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Fishing Report: Salmon are biting, halibut controversy brewing

Tony Weaver
Location: Kenai, Jul 2013
Photo courtesy of Elizabeth Daldrup / ADN reader submission
Who: Sam The Fish: Big Location: Olds River
Photo courtesy of Kit Blair / ADN reader submission
Who: Sam The Fish: big Location: Unk river- pink silver fetch!!
Photo courtesy of Kit Blair / ADN reader submission
Location: KIKLUKH RIVER, 09/13/13
Photo courtesy of DARLENE DOLBY / ADN reader submission
Location: Kenai River, 7-30-13 Nice weather and a Kenai Red with Rodney.
Photo courtesy of Sue Holliday / ADN reader submission
Location: Feeder creek off of the Susitna, 08/24/13 Pat Hatmaker with Rhett of Phantom Salmon...Another great trip
Photo courtesy of Lynda / ADN reader submission
Location: Clear Creek, 08/27/13 Pat Hatmaker & Rhett of Phantom Salmon Charters with another nice silver
Photo courtesy of Lynda / ADN reader submission
Location: Kenai River Soldotna AK, 09/05/2013 Caught by Patricia Davis and so heavy her husband Al had to hold it for her to show the size... Silver Salmon.
Photo courtesy of Al Davis / ADN reader submission
Location: Unalakleet River, August 2013 My first silvers of the year
Photo courtesy of Reuben Cunningham / ADN reader submission
Location: Unalakleet, 08/30/13 Silver salmon caught up Main River
Photo courtesy of Reuben Cunningham / ADN reader submission
Location: Unalakleet, 08/31/2013
Photo courtesy of Reuben Cunningham / ADN reader submission
Location: Clear Creek, 08/26/13 Lynda Squire with Rhett of Phantom Salmon Charters. Her 1st Chum on the fly!
Photo courtesy of Roger / ADN reader submission
Who: Jim Hatmaker The Fish: Nice Silver on the fly Location: Clear Creek
Photo courtesy of Roger / ADN reader submission
Who: Roger Squire w/Mr Chum The Fish: It's what's for breakfast! Location: Great day with Phantom Salmon Charters on Clear Creek
Photo courtesy of Roger / ADN reader submission
Who: Kathy Toms The Fish: 29" 10 # Location: Anchor River
Photo courtesy of Silver salmon Anchor River / ADN reader submission
Location: Seward, 8/31/13 30 pound king landed yesterday while targeting lingcod.
Photo courtesy of Bob Candopoulos / ADN reader submission
Location: 20 Mile River , near Girdwood, August 14, 2013 Went fishing with my hubby, Ben, and son-in-law, Phil, up 20 Mile River near Girdwood. There were big chrome silvers in the sloughs
Photo courtesy of Carla Cuaresma / ADN reader submission
Location: 20 Mile River - Girdwood, August 14, 2013 Went fishing with my Wife Carla and son-in-law, Phil, up 20 Mile River by Girdwood. Caught some big "Silver" chromes in the sloughs. The fish were thick that day.
Photo courtesy of Ben Cuaresma / ADN reader submission
Who: Christy The Fish: Location: Kenai River
Photo courtesy of Carlo / ADN reader submission
Location: Bird Creek, 07/26/2013 Caught some fish out at Bird Creek and had a blast.
Photo courtesy of Irasema C / ADN reader submission
Location: Wasilla creek, 8/17/2013 Silver salmon on wasilla creek opener
Photo courtesy of pete / ADN reader submission
Location: Ship Creek, 08/11/13 This was caught at 3:30 am. Nice big male Pink Salmon.
Photo courtesy of Leroy Shangin
Location: Wolverine creek, 7/31/13 Jimmy Newman from raleigh n.c.
Photo courtesy of Dennis fair / ADN reader submission
Location: Russian river, 8/6/13 Vern Gillis with his daughter Bailey! Another great day with his girl:)
Photo courtesy of Glen trombley / ADN reader submission
Location: Pony Cove, 8/10/2013 Justin Maxwell's silver
Photo courtesy of Ricky Maxwell / ADN reader submission
Location: Kenai River, 07/16/2013 My 51 lb. King Salmon. Best fishing trip so far
Photo courtesy of Brad / ADN reader submission
Location: Little Su River, 8/6/13 Alayna caught this Silver Salmon all on her own for the first time.
Photo courtesy of Alicia McRoberts / ADN reader submission
Location: Little Su River, 8/6/2013 This is the first Silver Salmon my daughter Ashlyn caught all on her own.
Photo courtesy of Alicia McRoberts / ADN reader submission
Location: Wolverine creek, 7/31/13 Ray Plovick nice catch
Photo courtesy of Dennis fair / ADN reader submission
Location: Kenai River, Soldotna, AK, July 19, 2013 The "Hawaii Gang" LOVES Alaska's sockeye salmon and says "Aloha!"
Photo courtesy of Glenn Ikemoto / ADN reader submission
Location: Lower Kenai River (Bing's Landing), 7-20-13 We moved to Anchorage in October 2012... this was both my first Alaskan catch AND salmon catch!!!
Photo courtesy of Trey Thompson / ADN reader submission
Location: Soldotna, 07/06/13 Fishing in Seward, Alaska Charter with Patrick Johnson Guide Service. Soldotna, Alaska
Photo courtesy of Don Bowers / ADN reader submission
Location: kenai river, july 2013
Photo courtesy of jason thackeray / ADN reader submission
strong>Location: Cooper landing, July 2013 Sockeyyyyyyyyyye!!!!
Photo courtesy of Kody trombley / ADN reader submission
Who: Alyssa Bolog The Fish: Location:
Photo courtesy of Shannon Bolog / ADN reader submission
Who: Shawna Bolog The Fish: Location:
Photo courtesy of Shannon Bolog / ADN reader submission
Who: Angie Bolog The Fish: Location:
Photo courtesy of Shannon Bolog / ADN reader submission
Who: Shannon Bolog w/fish & daughters Alyssa and Shawna The Fish: Location:
Photo courtesy of Angie Bolog / ADN reader submission
Location: Kenai River, July 2013 Dippin fun!
Photo courtesy of Glen Trombley / ADN reader submission
Location: Kenai River, July 2013 Another great day of dippin!!
Photo courtesy of Glen Trombley / ADN reader submission
Location: Kenai River, July 2013 Another great day of dippin with Old Man Sexton!
Photo courtesy of http://www.kansascitystarbooks.com/contact-us/ / ADN reader submission
Location: Kasilof beach, 7/23/2013 4 salmons at a time wow! Dip netting
Photo courtesy of Pralad / ADN reader submission
Location: Cottonwood Creek, 07/20/2013 My 8 yr old son's first catch!
Photo courtesy of Brad Bankston / ADN reader submission
Location: Kenai River , 7/18/13 I was catch fish with my foster father' family in Kenai River .
Photo courtesy of Lisa lee / ADN reader submission
Location: Point Barrow Alaska, 08-23-12 Northern Mosts Citys in USA, Barrow Ak Salmon,s Runs are up here Within Alaska This King Salmon was 47 LBS within Artic Waters
Photo courtesy of Artic King Salmon / ADN reader submission
Location: Kenai, 7/26/13 Taken while dipnetting!
Photo courtesy of N/A / ADN reader submission
Location: Seward, AK, 07/06/13 My First Fish Ever... I truly an Alaskan.. Off to a great Start.
Photo courtesy of Dad / ADN reader submission
Location: Kenai River, 7/27/13 Kendall Perrins- dip-netting on the Kenai.
Photo courtesy of Keith Perrins / ADN reader submission
Location: Kenai river, July 21, 2013
Photo courtesy of Warren / ADN reader submission
Location: Jim Creek, 07/28/2013 Day Trip to Jim Creek
Photo courtesy of Alison Bucy / ADN reader submission
Who: Alivia The Fish: 18 inches Location: Kenai River
Photo courtesy of Anne Bailey / ADN reader submission
Location: Ship Creek, July 25 Outgoing tide, #3 pixie
Photo courtesy of EricNeet / ADN reader submission
Location: Kenai River near Soldotna, 07/19/2013 Large Reds from the second run caught with rod and line.
Photo courtesy of Randy / ADN reader submission
Location: Kake, AK, 07/14/13 31+ lb King Salmon caught off Kupreanof Island near Kake, AK. while trolling at 45' depth.
Photo courtesy of Self / ADN reader submission
Location: Kasilof Alaska, 07/19/2013
Photo courtesy of James Jones / ADN reader submission
Location: Copper River, 06/20/2013 Gage and Cole Spencer with Ojiisan
Photo courtesy of James Jones / ADN reader submission
Location: Sitka, Alaska, 05/31/2012 FIRST KING IN OVER 40 YEARS! JANICE AND DOUGLAS DOHERTY OF NOME EMBARKED ON A FISHING EXTRAVAGANZA WITH SETH BONE OF KINGFISHER CHARTERS OUT OF SITKA, ALASKA ON THE "ELLIE B". REMEMBER, "A BAD DAY OF FISHING SURE BEATS A GOOD DAY AT THE OFFICE!"
Photo courtesy of Douglas Doherty / ADN reader submission
Location: Kenai River , 07/22/13
Photo courtesy of Chris Hoffman / ADN reader submission
Location: Kenai River, 07/20/13 Sons Karl, Hans, daughter Nora, and their dad Karsten Rodvik on the Kenai River with one of Nora's Sockeyes.
Photo courtesy of Laurie Fagnani / ADN reader submission
Location: Kenai River, 07/20/13 Nora Rodvik with Kenai Sockeye. Photo taken by her brother Karl Rodvik and submitted by Dad - Karsten Rodvik.
Photo courtesy of Karl Rodvik / ADN reader submission
Location: Kenai River, 07/20/13 Nora Rodvik and Kenai Sockeye.
Photo courtesy of Karl Rodvik / ADN reader submission
Location: Kenai River, 07/20/13 Nora Rodvik and her Kenai Sockeye.
Photo courtesy of Karl Rodvik / ADN reader submission
Location: Kenai River, 07/20/13 Nora Rodvik and her father Karsten Rodvik with a Kenai Sockeye.
Photo courtesy of Karl Rodvik / ADN reader submission
Location: Kasilof , 7/12/12 Mr . Nara misra holding his first catch of the year.
Photo courtesy of Prem Niroula / ADN reader submission
Location: Ship Creek, 07/19/13 My first Humpy caught at Ship Creek
Photo courtesy of Patrick Lee / ADN reader submission
Who: warren The Fish: 10 pounder - chromers Location: in the river
Photo courtesy of Randy / ADN reader submission
Who: Kent & Dan The Fish: two nice ones Location: Deshka
Photo courtesy of ina / ADN reader submission
Location: Not Say'n, 7-14-13 Emmy's Big Fish!
Photo courtesy of Larry Turner / ADN reader submission
Who: Addison The Fish: 15 pounds Location: Kenai River
Photo courtesy of Richard Bailey / ADN reader submission
Location: Bethel, Alaska , 06/20/2013 Kuskokwim king Salmon Net Fishing
Photo courtesy of Christina Ulak / ADN reader submission
Who: Noel Stephanoff The Fish: Location:
Photo courtesy of Diane Stephanoff / ADN reader submission
Location: Ships Creek, 06/29/2013 She was a fighter! I caught 2 fish in 2 days, it was amazing!
Photo courtesy of Jama Shane / ADN reader submission
Location: Ships Creek, 06/28/13
Photo courtesy of Jama Shane / ADN reader submission
Location: Kenai/Bings Landing, 06-30-13 This is my first red of the year. Hooked him about 15Mins into the day.
Photo courtesy of Nic / ADN reader submission
Location: Kenai River, 06/15/2013 Caught my very first salmon in Alaska during my three week visit with my Uncle. Sockeye salmon near swiftwater campground in Soldotna.
Photo courtesy of Dennis Musgraves / ADN reader submission
Location: Russian River, 06/19/2013 First sockeye of the 2013 season, Russian River.
Photo courtesy of Paul Ferreria / ADN reader submission
Location: United States, 06/16/2013 Snagging in Seward resulted in getting our limit in 3 hours.
Photo courtesy of Dorian Traylor / ADN reader submission
Who: Richard Martinez The Fish: 20Lbs Location: Little Su
Photo courtesy of Matt Peterson / ADN reader submission
Who: Lacey Martinez The Fish: 25lbs Location: Little su
Photo courtesy of Richard Martinez / ADN reader submission
Location: Deep Creek, 05/21/13 Great day of King fishing out of Deep Creek! Thanks Anglers Lodge!
Photo courtesy of Chris Worley / ADN reader submission
Location: Kenai, Jul 2013
Photo courtesy of Elizabeth Daldrup / ADN reader submission
Who: Sam The Fish: Big Location: Olds River
Photo courtesy of Kit Blair / ADN reader submission
Who: Sam The Fish: big Location: Unk river- pink silver fetch!!
Photo courtesy of Kit Blair / ADN reader submission
Location: KIKLUKH RIVER, 09/13/13
Photo courtesy of DARLENE DOLBY / ADN reader submission
Location: Kenai River, 7-30-13 Nice weather and a Kenai Red with Rodney.
Photo courtesy of Sue Holliday / ADN reader submission
Location: Feeder creek off of the Susitna, 08/24/13 Pat Hatmaker with Rhett of Phantom Salmon...Another great trip
Photo courtesy of Lynda / ADN reader submission
Location: Clear Creek, 08/27/13 Pat Hatmaker & Rhett of Phantom Salmon Charters with another nice silver
Photo courtesy of Lynda / ADN reader submission
Location: Kenai River Soldotna AK, 09/05/2013 Caught by Patricia Davis and so heavy her husband Al had to hold it for her to show the size... Silver Salmon.
Photo courtesy of Al Davis / ADN reader submission
Location: Unalakleet River, August 2013 My first silvers of the year
Photo courtesy of Reuben Cunningham / ADN reader submission
Location: Unalakleet, 08/30/13 Silver salmon caught up Main River
Photo courtesy of Reuben Cunningham / ADN reader submission
Location: Unalakleet, 08/31/2013
Photo courtesy of Reuben Cunningham / ADN reader submission
Location: Clear Creek, 08/26/13 Lynda Squire with Rhett of Phantom Salmon Charters. Her 1st Chum on the fly!
Photo courtesy of Roger / ADN reader submission
Who: Jim Hatmaker The Fish: Nice Silver on the fly Location: Clear Creek
Photo courtesy of Roger / ADN reader submission
Who: Roger Squire w/Mr Chum The Fish: It's what's for breakfast! Location: Great day with Phantom Salmon Charters on Clear Creek
Photo courtesy of Roger / ADN reader submission
Who: Kathy Toms The Fish: 29" 10 # Location: Anchor River
Photo courtesy of Silver salmon Anchor River / ADN reader submission
Location: Seward, 8/31/13 30 pound king landed yesterday while targeting lingcod.
Photo courtesy of Bob Candopoulos / ADN reader submission
Location: 20 Mile River , near Girdwood, August 14, 2013 Went fishing with my hubby, Ben, and son-in-law, Phil, up 20 Mile River near Girdwood. There were big chrome silvers in the sloughs
Photo courtesy of Carla Cuaresma / ADN reader submission
Location: 20 Mile River - Girdwood, August 14, 2013 Went fishing with my Wife Carla and son-in-law, Phil, up 20 Mile River by Girdwood. Caught some big "Silver" chromes in the sloughs. The fish were thick that day.
Photo courtesy of Ben Cuaresma / ADN reader submission
Who: Christy The Fish: Location: Kenai River
Photo courtesy of Carlo / ADN reader submission
Location: Bird Creek, 07/26/2013 Caught some fish out at Bird Creek and had a blast.
Photo courtesy of Irasema C / ADN reader submission

I got a lot emails and calls last week. Not just anglers sending pictures and giving me the latest reports from the field, but many calls and emails about the new Halibut Catch Sharing Plan proposed by the Northern Pacific Fishery Management Council.

The plan is designed to reallocate what might have been your second sport-caught halibut to the commercial sector. Under this plan, the "guided angler" must buy the right to catch a second halibut from the commercial fishery.

To which I say, "What?"

This is not a conservation plan, as the fishery council claims. Instead it's a grab by commercial interests for more of the available fish. Geez, they take 90 percent of the allocation already.

This plan will have huge negative effects on all the businesses associated with halibut sport fishing in Alaska. It's not a good plan. Check out these websites for more details: www.homercharterassociation.com, www.alaskacharter.org or www.saveyourbut.com.

And what considerate timing by the council -- make sure sport fishermen have to communicate their concerns in an abbreviated comment period in the middle of the busiest part of the fishing season.

This plan should be no surprise if you knew that recreational interests have only one representative on the 12-member fishery council. This plan is sure to be bad for anglers -- unless we comment. We have until Aug. 12 to send comments to the commission. Send your letters to:

Mr. Glenn Merrill

Assistant Regional Administrator

Sustainable Fisheries Division

Alaska Region NMFS

Attn: Ellen Sebastian and identified by FDMS docket No. NOAA-2011-0180. Or you can send an email to www.regulation.gov. Search for NOAA-NMFS-2011-0180

The writing is on the wall if we don't act strongly and soon. I don't want to end up getting my halibut at Costco.

Now for better news and, I hope, better fishing. Here's the report for this week.

Kenai Peninsula

The first wave of second-run sockeyes has hit the Kenai River and fishing is good. As of Wednesday, counts indicate a strong run, with 243,541 fish counted so far and 92,724 passing the sonar July 15.

Fish and Game issued an emergency order prohibiting the retention of king salmon in the Kenai River personal use dip-net fishery that opened July 10.

I spoke with Greg Brush on Tuesday. He said he would describe king fishing on the Kenai as fair to good. He hooked three fish Friday and landed one in the 40-pound class and a true Kenai trophy fish in the 60-pound-plus class (don't miss the photo).

There are additional restrictions for the second Kenai king run: single hook, no bait and area restrictions. Check the ADFG website for details.

King fishing on the Kasilof River is fair to good, depending on the skill of the angler. Most success has come from fishing the tides from drift boats. Bank fishing has been fair.

Sockeye fishing on the Russian River and in the Russian-Kenai confluence area is slow. The middle Russian has been fair for trout.

The halibut fishery off Deep Creek and the Anchor River has been good. Anglers have been landing larger fish. Wally Martin of Wally's guide service had a 100-pounder on board Monday.

Clamming tides will be good next week, with minus tides from Sunday, July 21, through Wednesday, July 24. This may be a good time to go clamming. The next series of big minus tides don't occur until Aug. 21. This may be the one of the few chances to hit the beaches before the weather changes -- for the worse.

Homer

Fishing in Homer has been improving all summer, with larger and healthier halibut being caught. I spoke with Capt. Diane Caso-Morris on Tuesday and she said anglers are bringing nice halibut coming to the dock.

The current leader in the Homer Jackpot is James Jell of Moscow, Idaho. Jell's fish was 198.2 pounds, fish caught on July 7 aboard the "Arctic Envy" with Capt. Chad Kiesel of Silverfox Charters.

Lingcod fishing has been good near Gore Point and out east.

The Nick Dudiak Lagoon is fishing better this year. Anglers are hooking a few fish on the tides. The Spit has also been producing salmon and pollock for shore anglers.

Mat-Su

The Parks Highway streams are fishing well as salmon start to show at Montana, Willow and Sheep creeks.

I spoke with Farley Dean of Willow Resort on Tuesday. He said chums, pinks and a few silvers are stacking up at the stream mouths. He also mentioned that trout fishing is improving as kings start spawning in the upper stretches of the creeks.

Clear Creek and the Talkeetna drainage are seeing a nice return of chums; trout fishing has been fair. I spoke with Phantom Charters on Tuesday and they said chums have just arrived and fishing has been good. The red fishery should improve in the next week, along with early silvers.

Fishing in valley lakes has been consistently good. Try Kepler-Bradley, Finger and Matanuska lakes for the kids. Try Canoe, Long and Irene for float tubers or anglers with boat access.

Pike fishing has also been good. For road-accessible pike, try Horseshoe, Rainbow and Anderson lakes or the Nancy Lake Canoe System lakes; specifically Frazier, Little Frazier, Taniana, Ardaw, Milo, Lynx, and Nancy.

For fly-in fishing, try Alexander, Trapper, Shell, Eight-mile or Sucker lakes.

A few pinks are just beginning to show on the Deshka River and a few silvers have been reported caught.

A few early sockeye or silvers may arrive this week at Jim Creek.

Anchorage

With a few silvers being caught on the tides, Ship Creek has been fair to good. There are also a fair number of pinks in the creek. Most anglers are hooking fish on size 4 Vibraxes or eggs and bobbers.

Bird Creek opened to fishing Sunday, July 14. Fishing for kings on Bird Creek and all waters in the Anchorage management area are now closed to king fishing. Other salmon are just starting to show, so fishing has been slow to fair.

Campbell Creek and Chester Creek have both been stocked with rainbows. Mike Brown of Mossy's Fly Shop said he has heard of few silvers showing in Campbell Creek.

Symphony Lake is now open for grayling. Fly fishermen have been doing well with them.

All Anchorage Area stocked lakes have been stocked with their second round of rainbow trout.

Check the ADF&G website for lakes that have been stocked.

Copper Basin

The personal-use Copper River Chitina Subdistrict will remain open through 11:59 p.m. Sunday, July 21. Until then, a supplemental harvest of 10 additional sockeyes will be allowed. The fishery is closed to the taking of king salmon.

Sockeye fishing in the Klutina River was a hot spot last weekend. Anglers were catching limits of fish quickly. I spoke with Stan Grove of Grove's campground on Tuesday and he said sockeye fishing has been good overall, with the catching ebbing and flowing. Grove said there had been a large slide in the upper Klutina and it muddied the river a bit. He also said the river is low above Mile 6, and that has made for dangerous boating. Grove said he has done little king fishing since the water dropped and reduced boat access.

Fishing in the Gulkana has started to pick up in recent days. The daily bag and possession limit of sockeye was increased from three to six fish on July 6 for the remainder of the season for the Copper River drainage.

Gulkana red fishing can be hot for anglers present when large schools pass by, but the fish may be spread out, so a day or two can pass before the next wave arrives. This run will continue through late summer.

Many of the small lakes on the Lake Louise and Nabesna roads contain grayling. Long Lake and Jack Lake are good bets. Also, grayling should be in Mendeltna Creek. Larger rivers like the Gulkana and Little Nelchina also have grayling.

Seward

Fishing for silvers has been consistently good. Pony Cove and Cheval Island have cooled a bit, but some charters are still limiting out. Barwell Island to Montague areas have also been productive.

The large schools of silvers are starting to break up and move toward their natal streams.

King salmon have been showing up in the catch reports. They are being caught from inside Resurrection Bay to Montague Island; try trolling a small- to medium-sized herring.

Andy Mezirow of Crackerjack Sportfishing sent me a photo of a large king caught near Johnstone Bay last week.

Lingcod and rockfish fishing has been fair to good. Try fishing reefs and structure with varying bottom. Best bets are jigs in the appropriate weights for the tide and depth you're fishing. Too heavy and you lose gear; too light and you don't catch fish. Experiment with jig-weights and colors (white and day-glow colors ).

Halibut fishing has been good, with most of it out east near Ellrington and Montague straits.

Whittier

Fishing for salmon and halibut outside Passage Canal has been good. The fish seem to be getting larger. Kristen Labrecque sent me some photos of some nice 50-pound-plus halibut she had on the boat Monday.

Rockfish, yelloweye and lingcod fishing has been good in the Montague Island area. A few more silvers are showing up in the reports, however most have been caught 50 to 60 miles Southeast of Whittier in the sound.

 

Tony Weaver has fished all over Alaska for more than 40 years. He is the host of Wolf Outdoors, which airs on FM-96.3 Saturday mornings. He worked as chief technical editor for Fish Alaska and has written for Fish and Fly, Flyfisher and Flyfisherman magazines. He is a photographer and author of "Topwater: Fly Fishing the Last Frontier Alaska."

 

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By TONY WEAVER
fishing@adn.com