Area Sport Fishing Reports
Southern Kenai

fish Scales fish Scales
Lower Cook Inlet Sport Fish Management Area
King Salmon
Anchor River

The 2018 preseason inriver forecast of 7,508 king salmon fell within the Sustainable Escapement Goal (SEG) of 3,800 to 7,600 fish allowing the fishery to begin without any restrictions. King salmon escapement was monitored on the South and North fork of Anchor River beginning in early-May continued through early-August. The preliminary king salmon escapement estimate was 3,161 fish, which failed to achieve the SEG. The cumulative run-timing to both forks was 23 days late compared to the average mid-point of June 13. The sport fishery occurred on two three-day weekends and two Wednesdays prior to emergency order closure.

Management Actions

On June 2, 2018, Anchor River closed to all sport fishing through July 15, due to the inseason projection not anticipating achieving the SEG.

On July 16, 2018, sport fishing gear was restricted to one unbaited, single-hook, artificial lure through July 31.

Ninilchik River

No preseason forecast was estimated for the 2018 wild Ninilchik River wild king salmon run. The fishery started without restrictions based on management actions for the Anchor River. King salmon escapement was monitored with an underwater video and broodstock weir located approximately five miles upstream of the mouth from mid-May through early August. The SEG for the Ninilchik River is 750 to 1,300 wild king salmon. Hatchery-reared king salmon are stocked in the Ninilchik River to support the inriver sport fishery. Based on weir counts, the king salmon run was composed of 49% hatchery-reared fish. Accounting for removal of broodstock, the spawning escapement totaled 1,197 fish, of which 978 were wild fish, which met the SEG. The mid-point of the wild and hatchery-reared runs were both in late July.

Management Actions

On June 2, 2018, Ninilchik River closed to all sport fishing through July 15, due to the Anchor River inseason projection not anticipating achieving the SEG. The closure effected the weekend, hatchery-only, and the youth-only fisheries on the Ninilchik River.

On July 16, 2018, sport fishing gear was restricted to one unbaited, single-hook, artificial lure through July 31.

Deep Creek

No preseason forecast was estimated for the 2018 Deep Creek king salmon run. The fishery started without restrictions based on management actions for the Anchor River. Deep Creek has a SEG of 350 king salmon and was assessed post-season via a single aerial survey. The 2018 survey occurred on August 5, 2018, and 182 king salmon were counted, which failed to achieve the SEG. The 2018 salmon escapement was also fully enumerated using an ARIS sonar and underwater video weir located approximately 2.5 miles upstream from the mouth. The preliminary escapement estimate is 2,662 king salmon with the mid-point of the run on July 4.

Management Actions

On June 2, 2018, Deep Creek closed to all sport fishing through July 15, due to the Anchor River inseason projection not anticipating achieving the SEG.

On July 16, 2018, sport fishing gear was restricted to one unbaited, single-hook, artificial lure through July 31.

Marine Fisheries

Sport fishing for king salmon in Cook Inlet is popular during the winter (September 1-March 31) and the summer (April 1-August 31) fisheries. The summer fisheries in both Upper and Lower Cook Inlet started without restrictions. Genetics samples and biological data were collected throughout the summer fisheries to assess the genetic stock composition of the harvest. Below average sport fishing harvest through much of the summer resulted in fewer genetic samples. Statewide Harvest Survey harvest estimates for these fisheries and will not be available until 2019.

Management Actions

On June 2, 2018, in Upper Cook Inlet, king salmon fishing within one mile of shore between the latitude of Bluff Point and one mile north of the Ninilchik river was closed through July 15, due to the Anchor River inseason projection not anticipating achieving the SEG.

On July 16, 2018, Lower Cook Inlet marine conservation zones surrounding the Anchor River, Stariski Creek, Deep Creek, and the Ninilchik River were closed to all fishing through July 31.

Razor Clams
Eastside

All Eastside Cook Inlet beaches remained closed to sport and personal use clamming in 2018 due to the continued historical low abundances of mature-sized razor clams at Clam Gulch and Ninilchik. The affected area runs from the mouth of the Kenai River to the southernmost tip of the Homer Spit. The improved recruitment of juvenile clams to the beach observed in 2017 was observed again on Ninilchik and Clam Gulch beaches during spring 2018 abundance surveys, which signals that the stock is rebuilding.

Management Actions

A preseason emergency order closed Eastside Cook Inlet beaches to sport and personal use clamming in 2018.

Westside

The Westside Cook Inlets beaches remained open to commercial, sport, and personal use clamming in 2018. Harvest estimates for the sport fishery are not available yet.

Management Actions

No management actions were implemented during the 2018 sport fishery.

Terminal Stocked
Salmon Fisheries
Nick Dudiak Fishing Lagoon

In 2018, the stocking goals were met for Nick Dudiak Fishing Lagoon on the Homer Spit with approximately 315,000 king salmon smolt and 220,000 coho salmon smolt. This king salmon stocking was a 30% increase over recent annual stockings. The coho salmon stocking was a 50% increase over recent annual stockings. Both of these increased stockings should support increased sport fishing opportunities in upcoming years. Statewide Harvest Survey estimates harvest for these fisheries and will not be available until 2019. Overall, the king salmon fishery was likely below average harvest and the coho salmon fishery was likely above average.

Management Actions

To date, no management actions were implemented during the 2018 king salmon sport fishery.

On August 11, 2018, the Nick Dudiak Fishing Lagoon and adjacent waters were open to snagging through December 31.

Personal Use Fisheries
China Poot Creek

The China Poot Creek personal use dip net fishery does not require a permit for participation so there is no harvest and effort data available for 2018. Participants reported consistently good sockeye salmon harvest opportunity.

Management Actions

No management actions were implemented during the 2018 personal use fishery.

Tanner Crab
Cook Inlet Tanner Crab

The sport and subsistence Cook Inlet tanner crab fishery opened for the first time since 2012. The 2017-2018 season occurred from October 1, 2017, through February 28, 2018. The preliminary combined harvest was 8,628 based on permit reported harvest. The Kachemak Bay Tanner crab trawl survey was conducted in early September. Preliminary results should be available by the last week in September. The 2018-2019 sport and subsistence fisheries are scheduled to open on October 1. Permits should be available no later than the last week in September.

Management Actions

No management actions were implemented during the 2017-2018 fishery season.

To date, no management actions have been implemented during the 2018-2019 fishery season.

See the printable PDF version, which includes a table of Region II Escapement Goals and Escapements (2008-2018).