Sport Fishing Closure On Anchor River, Deep Creek

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

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 18 through 11:59 p.m. Monday, July 15, 2024.

The Anchor River king salmon escapements in recent years have been near the lower end of the sustainable escapement goal (SEG) and the goal has been missed three of the last five years. The department has updated the SEG to 3,200-6,400 king salmon starting in 2024. The 2024 preseason forecast is for a run size of 2,758 king salmon which is below the lower end of the SEG. Deep Creek king salmon escapement was not monitored in 2023 and will not be assessed in 2024 but the trends in annual run sizes are similar to the Anchor River. 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.

The Anchor River, Deep Creek, and Ninilchik River King Salmon Sport Fishery Management Plan was adopted at the November 2023 Board of Fisheries meeting. This plan establishes management actions for the Anchor River and Deep Creek using the Anchor River preseason forecast and inseason projections, and for the Ninilchik River using the Ninilchik River inseason projection. This plan will be in effect for the 2024 season. For additional information on recent changes to these fisheries through the Board of Fisheries process, please review the December 11, 2023 press release.

“Similar to escapement trends with other Cook Inlet early-run king salmon stocks, Anchor River escapements have been poor in recent years,” stated Area Management Biologist Mike Booz. “Starting with the Anchor River and Deep Creek sport fisheries closed, is a conservative approach to maximize king salmon escapements.”

In conjunction with this closure, Emergency Order 2-KS-7-07-24 closes Upper Cook Inlet salt waters to king salmon fishing, Emergency Order 2-KS-1-08-24 closes the Kenai River early-run king salmon fishery, and Emergency Order 2-KS-2-05-24 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 the 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.