One of the things that makes fishing the Kenai Peninsula so popular is the high level of accessibility to a wide number of rivers and fisheries. All connected by a major road system. The Anchor River is no exception. The Anchor River, like many of the Kenai Peninsula’s rivers, is accessible via the Sterling Highway. The Anchor River is located just north of Homer and just south of Ninilchik
While the silver salmon are not counted on this river, they begin showing up at the end of July but will peak like the other rivers in the state, after mid-August and into early September. During peak days, when the water level is lower, you can literally see the pushes of fish coming upstream.
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Anchor River King Salmon Fish Counts
The Anchor River is certainly well known for its king salmon run. However, it also sees strong runs of silver salmon and resident Dolly Varden. It’s also really well known for its Steelhead run. The Anchor River makes for a really great day of wading and fishing with good access via the Sterling Highway. It’s a fantastic way to explore a fishery and take a break from the Kenai River, Kasilof River, and Russian River.
The Anchor River is one of Alaska’s best steelhead fisheries with road access.
Anchor River Daily Fish Counts
The Anchor River king salmon run begins in late May and peaks during the second week in June and the 4th of July weekend. As you can see from the chart these fish come in on spurts and so fishing can be quite different from one day to the next.
The Anchor River can be a great place to catch a big Alaska king salmon. If you get lucky and manage the timing correctly it’s possible to catch several Anchor River king salmon in an afternoon.
With great road access, more than 150 camping spots, a beautiful river, and big King Salmon this is a great fishing destination. As many as 200 king salmon can make their way up this river each day. In 2015, 650 King salmon came up the river in a single day. This rivals even some of the best days of fishing on the Kenai River.
Anchor River King Salmon Escapements
The Anchor River has a very popular King Salmon run. Because of the popularity of this river, the campground nearby, and the easy road access this fishery can see a lot of angling pressure and is therefore managed very carefully by the Alaska Department of Fish and Game.
Each year, on average, the minimum escapement goal of 4,000 Anchor River king salmon is achieved around July 11th.
Anchor River King Salmon Fish Counts -Weir Location
Weirs are installed on the South and North forks of the Anchor River in early May to begin monitoring Chinook salmon, coho salmon, and steelhead escapement through the fall. The South fork weir is located at river mile 2.5 and the North fork weir is located at river mile 3.4. Both weirs are located above the salmon sport fishery area, which ends at an ADFG marker approximately 200 yards upstream of the Old Sterling Highway Bridge.
An underwater video system is installed within each floating resistance board weir and motion-detected fish passage is recorded 24 hours per day. High spring flows prevents the installation of the South Fork floating weir in most years, so a partial fixed-picket weir with sonar is used until flows subside around the end of May.
Kenai Peninsula Fish Counts
Want to know more about the fish counts on the Kenai Peninsula? Follow the links below to learn about the fish counts and when to fish all of the Kenai Peninsula’s major rivers and salmon species. Kenai River King Salmon (early run / late run), Kenai River Sockeye Run, Russian River Sockeye (early-late), Anchor River Chinook, Ninilchik River Chinook, Deep Creek Chinook