Fish Can’t Be Retained At Several Soldotna-Area Lakes
The following press releases are courtesy of the Alaska Department of Fish and Game:
(Soldotna) – Sport fishing will be permitted at East and West Mackey, Sevena, Union, and Derks lakes; however, the retention of all species of fish is prohibited at these lakes.
These restrictions will be in effect from 12:01 a.m. Tuesday, January 1 through 11:59 p.m. Tuesday, December 31, 2019.
From 2014-2017, East and West Mackey, Sevena, Union, and Derks lakes were successfully treated with rotenone to eradicate nonnative northern pike. During 2015-2017, Alaska Department of Fish and Game staff captured and transported approximately 92,000 native fish from Soldotna Creek to these lakes to aid in the restoration of the native fish populations. Continued restrictions from 2018 through 2019 are needed to protect these native fish until the population is established.
Eastside Cook Inlet Beaches Remain Closed to Sport Clamming
All eastside Cook Inlet beaches will remain closed to personal use and sport clamming in 2019 since any razor clam harvest will likely delay recovery of the population. These closures prohibit the taking of any clam species from the mouth of the Kenai River to the southernmost tip of the Homer Spit. The closure is effective at 12:01 a.m. Tuesday, January 1, 2019 and will be in effect for the remainder of the year.
From 2009-2015, eastside Cook Inlet razor clams experienced poor recruitment of juvenile sized razor clams and a high natural mortality rate of mature sized razor clams, which both resulted in a significant decline in abundance leading to the closure of the fishery.
Causes of the decline in razor clam abundance remains unknown but may include a combination of heavy surf, habitat changes, environmental stressors and predation. Eastside razor clam populations are beginning to rebuild, but uncertainties remain if it will continue into 2019. Razor clam abundance surveys are scheduled for the spring of 2019 on Ninilchik and Clam Gulch beaches to assess abundance of juvenile and mature sized razor clams, recruitment to the beach and mature size, annual growth, natural mortality, and potential harvest opportunity.
This closure does not affect recreational razor clam regulations on westside Cook Inlet beaches. If you have any questions, please contact the ADF&G Homer Office at (907) 235-8191.