King Salmon Fishing Restricted In Lower Cook Inlet Areas

The following is 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.

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