Area Management Biologist
August 04, 2016
In an effort to ensure better numbers of coho salmon pass through the fish counting weir on the Little Susitna River, the Alaska Department of Fish and Game is not permitting the use of bait on the river from its mouth up to the Parks Highway from August 6 through September 30.
“The coho run on the Little Su is off to a slow start,” Sam Ivey, the Area Management Biologist in Palmer said. “Using bait is a very effective way to target coho. By regulation, bait is allowed in this section of the Little Su beginning August 6. The use of bait would increase the harvest rate of coho, potentially jeopardizing achieving the escapement goal. It’s important to continue to provide anglers an opportunity to target and harvest coho in the Little Su. By limiting the use of bait, we’re increasing the potential to achieve the escapement goal while still allowing opportunity for harvest.”
Anglers can fish for coho salmon in the Little Susitna River from its mouth up to the Parks Highway using artificial lures or flies. Multiple hooks, meaning no more than two treble hooks or two single hooks per line may be used in this section. Anglers are reminded that the bag and possession limit for coho salmon 16 inches or longer is two fish. A coho salmon that is removed from the water becomes part of the bag limit of the person who originally hooked the fish. In addition, a person who takes a bag limit of coho salmon in the Little Susitna River may not fish for any species of fish from the mouth up to the Parks Highway on that same day.
The Little Susitna River coho salmon sustainable escapement goal is 10,100–17,700 fish. By August 6, as much as 50 percent of the harvest has typically taken place in the sport fishery. As of August 3, only 1,929 coho salmon had passed upstream of the weir.
Further regulatory information on the Little Susitna River can be found on page 46 of the 2016 Southcentral sport fish regulation book.