State to halt Anchorage sport fishing on Ship Creek

Posted: Sunday, June 28, 2009

ANCHORAGE - The state is closing a popular salmon fishery in Anchorage, beginning Monday.

Department of Fish and Game biologists said the run of king salmon in Ship Creek is drastically below normal.

Biologists conducted a survey Friday in the urban stream and counted only 250 kings, compared with the average of more than 780 kings for this time of year.

"There are a few fish up there, but nothing like you normally see," said area biologist Dan Bosch. "It's pretty devoid of fish."

Ship Creek will be closed to all sport fishing from Fish and Game markers 100 feet upstream of the Chugach Power Plant dam to the upstream side of the Reeve Boulevard bridge. The closure is effective through Sept. 30.

Officials said the area above the dam is open only to catch-and-release rainbow trout and Dolly Varden fishing.

The section of Ship Creek below the Chugach Power Plant dam will reopen July 14 for the popular silver salmon fishery.

Returning kings produce the brood stock collected by biologists upstream to raise in the state hatchery. Biologists want about 800 spawning kings to ensure a strong stock. The smolt produced grow to help reduce angling pressure on wild stocks.

Many Alaska rivers are experiencing weak king runs, with protective closures ranging from the Deshka River to Kodiak Island.

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