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Thread: Ninichik/Deep Creek report?

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    Question Ninichik/Deep Creek report?

    Anyone fish the Ninilchik or Deep Creek over the weekend? A fishing and/or water condition report would be great! I usually fish every weekend of the king season down there but, with Memorial Day coming so early this year and conditions usually being fairly poor the first weekend anyway, decided I'd hold off. Still, I'm super anxious to hear how it was. Thanks!

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    Put six hours on in memorial morning fished through high tide plus couple hours, river conditions great, deep creek and anchor pretty unfishable. Back to ninilchik no bites seen no fish and no one I talked to seen any either, fished from beach to highway bridge.

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    Quote Originally Posted by AKtadpole View Post
    Put six hours on in memorial morning fished through high tide plus couple hours, river conditions great, deep creek and anchor pretty unfishable. Back to ninilchik no bites seen no fish and no one I talked to seen any either, fished from beach to highway bridge.
    Thanks, AKtadpole. Sounds like a pretty typical opening weekend down there! Hopefully there will be some fish stacked up by next weekend.

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    Just after midnite Friday about 5 kings were taken from near the hiway bridge in the Ninilchik. Only a couple others were taken from Ninny thru Monday. A few Jacks were also taken. Very few fish came in. Ninny is now at normal depth and clarity. (I did catch and release a 13 pounder from Ninny on Sunday.) Deep Crk was barely fished. Quite dirty and hi. I fished it Sunday and saw about 8 fish roll on the incoming tide inriver. Monday I saw about 30 roll on the incoming. None heard caught tho. No telling how many fish made it up river with the water as hi and dirty as it is. I was encouraged that I saw so many fish. I looked at Anchor today. It was starting to drop and clear a bit compared to 8 days ago. I'd say quite fishable now. The saltwater fishery has been only so-so. Water temps in salt are still almost 5 degrees cooler than normal. Much of the snow in Caribou Hills is gone but still more left than normal so I think Dp Crk may start to clear some in the coming 7 days.
    Your sarcasm is way, waaaayyyyyyyy more sarcastic than mine!

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    Check out the EO just out from ADF&G.

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    I have to say I'm a little frustrated by the EO. Escapement has been way down on the Ninilchik/Deep Creek/Anchor for years and, based on what I've personally observed over 30 years of fishing those rivers, if tackle restrictions are going to have any statistically significant impact on escapement, it will only be because the EO will cause some sport fishers to stay home or find other waters that don't have an EO affecting them (yet).

    There is a larger, more complex issue at work that is not addressed by continuing to punish the sport fishers with EOs. I have worked for ADF&G, done creel census and sonar count for them, and have no particular axe to grind with the agency but I think EOs like this are ineffective, pass the buck on the problem from one season to the next, and are little more than an easy way to make it look like something is being done about the dismal salmon returns.

    I would love to see the data that supports the EO's conclusion that, "Prohibiting the use of bait, treble hooks and multiple hooks is expected to substantially decrease fishing mortality of these stocks and allow escapement goals to be achieved." The EO states that the Anchor is essentially 1,000 fish behind their average escapement schedule for 2004-11. You're trying to tell me that a bait and hook restriction is going to keep 1,000 fish in the Anchor that otherwise would have been sport caught? Forgive me if I sound dubious.

    I would venture a guess that if they shut down the king fisheries on those three waters altogether, none of them would even approach the upper limits of their escapement goals.

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    I will agree with everything u said, Akpryde. It has for quite some time been a bandaide fix to a larger King problem. I can't fault the EO for the restrictions, tho. We need some more (as many as possible) fish in the river to make little ones to come back. Until they take actions in the big picture, we will keep seeing bandaides. Just to take some of the gloom and doom off this subject, U all should take some heart in the fact that the dismal run last yr during the king season somewhat redeemed itself with a LATE run of fish. Not huge mind u, but helpful. We were seeing fresh fish entering Ninny after 4rth of July. We could see that again this yr. (Anyone have king number data from the yrs that they used to have a weir on Dp Crk?) I'd be interested to see those numbers.
    Your sarcasm is way, waaaayyyyyyyy more sarcastic than mine!

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    According to ADFG fish count, a little over 2000 fish made it through the weir on Deep Creek in 1999. In 2000 only 1100 made it through and thats all the info they still have up on the site. I have only ever caught 1 king on Deep Creek but from the times i have fished it, i never saw a lot of fish being caught. Ninilchik and Anchor have always been more productive for me and im lookin forward to seeing how the fishin is on the rivers this weekend. I do most of my king fishin on the salt when we dont have a charter and get some free time. So far this year its been pretty slow. Its gonna take a lot more than one EO to strengthen the runs for sure
    Last edited by polebender jr; 05-31-2012 at 10:37. Reason: typo

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    It seems to me that alot of the fishing regulations aren't based on solid numbers and science. Is that the general concensus?

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    Quote Originally Posted by cod View Post
    I can't fault the EO for the restrictions, tho. We need some more (as many as possible) fish in the river to make little ones to come back. Until they take actions in the big picture, we will keep seeing bandaides.
    I completely agree, cod. My issue isn't that ADF&G is trying to do something to help escapement (i.e. the back end of the inshore fishery), it's that recent history shows that this type of management is not helping to improve returns (i.e. the front end of the inshore fishery). If all we're doing is just enough to try to hit the bottom end of escapement goals year after year, all we're doing is ensuring continually low returns and creating a situation where we have to perpetually restrict the inshore fishery. The inshore fishery is last in line for an opportunity to harvest these fish, and is essentially getting stuck with the bill for low return numbers year after year.

    I don't know what the creel census data indicates regarding inshore harvest numbers but, anecdotally, it does not seem like there's more inshore fishing pressure on the kings in recent years. In fact, it seems like there are fewer sport fishers on the Ninilchik/Deep Creek/Anchor in recent years than there were in the 90s and early 2000s (probably because there have been fewer fish year after year...).

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    Quote Originally Posted by polebender jr View Post
    I have only ever caught 1 king on Deep Creek but from the times i have fished it, i never saw a lot of fish being caught.
    That's a shame, polebender jr. In the 80s and 90s Deep Creek was an incredible king salmon fishery: bigger water than the Ninilchik, could accommodate more fishing pressure, just as productive if not more productive than the Ninilchik, and the kings were consistently larger than those caught on the Ninilchik (still are, in fact).

    Bear in mind that Deep Creek is almost never fishable on Memorial Day weekend because of high and dirty water conditions. So, we're talking about a river that historically had a vigorous king salmon return and fishery, that really only receives inshore fishing pressure six days out of the season (Sat-Mon the last two weekends of the three week season), yet only saw 1100 fish through the weir in 2000 (the last year it looks like there's data publicly available). What's wrong with this picture?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Yellowstone View Post
    It seems to me that alot of the fishing regulations aren't based on solid numbers and science. Is that the general concensus?
    I doubt you'll find a "general consensus" about anything fishing-related in this state. ;-)

    Seriously though, I do think ADF&G does an admirable job of data collection and analysis given the enormity and complexity of the undertaking. Is all the data rock solid? In my opinion, no. But the fact that there's any reliable data at all given the environmental challenges is somewhat amazing (at least to me).

    Unfortunately, science is data and analysis and management is science and politics. To the extent that regulations are not based on good science, I would attribute it more to the injection of politics into the equation rather than the absence of useful data.

    That being said, the 800 pound gorilla in the room is the fact that we don't have a very complete understanding of what happens to our salmon when they're out in the ocean. Obviously, we do know that bycatch and illegal fishing have a negative impact but we have not taken meaningful steps to address these problems. There are jurisdictional impediments because our salmon travel outside our territorial waters, and there are political impediments because the big-time, factory-style commercial fishers have a potent political lobby.

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    Quote Originally Posted by akpryde View Post
    I doubt you'll find a "general consensus" about anything fishing-related in this state. ;-)

    Seriously though, I do think ADF&G does an admirable job of data collection and analysis given the enormity and complexity of the undertaking. Is all the data rock solid? In my opinion, no. But the fact that there's any reliable data at all given the environmental challenges is somewhat amazing (at least to me).

    Unfortunately, science is data and analysis and management is science and politics. To the extent that regulations are not based on good science, I would attribute it more to the injection of politics into the equation rather than the absence of useful data.

    That being said, the 800 pound gorilla in the room is the fact that we don't have a very complete understanding of what happens to our salmon when they're out in the ocean. Obviously, we do know that bycatch and illegal fishing have a negative impact but we have not taken meaningful steps to address these problems. There are jurisdictional impediments because our salmon travel outside our territorial waters, and there are political impediments because the big-time, factory-style commercial fishers have a potent political lobby.
    That's pretty much what I had gathered from my reading but just wanted to keep myself in check.

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    Quote Originally Posted by akpryde View Post
    That being said, the 800 pound gorilla in the room is the fact that we don't have a very complete understanding of what happens to our salmon when they're out in the ocean. Obviously, we do know that bycatch and illegal fishing have a negative impact but we have not taken meaningful steps to address these problems. There are jurisdictional impediments because our salmon travel outside our territorial waters, and there are political impediments because the big-time, factory-style commercial fishers have a potent political lobby.
    In my opinion THIS is the major issue.

    As much as I would not like to see it, (about the same as us not having a moose season down here) I think it's about time for all these rivers to be closed for a few years, THEN we'll see what happens.
    Sheep hunting...... the pain goes away, but the stupidity remains...!!!

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    Quote Originally Posted by cod View Post
    Just after midnite Friday about 5 kings were taken from near the hiway bridge in the Ninilchik. Only a couple others were taken from Ninny thru Monday. A few Jacks were also taken. Very few fish came in. Ninny is now at normal depth and clarity. (I did catch and release a 13 pounder from Ninny on Sunday.) Deep Crk was barely fished. Quite dirty and hi. I fished it Sunday and saw about 8 fish roll on the incoming tide inriver. Monday I saw about 30 roll on the incoming. None heard caught tho. No telling how many fish made it up river with the water as hi and dirty as it is. I was encouraged that I saw so many fish. I looked at Anchor today. It was starting to drop and clear a bit compared to 8 days ago. I'd say quite fishable now. The saltwater fishery has been only so-so. Water temps in salt are still almost 5 degrees cooler than normal. Much of the snow in Caribou Hills is gone but still more left than normal so I think Dp Crk may start to clear some in the coming 7 days.
    Were people soaking eggs with a bobber in the harbor? Or are they even allowed to do that anymore? I haven't been down there in so many years it's sad. My boy caught his first king there when he was about 3-4. He's going to be 22 next month.
    Sheep hunting...... the pain goes away, but the stupidity remains...!!!

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    Quote Originally Posted by 4merguide View Post
    Were people soaking eggs with a bobber in the harbor? Or are they even allowed to do that anymore? I haven't been down there in so many years it's sad. My boy caught his first king there when he was about 3-4. He's going to be 22 next month.
    About 15-30 fishing the harbor depending on the time of day....yeah, mostly fishing under a bobber. Another 15- 20 folks by the hiway bridge off and on. Usually 5-7 by the village bridge, and then another 10 or so scattered thru out. A pretty even amount of egg users and other flyfishers. I think I heard as many Jacks caught as Kings. I even got a Jack casting off the beach. .........Last 24 hrs Dp Crk has dropped about 5 inches and has already gone from milky to fishable. Watched a few Kings landed in the salt this aftrnn. Water got a bit rough but there were about 15 boats out. Couldnt see them all but one boat I watched with 3 aboard landed 2 kings. Note as others have stated....EO says 'no bait now".
    Your sarcasm is way, waaaayyyyyyyy more sarcastic than mine!

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