The Kenai River regulations are released each spring by the Alaska Department of Fish and game for the upcoming season. Our latest installment came out this April and I am glad to share this information with you here. We’ve often joked that the Alaska Department of Fish and Game makes the Kenai regs read a bit like a choose your own ending comic book! They are definitely good to go through and over before you venture out on our wonderful Alaska waters. There are different sections for the different sections of the Kenai, the Upper Kenai, the Middle Kenai, and the Lower Kenai. Review any and all sections as needed, but here are some important takeaways for the Upper Kenai River where we mostly fish.
Upper Kenai River Fishing Regulations
- The Upper Kenai River is closed to King Salmon fishing, always. The Upper Kenai waters are their prime spawning grounds, so we do not target kings here. Click here for a little note from us about Kenai River King salmon fishing in general.
- The Upper Kenai River is closed to all fishing May 1- June 10. That means that June 11th is the holy, exciting, celebrated “opening day” when the fishing magic happens.
- There are tackle restrictions: Only one unbaited, single hook, artificial lure or fly is allowed year-round. The gap between point and shank must be ⅜ inch or less. In flowing waters, beads fished ahead of flies, lures, or bare hooks must be fixed within 2 inches of the hook or be free to slide on the entire length of the line or leader.
- There are more tackle restrictions: A section of the Upper Kenai near the Russian River confluence is “fly-fishing only”, definitely a good thing to study in the regulations if you are not familiar.
- And many more! To really get the scoop on the rest of seasons and limits you really must delve in and look around. Enjoy perusing the document.
Fear not, when you are on a Kenai River guided fishing trip with us, we will keep you on the right side of all the laws. To our friends and neighbors, it’s never a bad idea to brush up on this information again before you hit the water this season. We can’t wait to see you all on the river. Happy fishing!