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Lower Cook Inlet
Recent Lower Cook Inlet News Releases
May 20, 2015
Week of May 19 to May 25
Issued May 20, 2015
Regulation Reminders and Emergency Orders
King Salmon Emergency Orders
• In an effort to meet king salmon escapement goals in the Anchor River, Deep Creek, and Ninilchik River drainages, the following sport fishing restrictions are in effect from Wednesday, April 1 through Wednesday, July 15, 2015:
o Anchor River is closed to sport fishing except on Memorial Day weekend (May 23-25) and the following two weekends (May 30- June 1 and June 6-8).
o Anchor river drainage above Old Sterling Bridge is closed during the May and June weekend openings.
o Anglers may only use one unbaited, single-hook, artificial lure on the Anchor River, Deep Creek, and Ninilchik River during the 3 weekend openings in May & June.
o From April 1-July 15, the combined annual limit is two (2) king salmon 20 inches or greater in length in the Anchor River, Deep Creek, Ninilchik River and all marine waters south of the latitude of the mouth of the Ninilchik River to the latitude of Bluff Point.
o From July 1-15, the conservation zone surrounding the Anchor River mouth will remain closed to sport fishing and the regulations associated with the Special Harvest Areas 2miles north of the Anchor River to Bluff Point will remain in effect.
Razor Clam Emergency Order
• All Eastside Cook Inlet beaches from the Kenai River to the tip of the Homer Spit are closed to all clams through December 31, 2015.
Additional Regulation Reminders
• Lingcod may not be harvested until July 1.
• 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
Saltwaters Fishing Report
• Early-season halibut fishing is fair though most fish are small. The fishery will improve as more fish move from deep, overwintering waters back to the shallower summer feeding areas. Some larger fish are being harvested in the sport fishery.
• Unguided anglers can retain 2 halibut a day, 4 in possession.
• Regulation changes are in effect for guided anglers fishing for halibut. The bag limit for guided anglers is two fish per day, one of any size and one less than or equal to 29 inches in length, and guided anglers have an annual limit of five halibut. A more extensive description of these Federal regulations can be found at:http://alaskafisheries.noaa.gov/frules/79fr13906.pdf
You can also contact NOAA fisheries at 1-800-304-4846 or 907-586-7228 with questions about regulations pertaining to sport fishing for halibut.
• 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://dfg.alaska.gov/index.cfm?adfg=chinookinitiative.main .
• Trolling success for feeder king salmon is reported as good in Kachemak Bay and near Bluff Point.
• Early-run king salmon are typically available this time of year in the nearshore salt waters of Anchor Point, Whiskey Gulch and Deep Creek. Anglers usually concentrate their fishing efforts in near shore, shallow waters between Anchor Point and Deep Creek. The fishing has been variable near Bluff Point
• Popular trolling set-ups for king salmon include herring, tube flies, and spoons. Try using dodgers or flashers for extra attraction.
• King salmon have arrived at the Nick Dudiak Fishing Lagoon and fishing success is improving.
Other Saltwater Fishing
• Fishing off the end of the Homer Spit can be a fun way to pass the time. Species available include Walleye Pollock, Pacific cod, a variety of flatfish species and an occasional king salmon.
Fresh waters Fishing Report
• The Anchor River, Deep Creek and Ninilchik Rivers, as defined by the ADF&G markers will open to fishing at 12:01 a.m. Saturday, May 23, through midnight, Monday, May 25.
• Water conditions in these streams are expected to be good.
• The Anchor River Weir is operational and fish counts are available online at http://www.adfg.alaska.gov/sf/FishCounts/ .
• For better success, try fishing in the early morning hours and at the mouth of these streams on the incoming tide.
• At this time of year, steelhead trout will be leaving the rivers and entering saltwater to recover their strength after spending their winter in the river and spawned in the spring. Please familiarize yourself with the differences between kings and steelhead trout before you fish and practice good fish handling if you catch one. Remember hooked steelhead trout must not be removed from the water and they must be released immediately.
• The Kenai Peninsula stocked lakes fishing conditions are good. Most of these lakes are stocked with rainbow trout which, this time of year, are 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 May 16-21. Included in this tide series are some minus four foot. tides.
• 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 2015.