Kenai Peninsula Fishing Spots

The Kenai Peninsula is home to the world-famous Kenai River, and many more rivers and lakes ready to be explored. We've broken down some of the best spots to drop your line by location.

If you need gear, talk to our friends at Alaska Outdoor Gear Outfitters & Rentals or The Bait Shack. They'll equip you with all the necessary rods, waders, tackle and more.

Looking for a guided trip? See our list of recommended companies. (Bonus, they'll fillet your catch and help you pack and ship it home!).

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Fishing Spots

Kenai River Access Points

Each head of house­hold is allowed to keep 25 sock­eye salmon per year, and every addi­tion­al mem­ber of the fam­i­ly is enti­tled to 10 fish.

One of the most pop­u­lar areas in the state for dip­net­ters to fish the Kenai Riv­er in the month of July. There’s a large paved park­ing area, and camp­ing is allowed July 10 — 31 dur­ing the sock­eye salmon run. Restrooms available.

Large park­ing area for over 200 vehi­cles and 4 boat ramps. Not a shore fish­ing area.

Locat­ed down Beaver Loop Road, just out­side of Kenai, Cun­ning­ham Park is a great, easy-access loca­tion for sock­eye and sil­ver salmon. The shore­line here is a mix of grav­el and mud, with the mud being more preva­lent below the tidal zone. That said, this spot is very tidal depen­dent, so you’ll have to con­tin­u­al­ly adjust your bait set­up as the water ris­es or falls.

Wad­ing access and boat launch. Grav­el park­ing area and boat launch are both avail­able for a fee. Check web­site for cur­rent rates. This is a small­er park­ing area than some near­by access points for the Kenai Riv­er. Depend­ing on the sea­son can fish for rain­bow trout, dol­ly var­den, salmon (King, Sock­eye, Coho). Check the ADF&G web­site for regulations.

Pop­u­lar loca­tion to fish the Kenai Riv­er from a raised plat­form along the water and to launch boats. Large park­ing area and boat launch are both avail­able for a fee. Check web­site for cur­rent rates. Vault toi­lets. Depend­ing on the sea­son can fish for rain­bow trout, dol­ly var­den, salmon (King, Sock­eye, Coho). Check the ADF&G web­site for regulations.

The most pop­u­lar camp­ground in Sol­dot­na with over 250 camp­sites in a large wood­ed area. And, it’s a fish­er­man’s dream for access­ing the boun­ty of the Kenai Riv­er. There are twen­ty-five sets of stairs to the riv­er, 2 fish­ing plat­forms that are 85 feet long (one is acces­si­ble), and 650 feet of ele­vat­ed boardwalk. 

Sol­dot­na Park, in down­town Sol­dot­na, offers all Kenai Riv­er species — but most peo­ple are here for the sock­eye. That means it can get crowd­ed dur­ing peak sock­eye sea­son, but it’s also a good place to learn how to fish for sock­eye. The com­bi­na­tion of easy acces­si­bil­i­ty, hard-packed grav­el and a shal­low grade make the fish­ing enjoyable.

This spot is par­tic­u­lar­ly good for any­one who’s mobil­i­ty impaired, since you access the riv­er by a flat, met­al board­walk — and the actu­al fish­ing area is also from the board­walk. This makes Moose Mead­ows one of a very few places where anglers can fish for sock­eye with­out hav­ing to be in the water — you can do excel­lent even from a wheel chair.

This spot in Ster­ling — at mile­post 82.3 at the Isaak Wal­ton Camp­ground — is where the Moose Riv­er meets the Kenai Riv­er, and the two rivers’ dif­fer­ing paces are dras­tic. The Moose Riv­er is very slow and wide, with almost no cur­rent — so much so that it feels more like a lake. The Kenai Riv­er, on the oth­er hand, flows fair­ly swift­ly in com­par­i­son, and the con­flu­ence can play strange tricks on your tackle.

Access point to fish the Kenai Riv­er between the Russ­ian Riv­er and Ski­lak Lake. Species found here include trout, dol­ly var­den, and salmon (kings, sock­eye, and sil­vers — depend­ing on time of year). There is a grav­el park­ing area and a boat launch point. Check with Alas­ka Depart­ment of Fish and Game for reg­u­la­tions and limits.

Access point to fish the Russ­ian Riv­er near the con­flu­ence of the Kenai and Russ­ian Rivers in Coop­er Land­ing. It also pro­vides park­ing for anglers using the Russ­ian Riv­er Fer­ry which is right next door. Fish­ing oppor­tu­ni­ties for red (sock­eye) and sil­ver (coho) salmon, as well as dol­ly var­den and rain­bow trout.

If you like to fish, you’ve come to the right place. This is the Kenai/​Russian Riv­er Access and Sports­man­’s Access Site (ADF&G) and the Kenai-Russ­ian Riv­er Fer­ry. The fer­ry takes you across the Kenai Riv­er to the mouth of the famed Russ­ian Riv­er for some of the best fish­ing in Alaska.

The six-room B&B, in a log build­ing, is strict­ly no-frills, but you’ll find clean, com­fort­able rooms with one dou­ble bed and one twin bed. While they may be basic, you won’t find more afford­able lodg­ing in the area — there’s even a con­ti­nen­tal break­fast. It’s the per­fect choice for hard­core fish­er­men and adven­tur­ers who want a warm, clean, afford­able room to return to in the evening. 

Hope & Moose Pass Area

At mile­post 75 of the Seward High­way, you’ll see a large pull­out with a road you can fol­low even fur­ther to access Ingram Creek. Fish­ing for Kings is not allowed, but oth­er salmon, trout, and dol­ly var­den when in sea­son. Check the ADF&G web­site for lim­its and guidelines. 

Res­ur­rec­tion Creek right in down­town Hope offers some of the best pink salmon fish­ing in the region dur­ing the late sum­mer run. Known as a great spot for kids to hook their first salmon.

Upper Sum­mit Lake is one of the most beau­ti­ful views along the Seward high­way. Sum­mit Lake Lodge is at one end, open sea­son­al­ly May through Sep­tem­ber. Behind the lake is Ten­der­foot Creek Camp­ground. Fish­ing avail­able for Dol­ly Var­den and Rain­bow Trout.

Difficulty: Moderate Distance: 3 miles

Mile­post 17.7, Seward High­wayKe­nai Lake offered a flat tree­less path to trav­el in win­ter. This trail was one of two over­land routes to Sun­rise and Hope. (The oth­er over­land route was through Portage Pass.) Min­ers trav­eled by dogsled from Seward to Snow Riv­er and on to Kenai Lake. At the oth­er end of the 17 mile lake, trav­el­ers would fol­low Quartz Creek north through Tur­na­gain Pass along Canyon Creek to the gold rush towns of Sun­rise and Hope.  ...more

16 sites in a wood­ed set­ting. There’s a fam­i­ly friend­ly trail that leads to Ptarmi­gan Lake. It’s a sev­en mile round trip and you’ll see sheep and goats along the way. There’s also good trout and Dol­ly Var­den fish­ing, so bring your gear.

91-site camp­ground for tents and RVs (no hook-ups). There’s a side-road that will take you to Kenai Lake, which has great trout fish­ing. The Kenai Riv­er has rain­bow and Dol­ly Var­den all through the summer.

8 site RV park and camp­ground (no hook-ups) next to Kenai Lake, man­aged by the Chugach Nation­al For­est. Near­by hik­ing trail is the 7.5 mile Prim­rose Trail to Lost Lake. Boat tramp and toi­lets. Anglers can fish for dol­ly var­den, lake trout and rain­bow trout. Check with ADF&G for cur­rent fish­ing regulations.  ...more

Seward Area

Great lake fish­ing near Seward for Dol­ly Var­den. Accord­ing to the Alas­ka Depart­ment of Fish & Game, fish­ing is best mid-May through ear­ly June and again in August and Sep­tem­ber. This lake is also a pop­u­lar ice fish­ing spot dur­ing the win­ter months.

Difficulty: Easy Distance: 1 mile

These pop­u­lar trails lead to two beau­ti­ful, pris­tine lakes. Even bet­ter, they’re both easy hikes, which makes them per­fect for peo­ple of all ages. Bring a fish­ing pole and angle for stocked trout in Merid­i­an Lake or grayling in Grayling Lake.

Difficulty: Difficult

This trail is also called the Prim­rose trail at the north end. It begins in a beau­ti­ful rain­for­est and even­tu­al­ly takes you up to a mul­ti­ple of beau­ti­ful lakes in high mead­ows. Anglers can fish for rain­bow trout in the lake.

This is a great spot to fish for Dol­ly Var­den begin­ning in August.

Cooper Landing & Skilak Lake Area

Small camp­ground with 9 camp­sites in the Chugach Nation­al For­est. All sites are first-come, first-served. Fish­ing for Dol­ly Var­den is great in Cres­cent Creek.

Quartz Creek camp­ground is sit­u­at­ed on the banks of sparkling Kenai Lake. This is a great spot to cool off on a hot day. Kenai Lake has a good sandy swim­ming beach and a trail that fol­lows along near­by Quartz Creek. Cast your line for some awe­some fly-fish­ing at the creek or look for the near­by horse sta­ble for a scenic ride. 

The six-room B&B, in a log build­ing, is strict­ly no-frills, but you’ll find clean, com­fort­able rooms with one dou­ble bed and one twin bed. While they may be basic, you won’t find more afford­able lodg­ing in the area — there’s even a con­ti­nen­tal break­fast. It’s the per­fect choice for hard­core fish­er­men and adven­tur­ers who want a warm, clean, afford­able room to return to in the evening. 

View­ing is easy due to the all-acc­ces­si­ble view­ing plat­form and stream­side trail. Sock­eye, chum, pink, and sil­ver salmon will be vis­i­ble August — November

Small camp­ground with an open park­ing area on the shores of Kel­ly Lake. Great, qui­et spot to choose if you have a kayak or canoe, or want to fish for trout.

Small, 3‑site camp­ground, tucked away from the noise of the Ster­ling High­way on the qui­et shore of Wat­son Lake. Bring your kayak or canoe and fish for rain­bow trout.

Camp out at this qui­et, clear­wa­ter lake, along Ski­lak Lake Road in the Kenai Nation­al Wildlife Refuge, where glac­i­ers once stood over 2,000 feet tall. There’s oppor­tu­ni­ties for fish­ing (and a boat launch) and a pic­nic area along the shore. All camp­sites are avail­able on a first-come, first served basis. 

Small, 3‑site, free camp­ground acces­si­ble via Ski­lak Lake Road. There are toi­lets and a rough boat launch. Anglers can fish for dol­ly var­den and rain­bow trout. Check with ADF&G for cur­rent regulations.

Small, free camp­ground acces­si­ble from Ski­lak Lake Road with 3 sites. Anglers can fish for Dol­ly Var­den and land­locked salmon.

Check out this salmon-friend­ly habi­tat and learn why so many salmon spawn here annually. 

Small, water­front camp­ground on the shores of shim­mer­ing Ski­lak Lake. There’s a boat launch and fish­ing. Refer to ADF&G for regulations.

Kenai / Soldotna Area

Fish for rain­bow trout on Bar­bara Lake. There’s a boat launch on the south side of the lake off Pipeline Dri­ve, and a park­ing pad (room for about 3 vehi­cles) and walk­ing path to the lake on the north side off Bal­lard Drive. 

Difficulty: Easy

The trail is half a mile long and takes you through a mature birch for­est that is car­pet­ed with dev­il’s club and water­mel­on berry plants. It’s an easy walk­ing, ide­al for small chil­dren, and ends at a small camp­ing area on a slight bluff that over­looks Bish­op’s Beach and Bish­op Creek.

The Stormy Lake boat launch and day use area is locat­ed with­in the Cap­tain Cook State Recre­ation Area. Anglers can fish for rain­bow trout and Arc­tic Char in Stormy Lake. There’s a pic­nic shel­ter, water, and toi­lets avail­able on site.

Small camp­ground with 3 sites in the Kenai Nation­al Wildlife Refuge. Access to Swan­son riv­er and fish­ing for rain­bow trout, dol­ly var­den, and a small run of sil­ver salmon (mid-Sep­tem­ber). Vault toi­lets and boat launch.

Small, free, 12 site camp­ground in the Kenai Nation­al Wildlife Refuge. Fish in Dol­ly Var­den Lake for Dol­ly Var­den and Rain­bow trout.

Small road­side camp­ground along Swan Lake Road in the Kenai Nation­al Wildlife Refuge. 2 camp­sites and vault toi­let. Fish lake stocked with Arc­tic Char. 

Dur­ing the sum­mer months it’s a great spot for canoe­ing, kayak­ing, pad­dle board­ing, even pad­dle­board yoga. The cold­er months are just as live­ly as the warmer ones. There’s a skat­ing loop on the lake’s perime­ter, as well as sev­er­al skat­ing areas on the lake. The City offers free pub­lic skates Sat­ur­day after­noons, ice con­di­tions depen­dent, Decem­ber through February.

Pop­u­lar lake due to its close prox­im­i­ty to Sol­dot­na to fish for rain­bow trout and coho salmon. There’s also a boat launch, and on sun­ny sum­mer days locals will be kayak­ing, boat­ing, jet ski­ing, and tub­ing. There’s a paved park­ing area.

Day use area for fish­ing (stocked rain­bow trout and coho) and trail access, with pic­nic shel­ter and toi­lets. Access is just off the Ster­ling High­way and W Scout Lake Loop Road.

Kasilof to Anchor Point

Kasilof Riv­er per­son­al use salmon fish­ery. Per­mit and fish­ing license required. Dip­net­ting avail­able to Alas­ka res­i­dents. Con­firm sea­son with ADF&G.

This is a pop­u­lar boat launch for drift boaters fish­ing for king salmon. The Kasilof Riv­er red salmon dip­net fish­ery is here, but only open to Alas­ka res­i­dents. It’s worth a look if you’ve nev­er seen dip­net­ters in action before. There are 16 camp­sites, water, tables, toi­lets, hik­ing trails, a boat launch and fishing.

48 camp­sites by John­son Lake, a pop­u­lar lake for pad­dling and fish­ing for rain­bow trout in Kasilof, just south of Sol­dot­na. There’s also a day-use pic­nic area. Some camp­sites can be reserved in advance. 

Access Cen­ten­ni­al Lake by dri­ving Tuste­me­na Lake Road. There’s a sign for the lake on the left-hand side. There’s a sandy beach area and some spaces to park a vehi­cle or RV. There are no restrooms. The lake is stocked with land-locked salmon and rain­bow trout.

King salmon enter dur­ing late-May and ear­ly-June and there are always some fish spawn­ing in areas near the high­way dur­ing ear­ly-July. Wear polar­ized glass­es if you have them and watch for dark red kings in the rif­fles and deep­er holes. A very lim­it­ed fish­ing sea­son is avail­able on these streams dur­ing the ear­ly sum­mer for both salmon and steelhead.

King salmon enter Deep Creek dur­ing late May and ear­ly June and con­tin­ue to spawn into ear­ly July. Watch for their dark red bod­ies in the rif­fles and deep­er holes. A very lim­it­ed fish­ing sea­son is pro­vid­ed dur­ing the ear­ly sum­mer for kings and steelheads.

Homer Area

Although this can be a busy spot, it is a lot less con­gest­ed than the Homer Spit. Things to do here include: tak­ing small day hikes, pad­dling in the lagoon, camp­ing, stay­ing at one of the three near­by pub­lic use cab­ins, and the most pop­u­lar, fish­ing for Kings dur­ing the month of June.

Locat­ed towards the head of Tut­ka Bay on the north side is Tut­ka Bay Falls. The beach in front of the falls is a good spot for clam dig­ging, pink salmon fish­ing and just loung­ing around. Explore along the trail that par­al­lels the water­fall and take a back­coun­try show­er in one of the pools. Be cour­te­ous of pri­vate prop­er­ty in this area.

The Nick Dudi­ak Fish­ing Lagoon (aka The Fish­ing Hole) is a pop­u­lar park with both locals and vis­i­tors. The lagoon is stocked with fry that grow up to pro­vide sport fish­ing. The fish­ing hole has a hand­i­capped acces­si­ble plat­form and ramp. King salmon return mid-May to ear­ly July fol­lowed by an ear­ly run of sil­vers mid-July to ear­ly August and a late run ear­ly August to mid-September.

Difficulty: Moderate Distance: 11 miles

This easy trail winds along the banks of three lakes. There is a camp­ing area on the side of the trail. The trail climbs a sad­dle and drops down into the val­ley. It can be dan­ger­ous to cross the rivers, as they are glac­i­er-fed and you can­not see the bot­tom. The rivers are low­er dur­ing the begin­ning of the year, but they are also colder.

This is one of the few spots along the road sys­tem where you might catch hal­ibut from the shore. Check out the beach, which sur­rounds the Land’s End Hotel, on the Homer Spit. Here, you’ll find a small park­ing lot, and the water’s only about 100 feet away.