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Local  Fishing Information

Fishing is one of the most favorite pastimes of visitors who travel here. There are many species of fish that frequent the Kenai River watershed and can be seen on your adventures. Five of the most well known are listed below.

Remember to purchase your fishing license and review regulations before heading out! 

Sockeye Salmon (Oncorhynchus nerka)

The Sockeye, or Red Salmon, is the most coveted fish on the Kenai River. This Pacific Salmon species can measure up to 31 inches in length and can weigh up to 15 pounds.  They earned the name “Red” from the distinctive red color their bodies change during spawning season. Sockeyes return to the Kenai River to breed during the summer months. The best times to fish for this species is between June 11 and August 10th.  

Coho Salmon (Oncorhynchus kisutch)

The Coho, or Silver Salmon, is a great game fish and returns to the Upper Kenai in late August. Like all Pacific salmon, they are anadromous, spending their lives in both fresh and salt water. On average, Silvers are 30 inches long and weigh up to 12 pounds.  

Chinook Salmon (Oncorhynchus tshawytscha)

The Chinook, or King Salmon, is the largest of all Pacific salmon. On average, they measure 36 inches in length and can weigh over 30 pounds.On the Kenai Peninsula, King Salmon fishing begins in May and continues through July.  King fishing is only done on the middle and lower section of the Kenai River. It is a hour drive from Cooper Landing to the locations where King fishing is permitted. 

Rainbow Trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss)

Fishing for Rainbow Trout on the Kenai River is world-renowned. Rainbow are one species that can be found in the Kenai River year round.  Here they can grow up to 45 inches long and weigh up to 55 pounds. 

Dolly Varden (Salvelinus malma)

Another fun fish found in the Kenai River is the Dolly Varden. This species is part of the Char family and can grow up to 30 inches in length and weigh up to 27 pounds. Dolly Varden are anadromous, but unlike pacific salmon they are able to spawn several times throughout their lifespan.

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Your Catch and Getting it Home

Now, that you've caught a Salmon you have several options for taking it home. But first please gut and clean your fish on the river.


We sell fish boxes in our General Store and are happy to help you figure out the best way to ship your catch home. We also provide free freezer storage space for our motel guests. 

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