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Bear Cove To Open Again For Sportfishing (Updated)

The following press release is courtesy of the Alaska Department of Fish and Game:

Beginning Saturday, July 14, 2018 the saltwater area of Bear Cove near Medvejie Hatchery is open to sport fishing. Bear Cove was closed to fishing on June 20 for the protection of king salmon broodstock at Medvejie Hatchery.

Since this closure, enough broodstock has been secured to allow for fishing opportunity again. Anglers are reminded that snagging in Bear Cove is not allowed east of a line between ADF&G markers.

Update: Tackle restrictions on several rivers:

(Homer) – To protect returning king salmon and fishing opportunities in the future, the Alaska Department of Fish and Game (ADF&G) is implementing the following sport fishing restriction effective 12:01 a.m. Monday, July 16 through 11:59 p.m. Tuesday, July 31, 2018. Sport fishing gear is limited to one unbaited, single-hook, artificial lure on the Anchor River, Deep Creek, Stariski Creek, and the Ninilchik River drainages.

“With the current low king salmon returns, gear restrictions are necessary to protect upstream migrating king salmon needed for escapement needs,” stated Area Management Biologist Carol Kerkvliet. “To minimize the shifting effort due to conservation actions for the Anchor River and Ninilchik River, it is warranted to restrict gear on Deep Creek and Stariski Creek, as well. Anglers are still allowed to fish for hatchery king salmon using one unbaited, single-hook, artificial lure.”

In conjunction with this restriction, a sport fishing regulation closure was issued closing king salmon fishing within the conservation zones surrounding the Anchor River, Stariski Creek, Deep Creek, and Ninilchik River. King salmon incidentally caught while fishing for other fish may not be removed from the water and must be immediately released. Anglers can review page 74 of the 2018 Southcentral Sport Fishing Regulations Summary booklet for additional information on the conservation zones.

 

Lynx Trapping Prohibited On Kenai

The Anchorage Daily News – via the Associated Press – reported today that lynx trapping will be halted on the Kenai Peninsula over concerns about numbers.

The Alaska Department of Fish and Game announced last week that the trapping season will stay closed for the Peninsula and the region east of Turnagain and Knik arms, the Peninsula Clarion reported.

The size of lynx populations depends on the abundance of snowshoe hare, the cat’s main food source. The openings and closings of trapping seasons are typically based on the hare population size.

The hare populations are at the end of a low phase after peaking in the winter of 2011-12, according to the game department.

“The cycles always vary and they vary in intensity, depending on a lot of vegetative and climate conditions,” said Jeff Selinger, a biologist for the game department. “But generally speaking they’re 10 to 12 years, somewhere in there.”

 

 

New App Will Aid Alaska Anglers

Alaska Fishtopia App

 

Admittedly, I’ve never been a big app fan, but I do have my share of apps dotting screen (and killing my battery whenever I do use them).

But I gotta say it’s pretty cool that there’s an Alaska-specific app for anglers, which was created by Soldotna’s Jim Voss.  Check out the report from the Associated Press:

The app includes guide information, local events and the latest fish counts from the Alaska Department of Fish and Game, said Voss, a fishing guide and the owner of Alaska Boat Rental in Soldotna. The idea for the app was to have the vital information anglers need all in one spot, he said.

The app also hosts the fishing exchange tool, where anglers can post wanted spots on fishing trips and guides can post available seats on boats. This tool seeks to fill the place of what guides have largely been doing by word-of-mouth.

“If (guides) can reach an angler, somebody out there is willing to go fishing at some price,” Voss said.

At Apple’s App Store it costs $1.99 to download.

 

Situk Among River Drainages Closed To Sockeye Fishing

Situk River photo by Tony Ensalaco

 

The following press release is courtesy of the Alaska Department of Fish and Game:

Yakutat – In order to protect sockeye salmon, the Alaska Department of Fish and Game has closed the Situk, Lost, and Ahrnklin river drainages to sport fishing for sockeye salmon, and increased the area closed to all sport fishing downstream of the fish counting weir on the lower Situk River to protect sockeye and king salmon holding below the weir. Catch-and-release fishing is prohibited for sockeye salmon in the Situk, Lost, and Ahrnklin river drainages or any fish species within the expanded closed area in the Situk River.

From July 12 to August 15, sockeye salmon may not be targeted, retained, or possessed in the Situk, Lost, or Ahrnklin Rivers; sockeye salmon caught incidentally while fishing for other species may not be removed from the water and must be released immediately.

Additionally, sport fishing is not allowed between regulatory markers located approximately 300 feet upstream of the Situk River weir (river mile 1.8) to markers located approximately 2,100 feet downstream of the weir. This portion of the river encompasses the entire “Rodeo Hole”.

Anglers are reminded that the entire Situk River drainage is closed to sport fishing for king salmon. King salmon may not be targeted and any incidentally caught king salmon may not be removed from the water and must be released immediately.

The Situk River drainage is managed for an escapement range of 450 to 1,050 large king salmon and 30,000 to 70,000 sockeye salmon. As of July 10, 2018, 77 large king salmon and 5,264 sockeye salmon have passed through the Situk River weir. Average run-timing data indicates that if these trends continue escapement will not be reached for either species. Large numbers of king salmon are also holding in several large pools below the Situk River weir. This emergency order protects sockeye and king salmon from incidental hooking and catch-and-release angling practices.

More Salmon Fishing Closures And Bag Limit Reductions

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

Saltery Cove Sockeye Salmon Bag Limits Reduced

(Kodiak) – In an effort to achieve escapement goals, the Alaska Department of Fish and Game (ADF&G) is restricting the bag limit for sockeye salmon to two fish per day and two in possession for the Saltery Cove drainage effective 12:01 a.m. Thursday, July 12 through December 31, 2018.

“Without reductions in the current harvest levels, ADF&G does not expect to meet sockeye salmon escapement goal stocks on the Saltery Cove drainage,” stated Area Management Biologist Tyler Polum. “ As of July 9, 2018, only 1,938 sockeye salmon have passed through the weir; therefore, it is warranted to reduce the bag limit for the sockeye salmon sport fishery in an attempt to meet escapement objectives.”

Pasagshak Drainage Closed to Sport Fishing for Sockeye Salmon

(Kodiak) – In an effort to achieve sockeye salmon escapement goals, the Alaska Department of Fish and Game (ADF&G) is implementing the following sport fishing regulation closure for the Pasagshak River drainage effective 12:01 a.m. Thursday, July 12, 2018. The Pasagshak River drainage, including Lake Rose Tead, and its tributaries are closed to sport fishing for sockeye salmon. Sockeye salmon may not be retained or possessed from these areas.

“ADF&G does not expect to meet escapement goal stocks on the Pasagshak River,” stated Area Management Biologist Tyler Polum. “ As of July 9, 2018, only 221 sockeye salmon have passed through the weir; therefore, it is warranted to close the sockeye salmon sport fishery in an attempt to meet escapement objectives.”

Chignik River King Salmon Sport Fishery Closed

(Kodiak) – The Alaska Department of Fish and Game (ADF&G) is implementing the following sport fishing regulation closure for the Chignik River drainage effective 12:01 a.m. Friday, July 13, 2018. King salmon fishing is closed in the Chignik River drainage downstream to Mensis Point. This closure includes Chignik and Black lakes and their tributaries. King salmon incidentally caught, while fishing for other species, may not be removed from the water and must be released immediately. As an added measure to reduce the probability of hooking mortality, the use of bait is prohibited within the Chignik River drainage, and only one unbaited, single-hook, artificial lure may be used.

“Based on the current weir counts of 215 king salmon, we do not expect to achieve the escapement needs for the Chignik River drainage” stated Area Management Biologist Tyler Polum. “Therefore, it is not only necessary to close the king salmon sport fishery but is warranted to only allow one unbaited, single-hook, artificial lure to reduce the probability of hooking morality.”

Kvichak River Sockeye Limits Reduced

 

Kvichak River photo courtesy of Alaska Sportsman’s Lodge.

The following press release is courtesy of the Alaska Department of Fish and Game:

Sockeye Salmon Limits Reduced in the Kvichak River/Lake Iliamna Drainage and Closed in Certain Areas

(Dillingham) – In favor of protecting returning sockeye salmon and increased fishing opportunities in the future, the Alaska Department of Fish and Game (ADF&G) is restricting the bag and possession limit for sockeye salmon from five fish to two fish in all waters of the Kvichak River / Lake Iliamna drainage, effective 12:01 a.m. Thursday, July 12, 2018. The bag and possession limit restrictions apply to the waters of the Kvichak, Newhalen, and Tazimina rivers and their tributaries, and Clark, Sixmile, and Iliamna lakes and all other tributaries into these lakes.

The Alagnak River drainage is excluded from these restrictions.

In addition, this emergency order closes sport fishing for sockeye salmon in the following waters to eliminate the potential for conflict between sport and subsistence fisheries:

  1. In Alexi Creek and all waters within 150 yards of its confluence with Newhalen River.
  2. The waters of Sixmile Lake and one-quarter mile downstream of Sixmile Lake in the Newhalen River and the lower one-quarter mile of the Tazimina River.
  3. All waters within one-half-mile of the confluence of Gibraltar River with Lake Iliamna.
  4. The waters of Kvichak River between ADF&G regulatory markers posted adjacent to the community of Igiugig.

“Based on current in-river numbers of sockeye salmon, we are not expected to achieve the lower end of the escapement goal of 2 million fish for the Kvichak River drainage,” stated Area Management Biologist Jason Dye. “These restrictions are consistent with the management plan. In addition, conservation measures have been implemented in commercial fishery. Commercial fishing in the Naknek-Kvichak District is currently limited to the Naknek River Special Harvest Area.”

 

Dip Net Salmon Fishing Now Open On Copper River (Update)

(PHOTO BY JAKE WEAVER)

Updated with new regulation changes below.
The following press release is courtesy of the Alaska Department of Fish and Game:

The Chitina Subdistrict will open for an 84-hour period from 12 noon Thursday, July 12 through 11:59 p.m. Sunday, July 15.

The 2018 Copper River sockeye salmon run has improved, allowing opening of the Chitina Subdistrict personal use dip net fishery. The 2018 Copper River sockeye salmon run has required the department to modify management strategies to compensate for low sockeye salmon wild stock abundance, a stronger than projected hatchery stock run, and management of Copper River Delta sockeye salmon wild stock escapement in order to provide harvest opportunity and still achieve the wild sockeye salmon sustainable escapement goal. The personal use fishery will continue to be managed weekly through the end of August with any potential fishing opportunity dependent upon sonar passage and further adjustments needed to ensure wild sockeye salmon escapement.

As a reminder, the Copper River Personal Use Dip Net Salmon Fishery Management Plan and the Statewide Personal Use Fishing Regulations state that:

  • The annual limit is 25 salmon for the head of household and 10 salmon for each dependent of the permit holder.
  • Of the total limit only one king salmon may be retained per household.
  • Personal use fishers must possess both their Chitina Personal Use fishery permit and a valid resident sport fishing license when fishing. Steelhead cannot be kept, and must be returned to the water unharmed.
  • Harvest must be recorded on the permit immediately.
  • The tips of the tail of personal use caught fish must be clipped immediately upon landing a fish.
  • Immediately is defined as before concealing the salmon from plain view or transporting the salmon from the fishing site. Fishing site means the location where the fish was removed from the water and became part of the permit holder’s bag limit.

The Copper River personal use fishery is managed under direction of the Copper River Personal Use Dip Net Salmon Fishery Management Plan (5 AAC 77.591). The plan establishes the season from June 7 through September 30, and directs the department to establish weekly periods based on Miles Lake sonar counts. During June 18 – July 1, there were 86,348 salmon counted past the Miles Lake sonar. The preseason projection for this period was 57,165 salmon, which results in a surplus of 29,182 salmon. Copper River sockeye salmon migratory timing and the previous five-year average harvest and participation rates indicate sufficient numbers of salmon available to justify 84 hours of fishing time during the week of July 9 – July 15.

Information regarding the fishery can be found at the ADF&G web site: http://www.adfg.alaska.gov/index.cfm?adfg=PersonalUsebyAreaInteriorChitina.main. This site provides information regarding the Upper Copper River fisheries including: fishery descriptions and summaries, maps of the subdistricts, a listing of vendors that carry the permits, and links to the sonar numbers and fishing schedule emergency orders.

Any changes on the status of this fishery will be announced on the Chitina Fishery information line at 822-5224 (Glennallen), 459-7382 (Fairbanks), and 267-2511 (Anchorage). Please contact an information phone line prior to planning your trip to Chitina to ensure that the fishery will be open when you arrive. If you have any questions regarding the Chitina Subdistrict personal use fishery, please contact the ADF&G office in Glennallen at (907) 822-3309.

pper Copper River Sockeye Salmon Sport Fishery Opens

All sockeye salmon sport fisheries in the Upper Copper River Drainage, upstream of the south bank of Haley Creek, will reopen effective 12:01 a.m. Friday, July 13. The bag and possession limit is 3 sockeye salmon.

The 2018 Copper River sockeye salmon run has improved, allowing opening of the Copper River sockeye salmon sport fishery. As of July 8, a total of 519,772 salmon were counted past the Miles Lake sonar. The preseason projection for this date was 481,232 salmon, which results in a surplus of 38,540 salmon and daily sonar counts continue to exceed projected counts.

The 2018 Copper River sockeye salmon run has required the department to modify management strategies to compensate for low sockeye salmon wild stock abundance, a stronger than projected hatchery stock run, and management of Copper River Delta sockeye salmon wild stock escapement in order to provide harvest opportunity and still achieve the wild sockeye salmon sustainable escapement goal.

At this time it appears likely that the lower bound Copper River sockeye salmon escapement goal will be achieved. Based on Copper River sockeye salmon migratory timing and historic sport fishing harvest and participation it is likely the sport fishery can remain open for the remainder of the season.

REDOUBT BAY AND LAKE SUBSISTENCE AND SPORT SOCKEYE SALMON LIMITS INCREASED

Sitka. . . The Alaska Department of Fish and Game announced today that effective 12:01 a.m. Tuesday, July 10, 2018, harvest limits in the Redoubt Bay and Lake subsistence and sport fisheries will be increased. The individual/household possession limit of subsistence sockeye salmon at Redoubt Bay and Lake will be 25 sockeye salmon and the individual/household annual limit will be 100 sockeye salmon. The sport fish bag and possession limit will be 6 sockeye salmon.

The Redoubt Lake weir, operated by the U.S. Forest Service, was installed and operational on June 16, 2018. As of July 8, 13,361 sockeye salmon have been counted through the weir. Based on historic run timing, the projected escapement for the 2018 season exceeds 30,000 sockeye salmon.

The Redoubt Bay and Lake Sockeye Salmon Management Plan provides management provisions for subsistence, sport, and commercial fisheries that harvest Redoubt Lake sockeye salmon based on an optimal escapement goal of 7,000 to 25,000 fish. The plan directs ADF&G to establish a subsistence individual/household possession limit of 25 sockeye salmon and an annual limit of 100 sockeye salmon, and a sport fish bag and possession limit of 6 sockeye salmon if the projected total escapement is greater than 30,000 sockeye salmon. Fishermen are reminded that no person may possess subsistence-taken and sport-taken salmon on the same day.

The emergency orders corresponding with this news release are: 1-S-24-18 and 1-RS-D-19-18.

See more at the Commercial Fisheries News releases web site and the Sport Fisheries News Releases web site.

Office Ketchikan Petersburg Wrangell Sitka Juneau Haines Yakutat
ADF&G 225-5195 772-3801 874-3822 747-6688 465-4250 766-2830 784-3255
AWT 225-5111 772-3983 874-3215 747-3254 465-4000 766-2533 784-3220

Big Halibut Being Hauled In During Valdez Derby

Tim Ingraham of North Pole with his 214-pound halibut that has him third in the Valdez Halibut Derby. (VALDEZFISHDERBIES.COM)

The following press release is courtesy of Valdez Fish Derbies:

VALDEZ, Alaska – Big hauls of halibut, lingcod, and rockfish are being laid out on the docks at the Valdez Harbor. Fair weather this past week allowed anglers to get to the fishing grounds past Hinchinbrook Island and the fish seemed to be biting. According to Charter Captain Josh Hughes of the Jamie Lynn, the salmon are still out quite a ways out, but they have seen some jumpers.

Doug Cranor of Valdez is still leading the Valdez Halibut Derby with the 239 pound halibut he caught June 23rd aboard the Redhead. Russell Young of Fairbanks is currently in 2nd place overall with the 226.0 pounder he caught June 23rd aboard the Dan Orion and Tim Ingraham is holding onto 3rd place overall with the 214.2 pounder he caught July 7th  aboard the Jaime Lynn.

Lingcod season opened July 1st and anglers are doing well getting their limits of lingcod and halibut. The daily limit for lingcod is one per day, and one in possession. Alaska Department of Fish and Game rules say that to keep lingcod, it needs to be a minimum of 35 inches long with head attached or 28 inches with head removed.

While sport anglers are heading to the halibut grounds, the commercial charter fleet was just past the narrows seining for pink salmon. According to Valdez Fisheries Development Association, VFDA achieved 42 percent of its cost recovery goal through 7th. A total of 116,517 pinks were harvested at an average weight of 3.56 pounds and a female percentage of thirteen percent. The anticipated return of pink salmon in Valdez is 16.9 million.

The Kids Pink Salmon Derby is July 21st and the biggest pink salmon brought in during the nine year history of the event is a 10.12 pounder caught by Alex Plowman last year. Six of the top 10 fish caught during 2017 Kids Pink Salmon Derby, made the Top 10 list, including all of the top five spots.  CLICK HERE for more information about the Kids Pink Salmon Derby. It’s a free event for kids 5 to 16 years of age and includes prizes and a free barbeque. Pink salmon fishing is generally very productive at Allison Point and along the shorelines. Pixies, spinners and Vibrax are all good options.

The Silver Salmon Derby will start July 21st and the Women’s Derby is Saturday, August 11th with an opening ceremony on Friday, August 10th. Valdez Fish Derbies dates, prizes, rules, winners, pictures and more can be found at www.valdezfishderbies.com.

Halibut Derby – Overall Leaders

1st        Doug Cranor               Valdez, AK                          239.0 lbs.            June 23            Redhead
2nd        Russel Young              Fairbanks, AK          226.0 lbs.            June 23            Dan Orion
3rd        Tim Ingraham              North Pole, AK                    214.2 lbs.            July 7               Jaime Lynn

Halibut Derby – Weekly Winners – July 2nd through July 8th

1st        Tim Ingraham              North Pole, AK           214.2 lbs.         July 7               Jaime Lynn

2nd        Hunter Linden            Wasilla, AK                164.2 lbs.         July 3               Bold Eagle

ADFG Increases Sockeye Limits On Coghill River

Sockeye photo by Katrina Mueller/USFWS

The following press release is courtesy of the Alaska Department of Fish and Game:

(Prince William Sound) – In an effort to harvest surplus sockeye salmon returning to the Coghill River drainage, the Alaska Department of Fish and Game (ADF&G) is implementing the following sport fishing regulation liberalization by increasing limits of sockeye salmon to 12 fish per day and 24 fish n possession effective 12:01 a.m. Saturday, July 7, 2018. In conjunction with the regulation liberalization, the closed area adjacent to the Coghill River weir has been reduced to 50 feet upstream and downstream of the weir, as indicated by ADF&G regulatory markers.

The sockeye salmon escapement goal for the Coghill River is 20,000 – 60,000 fish. As of July 5, 2018, an estimated 25,436 sockeye salmon have passed through the Coghill River weir on. An estimated 4,000 sockeye are holding just below the weir. The run is approximately at the 50% point.

“Based on the number of sockeye salmon that have passed through the weir and the number of sockeye salmon holding up below the weir, it is reasonable to increase the limits and allow anglers an opportunity to harvest 12 sockeye salmon per day in the Coghill River drainage,” stated Assistant Area Management Biologist Brittany Blain-Roth.

Anglers should note that the commercial fishery will also be continuing to fish on the surplus sockeye salmon. Anglers should expect to see ongoing commercial fishing activity throughout the remainder of the fishery and expect catch rates to be variable.

Legal Moose? Check Out ADFG’s Video To Help Determine It

Photo by ADFG

 

The following press release is courtesy of the Alaska Department of Fish and Game:

A remake of the popular video “Is This Moose Legal?” is now available for hunters preparing for the coming season. Originally produced by the Alaska Department of Fish and Game in the 1980s to familiarize moose hunters with newly imposed antler restrictions, this educational tool is now more valuable than ever, especially for those who plan to hunt moose in Kenai Peninsula Game Management Units 7 and 15 where viewing the video is part of a mandatory Moose Hunter Orientation package.

The new 25-minute-long version of “Is This Moose Legal?” is updated to address regulations that have evolved over the years and is designed to familiarize hunters with moose antler terminology, selective harvest strategies, and help hunters learn how to identify legal moose in antler-restricted hunt areas.

“This is a wonderful educational video for new and experienced moose hunters alike,” said Bruce Dale, director of the Division of Wildlife Conservation. “I think hunters across the state will enjoy watching the new version and will gain valuable information for their next moose hunt.”

Moose management in many parts of Alaska includes restrictions on the spread or configuration of a bull’s antlers. Knowing definitions for these terms and how to identify these antler distinctions in the field is a critical part of legally harvesting a moose in Alaska.

The updated “Is This Moose Legal?” video can be streamed for free on the department’s website at http://www.adfg.alaska.gov/index.cfm?adfg=moosehunting.legal. DVDs will also be available beginning in August for $5 at your local Fish and Game office or online at the ADF&G Store.