Kenai Fishing Season Report for 2016
Kenai King Salmon Run:
The Kenai is home to the world’s largest salmon with the record weighing in at 97.4 lbs. Perhaps you will be the one to break the 100 lb. record. The King Salmon Derby in local Soldotna provides the chance to win a $50,000 first prize for landing the next world record.
The Kenai River sonar fish count shows that between 40,000 to 45,000 Kings pass through in July during the second run. Late May and June show a slightly smaller run. The King bag limit is one per day or two for the season on the Kenai. You can catch more Kings from other rivers in Alaska.
Kenai Silver Salmon Run:
Silver Salmon is considered the “residents choice” and is known for its fighting spirit. A Silver averages from 10-13 lbs. Their run usually starts the first of August. My clients landed 5 Silvers over 17 lbs each, many over 16 lbs each, and plenty of 15 lbs each. Silver salmon fishing tends to be more relaxing than fishing for Kings and the daily bag limit for Silvers now stands at 2. For September, the daily bag limit for Silvers now stands at 3.
Kenai Red Salmon Run:
These are reputed to be the best for eating and smoking. Sockeyes can weigh up to 12 lbs. Fish for these from mid-July to early August. You do not need a boat. Fish for Reds along the banks of the Kenai but bring waders. You can rent waders and poles locally. Or I can provide you with poles and assistance. In 1987 over 2 million Reds entered the river within two weeks. The yearly average during mid-July of Reds swimming into the Kenai ranges from 500,000 to 1.5 million and can last for several weeks. The daily bag limit for Sockeye Salmon now stands at 3 or 6 except for the Russian River where the daily limit at this time is three.
Kenai Pink Salmon Run:
Also called the Humpback, these salmon make their annual run into lower Kenai with the heaviest runs during the even years. They weigh up to 10 lbs. and can be fished for, along with Silvers, during August. Pink Salmon give the angler plenty of action for their size. You can double your fishing pleasure by fishing for Pinks and Silvers at the same time. During August a party of four from Connecticut landed 24 pinks in less than an hour and a half. The next best years for pinks will be 2016, 2018, and 2020 (The Pinks run only on even years.)