Anglers gather along the banks of the Kenai River near Sportsman’s Landing in Cooper Landing in September 2018. (Peninsula Clarion file)

Anglers gather along the banks of the Kenai River near Sportsman’s Landing in Cooper Landing in September 2018. (Peninsula Clarion file)

Sanctuary opens for sockeye sport fishing

The sanctuary opening is effective Thursday, June 24 through 11:59 p.m. on Wednesday on July 14.

The Russian River Sanctuary Area is opening to sockeye salmon fishing for sport fish anglers starting 12:01 a.m. on Thursday, the Alaska Department of Fish and Game announced in a press release.

The sanctuary refers to the convergence of the Russian River into the Kenai, and is often a gathering point for early-run sockeye before they make their way up the Russian River.

The sanctuary opening is effective Thursday, June 24 through 11:59 p.m. on Wednesday on July 14, the release said.

During this time period, anglers are limited to a three-sockeye bag limit and six-sockeye possession limit for fish 16 inches or greater in length. For those sockeye smaller than 16 inches, the bag limit is 10 and the possession limit is 10.

The bag limit refers to fish caught per day, while the possession limit includes all unpreserved fish in an angler’s possession.

From July 15 through Aug. 20, the ADF&G will only allow fly fishing in the sanctuary area.

Additionally, the agency has set limits for both sockeye and coho salmon during this time frame. The bag is three per day, six in possession in combination, of which only one per day, one in possession may be a coho salmon for fish 16 inches or longer. For those less than 16 inches in length, both the bag and possession limits are 10 per day.

ADF&G conducted a stream survey on Monday and estimated that 3,500 fish were currently in the sanctuary area.

“The Russian River early-run looks to be shaping up into an average-sized run and it is likely the escapement goal will be achieved while allowing anglers a little more time to target these fish,” Area Management Biologist Colton Lipka said in the release. “Fishing should improve towards the weekend.”

The ADF&G also reminds anglers of proper fish filleting practices. Carcasses should be removed from clear waters; fish should be cleaned at proper tables at the confluence and ferry crossing; and small fish pieces should be thrown into deep, flowing waters.

For more information, Lipka can be reached at 907-262-9368.

Reach reporter Camille Botello at camille.botello@peninsulaclarion.com.

More in Sports

A banner supporting Olympic swimmer Lydia Jacoby hangs outside of First National Bank Alaska in her hometown of Seward on Saturday, July 24, 2021. (Camille Botello / Peninsula Clarion)
Jacoby strikes gold

Seward swimmer passes world record holder, Olympic record holder in final 50 to win 100 breaststroke

Biologist Daneil Rapp reaches way into a burrow to investigate its contents. (Photo by Sarah Youngren/USFWS)
Refuge Notebook: The life of a biologist

It’s summer in Alaska when the daylight hours are long and nearly… Continue reading

Nick Varney
Reeling ‘Em In: Silvers starting to appear

Silver salmon herald the autumnal equinox — but not just yet.

Volunteer campground hosts meet with Refuge Rangers at Hidden Lake Campground. (Photo by Berkley Bedell/USFWS)
Refuge Notebook: How campers make good neighbors

There’s just something about dinner roasted over an open fire (maybe a… Continue reading

Alaska State Parks logo
Kachemak Bay State Park trails report

Advisory: Trails in Kachemak Bay State Park are rough, with steep grades… Continue reading

Camille Botello reaches the Skyline summit near Cooper Landing, Alaska with dirty ankles on June 27, 2021. (Camille Botello / Peninsula Clarion)
Out of the Office: The view from Skyline

In some ways, the isolation of the pandemic has proved even more… Continue reading

Nick Varney
Reeling ‘Em In: Snooty silvers slipping into the Fishin’ Hole

First run of silvers can be downright insolent, but be patient.

Lisa Stengel of Fort Lauderdale, Florida, weighs a halibut on Monday, July 12, 2021, at Coal Point Seafoods in Homer, Alaska, that she caught with a pole spear while free diving in Kachemak Bay. If verified, the 71.4-pound halibut would be the International Underwater Spearfishing Association world record for a Pacific halibut caught be a woman using a pole spear. (Photo by Michael Armstrong/Homer News)
Florida woman sets record for halibut caught with a pole spear

Stengel speared big halibut while free diving in Kachemak Bay.

A telephoto lens helps capture this photo of a black bear on the Kenai Peninsula while keeping a safe distance. (Photo by C. Canterbury/Kenai National Wildlife Refuge)
Being aware in bear country

I recently got a call from a friend that is a typical… Continue reading

Most Read