The Alaska Department of Fish and Game has issued an emergency order extending king salmon fishing in the Ninilchik River.
The river will be open to hatchery king salmon fishing from 12:01 a.m. Saturday through 11:59 p.m. June 30. The river only is open from its mouth to the downstream edge of the Sterling Highway Bridge.
Fishers are reminded that the daily bag and possession limit for kings is one hatchery-reared fish, 20 inches or greater in length, and 10 hatchery-reared king salmon, less than 20 inches in length.
All hatchery-reared king salmon stocked in the Ninilchik River have their adipose fin the small, fleshy fin on the back, just in front of the tail removed. Only king salmon with a healed adipose fin-removal scar may be retained. Any king salmon caught with an adipose fin should not be removed from the water.
King salmon fishers on the open part of the Ninilchik River may use bait. Only one single hook may be used. The Ninilchik River is a king salmon sport fishery supported by wild and hatchery-produced fish. From 1999 to 2002, an average of 600 hatchery-produced kings spawned in the Ninilchik River, providing a surplus to egg-take needs. Fish and Game expects the surplus to continue in 2003.
The department also reminds fishers that good clamming tides in Kachemak Bay begin today. Clam diggers must have a 2003 Alaska sportfishing license and a 2003 shellfish permit in possession to dig littleneck (steamer) or butter clams in Kachemak Bay. The fine for digging without a permit is $100.
The daily bag and possession limit for littleneck clams is 1,000. Harvested clams must be at least 1.5 inches across the widest part of the shell. The daily bag and possession limit for butter clams is 700, and clams must be at least 2.5 inches across the widest part of the shell. Clams that are dug but not kept should be reburied with the neck pointing upward in the beach.
Clammers are reminded to log the date, location and amount of clams harvested on their permits before leaving the digging area and to return permits to Fish and Game at the end of the season.
Shellfish permits are free and are available at Fish and Game offices, as well as several vendors, throughout Southcentral Alaska. Permits are not required for other species of clams, including razor clams.
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