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Division: Sport Fish
Title: Angler effort and harvest of chinook salmon and Pacific halibut in the marine recreational fishery of Central Cook Inlet, 1995.
Author: McKinley, T. R.
Year: 1996
Report ID: Alaska Department of Fish and Game, Fishery Data Series No. 96-46, Anchorage
Abstract: Direct expansion creel surveys were conducted from 1 May through 31 July at two separate public beaches (Deep Creek marine and Anchor Point) that provide access to the Central Cook Inlet marine recreational fishery. Boat parties that had completed fishing were interviewed as they exited the fishery; data recorded were trip type (guided/private), the number of anglers that fished, the target species (chinook salmon Oncorhynchus tshawytscha, Pacific halibut Hippoglossus stenolepis, or both), the number of chinook salmon kept and/or released, and the number of Pacific halibut kept and/or released. No biological samples were collected. In addition, total harvest and effort information was collected from fishing lodges that operate from a private, closed access beach. Two distinct runs of chinook salmon occur in this fishery. The early run fishery is a mixed stock fishery that likely harvests chinook salmon returning to streams in several drainages of Cook Inlet. The late run fishery is presumed to harvest primarily late run Kenai River fish, and to a lesser extent late run Kasilof River fish, the only late run stocks known in Cook Inlet. For 1995, the early run was considered to be from 1 May-18 June, and the late run from 19 June-31 July. The estimated harvest of chinook salmon was 8,117 (SE = 237), with 6,048 (SE = 228) harvested during the early run, and 2,069 (SE = 65) during the late run. An estimated 75,709 (SE = 1,955) Pacific halibut were harvested. Total effort for the fishery during this time frame, for all species combined, was 70,384 angler-days (SE = 1,355). Guided anglers accounted for 41% of the fishing effort, 52% of the chinook salmon harvest, and 58% of the Pacific halibut harvest. Anglers released 8% of the chinook salmon landed and 42% of the halibut landed. Although most of the chinook salmon fishing occurs during the three months sampled, additional harvest and effort occurs in this fishery outside of our sampling time frame, as well as from three other access sites. Also, a considerable amount of fishing effort for Pacific halibut does occur after 31 July.
Keywords: Creel survey, angler effort and harvest, chinook salmon, Oncorhynchus tshawytscha, Pacific halibut, Hippoglossus stenolepis, mixed stock fishery, early run, late run, Central Cook Inlet.