieve their respective salmon escapement goals, there’s one on the Kenai Peninsula that is set to exceed its goal, and as a result, managers have liberalized the catch and possession limit.

In an announcement Monday, the Alaska Department of Fish and Game increased the sport-caught sockeye salmon limits for the Russian River and a section of the main stem of the Kenai River to six per day and 12 in possession.