Division of Sport Fish
Tom Taube, Acting Director

Anchorage Headquarters Office
333 Raspberry Road
Anchorage, AK 99518

Alaska Department of Fish and Game
Doug Vincent-Lang, Commissioner

P.O. Box 115526
Juneau, AK 99811-5526

Advisory Announcement
(Released: March 02, 2023 - Expired: October 31, 2023)

CONTACT: Mike Booz
Area Management Biologist
(907) 235-8191

Changes to King Salmon Limits and Gear in the Ninilchik River

(Homer) - The Alaska Department of Fish and Game (ADF&G) is modifying the bag and possession limits of king salmon and legal gear in the Ninilchik River. For king salmon 20 inches or greater in length, the bag and possession limits will increase from one fish to two hatchery king salmon. The bag and possession limits for king salmon under 20 inches will be restricted to 10 hatchery king salmon. The use of bait is allowed but gear is restricted to one single-hook. Hatchery king salmon are recognized by a missing adipose fin and healed adipose fin clip scar. All naturally-produced or wild king salmon have an adipose fin, may not be removed from the water, and must be released immediately. The gear restrictions are effective from 12:01 a.m. Saturday, May 27 through 11:59 p.m., Saturday July 15, 2023. The bag and possession limits are effective 12:01 a.m. Saturday, May 27 through 11:59 p.m. Tuesday, October 31, 2023.

The Ninilchik River will be open to sport fishing during the Memorial Day weekend (May 27 – 29), and the following two weekends and Mondays following each weekend (June 3 – 5 and June 10 – 12), the Youth-Only Fishery (June 7), and continuously seven days a week starting June 16. All other Ninilchik River sport fishing regulations are outlined in the 2023 Southcentral Alaska Sport Fishing Regulations Summary booklet (available March 2023). The Ninilchik River king salmon escapement will be monitored starting in early May and will be used to assess if any further regulation changes are needed inseason.

“Based on the stocking level and recent return of these hatchery fish, we are expecting good numbers of hatchery king salmon this season,” stated Area Management Biologist Mike Booz. “Like other Cook Inlet stocks, the wild component in the Ninilchik River will likely be below average but hopefully strong enough to make the escapement goal and provide enough broodstock to support the 2024 stocking.”

In conjunction with this closure, Emergency Order 2-KS-7-15-23 closes Upper Cook Inlet salt waters to king salmon fishing, Emergency Order 2-KS-7-13-23 closes the Anchor River and Deep Creek to all sport fishing through July 15, Emergency Order 2-KS-1-10-23 closes the Kenai River early-run king salmon fishery, and Emergency Order 2-KS-2-05-23 closes the Deshka River to king salmon fishing. Additionally, emergency orders restricting other king salmon fisheries in Susitna River, Northern Cook Inlet, and West Cook Inlet areas have been issued. Please review these emergency orders and advisory announcements in their entirety for the specific regulatory changes.

For additional information, please contact Area Management Biologist Mike Booz or Assistant Area Management Biologist Holly Dickson at 907-235-8191.