Kings picking up, lakes still the place to be

Kings

Alaska Department of Fish & Game research biologist Robert Begich said, things are looking a little better for king salmon this week, compared to last.

Still, fishing for kind salmon on the Kenai River is closed until June, 30.

Hatchery kings salmon can be fished on the Kasilof River, but no more than one can be kept per day, Pawluk said in a previous interview. Their missing adipose fin distinguishes hatchery salmon, he said. A healed scar will be in its place.

The annual limit for king salmon in the Cook Inlet, greater than 20-inches is five.

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

On the lower Kenai 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 the 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.

Important Regulations

Changes to the king salmon regulations on the lower Kenai Peninsula streams are in effect through June 30.

-Crooked Creek is closed to all fishing through July 31.

— 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 un-baited, 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.

Sockeye

Some early run sockeye salmon have been seen in the Kenai River.

“If folks want to try and get one, go to your favoire sockeye fishing spot, you’ll have to spend most of the day there to be successful,” Begich said.

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 is a catch-and-release fish that cannot be removed from the water and must be released immediately in the lower Kenai 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 May 22, Pawluk said. Arc Lake, off the Sterling Highway towards Kasilof, and Tirmore Lake, on Lamplight Road, are slated to have Arctic grayling stocked and Island Lake, on Nikiski Avenue, will be stocked with Arctic char, he said.

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

A few lake areas have northern pike. Pike can be taken using spears, bow and arrow (with arrow attached by a line), bait, spin, and fly-fishing gear.

Try fish-shaped and fish-colored lures and flies. There is no closed season for pike and the bag limit is unlimited. 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.

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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