King salmon fishing restricted on lower Cook Inlet streams
A series of additional restrictions have been placed on fishing for king salmon along several Southcentral Alaska streams, according to the Alaska Department of Fish and Game.
Four separate restrictions, announced Monday, affect streams along the lower Cook Inlet including the Anchor and Ninilchik River drainages as well as Deep Creek drainages. All four are designed around “protecting returning king salmon and ensuring fishing opportunities in the future.”
Here’s an overview of when and where they go into effect:
ANCHOR RIVER, NINILCHIK RIVER, DEEP CREEK DRAINAGES:
According to Fish and Game, the Anchor River, Deep Creek, Ninilchik River, and all marine waters south of the south of the Ninilchik’s mouth to Bluff Point are under a “combined annual limit” of two king salmon 20 inches or longer. That restriction will be in effect from 12:01 a.m. April 1 through 11:59 p.m. July 1.
“It is necessary to combine the annual limit in all three streams and marine waters south of the Ninilchik River to Bluff Point in anticipation of increased angler efforts due to conservation efforts implemented on other Cook Inlet king salmon sport fisheries,” Carol Kerkvliet, Fish and Game’s area management biologist, said in a statement. “By combining the annual limits for these waters, we hope to increase the chance of mature king salmon making their way to their spawning grounds.”
Fish and Game says a gear restriction for the three drainages will also be effective from 12:01 a.m. April 1 through 11:59 p.m. July 15.
“Sport fishing gear is restricted to only one unbaited, single-hook, artificial lure in these three drainages,” Fish and Game officials wrote.
Sport fishing for kings on the Anchor River will be banned during May and June’s first and fifth opening weekends, as well as five Wednesday openings during those two months.
“Anglers may still fish the Anchor River during the following days: May 25-27, June 1-3, June 8-10,” Fish and Game officials wrote.
Fishing on the Ninilchik will be under a bag and possession limit of one hatchery-produced king over 20 inches, as well as 10 hatchery-produced kings under 20 inches, from 12:01 a.m. April 1 through 11:59 p.m. July 15.
According to Fish and Game, the limits apply to three weekends beginning with the Memorial Day weekend, plus the Monday following each of those three openings. Affected dates include May 25-27, June 1-3, and June 8-10.
“The bag and possession limit restrictions also affect the Ninilchik River Youth-Only Fishery on Wednesday June 5, 2019. Youth anglers under 16 years of age may only harvest one hatchery-reared king salmon of any size,” Fish and Game officials wrote. “Hatchery-reared king salmon are recognized by the healed adipose fin-clip scar. Wild king salmon have an adipose fin and may not be removed from the water and must be release immediately.”
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