King salmon fishing will close Saturday until July 15 in the Anchor and Ninilchik rivers, in Deep Creek, and in Cook Inlet within one mile of shore between the Ninilchik River and Bluff Point.
On Thursday, the Alaska Department of Fish and Game cited “the weak in-season run projection for Anchor River king salmon” as the reason for the emergency closure, which goes into effect 12:01 a.m Saturday.
As of Tuesday, Fish and Game had counted 90 king salmon passing its sonar and video weirs in the Anchor River. In previous weak runs between 2009 and 2014, the average escapement by this date was 301. Fish and Game estimates the Anchor River kings will not make their sustainable escapement goal of 3,800 to 7,600 fish. The Anchor River kings previously failed to meet this goal in 2009 through 2011 and in 2014, according to Fish and Game Area Management Biologist Carol Kerkvliet.
In addition to the Anchor River, Fish and Game also closed Deep Creek and the Ninilchik to “minimize the shifting of effort” of anglers moving to those rivers, Kerkvliet said.
— Staff report