Bag limit for hatchery kings increased on Ninilchik River

Image of chinook salmon.
Image of chinook salmon.(KMVT)
Updated: Jun. 9, 2021 at 4:10 PM AKDT
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ANCHORAGE, Alaska (KTUU) - The bag and possession limits for hatchery king salmon in the Ninilchik River has been raised from one to two, the Alaska Department of Fish and Game announced Tuesday, and the annual limit of hatchery kings on that river has been removed.

In a Tuesday emergency order, the department wrote that the bag limit has been increased to two for hatchery king salmon in the Ninilchik River that are 20 or more inches long. The change goes into effect starting this Saturday and ends October 31.

A total of 292 wild king salmon and 531 hatchery kings have been counted in the lower Ninilchik River as of June 7, according to Fish and Game.

“It is likely the wild run will meet the sustainable escapement goal of 750 wild fish at the upper weir and will be sufficient to support broodstock collection for the 2022 Ninilchik River stocking,” the emergency order states. “The hatchery escapement above the lower weir is projected to exceed broodstock collection needs for the 2022 stockings at the Kachemak Bay terminal fishery locations.”

The removal of the annual limit on hatchery king salmon 20 inches or longer is also effective from this Saturday through October 31.

“Increasing the bag limit and removing the annual limit should provide anglers extra king salmon harvest opportunity this season and help reduce the number of hatchery fish in the escapement,” Area Management Biologist Mike Booz is quoted as saying in the order.

The fishery on the Ninilchik River opens this Saturday, June 12 through June 14, according to Fish and Game. It will be closed on June 15, and then reopens on June 16 for the rest of the season.

For full regulations on the Ninilchik River, consult the 2021 Southcentral Sport Fishing Regulations Summary booklet or visit the Fish and Game website.

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