Russian River Sockeye Fishing   
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Camping & Day Use at the Russian River

The Russian River - Kenai River confluence area is on National Forest land and therefore is managed by the U.S. Forest Service. The area falls under the User Fees program for camping as well as day use parking and use of the boat ramp facilities. Concessionaires contract out for the management of the campground area and the "Ferry system" which provides access across the Kenai River from the Sterling Highway.

The campground along the Russian River is one of the most organized and well laid out units in Alaska.

  • 80 campsites
  • All 80 of these are RV suitable and paved.
  • Drinking water, vault toilets, Dump Station
  • Fee Area - Maximum stay 3 Days
  • Two Day-Use Parking Areas are provided. User Fee required.
    • Grayling day use parking area can accommodate 30 vehicles
    • Pink Salmon day use parking area can accommodate 68 vehicles
    • Day Use Parking is limited to 12 hours per vehicle. No exceptions!
  • Russian Lakes Trailhead parking can handle perhaps a dozen vehicles.
  • Several foot trails for hikers along Russian River, to viewing platform at Russian Falls, to both Russian lakes and Barber Cabin.

The campground is located along the Russian River itself and affords the visitor the opportunity to fish the clear waters of the river and observe the fish you are trying for. The river is of modest size and during most years is easily wadable using hip boots or waders. Access from the campground to the river uses several stairway structures along the embankment overlooking the river valley.

A toll-free Reservation Service is now available for those wanting to make plans in advance for your camping arrangements. This is often a very good idea during the peak periods of each run. Remember that the campground has a maximum stay of 3 Days so pick your days well. See the later section on run timing and peak dates for these fisheries.

Russian River Campground Reservations Hotline
1-877-444-6777

Online Reservations at ReserveAMERICA.com

The Kenai River Ferry Crossing operation is the other access location to this fishery. The "ferry" is a barge-like boat tethered to a cable stretched across the Kenai River just downstream from the mouth of the Russian River. Anglers who travel to this area to fish for just a few hours most often choose the Ferry Crossing for the most successful fishing efforts in the shortest amount of time. The parking area and ferry dock are located on the Sterling Highway side of the Kenai River.

A Parking Fee is required and there is a per person charge for use of the ferry for crossing the river. Life jackets are provided for all occupants and the law requires all children 12 and under must wear a life jacket when on the Kenai River in any watercraft. The crossing only takes a minute or two.

Throughout the season the ferry operating hours are 6AM to 11PM, seven days a week. The Coast Guard restricts the ferry operation to these daylight hours.


Page 1...Rushin' To The Russian - Intro

Page 2...Location & Access

Page 3...Camping & Day Use Facilities, Reservations

Page 4...Tackle, Techniques, Bag Limits & Safety Tips

Page 5...Setting Your Clock & Calendar


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