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Youth-only king salmon fishing opportunity on Lower Kenai Peninsula

Desiree Hagen

Organizers set aside an area at the Nick Dudiak Fishing Lagoon on the Homer Spit for young anglers aged 15 and under to fish for king salmon last Saturday.

Area Management Biologist Mike Booz said only part of the lagoon was closed off to adults.

“The fisheries provide kids with a great opportunity to go fish for King Salmon without having to compete with adults,” said Booz.

The next youth-only fishery is this Wednesday. ADF&G employees will set up north of a bridge on the Sterling Highway that crosses the Ninilchik River. There, they can help young anglers and loan out gear.

Fish and Game will set up a designated area on the Ninilchik River where anglers ages 16 and older will not be allowed to fish but they can help youth anglers. Participants can only catch hatchery-produced king salmon. Booz said anglers can identify hatchery kings by looking for a clipped adipose fin.

“Adipose fin is on the back, halfway in between the dorsal and the caudal fin, so the tail fin. So it's a little tiny, fleshy fin on hatchery fish that have had those removed. Usually, there's a scarred, healed location that you can tell that it's been cut off with a little bump there,” said Booz.

Booz said there are different options for people who want to borrow gear for salmon fishing on the southern Kenai Peninsula throughout the summer.

“We just borrow ourselves from our rod loaner program and provide that for the kids. So we'll have the gear completely rigged up, ready to go to be able to fish with both bait and lures for kids,” said Booz

Booz said all naturally produced king salmon must not be removed from the water and need to be released.

Parents interested in getting their children involved in future youth fisheries can contact the Homer Fish and Game Office for more information.

Simon Lopez is a long time listener of KBBI Homer. He values Kachemak Bay’s beauty and its overall health. Simon is community oriented and enjoys being involved in building and maintaining an informed and proactive community.
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