Last Thursday, the Alaska Department of Fish and Game, Division of Sportfish announced early restrictions for the 2013 king salmon season.
A press release from Assistant Area Management Biologist Carol Kerkvliet indicated that sport-fishing in Lower Cook Inlet stream and marine waters would be, “managed conservatively during the 2013 season.”
The release noted that the increased scrutiny is in response to “low king salmon abundance over recent years, a below-average outlook for the upcoming season and uncertainty over how quickly king salmon abundance may rebound.”
The following restrictions are in effect from Wednesday, May 1 through Sunday, June 30, 2013. (Except where otherwise noted)
• The Anchor River is closed to sport fishing on Wednesdays and the ADF&G regulatory marker is relocated approximately 1,000 feet downstream of the North and South fork junction.
• The combined annual limit is two king salmon, 20 inches or greater in length, for fish harvested in the Anchor and Ninilchik rivers and Deep Creek, as well as all marine waters south of the mouth of the Ninilchik River to Bluff Point.
• Anglers are required to stop fishing for any species for the rest of the day after harvesting a king salmon 20 inches or greater in length from either the Anchor and Ninilchik rivers and Deep Creek.
• Anglers may only use one un-baited, single-hook, artificial lure on the Anchor and Ninilchik rivers and Deep Creek.
• The Ninilchik River king salmon bag and possession limit is one naturally produced or hatchery-produced fish from May 1 through June 30. Beginning July 1, bag and possession is limited to one hatchery-produced king salmon.
The adipose fin is intact in naturally produced king salmon. Hatchery-produced kings are distinguished by a healed adipose fin-clip scar. The adipose fin is the small fleshy fin on the back just ahead of the tail.
The release indicated that the ADF&G believes these restrictions will “provide the best chance to achieve sustainable escapement goals in these streams and reduce the potential of in-season closures while providing fishing opportunity.”
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