Kenai River and Kasilof River Fishing Update: Navigating New Management Policies

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At Kenai Fly Fish, we’re committed to keeping you informed about the latest developments in fishing regulations and management plans that impact your adventures with us. The Alaska Board of Fisheries recently implemented new management policies for the Kenai River king salmon, introducing changes that will shape our fishing trips in the upcoming seasons. While these adjustments aim to conserve the declining king salmon population, it’s important to clarify how they influence our summer fishing excursions and highlight the continued opportunities on the Kasilof River.

What’s Changing?

The late-run king salmon of the Kenai River are now designated as a stock of concern, leading to a revised management plan with several key changes:

  • Increased Sockeye Bag Limits: For those fishing in the Kenai River, there’s a silver lining with the doubling of sockeye salmon bag limits. This adjustment allows anglers to enjoy fruitful sockeye salmon fishing, ensuring thrilling experiences despite the king salmon restrictions.
  • Commercial Setnet Fishing Impacts: The commercial setnet fishing, primarily off the east side of Cook Inlet, faces a likely closure for the foreseeable future. This measure aims to reduce the bycatch of king salmon, providing them a better chance to reach their spawning grounds.

How This Affects Your Fishing Trip with Kenai Fly Fish

While these changes are significant, it’s crucial to understand their impact on our guided fishing trips:

  • Kenai River Adventures: The conservation measures primarily affect king salmon fishing. However, our Kenai River trips remain an exhilarating option for targeting sockeye salmon, with the new regulations allowing for a more generous catch. Additionally, our excursions offer the chance to fish for rainbow trout and Dolly Varden, ensuring a diverse and rewarding fishing experience.
  • Kasilof River Opportunities: The good news is that the Kasilof River, known for its king salmon runs, remains open for fishing. This presents a fantastic opportunity for anglers looking to catch the majestic kings. Our guided trips on the Kasilof will continue to provide unforgettable experiences, with careful adherence to conservation practices ensuring the sustainability of the fishery.

Commitment to Sustainable Fishing

At Kenai Fly Fish, our priority is not only to provide an exceptional fishing adventure but also to support the health and sustainability of Alaska’s fish populations. We’re adapting our practices to align with the new regulations, emphasizing ethical fishing methods and conservation-minded approaches. Our experienced guides are here to navigate these changes, ensuring that your fishing trip is productive, enjoyable, and respectful of the environment.

Looking Ahead

We understand that part of the allure of fishing in Alaska is the chance to connect with nature and pursue some of the most sought-after fish species in the world. Despite the new challenges, Kenai Fly Fish is dedicated to delivering top-notch fishing adventures on the Kenai and Kasilof Rivers. With the Kasilof’s king salmon fishery open and the enhanced opportunities for sockeye on the Kenai, we’re excited to guide you through these magnificent waters.

Stay tuned to Kenai Fly Fish for further updates, and feel free to reach out with any questions or to plan your next fishing trip. Together, we’ll continue to celebrate the rich fishing traditions of Alaska, exploring its rivers responsibly and with great enthusiasm.


Kenai River Fish Species

Rainbow Trout

Kenai River rainbows can be well over 30 inches and up to 20lbs!

Dolly Varden Char

Dollies range of all sizes and can reach up to about 12 lbs.


Steelhead are very uniform in shape and average around 28 inches. These amazing, acrobatic fish are often a fly fisherman’s favorite to target.

King Salmon

The Kenai River is open to motorized boats, allowing us chase the bite, and stay on the fish!

Sockeye Salmon

Sockeye salmon (also called red salmon) are the most popular salmon to catch on the Kenai Peninsula.

Coho Salmon

Ranging anywhere from 5-20lbs, coho are acrobatic and are probably the most aggressive salmon out there.

Pink Salmon

Pinks are completely underrated, they are extremely aggressive to catch and come in by the millions!


Guided ocean fishing on the world-famous Kenai Peninsula