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Kenai River Fishing Report

SPRING IS HERE!

Spring is here on the Kenai.  The river is flowing and the snow along the banks is almost gone.  Our front lawn is almost bare with just the dead grass showing now. It’s time for spring cleanup. The river is holding its level and is coming up very slowly. It’s almost time to throw a line in the water as the world record sport caught king salmon was caught on May 17 of 1985.  Who knows, a new world record fish just might be out there in the river as I write this. Kings from  the Kenai River may be caught and kept in June using a single hook with no bait or scent, but there is a restriction on the size. Kenai River king salmon sport fishing general regulations for January 1 through June 30, in Kenai River waters downstream of Skilak Lake are as follows:

  • Bait is prohibited, and only one single-hook, artificial lure may be used.
  • The bag and possession limit for king salmon 20 inches or greater in length is one king salmon. Only king salmon less than 34 inches in length may be retained. King salmon 34 inches in length and greater may not be removed from the water and must be released immediately.
  • There is a combined annual limit of five king salmon over 20 inches from all Cook Inlet Drainage waters, which includes only two fish per year over 20 inches from the Kenai River, except fish under 28 inches in length caught in the Kenai River prior to July 1 do not count towards the annual limit. All harvested fish that count towards an annual limit must be recorded on a harvest record card or your license.
  • The bag and possession limit for king salmon less than 20 inches (jack king salmon), is 10 fish per day, 10 in possession, in combination with coho, sockeye, chum, or pink salmon less than 16 inches in length.

 

More to follow regarding the Kasilof River next week.

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Kenai River Fishing Report

Weather

This has been a real old-fashioned winter here on the Kenai Peninsula.  We have had so much snow that we are running out of places to put it. The past week, we have had unusually warm weather with temperatures running above freezing. We have had rain which of course make has melted a lot of the snow and left puddles on the driveway. Then it snowed so you couldn’t see where you could walk without slipping and falling.  We had sanded the main driveway but it was still very dangerous to walk from one building to another.  Josh who helps here at the kamp and is very sure footed even slipped and fell.

We are optimistic that we are going to have an early breakup as temperatures are slated to be above freezing for the next week. There is just such an enormous amount of snow that has to melt before we get down to the gravel driveway and the lawn. Anchorage is slated to have temps at or above 40 degrees for the next several days and ours should follow suit.

If the current trend in weather continues, we could have a terrific and long summer. As the snow melts, it will fill up the river and its tributaries. We won’t have a problem with low water. It should also help keep the water temperature cooler than it has been the last few years which is thought to have been detrimental to our fish runs.

We will be open for occupancy as soon as the possibility of freezing temperatures has passed.  All buildings have been winterized for the winter months.  We are hopeful that we do not have any broken water lines. During late spring or the early part of the summer, although most fishing has not started yet, other than perhaps ice fishing, there are still many things that one can do in the area.

In March, there is a winter king salmon derby in Homer. This is an exciting event and was won last year by a 10 year old boy. The kings are not that big but they still put up a good fight.

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Kenai River Fishing Report

28th Annual Homer Winter King Tournament

The 2022 winter king tournament in Homer will take place on Saturday, April 9, 2022. This one-day tournament presents a welcome break from the snowy days of winter.
This tournament awards tens of thousands of dollars in prize money. The winning king in 2021 weighed just over 25.62 pounds and was caught by a 10 year old boy from Anchorage. This youngster took home over $87,000 including all the side tournaments. The total amount paid out during the 2021 tournament was $208,309. There are random drawings every hour so your chances of winning a prize are fairly good.
Start planning now to participate in this lucrative contest. Who knows, you might be the next winner.

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Kenai River Fishing Report

Halibut Fishing Rules for 2022

The International Halibut Commission has met and set the rules for charter sport fishermen for 2022. The new updated rules are as follows:

There will be no charter halibut fishing on Wednesdays.

There will be no charter halibut fishing on Tuesday, July 26 or on Tuesday,  August 2, 2022.

Charter anglers will be limited to two halibut per day, one any size and one must be under 28”.

There will be no annual limit for charter halibut anglers.

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Kenai River Fishing Report

Kasilof River King Salmon Fishing

The 2022 Kasilof River early-run king salmon sport fishery, beginning when the ice goes out until June 30, will be limited to the harvest of hatchery produced fish only and anglers may only use one single hook or single-hook artificial lure, baited or unbaited. The bag limit is two hatchery fish per day and in possession. All natural king salmon must be released immediately.

The late-run king salmon fishery, July 1 through July 31, allows for harvest of hatchery produced king salmon only and prohibits the retention of natural king salmon from its mouth upstream to the Sterling Highway Bridge. In addition, only one unbaited, single-hook, artificial lure may be used when sport fishing in these waters. The bag limit during the second run is one per day and one in possession.

Anglers are urged to use caution when releasing a king salmon so as not to hurt the fish.

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Kenai River Fishing Report

Kenai River King Salmon

The 2022 Kenai River early-run king salmon season is from the time the river ice goes out through June 30. The preseason projection is for approximately 4,300 large (> 34 inches) king salmon. This projection falls within the optimal escapement goal (OEG) of 3,900 to 6,600 large king salmon. Anglers may fish for and keep king salmon during this time frame but may only use unbaited single hook artificial lure and may not keep fish 34 inches in length or greater. All fish over this length must be released immediately.

Fishing for king salmon beginning July 1 through July 31, 2022, the late run, is limited to catch and release only at this time. The optimum escapement goal for the late run is 15,000 to 30,000 large king salmon. At this time, projections are that <16,000> fish will return. These restrictions are necessary to protect returning king salmon runs to increase fishing opportunities in the future. King salmon of any size may not be retained or possessed, may not be removed from the water, and must be released immediately. Anglers are encouraged to use care when releasing a king salmon.

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World-class Alaska fishing

World-class Alaska fishing for salmon, trout, and halibut coupled with the finest Alaska Fishing lodge on the Kenai River is what you’ll find at Krog’s Kamp. We cater to fishing groups, families, solo travelers and we excel at corporate team building and incentive trips as well. The Kenai River fishing season for Chinook Salmon starts in May with the first run of King Salmon weighing in at an average of 35 pounds. We catch these fish in the salt waters of Cook Inlet as well as in our rivers. The second run of Kings weighing an average of over 50 pounds hits the river in July. This is also when the “hogs” are most likely to be found. The first run of sockeye salmon hits the Kenai River at the beginning of June. These meaty fighters weigh an average of 8 pounds and are considered by many to be the best eating of all the salmon.

The second run of sockeye salmon enters the Kenai in mid-July. These fish are larger weighing an average of 10 pounds. The acrobatic silver salmon begin entering the Kenai River the end of July and are here well into the fall months. Pound for pound, these fish are considered by many to be the best fighters of all the salmon. Kenai fishing charters for halibut include several choices. Ninilchik and Homer both fish the waters of Cook Inlet. The average sized halibut weighs in at around 45-60 pounds but there are many fish caught that weigh in excess of 100 pounds.