(Released: February 25, 2019 - Expired: July 15, 2019)
Division of Sport Fish
Alaska Department of Fish and Game
Contact: Carol Kerkvliet, Area Management Biologist
(Homer) - In favor of protecting returning king salmon and ensuring fishing opportunities in the future, the Alaska Department of Fish and Game (ADF&G) is implementing the following sport fishing regulation restrictions for king salmon in the Ninilchik River drainage effective 12:01 a.m. Monday, April 1 through 11:59 p.m. Monday, July 15, 2019. The bag and possession limit in the Ninilchik River is reduced to one hatchery king salmon 20 inches or greater in length and 10 hatchery-reared king salmon under 20 inches.
The bag and possession limit apply to the Memorial Day weekend and following two weekends and the Monday following each weekend openings in the Ninilchik River drainage. The affected dates are May 25-27, June 1-3, and June 8-10. The bag and possession limit restrictions also affect the Ninilchik River Youth-Only Fishery on Wednesday June 5, 2019. Youth anglers under 16 years of age may only harvest one hatchery-reared king salmon of any size. Hatchery-reared king salmon are recognized by the healed adipose fin-clip scar. Wild king salmon have an adipose fin and may not be removed from the water and must be release immediately.
A combined annual limit has been established to two king salmon 20 inches or greater in length for fish harvested in the Anchor River, Deep Creek, Ninilchik River, and all marine waters south of the latitude of the mouth of the Ninilchik River (60° 03.99' N. lat.) to the latitude of Bluff Point (59° 40.00' N. lat.) from April 1 through July 15, 2019.
“The Ninilchik River is stocked annually with hatchery reared king salmon to not only provide additional harvest opportunities for anglers but to provide a buffer to the harvest of wild king salmon during periods of weak runs,” stated Area Management Biologist Carol Kerkvliet. “We believe the restriction is needed to help protect and rebuild the returning wild king salmon population. While at the same time, still being able to provide anglers an opportunity to harvest hatchery king salmon.”
In conjunction with this closure, a sport fishing Emergency Order Number 2-KS-7-11-19, closed the Anchor River to king salmon fishing on the first and fifth opening weekend and the five-Wednesday openings in May and June 2019. The closure dates are May 18-20, May 22, May 29, June 5, June 12, June 15-17, and June 19. Anglers may still fish the Anchor River during the following days; May 25-27, June 1-3, and June 8-10. In addition, a sport fishing Emergency Order Number 2-KS-7-12-19, restricted sport fishing gear in the Anchor River, Deep Creek, and Ninilchik River drainages to only one unbaited, single-hook, artificial lure. Lastly, sport fishing Emergency Order Number 2-KS-7-14-19, established a combined annual limit of two king salmon 20 inches or greater in length for fish harvested in the Anchor River, Deep Creek, Ninilchik River, and all marine waters south of the latitude of the mouth of the Ninilchik River (60° 03.99' N. lat.) to the latitude of Bluff Point (59° 40.00' N. lat.).
Beginning in May, ADF&G staff will closely monitor king salmon escapements in the Anchor River, Deep Creek, and Ninilchik River by using sonar and underwater video. As the run progresses, run strength will be evaluated to determine future management actions.
For additional information, please contact Area Management Biologist Carol Kerkvliet at (907) 235-8191.