The Seward Lagoon and lagoon outfall stream will be open to coho (silver) salmon fishing for youth anglers, from 12:01 a.m. Friday, September 5 through 11:59 p.m. Sunday, September 7. This youth-only fishery is open only to anglers 15 years or younger. For this weekend, the harvest limit has been increased to 6 fish per day and in possession. Youth fisheries were established by the Alaska State Legislature and implemented by the Alaska Board of Fisheries to provide additional opportunity for young people to go fishing.
Over 200,000 coho salmon smolt were stocked in the Seward Lagoon in 2013. Healthy smolt from the William Jack Hernandez Sport Fish Hatchery and better than anticipated marine survival are resulting in strong returns to the beaches of Seward and the Seward Lagoon. The lagoon and stream leading to the lagoon are open by regulation this weekend only to youth anglers age 15 and younger, and are closed to all fishing the remainder of the year.
An evaluation of fishing conditions prior to this youth-only fishery estimated that there were over 1,000 coho salmon in the stream leading into the Seward Lagoon, with many additional fish already in the lagoon. Therefore, young anglers should have a good chance catching coho salmon.
For this weekend, in response to the large number of surplus hatchery coho salmon, the harvest limit is 6 fish per day and in possession. A single-hook with bait or a single-hook artificial lure with or without bait may be used. Multiple or treble hooks are not allowed in the Seward Lagoon or outfall stream. Snagging is also not allowed in the lagoon or outfall stream and all snagged fish need to be released immediately.
The waters of the Seward Lagoon and outfall stream remain closed to all fishing the remainder of the year and closed to fishing for other species during this youth-only fishery. For current regulations, consult page 58 of the Southcentral Alaska regulations book.
For more information, contact Fisheries Biologist Jay Baumer in Anchorage at (907) 267-2265.