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For those uninterested in kings, options abound

Posted: May 21, 2014 - 6:09pm  |  Updated: May 23, 2014 - 7:55am

Trout

Fishing for rainbow and Dolly Varden trout on the Kenai River between the mouth of the river and Torpedo Hole, Jason Pawluk, assistant management biologist with the Department of Fish and Game, said.

No treble hooks, baiting or scents are allowed, Pawluk said. Only single hooks can be used to fish with.

After June 10 the entire river will be open for trout fishing, from Torpedo Hole up to Skilak Lake, once they are finished spawning, Pawluk said.

The theme right now for fishing is “it’s kind of slow,” Pawluk said. The water is low and dirty right now, and rainbows are nearing spawning season, which means even fewer locations to legally fish.

Kings

Fishing for king salmon is closed on the Kenai River until June 30, Pawluk said.

Hatchery Kings can be fished on the Kasilof River, but no more than one per day, Pawluk said. Their missing Adipose fin distinguishes hatchery salmon, Pawluk said. A healed scar will be in it’s place.

No treble hooks, baiting or scents are allowed. Only single hooks can be used to fish with, Pawluk said.

Pawluk said few catches have been reported so far. He does not know whether to attribute this to low efforts or slow fishing. Water levels are also low on the Kasilof.

On the lower peninsula streams, the Ninilchik, Anchor Rivers and Deep Creek will be open to fishing from 12:01 a.m. Saturday through midnight Monday. Water conditions are good are good and levels are low, anglers should expect poor to fair fishing for king salmon, according to a Fish and Game fishing report.

For better success, try fishing in the early morning and at the mouth of these streams on the incoming tide.

There have been changes to the king salmon regulations on the lower Kenai Peninsula streams and these are in effect through June 30.

­— The combined annual limit of king salmon 20-inches or greater in length has been reduced to two from May 1-June 30 in the Anchor River, Deep Creek, Ninilchik River and all marine waters south of the mouth of the Ninilchik River down to Bluff Point.

— after harvesting a king salmon 20 inches or greater from either the Anchor River, Deep Creek, or the Ninilchik river anglers must stop fishing in those streams for the rest of the day.

— Anglers may only use one unbaited, single-hook with an artificial lure on the Anchor River, Deep Creek and Ninilchik River.

— The Ninilchik River king salmon bag and possession limit is one wild or hatchery-reared fish during regular weekend openings in May and June but beginning July 1, it is reduced to one hatchery-reared king salmon.

— The Anchor River is closed to sport fishing on Wednesdays.

Hooligan

Pawluk has heard some reports of hooligan on the lower Kenai River. However, it is still early in the season to be seeing many.

Steelhead

It’s the time of year for steelhead trout to be migrating downstream, but Fish and Game suggests familiarizing yourself with the differences between kings and steelhead.

Steelhead are a catch-and-reelease fish that cannot be removed from the water and must be released immediately in the lower peninsula streams.

Stocked Lakes

The ice is gone from most of the stocked lakes on the Kenai Peninsula and fishing conditions are good.

These are fishermen’s best bet right now, Pawluk said. The most successful fishing at this point in the season will take place on the 27 lakes Fish and Game stocks with fishery species.

Johnson Lake will have the final rainbow “catchables” stocked in it by May22, Pawluk said. Arc Lake and Tirmore Lake are slated to have Arctic grayling stocked and Island Lake will be stocked with Arctic char, he said.

Trout can be taken on dry or wet flies with small spoons, spinners or bait.

The numbers, kinds and locations of where to fish can be found at dfg.alaska.gov, or free packets are available in the office on Kalifornsky Beach Road.

Assessments

Assessments on salmon in the Kenai River began on May 16, Pawluk said.

So far only one king salmon has been netted and a handful of sockeye salmon.

The sonar has only picked up seals and flounder, thus far.

Shellfish

The next series of clamming tides will be May 26-31. For razor clams, try Clam Gulch beaches or beaches on the west side of Cook Inlet.

For littleneck and butter clams, try the gravel beaches on the south side of Kachemak Bay from Seldovia to Chugachik Island.

All shrimp and crab fisheries in Kachemak Bay are currently closed.

 

Kelly Sullivan can be reached at kelly.sullivan@peninsulaclarion.com

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