According to a Monday emergency order from the Alaska Department of Fish and Game, the Anchor and Ninilchik rivers will close to sport fishing effective from 12:01 a.m. Sunday, July 1 through 11:59 p.m. July 15.
The sport fishing ban will be followed by a ban on using bait and multiple hooks on the rivers, set to take effect from 12:01 a.m. July 16 through 11:59 p.m. July 31. A separate ban on bait and multiple hooks will affect Deep and Stariski creeks throughout the month of July.
In addition, the retention of kings caught while fishing in some offshore areas of Cook Inlet was also restricted Monday.
"King salmon may not be retained while sport fishing within one mile of shore in the salt waters of Cook Inlet south of the latitude of the mouth of the Ninilchik River to the latitude of Bluff Point beginning 12:01 a.m., Sunday, July 1, 2012, through 11:59 p.m., Sunday, July 15, 2012," state biologists wrote. "Catch-and-release fishing for king salmon is allowed, but king salmon may not be retained or possessed. King salmon that are caught may not be removed from the water and must be released immediately."
The restrictions are the latest imposed by Fish and Game this month to protect king salmon, following king-salmon fishing bans on the lower Kuskokwim River, the Kenai River and the Susitna River drainage.
Southwest Alaska saw widespread anger last week over the bans, with some residents fishing for kings in protest despite the seizure of fish from their boats. State officials have initiated a series of temporary openings for chum and sockeye salmon fishing on the Lower Kuskokwim.
In another Monday order, Fish and Game increased the bag and possession limit for sockeye salmon in Kodiak Island's Buskin River drainage 20 inches or longer to five fish. A weir count shows that a minimum escapement goal of 5,000 fish was exceeded Sunday, prompting officials to increase the limit.