Fish and Game to stock grayling in peninsula lakes again

Peninsula anglers hankering after grayling won’t have to go so far afield in the future — the fish will be available in some of the Alaska Department of Fish and Game’s stocked lakes again.

Fish and Game announced plan in a Wednesday press release to stock grayling fingerling into Scout, Tirmore and Arc lakes on the northern Kenai Peninsula. About 9,500 fish would be stocked into the three lakes — 6,000 into Scout Lake near Sterling and 1,500 each in Tirmore Lake in Nikiski and Arc Lake in Soldotna. Grayling, which are native all over the state except in Southeast, Kodiak and the Aleutian Islands, are popular sport fish. However, in 2015, the state eliminated the grayling stocking program because of budget reductions.

The funding has since been restored, said Brian Marston, the area management biologist for the Division of Sport Fish in Soldotna. The state still hasn’t finalized its budget, but the planners do know they have funding for the grayling program, he said.

“We’re able to plan ahead and make that decision,” he said.

Grayling stocking would be included permanently in future years, according to the press release. Scout Lake would be stocked with grayling fingerling again in 2019 while Arc and Tirmore lakes will be stocked with catchables. Scout Lake is already stocked with 10,000 rainbow trout fingerling, Tirmore is stocked with 1,500 rainbow trout fingerling and Arc is stocked with 1,900 coho fingerling annually.

The grayling stocking plan would be a amendment to the Southcentral section of the statewide stocking plan. The plan also calls for Fish and Game to stock 57,220 coho into four lakes, 152,980 rainbow fingerling and 8,960 rainbow catchables into 24 lakes, 10,000 Arctic char catchables into two lakes as well as 4,000 king salmon catchables into Sport Lake, 700 catchable rainbows into a youth fishing pond at the Sport, Recreation and Trade Show and 8,620 catchable rainbows in Johnson Lake for Kenai Peninsula Borough School District student events.

The state is still accepting public comment on the plan, which can be submitted by email to brian.marston@alaska.gov or Soldotna Assistant Area Management Biologist Jenny Gates at jenny.gates@alaska.gov. Comments can also be submitted by mail to Fish and Game’s office at 43961 Kalifornsky Beach Road, Suite B, Soldotna, Alaska, 99669.

Reach Elizabeth Earl at eearl@peninsulaclarion.com.

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