Low king salmon escapement numbers in Ship Creek have prompted the Alaska Department of Fish and Game to close the popular waterway to sport fishing June 7-13.
In an emergency order issued Thursday afternoon, the department said the closure reaches from the mouth of the creek to a cable 100 feet downstream from the Chugach Power Plant dam. ADFG said it’s an attempt to reach escapement goals at the William Jack Hernandez Sport Fish Hatchery. According to Thursday’s emergency order, an estimated 750 fish are necessary to obtain sufficient brood stock. So far, fewer than 300 have been observed upstream of the fishery: 153 entering through the hatchery’s raceway and a July 2 survey counted an additional 133 downstream to the top of the sport fishery.
While the department said good catches were reported at the sport fishery over the past three weeks, things have slowed as the run winds down.
Now, ADFG hopes the weeklong closure will help the Downtown Anchorage hatchery reach its escapement goals.