The areas upstream of the two-mile regulatory markers on the Anchor and Ninilchik Rivers and Deep and Stariski Creeks opened on August 1 to fishing for Dolly Varden and steelhead/rainbow trout. Salmon may not be targeted or harvested upstream of the 2-mile regulatory markers.
Anglers need to be aware of the new regulation affecting all Kenai Peninsula streams: A coho salmon may not be removed from the water prior to release; a coho removed from the water counts toward the bag limit of the person hooking it, and must be retained.
An emergency order has been issued to reduce the sport, personal use and subsistence bag and possession limits for littleneck and butter clams in Cook Inlet and Resurrection Bay from 1,000 littleneck clams and 700 butter clams to a combined limit of 80 clams.
The marine waters of Tutka Bay Lagoon within 100 yards of the Tutka Bay Lagoon hatchery net pens are closed to sport fishing.
The lower portions of the Anchor River, Deep Creek and Stariski Creek are open to sport fishing except for king salmon including jacks. Ninilchik River is open to the harvest of hatchery king salmon but most kings have already spawned.
Silver salmon are starting to arrive in these streams. Fishing has been slow over the last week but should improve over the next couple of weeks. Salmon roe clusters and plug cut herring work the best but spinners and fly fishing flies also catch fish.
Fishing for Dolly Varden has been spotty in the lower stream sections but has been fair to good on the upper sections. Try using small bright spinners, fresh salmon eggs, or fly patterns that resemble fish such as muddler minnows or egg patterns. The daily bag and possession limit for Dolly Varden is two fish.
Steelhead trout hooked in the Anchor River, Deep Creek, Stariski Creek and the Ninilchik River must not be removed from the water and must be released immediately.
Pink and chum salmon are available in Kachemak Bay streams. Try Humpy Creek for chum salmon and Dolly Varden.
The numerous Kenai Peninsula stocked lakes provide great fishing opportunities. A brochure listing the locations of the stocked lakes is available on the Sport Fish website and at ADF&G offices.
In the Homer area, try the Bridge Creek Reservoir for Dolly Varden. A variety of gear is effective including bait, spinners and fly fishing gear.
Halibut fishing is poor in Kachemak Bay, but fair to good if you travel to central or southern Cook Inlet from Homer or fish out of Anchor Pt. or Deep Creek. Sampled halibut landed over the past week averaged 17.5 pounds (ranging from 7.5 to 92 pounds).
Try fishing around and during slack tide. This allows anglers to keep their bait on the bottom using less weight. Herring is the most popular bait, but octopus, squid, salmon heads and jigs also work well.
Reports of “mushy” halibut, where the flesh is very soft or flabby, sometimes with pockets of jelly-like tissue, are declining. Anglers report that the fish are mushy after being cooked as well. ADF&G has not yet tested these fish, but reports are similar to incidences in 1998 and 2005, which the ADF&G pathology lab diagnosed as a nutritional myopathy. The incidence of flabby or jelly-like flesh can be high for anglers fishing in certain locales, so if you catch a fish that feels flabby, release it immediately unharmed. You might consider moving to a different area to avoid these fish.
Silver salmon fishing in Cook Inlet and Kachemak Bay was fair to good last weekend at Flat Island, Point Pogibshi and offshore. Trolling has been the most effective way of targeting silver salmon.
Some small schools of silver salmon produced fair fishing at the Nick Dudiak Fishing Lagoon.
Trolling success for king salmon has been poor in most locations. Some king salmon have been caught while trolling for silver salmon.
Popular trolling set-ups for king and silver salmon include herring, hootchies, tube flies, and spoons. Try using dodgers or flashers for extra attraction.
Other salt water fishing
Lingcod fishing has been fair. Many anglers target lingcod near the rock piles and pinnacles by Elizabeth Island and Kennedy Entrance. There is a minimum size limit of 35 inches and a bag limit of 2 per day/2 in possession. A gaff may not be used on any fish intended for release.
Cod, pollock and a variety of flounders are plentiful off the end of the Homer Spit. Try using herring or jigs for the best success. Familiarize yourself with the identification of the different species so you know which ones will be good to eat.
The Kachemak Bay coho salmon gillnet fishery opens Tuesday August 16. A permit is required and available at the Homer ADF&G office.
The China Poot personal use fishery is closed.
No extreme tides this week.
Razor clams can be found on the sandy beaches from Kasilof to Homer and are exposed on minus tides. Tides of minus -2.0 feet or lower are suggested.
Littleneck and butter clams can be found in a variety of habitats from Jakolof Bay to Bear Cove. Try exploring new beaches for success. Typically, littleneck clams are found shallower in the substrate, up to 6”deep while butter clams found up to two feet deep.
The Cook Inlet and North Gulf Coast sport and personal use tanner crab fisheries are open through December 31. A free permit is required and available at Fish and Game offices in Homer, Soldotna and Anchorage and at the Fish House in Seward. For tanner crabs, try west of the Homer spit in depths of 250-400 feet of water.
The Cook Inlet and North Gulf Coast sport and personal use Tanner crab fisheries are now open. A free permit is required and available at Fish and Game offices in Homer, Soldotna and Anchorage and at the Fish House in Seward.
Shrimp, king crab and Dungeness crab fisheries in Cook Inlet are currently closed. Personal use (Alaska residents only) shrimping is open in the North Gulf coast and a free permit is required.
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