Ninilchik River Hatchery King Salmon Bag Limits Increased, Annual Limit Removed

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

(Homer) – The Alaska Department of Fish and Game (ADF&G) is increasing the bag and possession limits of hatchery king salmon 20” or greater in length from one fish to two fish and removing the annual limit of hatchery king salmon 20” or greater in length in the Ninilchik River. These changes are effective 12:01 a.m. Saturday, June 12 through 11:59 p.m. Sunday, October 31, 2021.

As of June 7, 2021, a total of 292 wild and 531 hatchery king salmon have been counted on the lower Ninilchik River weir and escaped above the sport fishery. Based on the 2018-2019 average run timing at this counting location, these counts should represent approximately 24% of this years’ wild run and 19% of the hatchery run. It is likely the wild run will meet the sustainable escapement goal of 750 wild fish at the upper weir and will be sufficient to support broodstock collection for the 2022 Ninilchik River stocking. The hatchery escapement above the lower weir is projected to exceed broodstock collection needs for the 2022 stockings at the Kachemak Bay terminal fishery locations.

“Fishing for hatchery king salmon run in the Ninilchik River has been good this year so far due to a strong run of hatchery fish,” stated Area Management Biologist Mike Booz. “Increasing the bag limit and removing the annual limit should provide anglers extra king salmon harvest opportunity this season and help reduce the number of hatchery fish in the escapement.”

The preseason emergency order regulation restriction to limit the bag and possession to hatchery king salmon only for the third weekend and Monday will remain in effect. All other sport fishing regulations for the Ninilchik River are outlined on pages 71 and 72 of the 2021 Southcentral Sport Fishing Regulations Summary booklet. The table on page 71 that outlines the Ninilchik River season is misprinted that it is closed June 15-June 30. The fishery will be open June 12 through June 14, will be closed on June 15, and will reopen for the remainder of the season on June 16. The use of bait and treble hooks will be allowed.

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