Story last updated at 5:22 p.m. Thursday, June 13, 2002

Kings available, but elusive
by Sepp Jannotta
Staff Writer

Three fisheries biologists from the Alaska Department of Fish and Game took some time early Monday morning to enjoy the company of the creatures they spend so much time worrying about.

Larry Marsh, an assistant area biologist for the upper Kenai Peninsula who was fishing with a pair of his compatriots on Deep Creek, said there were plenty of king salmon in the river's lower reaches, but getting up close and personal was something of a problem.

"They were rolling and porpoising all over the place, but we just weren't having any luck catching them," Marsh said.

It's all a matter of timing, according to the Anchor Angler's Heath Harrington.

"Saturday was a phenomenal day of fishing (on the Anchor River,)" Harrington said, adding that Sunday and Monday also had their moments.

Harrington said he expects this weekend to be just as good.

With the Kenai River closed for kings, the Lower Peninsula king salmon fishing opportunities this weekend are: the Ninilchik and Anchor rivers and the Homer Spit Fishing Hole, and Halibut Cove Lagoon and the Seldovia Harbor area across Kachemak Bay.

The Anchor River is the only remaining spot to fish for a wild king in fresh water, as Deep Creek is now closed and anglers on the Ninilchik River are only allowed to keep hatchery-raised kings.

Wild kings from the Ninilchik River must be released immediately and may not be removed from the water. Hatchery fish can be identified by the absence of an adipose fin, the small fin that sits between the dorsal fin and the tail. Wild fish have an adipose fin.

Anglers out for king salmon in the saltwater troll fishery from Bluff Point to Deep Creek continue to have spotty success, while further out in lower Cook Inlet, the Halibut fishing has been excellent.