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Lower Cook Inlet
Recent Lower Cook Inlet News Releases
July 29, 2015
Week of July 27 to August 03
Emergency Orders and Regulation Reminders
- The Youth Fishery at the Nick Dudiak Fishing Lagoon is Saturday, August 1. A portion of the lagoon will be open to youth 15 years of age or younger from 12:01 a.m. until midnight. Department staff will be present from 1:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. to help young anglers fish and tie egg loops and fishing knots, and learn the best way for releasing fish.
- 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.
Salt water Regulation Reminders
- The Nick Dudiak Fishing Lagoon Area is closed to snagging.
- Lingcod season opened July 1. Anglers are reminded that the bag and possession limit is 2 fish and the minimum legal size is 35 inches long with head attached or 28 inches with head removed.
- Unguided anglers can retain 2 halibut a day of any size, 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.
Fresh water Regulation Reminders
- The Anchor and Ninilchik Rivers and Deep and Stariski Creeks open on August 1 to fishing for Dolly Varden and steelhead/rainbow trout upstream from the ADF&G regulatory markers, but remains closed for salmon upstream of these markers.
- China Poot personal use dipnet fishery is open through August 7. . 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.
Salt Water Fisheries
- Halibut fishing has improved and some larger fish are being caught. Sampled fish harvested out of the Homer port averaged 11.3 lbs. (range 4.2 – 127.5 lbs.). Many anglers had success using herring on circle hooks.
- The department has received several reports of “mushy” halibut this season. The flesh of these fish is very soft or flabby, sometimes with pockets of jelly-like tissue, and the flesh is 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 is ongoing.
- Anglers are reporting improved catches of coho salmon mixed with king salmon near Silver Ridge.
- Trolling success is fair to good for king salmon along the south side of Kachemak Bay and near Point Pogibshi.
- Fishing for king salmon is reported as slow north of Bluff Point.
- Popular trolling set-ups for salmon include herring, tube flies, and spoons. Try using dodgers or flashers for extra attraction.
- Early-run coho salmon are arriving at the Nick Dudiak Fishing Lagoon on the Homer Spit and fishing is good. Try salmon eggs, herring and blue Vibrax spinners; also try fishing around the incoming tide as new fish arrive.
- 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 .
Other Saltwater Fishing
- The Homer Spit offers a variety of fishing opportunities. Anglers are catching variety of species walleye pollock, Pacific cod, and a variety of flatfish species. Anglers are also fishing for coho salmon along the east shore of the Homer Spit.
- Anglers fishing near the Barren, Chugach, and Elizabeth Islands are catching lingcod and rockfish as well as other target species. 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 water Fisheries
- Expect good fishing for Dolly Varden in roadside streams. Try fishing for Dolly Varden with small bright spinners, fresh salmon eggs, or fly patterns that resemble fish such as muddler minnows or egg patterns.
- Coho salmon are arriving in area streams; try fishing early in the morning or at the mouth of the stream during the incoming tide.
- Pink salmon fishing is reported as good on the south side of Kachemak Bay. Humpy Creek and the Seldovia River are popular streams to for targeting pink salmon.
Personal Use Fishing
- Dipnetting success for sockeye salmon in China Poot is slow.
- 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 from July 29 through August 04.
- 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 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.