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Area Sport Fishing Reports
August 23, 2016
Week of August 22 to August 28
Issued August 23, 2016
Regulation Reminders and Emergency Orders
- The Anchor and Ninilchik Rivers and Deep and Stariski Creeks are open for Dolly Varden and steelhead/rainbow trout upstream of the ADF&G regulatory markers, but remain closed for salmon upstream of these markers.
- 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.
- 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.
Razor Clam Emergency Order
- All Eastside Cook Inlet beaches from the Kenai River to the tip of the Homer Spit are closed to all clam harvest 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.
Kachemak Bay Personal Use Coho Salmon Fishery
- The Kachemak Bay Personal Use salmon gillnet fishery closes for the remainder of the 2016 season at 6:00 a.m. on Wednesday, August 24. Gillnets must be completely removed from the water by the time of closure. Permit holders are reminded to return their personal use permits to the Homer office by September 3. Any permit holders who fails to return their personal use fishing permit to the Homer office will not be eligible to receive a permit in 2017.
Saltwaters Fishing Report
- Halibut fishing in Cook Inlet has been fair to good, with many anglers catching their limits.
- Sampled fish harvested out of the Homer port averaged 12.22 lbs (range 1.94 – 196.95 lbs). Many anglers had success using herring on circle hooks, but octopus, squid, salmon heads and jigs also work well.
- Unguided anglers can retain 2 halibut a day, 4 in possession. Guided anglers should consult federal regulations at: https://alaskafisheries.noaa.gov/fisheries/sport-halibut .
- The department has received a few 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.
- Anglers are reporting fair to good feeder king salmon fishing and slow coho salmon fishing.
- King salmon have recently been caught from Bear Cove to Eldred Passage area along the southern shore of Kachemak Bay and from Bluff Point to Anchor Point.
- Recently, smaller herring and small spoons behind large flashers have been popular setups for trolling salmon in Kachemak Bay and Cook Inlet.
- 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 .
- Coho salmon fishing at the Nick Dudiak Fishing Lagoon is reported as slow and the run is likely winding down. The best time to try fishing would be as the water starts flooding into the lagoon on the incoming tide. Try salmon eggs or herring suspended under a bobber.
- Some anglers found success last week targeting coho salmon from shore in the Mud Bay area of the Homer Spit at high tide. Casting spinners in the direction of jumpers would be an effective way of targeting these fish as they move through.
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 coho 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
- Recent rains have resulted in high and turbid stream conditions on the roadside streams.
- Expect good fishing for Dolly Varden in the upper stream sections. Try fishing for Dolly Varden with beads or egg patterns, small bright spinners, fresh salmon eggs, or fly patterns that resemble fish such as muddler minnows.
- Coho salmon are still arriving in area streams; but fishing is reported as slow especially during high river conditions. Try fishing early in the morning or at the mouth of the stream during the incoming tide. More coho salmon will enter these streams as water levels are rising from the rains. Fishing salmon roe clusters and herring are the most effective to target coho salmon.
- The Kenai Peninsula stocked lakes fishing conditions are good. Most of these lakes are stocked with rainbow trout which can be 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 through August 23.
- 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.