If you’re looking to do some salmon fishing near Dillingham or Kodiak this summer, you may need to adjust your plans. The Alaska Department of Fish and Game has issued some restrictions and closures to know about. 

In Western Alaska, effective 12:01 a.m. on Thursday, an order reduces the bag and possession limit for sockeyes in the Kvichak River/Lake Iliamna drainage from five fish to two fish. This applies to the waters of the Kvichak, Newhalen and Taziminia rivers as well as the Clark, Sixmile and Iliamna lakes and all their tributaries.

The same order looks to eliminate potential conflict between sportfishing and subsistence fisheries by closing sportfishing for sockeyes in the following areas:

  • Alexi Creek and the waters within 150 yards of where it meets the Newhalen River
  • Sixmile Lake and one-quarter mile downstream in the Newhalen and the lower fourth of the Taimina River
  • All waters within a half mile of where the Gibralter River meets Lake Iliamna
  • The waters of Kvichak River between Fish and Game’s regulatory markers posted next to the community of Igiugig.

"Based on current in-river numbers of sockeye salmon, we are not expected to achieve the lower end of the escapement goal of 2 million fish for the Kvichak River drainage," said Area Management Biologist Jason Dye.

Also effective 12:01 a.m. on Thursday, Fish and Game is closing sportfishing for sockeyes on the Pasagshak River near Kodiak. No sockeye salmon can be retained or possessed from river drainage, which includes Lake Rose Tead and its tributaries.

Area Management Biologist Tyler Polum says, “As of July 9, 2018, only 221 sockeye salmon have passed through the weir; therefore, it is warranted to close the sockeye salmon sport fishery in an attempt to meet escapement objectives.”

The Saltery Cove drainage is also affected by a Fish and Game order. Starting at 12:01 a.m. on Thursday, through the end of the year, the department is restricting the bag limit for sockeyes to two fish per day and two in possession.

Finally, starting Friday at 12:01 a.m. sportfishing for king salmon is closed for the Chignik River drainage downstream to Mensis Point, including the Chignik and Black lakes. Any king that’s incidentally caught while fishing for other species has to be released immediately and not removed from the water. In addition, to reduce hooking mortality, bait is prohibited, and fishers can only use one unbaited, single-hook, artificial lure.

“Based on the current weir counts of 215 king salmon, we do not expect to achieve the escapement needs for the Chignik River drainage,” said Polum. “Therefore, it is not only necessary to close the king salmon sport fishery but is warranted to only allow one unbaited, single-hook, artificial lure to reduce the probability of hooking morality.”

For more information on fishing news and regulations, visit the Fish and Game website.

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