Salmon Frenzy in Soldotna, Alaska

We arrived at Soldotna in the midst of the salmon frenzy. Mid-July happens to be the the second salmon run for King Salmon (Chinook) and Red Salmom (Sockeye).  Fishing seems to be on everyone’s mind for locals as well as tourists, as you see them swarming along the banks and in Kenai the river.  Steve reported that the hardware/fishing supplies store was jam-packed with folks buying gear, and it seemed like every boat was heading to/from a launch loaded with supplies.  Most anglers and tourists alike are here,  since  Soldotna is the central hub of the Kenai Peninsula and home of the World Record King Salmon caught, at 97.4 lbs.

Kenair River Salmon Fishing
Locals and Tourist alike are fishing on the river.
Soldotna Fishing Salmon
Watching the fishermen at play
Kenai River
View from the bridge

Fishing regulations are complicated and well regulated.  You can only fish during a certain period of time, at certain river locations and for a certain species of Salmon in particular.  You have to know the fish you catch and know when to throw it back in case you got the wrong one.  Fishing in the Kenai river is extremely popular and on these days quite crowded.  The glacially turbid streams flowing into the Kenai river support the largest recreational fishery in Alaska.

Salmon Fishing in AK
Catch of the day.
Fish Cleaning by the river, there is a rule for that too!
Mt Redoubt
At the mouth of Kenai River.


It’s fun to watch the beautiful fish being reeled in, and even for “non-fisherpeople” like us it can be exciting.  We are considering scheduling a salmon tour during our stay in this area.  We still have plenty of time to do it, and our freezer is pretty small so we may have to eat fish for every meal – not a problem!  We’re getting spoiled on the best salmon you can imagine, and we’re afraid  of how much we will miss it while sitting in the desert during the winter months.  Oh well, by then we will have switched our diet to fresh scorpions and cactus- yum yum!

Salmon Fishing
Another salmon pulled from the river!
Soldotna's trail
More fishermen across the river.

We really like Soldoltna.  Even though it is very busy during July, it is basically a small town but big enough to have decent stores and services that make life a lot easier.  We took a long bike ride  on their nice paved trails paralleling Kalifornsky Beach road and went all the way to the mouth of the  Kenai river which is about 11 miles away.  There we saw more people fishing for the tasty salmon.  On this ride we caught the first glimpse of the active volcanoes and with nary a cloud.  We were gazing at Mt Spurr, Mt Redoubt and Mt Illiamna, all viewed from the mouth of the Kenai River.  Just beautiful !  We wished the nice sunny weather will hold up for more days to come.

Soldotna's trail
Biking along Soldotna’s trail with Mt Redoubt at the background.
Kenai River.
Lunch at the mouth of the Kenai River.


Mt Redoubt
Mt Redoubt – wow!




  1. Wow, can’t believe how crowded the shoreline is with fisherman. Perhaps we’ll run into you this winter in the desert southwest and partake in some scorpians and catus…lol

    • One of our neighbors in the campground said that it was quite crowded where he was and the people there were very territorial. Everyone had salmon for dinner that night except us 😦
      Looking forward to meet you somewhere in the desert where cactus and scorpions are the headlines.

  2. I could eat salmon everyday. Perhaps you will learn how to catch one during your stay there. Enjoy.

    • Especially the salmon here, really sweet. We buy the catch of the day from the local fish market. Not sure if we will go Salmon fishing, our freezer is full of halibut can’t take anymore fish!

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