Another Sport Fishing Closure: Anchor River, Deep Creek Shut Down

Anchor River and Deep Creek Closed to Sport Fishing

(Homer) – In favor of protecting returning king salmon and ensuring sport fishing opportunities in the future, the Alaska Department of Fish and Game (ADF&G) is closing the Anchor River and Deep Creek drainages to all sport fishing effective 12:01 a.m. Saturday, May 20 through 11:59 p.m. Saturday, July 15, 2023.

The Anchor River sustainable escapement goal (SEG) of 3,800–7,600 king salmon has not been met 3 of the last 5 five years including 2022. The 2023 preseason forecast is for a run size of 3,659 king salmon which is below the lower end of the SEG. In the last three years, the performance of the preseason king salmon forecast has on average been within 9% of the actual run. Deep Creek king salmon escapement was not monitored in 2022 and will not be assessed in 2023 but the trends in annual run sizes are similar to the Anchor River. The Anchor River king salmon escapement monitoring will start in early May and if the run is sufficient to make the SEG, the sport fishery may reopen later in the season by emergency order.

“The Anchor River king salmon escapement in recent years has been hovering around the lower end of the escapement goal,” stated Area Management Biologist Mike Booz. “given this prolonged period of poor productivity for Cook Inlet king salmon stocks, it is best that we start with the fishery closed to maximize the number of king salmon we can get into the escapement.”

In conjunction with this closure, Emergency Order 2-KS-7-15-23 closes Upper Cook Inlet salt waters to king salmon fishing, Emergency Order 2-KS-1-10-23 closes the Kenai River early-run king salmon fishery, and Emergency Order 2-KS-2-05-23 closes the Deshka River to king salmon fishing. Additionally, emergency orders prohibiting the retention of wild (naturally-produced) king salmon in the Ninilchik and Kasilof rivers and restricting other king salmon fisheries in Susitna River, Northern Cook Inlet, and West Cook Inlet areas have been issued. Please review these emergency orders and advisory announcements in their entirety for the specific regulatory changes.

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