As the Alaska's state fish, the Chinook or king salmon is abundant in the state's waters and is also the largest of all Pacific salmon. According to the Alaska Department of Fish and Game, Chinook salmon is likely the most highly prized game fish in the state. Anglers can find this well-coveted anadromous fish in many regions throughout Alaska.
Kenai River is in the Kenai Peninsula at the south central part of the state. This river runs 82 miles through the Kenai National Wildlife Refuge and Skilak Lake. The sport fishing world record for king salmon was taken from the Kenai River in 1986, weighing 97.4 lbs. In addition to king salmon, the Kenai Peninsula waters also support annual runs of sockeye and silver salmon.
The king salmon fishing season at the lower Kenai River mainstem is open from January 1 to July 31 with a possession limit of one per day. All other areas of the Kenai River are closed for king salmon fishing. Always check with the Department of Alaska Fish and Game for the most current fishing regulations.
Kasilof River is in the Kenai Peninsula flowing westward towards the Cook Inlet in south central Alaska. The first king salmon run starts from early May until June. The second run begins to enter the river in late June and towards the end of July. King salmon ranges from 30 to 60 lbs in Kasilof.
For king salmon fish measuring 20 inches in length or more, open season starts from January 1st to June 30 with a daily possession limit of two fish per day. From July 1 to July 31, the possession limit is one per day. For king salmon that measures 20 inches or less, open season is from January 1 to July 31 with a possession limit of 10 fish per day.
Nushagak River is at the southwest part of the state and begins in the Alaska Range. This river system runs over 200 miles. According to the Nushagak Paradise Lodge, approximately 200,000 Chinook or king salmon enter the river each year in June and July. Aside from king salmon, the river is also home to other salmon species including sockeye, chum, coho and pink.
King salmon fishing at the Nushagak River drainage is open from May 1st to July 31st with a daily limit of two fish per day. Additionally, anglers are allowed a yearly limit of four king salmon measured over 20 inches taken from the entire Nushagak or Mulchatna drainage.
Article Written By Rona Aquino
Rona Aquino began writing professionally in 2008. As an avid marathon runner and outdoor enthusiast, she writes on topics of running, fitness and outdoor recreation for various publications. Aquino holds a Bachelor of Arts in communications and English from the University of Maryland College Park.