Because of low king salmon runs, an emergency order issued Wednesday by the Alaska Department of Fish and Game closes all sport fishing for any species of fish in the lower portions of the Anchor River, Deep Creek, Ninilchik River and Stariski Creek beginning at 12:01 a.m. Saturday. The closure is in effect until 11:59 p.m. July 15 or until another emergency order is issued.
King salmon fishing opportunities had already ended in June on Deep Creek and the Ninilchik River. In effect, the order closes fishing on the Anchor River one weekend earlier in June.
King salmon fishing, including catch-and-release fishing, also is closed in Cook Inlet within one mile offshore south of the Ninilchik River to Bluff Point. Any king salmon caught may not be removed from the ocean and must be released immediately.
“That hurts everybody here, of course,” said Bill Scott, treasury director of the Anchor Point Chamber of Commerce. “We feel they’re doing what they need to do to preserve our fishery for the future.”
The escapement goal for kings on the Anchor River is 3,800-10,000 fish. As of Monday, the escapement on the Anchor River was 657 fish. The justification for the emergency order was to prevent hooking-related mortality on migrating kings. Restricting fishing on Deep Creek and Stariski Creek was done to minimize a shifting of effort from the Anchor River and Ninilchik River, according to Fish and Game officials.
Michael Armstrong can be reached at email@example.com.