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Anchor River to open for catch and release king salmon fishing

Courtesy of Eric Hart
/
Chapman Elementary School

The Anchor River will open for catch and release fishing for king salmon this weekend.

Anglers can fish for king salmon in the lower 2 miles of the Anchor River with a single hook, no bait and an artificial lure.

Alaska Department of Fish and Game area management biologist Mike Booz says this is the first time the fishery has opened in three years. For the most part, he said the fishery has been restricted in some form since 2009.

“2016 and 2017 were the only two years that we didn't restrict the sport fishery,” he said.

The river is only supposed to open if the season’s projection falls within the sustainable escapement goal, which was lowered at last year’s lower Cook Inlet Board of Fisheries meeting.

This year, fish cannot be retained unless the projected run is greater than 4,800.

Booz said for catch and release fishing, the department recommends landing the fish as quickly as possible.

“Be ready to release that fish as soon as you can get your hands on it. Either using a plier or just with your your hands, remove the hook from the fish, keeping the fish in the water the whole time, get its head pointed upstream and let it go and it'll probably swim away just like it would if it wasn't just hooked,” he said.

Booz says following best practices for releasing the fish will keep its mortality rate below 10%.

The sport fishery will run from June 15 to June 17, with a final day of fishing on June 19.

Jamie Diep is a reporter/host for KBBI from Portland, Oregon. They joined KBBI right after getting a degree in music and Anthropology from the University of Oregon. They’ve built a strong passion for public radio through their work with OPB in Portland and the Here I Stand Project in Taipei, Taiwan.Jamie covers everything related to Homer and the Kenai Peninsula, and they’re particularly interested in education and environmental reporting. You can reach them at jamie@kbbi.org to send story ideas.
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