Kenai and Kasilof Fishing Season Report for 2023
Kenai/Kasilof 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 Kenai River sonar fish count shows that between 15,000 and 25,000 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.
The Kasilof River sonar fish count shows that between 10,000 and 20,000: May 16th to June 30th, 2 per day/2 in possession, only one (1) may be a wild salmon recognized by the presence of the adipose fin (fish with an adipose fin may be kept only Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays) Average is 97 percent hatchery king/3 percent wild king in the Kasilof: May to June) July 1 to July 31, 1 per day/1 in possession. Wild/natural kings can be kept in July. 100% percent wild/natural king salmon in July. Wild/natural silver can be kept in August and September. There is no hatchery salmon between July and September. Five kings per season.
Kenai/Kasilof 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 7 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/Kasilof 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. Fish for Reds along the banks of the Kenai but bring waders. King of the River will provide the waders and we do provide you with poles and assistance. In 2000’s 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/Kasilof 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 2024, 2026 and 2028 (The Pink runs only on even years. The Silver runs yearly).