Alaska Fishing Report: June 15, 2017
Fishing on the Kenai and Kasilof Rivers is now into the second week of June. Both rivers are approaching their seasonal peaks for early run king salmon. On the Kasilof River, the kings continue to arrive on each daily tide although the peak numbers and catch rates seem to have occurred in the first week of June. That said, we continue to see very good fishing on the Kasilof with a good number of hatchery kings being caught daily. We are also seeing a fair number of wild or naturally produced fish caught and these can only be retained on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays. Not by coincidence, these have been the busiest days with the most boats. The remaining days when you can only keep two hatchery fish per person have been less crowded and have afforded more opportunities. Overall, it has been an excellent early run on the Kasilof River and this should continue to be a viable option for kings through late June. Sockeye salmon numbers are increasing on the Kasilof although we have not yet taken a trip specifically targeting them so far this season.
On the Kenai River much like the Kasilof, the early run of kings has been strong and we have seen some great fishing in the past couple of weeks. The best fishing so far occurred in early June before rain and wind increased turbidity, and adversely affected water clarity in the past week. This also caused the river level to rise considerable and after a cold spring and much lower water levels than normal, the Kenai is finally reaching its normal level for this time of the season. Water clarity has improved in the last couple of days and with it fishing success had picked up considerably. Due to the stronger than expected numbers of king salmon passing the sonar counter thus far, ADF&G has lifted the under 36 inches rule for keeping a king and now kings under 46 inches may be retained below Slikok Creek. Above Slikok Creek (just below the Soldotna Bridge) only fish under 36 inches may be kept. As of June 11, approximately 4010 large kings have been counted through the sonar site at mile 14. This date historically represents approximately 50% of the run and thus the department is projecting a total early run of just under 8000 large kings. This should result in some very productive king fishing through the end of the month and we look forward to seeing some great action for large Kenai kings! Russian River sockeye re also retuning in excellent numbers with lots of fish in not only the Russian itself but also spread out through the entire Kenai River. This run should see its seasonal peak in the next week to ten days and then we will wait for the much larger late run of Kenai sockeye to arrive. We look forward to some great sockeye salmon fishing in July.
Fly Out fishing for sockeye at Big River Lake has been good with limit fishing on all the trips we have taken so far. The lake is extremely low with the cold spring we have had so the fish are not yet willing to commit to Redoubt bay and Wolverine Creek. They are largely spread out throughout the lake and around Fisher Falls. There have been some good bear sightings as well.
Halibut fishing continues to be outstanding in Cook Inlet with limit catches of very nice sized fish. The halibut boats are still picking up a few kings in addition to the halibut making for some great salt-water action!
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