Area Management Biologist
Phone: (907) 235-8191
December 28, 2016
The Alaska Board of Fisheries (BOF) met in Homer from November 30 – December 3 and adopted sport fishing regulations for the Lower Cook Inlet Management Area. In salt water, king salmon season and area regulations were modified to better align regulations for when mature king salmon are present in Cook Inlet (April 1 – August 31) and when they are essentially absent (September 1 – March 31). This alignment reduced regulation complexity, and provided for additional sport fishing opportunity. The BOF also adopted regulations for the Ninilchik River king salmon fishery by creating its first youth-only fishery and liberalizing the hatchery-only fishery season. Changes are summarized below as a service to anglers, and not as a complete digest of all fishing regulations.
King salmon Summer Fisheries (April 1 – August 31):
- Outside the closed areas surrounding the mouth of the Anchor River, Stariski Creek, Deep Creek and the Ninilchik River from latitude of Bluff Point (59o 40’N) to latitude 60o 03.99’N, the following special regulations apply:
-After harvesting a king salmon ≥20” in length, anglers must stop fishing for king salmon for the remainder of the day, but may fish for other species.
-Guides and their crew may not fish for any species while clients are on board.
- The closed area surrounding the mouth of the Anchor River, Stariski Creek, Deep Creek and the Ninilchik River are closed to all sport fishing through July 15.
King salmon Winter Fishery (September 1 – March 31):
- The winter fishery was expanded to include September and the Anchor Point Light northern boundary was removed so all Cook Inlet saltwaters would be included in the winter fishery and the following regulations apply:
-King salmon bag and possession limit is 2 king salmon of any size,
-There is no annual limit or recording requirement.
Ninilchik River King salmon:
- Youth-only fishery for king salmon between 6:00 am – 9:59 p.m. on the second Wednesday after Memorial Day, from the Sterling Highway bridge down to the mouth
- Hatchery-only king salmon fishery was expanded by two weeks and will open on June 16.