Area Sport Fishing Reports
Southern Kenai

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

The Sustainable Escapement Goal (SEG) for the Ninilchik River of 750-1,300 wild king salmon was met on August 14, 2017, with 945 wild king salmon passing through the weir. King salmon escapement is monitored at a broodstock weir located approximately four miles upstream of the mouth from mid-May through early August. Hatchery-reared king salmon are stocked in the Ninilchik River to support the king salmon sport fishery. As a result of this stocking program wild and hatchery-reared king salmon return to the Ninilchik River. The king salmon return at the weir was composed of 36% hatchery-reared fish. Accounting for removal of broodstock, the spawning escapement totaled 1,107 fish, of which 855 were wild fish. The midpoint of immigration at the weir of wild fish was July 4, 2017, as compared to July 15 for hatchery-reared fish. The first Ninilchik River Youth-Only Sport Fishery was held this year on the second Wednesday after Memorial Day.

Management Actions

No management actions were implemented during the 2017 sport fishery.

Deep Creek

Deep Creek has a Biological Escapement Goal (BEG) of 450-950 king salmon and is assessed post-season via aerial survey. The 2017 survey occurred on July 26, 2017, with an estimate of 753 king salmon. Inseason management is based on actions to Ninilchik River and Anchor River. The king salmon fishery occurs on three separate three-day weekends only.

Management Actions

No management actions were implemented during the 2017 sport fishery.

Anchor River

The SEG for Anchor River king salmon is 3,800-7,600 fish. King salmon escapement is monitored on the South and North fork of Anchor River beginning early-May through early-August. The goal was met on August 4, 2017, with an estimated 5,778 king salmon passing through the weir. The king salmon fishery occurs four days a week for five weeks in late May and June.

Management Actions

No management actions were implemented during the 2017 sport fishery.

Marine Fisheries

Marine fishing for king salmon in Lower Cook Inlet was popular in the Winter Fishery (September 1-March 31) and the Summer Fishery (April 1-August 31). Harvest and effort data for the 2017 marine fishery will not be available until Statewide Harvest Survey estimates are produced in 2018. Department staff did sample the Homer Chamber of Commerce Winter King Derby held on Saturday, March 25, 2017.

2017 Derby - Estimated 308 vessels, 1,007 anglers, and 216 king salmon landed.

2016 Derby - Estimated 468 vessels, 1,508 anglers, and 448 king salmon landed.

Management Actions

No management actions were implemented during the 2017 sport fishery.

Razor Clams
Eastside

All Eastside Cook Inlet beaches remained closed to sport and personal use clamming in 2017 due to the continued low abundance of mature size razor clams. The affected area runs from the mouth of the Kenai River to the southernmost tip of the Homer Spit. Abundance of mature sized razor clams remained at a historic low level on both Ninilchik and Clam Gulch. The improved recruitment of juvenile clams to the beach was observed on Ninilchik and Clam Gulch beaches may signal that the population may be beginning to rebound. It is estimated that approximately 89% of the population on Ninilchik South beach sections consists of juvenile clams. At Clam Gulch North, 97% of the population is estimated as juvenile clams.

Management Actions

A preseason emergency order closed eastside beaches to clamming in 2017.

Westside

The Westside Cook Inlets beaches remained open to commercial, sport, and personal use clamming in 2017. Harvest estimates for the sport fishery are not available yet.

Management Actions

No management actions were implemented during the 2017 sport fishery.

See the printable PDF version, which includes a table of Region II Escapement Goals and Escapements (2008-2017).