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Lower Cook Inlet
September 03, 2015
Emergency Orders and Regulation Reminders
- All Eastside Cook Inlet beaches from the Kenai River to the tip of the Homer Spit are closed to all clams and mussels through December 31, 2015.
- The Cook Inlet and North Gulf Coast sport, personal use & subsistence Tanner crab fisheries will not open for the 2015-2016 season.
- The flowing waters of the Anchor River, Ninilchik River, Deep Creek and Stariski Creek are restricted to one unbaited, single-hook through October 31.
- Salmon may not be targeted or harvested upstream of the two-mile regulatory markers on the Anchor River, Ninilchik River, Deep Creek or Stariski Creek.
- 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.
Salt Water Fisheries
- 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.
- Feeder king salmon are available year round in Kachemak Bay.
- Popular locations include: Point Pogibshi, Bluff Point, the islands around Elder Passage, Bear Cove and various other locations on the south side of Kachemak Bay.
- Downriggers are essential for trolling in deeper water. Small herring trolled behind a flasher or dodger is the most effective presentation.
- Popular trolling set-ups for salmon include herring, tube flies, and spoons. Try using dodgers or flashers for extra attraction.
- 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 .
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.
- The Department would like to remind anglers that the survival of released rockfish caught in greater than 60 feet of water is substantially improved by releasing these fish at the depth of capture. More information can be found at: http://www.adfg.alaska.gov/index.cfm?adfg=fishingsportfishinginfo.rockfishconservation .
- The Homer Spit offers a variety of year around fishing opportunities for walleye pollock, Pacific cod, and a variety of flatfish species and even an occasional feeder king.
Fresh water Fisheries
- Fall fishing success on the Homer area streams will fluctuate with changing water conditions associated with periods of rain
- Steelhead fishing on these streams typically peaks in mid to late September. Fly anglers find success by dead-drifting a variety of streamers, leeches, and salmon-egg patterns. Other effective tackle includes spinners, jigs suspended under bobbers, and corkies with yarn.
- Dolly Varden will continue to be available through ice-up. They can be caught on the same fly-fishing tackle used for steelhead and can provide excellent action on light tackle.
- 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.
- Hardshell clams are found in gravel beaches on the south side of Kachemak Bay, but your will need a lantern or strong flashlight as minus tides occur after dark.
- 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 and Polly Creek.
- Boaters should use caution before traveling across the Kachemak Bay or Cook Inlet because of strong currents and should check weather forecast before traveling.