Division of Sport Fish
Dave Rutz, Director

Anchorage Headquarters Office
333 Raspberry Road
Anchorage, AK 99518

Alaska Department of Fish and Game
Doug Vincent-Lang, Commissioner

P.O. Box 115526
Juneau, AK 99811-5526

Advisory Announcement
(Released: February 01, 2021 - Expired: June 14, 2021)

CONTACT: Mike Booz
Area Management Biologist
(907) 235-8191

Anglers May Only Retain Hatchery King Salmon in the Ninilchik River

(Homer) - To protect returning king salmon and ensure sport fishing opportunities in the future, the Alaska Department of Fish and Game (ADF&G) is implementing the following sport fishing restrictions for king salmon in the Ninilchik River drainage effective 12:01 a.m. Saturday, May 29 through 11:59 p.m. Monday, June 14, 2021. The king salmon bag and possession limit in the Ninilchik River is limited to only hatchery king salmon. The bag and possession limits for anglers is one hatchery king salmon 20 inches or greater in length and 10 hatchery king salmon under 20 inches. Hatchery king salmon are recognized by a missing adipose fin and healed adipose fin clip scar. All naturally-produced or wild king salmon have an adipose fin, and may not be removed from the water, and must be released immediately. All other sport fishing regulations outlined in the 2021 Southcentral Sport Fishing Regulations Summary booklet (available March 2021) for the Ninilchik River remain the same.

Anglers may fish for king salmon on the Ninilchik River during the Memorial Day weekend (May 29 - 31, 2021), and the following two weekends and Mondays following each weekend, (June 5 - 7 and June 12 - 14). These regulation restrictions also affect the Wednesday, June 9 Youth-Only Fishery. During the Youth-Only Fishery, the bag and possession limit is one hatchery king salmon of any size. There are currently no restrictions on the hatchery-only king salmon fishery in the Ninilchik River that begins on June 16.

“The Ninilchik River hatchery king salmon run has provided good harvest opportunities the last two seasons and there will likely be a surplus of them in 2021,” stated Area Management Biologist Mike Booz. “While the wild king salmon king salmon escapement has been met annually, the broodstock collection goal has not been met in most recent years. Closing the harvest of wild fish will provide more fish towards these goals.”

In conjunction with this restriction, emergency order 2-KS-7-08-21 reduces the annual limit of king salmon 20 inches or greater in length from five to two fish in the Cook Inlet salt waters north of the latitude of Bluff Point from April 1 through July 15, 2021. In conjunction with this restriction, emergency order 2-KS-7-09-21 restricts fishing gear to only one unbaited, single-hook, artificial lure in the Anchor River and Deep Creek drainages from May 22 through June 23, 2021.

King salmon escapement monitoring will begin in May using underwater video on the Ninilchik River. As the runs progress, run strength will be evaluated to determine in-season management actions.

For additional information, please contact Area Management Biologist Mike Booz or Assistant Area Management Biologist Holly Dickson at (907) 235-8191.