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Area Sport Fishing Reports
June 29, 2016
Week of June 27 to July 03
Issued June 28, 2016
Regulation Reminders and Emergency Orders
- Snagging is open in Kachemak Bay east of a line from Anchor Point to Point Pogibshi, except for the Nick Dudiak Fishing Lagoon (Fishing Hole), which only opens to snagging by emergency order.
- China Poot personal use dipnet fishery is open July 1-August 7 upstream of the ADF&G markers. Personal use caught sockeye salmon must have both tips of the tail fin removed. Complete regulations are found on page 16 of the Southcentral Alaska Sport Fishing Regulation Summary booklet.
- On July 1, the lower portions of the Anchor River, Deep Creek and Stariski Creek 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. Gear is limited to one unbaited single-hook artificial lure.
- 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 .
- Lingcod season opens July 1. Anglers are reminded that the bag and possession limit is 2 fish and the minimum legal size is 35 inches.
- The marine waters of Tutka Bay Lagoon within 100 yards of the hatchery net pens are closed year-round to sport fishing for any species. Snagging is allowed in Tutka
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.
Ninilchik River Hatchery Only King Salmon Emergency Order
- The Ninilchik River is open from the mouth of the Ninilchik River to an ADF&G regulatory marker located approximately two miles upstream to fishing for hatchery king salmon. The bag and possession limit is one hatchery king salmon 20 inches or greater in length and 10 hatchery king salmon under 20 inches. Only one unbaited single-hook, artificial lure may be used while sport fishing in the Ninilchik River through July 15.
Saltwaters Fishing Report
- Halibut fishing in Cook Inlet is fair to good, continuing to improve as more fish move from deep, overwintering waters back to the shallower summer feeding areas with some large size fish being caught.
- 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 as good around Bluff Point, Point Pogibshi and off the South side of Kachemak Bay. Feeder king salmon are often mixed with maturing Cook Inlet king salmon making their way to Cook Inlet streams.
- While trolling for king salmon, anglers are reporting catches of chum, pink, sockeye and coho salmon.
- 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 .
- King salmon are continuing to enter the Nick Dudiak Fishing Lagoon and fishing success is fair. Expect silver salmon to begin arriving to the lagoon soon. Try salmon eggs or herring suspended under a bobber and blue spinners; also try fishing around the incoming tide as new fish arrive.
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. 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.
Fresh waters Fishing Report
- On the Ninilchik River, a large return of hatchery-reared king salmon less than 20” is expected. Remember that king salmon less than 20 inches are not included in the Cook Inlet annual limit of 5 and the daily bag limit for king salmon of this size is 10 in freshwater. Try fishing in the early mornings and near the mouths of these streams during high tide to target newly arriving fish,
- Expect fair fishing for Dolly Varden in the roadside streams. Try fishing for Dolly Varden with small bright single-hook spinner or with a fly pattern that resemble fish such as muddler minnows or egg patterns.
- 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 2-8.
- 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.