Many of you have heard of the emergency closure affecting king salmon fishing on the Kenai River that was announced this past Friday. We feel really bad about the status of the Kenai – it’s an incredible river, and we and lots of our friends love fishing there.
The closure of the Kenai does not affect us on the Kanektok and Arolik Rivers. Our drainages are in a completely different region of Alaska, and are managed (appropriately) in a very different manner than those in Southcentral Alaska.
- The Kenai River is located on the Kenai Peninsula in Southcentral Alaska, with easy road access to the biggest population center in the state and heavy commercial fishing pressure, and it drains into the Gulf of Alaska.
- The Kanektok River is located 375 miles away in remote Western Alaska with no road access and negligible commercial fishing pressure, and it drains right into the Bering Sea.
- The Kenai and the Kanektok have about as much in common as the Fraser River in British Columbia and the Hoh River on the Olympic Peninsula in Washington – except for the fact that the Fraser and the Hoh are only 120 miles apart.
- Lots of rivers in Alaska are open for king salmon right now!
As far as we can tell, it’s business as usual for us at Alaska West. The Kanektok is in great shape, and our friends in Quinhagak started catching kings this year right on schedule. Our guide staff rarely encounters kings before our guests arrive; multiple guides are getting big yanks each day right now, and our guests don’t show up until Friday.
So while we’re really bummed for our friends who like chasing kings on the Kenai, we’re as excited as ever about our upcoming season on the Kanektok and Arolik Rivers. We’ll keep you posted – and we do have a few last-minute spots for kings on the Kanektok if you’ve got the itch.