ADFG Announces King Salmon Restrictions/Closures In Homer Area

ADFG photo

The following press releases are courtesy of the Alaska Department of Fish and Game:

King Salmon Fishing Restrictions in Effect for the Marine Waters in Lower Cook Inlet

(Homer) – In favor of protecting returning king salmon and increased fishing opportunities in the future, the Alaska Department of Fish and Game (ADF&G) is implementing the following sport fishing regulation restriction in marine waters within 1-mile of shore from Bluff Point to the Ninilchik River effective 12:01 a.m. Saturday, June 2, through 11:59 p.m. Sunday, July 15, 2018. King salmon fishing (including catch-and-release) is prohibited in response to the weak inseason run projection for Anchor River king salmon.

As of May 29, 2018, only 90 king salmon have been counted using a combination of sonar and video weirs on the Anchor River. The sustainable escapement goal (SEG) for Anchor River king salmon is 3,800-7,600 fish, and based on 2009-2014 average run timing ADF&G is projecting the SEG will not be achieved and has closed sport fishing on the Anchor and Ninilchik rivers and Deep Creek to reduce the mortality of king salmon in these drainages.

“Based on genetic analysis from 2014-2016, approximately 10% to 25% of the early run harvest north of Bluff Point originated from Cook Inlet streams,” stated Area Management Biologist Carol Kerkvliet. “In waters north of Bluff Point, maturing king salmon (spawners) tend to be harvested near shore at a greater rate than immature (non-local) king salmon. From 1996-2002 and 2014-2017, the king salmon harvest north of Bluff Point more than 1 mile from shore was primarily comprised of outside Cook Inlet stocks. Therefore, it is justified to prohibit retention of king salmon in salt waters within one mile of shore while these locally spawning king salmon migrate through the area and into fresh water.”

In conjunction with this restriction, a sport fishing regulation closure was issued closing sport fishing on the Anchor and Ninilchik rivers and Deep Creek drainages.

The Anchor and Ninilchik Rivers and Deep Creek Drainages Closed to Sport Fishing

(Homer) – In favor of protecting returning king salmon and increased fishing opportunities in the future, the Alaska Department of Fish and Game (ADF&G) is implementing the following sport fishing regulation closures on the Anchor and Ninilchik rivers and Deep Creek drainages effective 12:01 a.m. Saturday, June 2, through 11:59 p.m. Sunday, July 15, 2018, to sport fishing.

As of May 29, 2018, only 90 king salmon have been counted using a combination of sonar and video weirs on the Anchor River. The sustainable escapement goal (SEG) for Anchor River king salmon is 3,800-7,600 fish, and based on 2009-2014 average run timing ADF&G is projecting the SEG will not be achieved. By this same date when runs were weak (2009-2014), escapement averaged 301 king salmon. The final escapement for these years ranged between 2,497 in 2014 to 4,509 in 2012.

“During the weak run years, inriver and nearby marine fisheries were managed conservatively using a combination of restrictions and closures,” stated Area Management Biologist Carol Kerkvliet. “The Anchor River king salmon escapement failed to achieve the SEG from 2009-2011 and 2014 despite restrictions including closures. To minimize the shifting of effort due to conservation actions for the Anchor River, it is warranted to restrict sport fishing on the Ninilchik River and Deep Creek as well.”

In conjunction with this closure, a sport fishing regulation restriction was issued pertaining to king salmon fishing (including catch-and-release) in marine waters within 1-mile of shore from Bluff Point to the Ninilchik River in response to the weak inseason run projection for Anchor River king salmon.

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