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Area Management Biologist
Phone: (907) 235-8191
June 11, 2014
Beginning Friday, June 13, 2014, the Anchor River drainage is closed to sport fishing. In addition, king salmon sport fishing (including catch-and-release) is closed within one statute mile of shore in the salt waters of Cook Inlet south of the latitude of the mouth of the Ninilchik River to the latitude of Bluff Point. King salmon caught while fishing for other fish within the one statute mile of shore may not be removed from the water and must be released immediately. These closures will remain in effect through 11:59 p.m., Monday, June 30, 2014.
Indices of abundance suggest below average run strength trends in recent years for early-run king salmon stocks in lower and upper Kenai Peninsula streams. Sport fishing restrictions to inriver fisheries have been enacted pre-season on Deep Creek and the Anchor, Ninilchik, and Kasilof rivers, and early-run king salmon on the Kenai River in an effort to achieve adequate escapement into these streams.
The sustainable escapement goal for king salmon in the Anchor River is 3,800–10,000 fish. Anchor River king salmon runs have been well below average since 2009. The Anchor River escapement of king salmon through June 9 is 900 fish. Based on the 2009-2013 run timing average, 29% of the escapement was counted by June 9. At this time it is uncertain that the escapement goal for king salmon will be achieved; therefore restrictions are necessary to achieve the spawning escapement goal.
King salmon of Cook Inlet origin generally have a higher probability of being harvested near shore than do king salmon from other locations. Mature king salmon (spawners) also tend to be harvested near shore at a greater rate than immature (non-local) king salmon. Therefore, it is justified to close fishing for king salmon in salt waters within one mile of shore while these locally spawning king salmon migrate through the area and into fresh water.