Category Archives: Fun Trips

Russian River Sockeye Fishing

In early June, the first run of Sockeye (Red) salmon come into the Kenai River to head to the confluence of the Kenai and the Russian Rivers. Thousands of these salmon will congregate in about two miles of the Kenai river waiting for some signal to enter the Russian river and make their way up the river to the Russian Lake where they will spawn and die.

Fishermen and women from all over the world know of this annual event and gather on the banks of the Kenai to participate. So many in fact that they line up elbow to elbow to catch these tasty, elusive salmon and it has become known as ‘Combat Fishing’. The National Parks have built a park and a Ferry at this confluence of the rivers and each year during this event, ferry anxious fishermen across the river to catch these tasty salmon.

Russian Lake
Russian River Falls

Combat Fishing
Russian River
Russian River Ferry
Combat Fishing

Old Russian Orthodox Churches

On the Sterling Highway south of Kasilof RV Park is the small village of old Ninilichik. This was originally a Russian fishing village and today is still predominately associated with fishing. There is a small boat harbor built for the commercial salmon ships.

On the bluff above the village stands the Russian Orthodox Church and cemetery. The church was built in the 1800s and has been in use since. From the top of the bluff you have a beautiful view of the Alaska Range of mountains including Redoubt and Ilimana, both dormant volcanoes. Cook Inlet with it’s huge salmon runs and Halibut populations extend both directions.
Russian Orthodox Cemetary

In the city of Kenai is another old Russian Orthodox Church. It was originally built in the 1800s and rebuilt again after a fire destroyed it. The church is also still in use and unlike the church in Ninilichik, the Kenai church has certain times that the priest will open the church to the public and give lectures on it’s history and function. There are still several Russian communities on the Kenai Peninsula including a large one east of Homer.

Ninilichik Villiage
Ninilichik Beach

 

Ninilichik Russian Church
Russian Orthodox Church
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Russian Orthodox Church interior
Kenai Russian Priest