The following is courtesy of the Alaska Department of Fish and Game:
(Homer) – The Alaska Department of Fish and Game (ADF&G) is restricting sport fishing gear to one unbaited, single-hook, artificial lure and removing the annual limit requirement for hatchery king salmon 20 inches or greater in length in the Ninilchik River. Any hatchery king salmon harvested in the Ninilchik River does not count toward the Kenai Peninsula Area and Cook Inlet region annual limit and does not need to be recorded on a sport fishing license or harvest record card. The bag and possession limit of one hatchery king salmon 20 inches or greater in length remains in place. The gear restriction is effective 12:01 a.m. Tuesday, June 16 through 11:59 p.m. Wednesday, July 15, 2020, and by regulation from September 1 through October 31. The removal of the annual limit requirement for hatchery fish is effective 12:01 a.m. Tuesday, June 16 through 11:59 p.m. Saturday, October 31.
As of June 10, 2020, there have been 367 wild and 393 hatchery king salmon counted at the lower Ninilchik River weir and escaped above the sport fishery. Based on 2019 run timing at this counting location, these counts should represent approximately 35% of this years’ run. It is likely the wild run will meet the sustainable escapement goal of 750 wild fish at the upper weir but may not be sufficient to support broodstock collection for the 2021 Ninilchik River stocking. The hatchery escapement above the lower weir is projected to exceed broodstock collection needs for the 2021 stockings at the Kachemak Bay terminal fishery locations.
“The king salmon run in the Ninilchik River this year has provided good sport fishing opportunity for hatchery king salmon,” stated Area Management Biologist Mike Booz. “Unfortunately, the wild component of the king salmon run does need some additional protection to help make both the escapement and broodstock collection goals. Limiting gear to one unbaited, single-hook, artificial lure while removing the annual limit for hatchery fish should help get more wild king salmon to their spawning grounds while providing additional harvest opportunities of hatchery king salmon for anglers.”