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Area Sport Fishing Reports
August 31, 2016
Week of August 29 to September 04
Issued August 31, 2016
Regulation Reminders and Emergency Orders
- On the Anchor and Ninilchik Rivers and Deep and Stariski Creeks only one unbaited, single hook, artificial lures may be used September 1-October 31.
- Please familiarize yourself with the differences between a silver salmon and a steelhead. Steelhead/rainbow trout have black spots all over both lobes of the tail, while silvers have black spots only on the upper lobe of the tail. Steelhead/rainbow trout may not be removed from the water and must be released immediately.
- Lingcod season is open through December 31. Anglers are reminded that the bag and possession limit is 2 fish and the minimum legal size is 35 inches.
Razor Clam Emergency Order
- All Eastside Cook Inlet beaches from the Kenai River to the tip of the Homer Spit are closed to all clam harvest through December 31, 2016.
Tanner Crab Emergency Order
- The Cook Inlet and North Gulf Coast sport, personal use & subsistence Tanner crab fisheries will not open for the 2016-2017 season.
Saltwaters Fishing Report
- Halibut fishing is still possible throughout the fall and into the winter, but few anglers continue to target them as larger halibut have begun their migration offshore and winter storms make for rough seas.
- The best fishing occurs around the slack tide. Herring is the most popular bait, but octopus, squid, salmon heads, and jigs also work well.
- Unguided anglers can retain 2 halibut a day, 4 in possession. Guided anglers should consult federal regulations at: https://alaskafisheries.noaa.gov/fisheries/sport-halibut .
- The department has received a few reports of “mushy” halibut again this season. The flesh of these fish is very soft or flabby, sometimes with pockets of jelly-like tissue, and fish are mushy after being cooked. Experience during years of high prevalence of this condition (1998, 2005, 2011-12) shows that the incidence of these fish can be high for anglers fishing certain locales, so if you catch a fish that feels flabby or does not look as robust and rounded as a healthy halibut should, release it immediately unharmed and consider moving to a different area to avoid these fish. Department research on this condition is ongoing.
Feeder king salmon fishing in Kachemak Bay has been fair to good over the past week. Anglers have reported catching king salmon in various locations throughout Kachemak Bay.
Although king salmon have been caught throughout Kachemak Bay, the popular locations have included: Point Pogibshi, Bluff Point, the islands around Elderd Passage, and Bear Cove
Downriggers are essential for trolling in deeper water. Small herring trolled behind a flasher or dodger is the most effective presentation. Tube flies, spoons and plugs are effective lures for targeting king salmon.
As a part of the Chinook Salmon Research Initiative, the Department is looking at the genetic stock composition of the marine king salmon fishery. There are port samplers stationed at the Homer Harbor, and Deep Creek and Anchor Point tractor launches conducting quick interviews and collecting biological information, scales, and genetic clips from sport caught king salmon. If you fished for king salmon in Cook Inlet, regardless of success, we’d like to talk to you! More information on the Chinook Salmon Research Initiative can be found at: http://www.adfg.alaska.gov/index.cfm?adfg=chinookinitiative.main .
Although there have still been some coho salmon along the Homer Spit, the run at the Nick Dudiak Fishing Lagoon is likely over for this season. There may be a few stragglers for the anglers willing to try.
Some anglers found success last week targeting coho salmon from shore in the Mud Bay area of the Homer Spit at high tide. Casting spinners in the direction of jumpers would be an effective way of targeting these fish as they move through.
Other Saltwater Fishing
Fall and winter storms tend to limit lingcod fishing substantially, though it is possible through the end of the year. Success can be found in waters near the Barren and Chugach Islands.
Rockfish caught in deep water suffer injuries from decompression. Recent research by Department staff indicates that survival of released rockfish can be substantially improved by releasing fish at the depth of capture. For more information on the use of deep water release mechanisms, see the department’s Web page at http://www.adfg.alaska.gov/index.cfm?adfg=fishingSportFishingInfo.rockfishconservation .
Fresh waters Fishing Report
- Recent sunny and warm weather has the roadside streams in fishable condition. Coho salmon runs are likely winding down but there are still some small schools moving through. Early morning would be the most effective time to target coho salmon.
- Steelhead trout should be starting to enter the roadside streams and some anglers have been catching them when targeting coho salmon. The most effective presentation for catching steelhead trout is dead drifting beads or egg patterns and swinging leeches. Small spinners and marabou jigs will also work.
- Expect good fishing for Dolly Varden in the upper stream sections. Try fishing for Dolly Varden with beads or egg patterns, small bright spinners, fresh salmon eggs, or fly patterns that resemble fish such as muddler minnows.
- The Kenai Peninsula stocked lakes fishing conditions are good. Most of these lakes are stocked with rainbow trout which can be taken on dry or wet flies, small spoons, spinners, or bait. A brochure listing the locations of the stocked lakes is available on the Sport Fish web site and at ADF&G offices.
- Clamming tides run through September 4.
- There is currently a PSP advisory issued by the Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation. Contact them at (907) 269-7501, or check out their PSP pages on the Internet (http://dec.alaska.gov/eh/fss/seafood/Shellfish_Home.html) for more information.
- Razor clams can be found on beaches along the west side of Cook Inlet and are accessed by boat or plane. Popular razor clam beaches include Crescent River, Chinitna Bay and Polly Creek. Boaters should use caution before traveling across the inlet because of strong currents and should check weather forecast before traveling.
- Littleneck (steamer) and butter clams can be found in gravel beaches on the south side of Kachemak Bay from Seldovia to Chugachik Island.
- Good numbers of butter clams are found on the islands in China Poot Bay. Butter clams can be found up to two feet deep. Littleneck clams can be found in a variety of habitats from Jakolof Bay to Bear Cove. Try exploring new beaches for success. Typically, littleneck clams are found shallower in the substrate, up to eight inches deep.
- All shrimp and crab fisheries in Kachemak Bay remain closed for 2016.