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Area Sport Fishing Reports
July 20, 2016
Week of July 18 to July 24
Issued July 19, 2016
Regulation Reminders and Emergency Orders
- Snagging is allowed in Kachemak Bay east of a line from Anchor Point to Point Pogibshi from June 24 through December 31, except in the Nick Dudiak Fishing Lagoon
- China Poot personal use dipnet fishery is open upstream of the ADF&G markers and continues through August 7. Personal use caught sockeye salmon must have both tips of the tail fin removed.
- The marine waters of Tutka Bay Lagoon within 100 yards of the hatchery net pens are closed to sport fishing for any species.
- Lingcod season opened July 1. Anglers are reminded that the bag and possession limit is 2 fish and the minimum legal size is 35 includes.
- The lower portions of the Anchor River, Deep Creek and Stariski Creek are open to sport fishing except for king salmon. Anglers are reminded that king salmon may not be targeted and if hooked, they must be released immediately.
- On the Anchor River, Deep Creek, Stariski Creek and Ninilchik River, bait and treble hooks are legal gear through August 31 on these streams. The upstream locations remain closed until August 1.
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, 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 in Cook Inlet is fair to good, with most anglers obtaining their limits over the past week.
- Sampled fish harvested out of the Homer port averaged 11.68 lbs. (range 3.1 – 86.58 lbs.). Many anglers had success using herring on circle hooks.
- Unguided anglers can retain 2 halibut a day, 4 in possession.
- Herring is the most popular bait, but octopus, squid, salmon heads, and jigs also work well.
- The department has been receiving 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.
- Trolling success for king salmon is reported has slowed around Bluff Point and fair along South side of Kachemak Bay.
- Anglers beginning to report catches of coho salmon.
- Anglers are reporting good catches of pink salmon along the south shore of Kachemak Bay. Anglers are reminded that pink salmon may be used as bait in the salt water fisheries, but ARE counted as part of your daily bag limit.
- Downriggers are essential for trolling in deeper water. Small herring trolled behind a flasher or dodger is the most effective presentation.
- Other effective gear includes spoons, hootchies and tube flies.
- 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 .
- Silver salmon have been arriving in the Nick Dudiak Fishing lagoon and fishing is picking up slow but steady. The run should peek later in July or early August. Try salmon eggs or herring suspended under a bobber. Some anglers also have success with spinners. The best time to try fishing for newly arriving fish would be as the water start flooding into the lagoon on the incoming tide.
- Anglers are reporting fair success with catching sockeye salmon in Tutka Bay Lagoon and China Poot Bay.
- Pink salmon are arriving at Tutka Bay Lagoon along with sockeye salmon. This is a stocked fishery paid for by enhancement taxes on commercial fisheries. Anglers are reminded to avoid commercial boats operating in the area.
Other Saltwater Fishing
- Anglers generally target lingcod around the Chugach Islands to Gore Point.
- 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. Be certain to check regulations regarding bag and possession limits and know which species it is that you’re keeping before harvesting them.
- Both Bluff Point and Point Pogibshi areas have been producing black, dark and dusky rockfish. Anglers use a variety of gear including spoons, jigs, herring and flies to catch rockfish. They are also commonly caught when trolling with downriggers for salmon. 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
- For the Ninilchik River, some bright to blush hatchery king salmon are still available.
- Salmon roe clusters, plug cut herring, spinners, spoons and jigs should all be effective bait and tackle for catching hatchery king salmon
- Expect fair to good fishing for Dolly Varden and pink salmon in roadside streams as most runs are just starting to arrive. Fish near the stream mouths for better success.
- Expect fair fishing for pink salmon in roadside streams as most runs are just starting to arrive. Fish near the stream mouths for better success.
- Dipnetting success for sockeye salmon in China Poot is fair. The peak of this run is about the middle of July.
- 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.
- The next clamming tides run from July 19-24.
- Occasionally there are PSP advisories 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.