King Salmon Fishing Closed in Cook Inlet

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Division of Sport Fish
Dave Rutz, Director

Anchorage Headquarters Office
333 Raspberry Road
Anchorage, AK 99518
Alaska Department of Fish and Game
Doug Vincent-Lang, Commissioner

P.O. Box 115526
Juneau, AK 99811-5526
Advisory Announcement
(Released: March 02, 2023 – Expires: July 31, 2023)
CONTACT: Mike Booz
Area Management Biologist
(907) 235-8191

Sport Fishing for King Salmon Closed in Cook Inlet Salt Waters

(Homer) – In favor of protecting early-run and late-run Cook Inlet king salmon and ensuring sport fishing opportunities in the future, the Alaska Department of Fish and Game (ADF&G) is closing sport fishing for king salmon, including catch-and-release, in all Cook Inlet salt waters north of the latitude of Bluff Point (59° 40.00′ N. lat.). King salmon incidentally caught while fishing for other fish may not be removed from the water and must be released immediately. This regulatory change is effective 12:01 a.m. Monday, May 15 through 11:59 p.m. Monday, July 31, 2023. This change does not affect fishing for other species, including halibut. Other restrictions, including conservation zone closures to all fishing, will remain in effect. Please review pages 73 through 75 of the Southcentral Sport Fishing Regulation Summary booklet for those regulations.

Based on the recent early-run and late-run king salmon escapement monitoring in the Kenai, Anchor, and Deshka Rivers, this year’s king salmon runs are forecasted to be below the lower end of their escapement goals, which has triggered inriver sport fishery preseason closures in these streams. Additionally, all of these stocks failed to achieve their escapement goals in 2022. Emergency Order 2-KS-7-14-23 reduces the king salmon bag and possession limit to 1 in salt waters south of Bluff Point. Emergency Order 2-KS-1-10-23 closed the early-run king salmon sport fishery in the Kenai River through June 30. Emergency Order 2-KS-1-11-23 closed the late-run king salmon sport fishery in the Kenai River from July 1 through July 31. Emergency Order 2-KS-7-13-23 closed the Anchor River and Deep Creek to all sport fishing through July 15. Emergency Order 2-KS-2-05-23 closed the Deshka River to king salmon sport fishing. Additional preseason emergency order restrictions also affect the sport fishing in other streams on the Kenai Peninsula, Northern Cook Inlet, and West Cook Inlet areas.

“Based on the preseason king salmon forecasts, it looks like 2023 will be another year in this low productivity period of Cook Inlet king salmon” stated Area Management Biologist Mike Booz. “These progressively restrictive preseason management actions are needed to ensure that we get as many fish as possible into the escapement for these streams.”

In conjunction with these closure emergency orders, additional emergency orders prohibit the retention of wild (naturally-produced) king salmon in the Ninilchik and Kasilof Rivers and restricts other king salmon fisheries in Susitna River, Northern Cook Inlet, and West Cook Inlet areas. Please review these emergency orders and advisory announcements in their entirety for the specific regulatory changes.

For more information, please contact Area Management Biologist Mike Booz or Assistant Area Management Biologist Holly Dickson at 907-235-8191.


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