Kenai River Salmon

The Kenai River is divided into the Upper, Middle, and Lower Kenai. It begins at Kenai Lake and ends in the Cook Inlet, where it empties into the Pacific Ocean. The river is about 82 miles in length and contains many varieties of fish that sports fishermen desire. This has made this river one of the most popular fishing destinations in the state of Alaska.

Kenai River Salmon Fishing


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Different varieties of salmon run through this river, at different times of the year. These are the red salmon, silver salmon, Chinook or King salmon, and the pink salmon. These salmon varieties have two runs a year, with the exception of the pink salmon whose run occurs every other year.The runs for red salmon occur in late in June. Silver salmon return to their spawning grounds at the end of the summer season, specifically the first part of August, and early autumn. Also, they arrive in the latter portion of September. Those wanting to catch larger fish of this variety can do so during the September run.

The Chinook or King salmon is the variety that has contributed greatly to the popularity of the Kenai River among sports fishermen. Although not as many of this variety pass through during their runs, they are generally larger than any other King salmon found in Alaska. In fact, the world’s record catch, which happened in 1985, was accomplished in the Lower Kenai by Les Anderson, coming in at a historic 97.25 pound fish. This variety begins moving up the Kenai River in May, and this continues until the end of July. Most people try to catch them, as they enter through the Cook Inlet.

 

A fourth variety of salmon, the pink salmon, has a run only during even numbered years. This variety makes catching the larger salmon more challenging, as they obstruct attempts at the bigger varieties. They may be fun a fun experience for those who are casual anglers, or those still learning the art. On a good run, one can generally catch dozens of these.

 

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Kenai Trout Fishing

There are other species of fish that may be found on the Kenai. For instance, on the Upper Kenai, Rainbow Trout can be found. This is a species that is about 17 inches long, on the average, with the large ones going up to the 28-inch range. However, the biggest ones of this variety are found in the Middle Kenai. Aside from trout, there are Dolley Varden and many more varieties. Though, there are places where fishing is catch and release only.