Emergency Orders and News Releases
Sport Fishing

Region 2-Southcentral News Release

(Released: March 13, 2018 - Expires: July 13, 2018)

Division of Sport Fish
Tom Brookover, Director
Anchorage Headquarters Office
333 Raspberry Road
Anchorage, AK 99518

Alaska Department of Fish and Game
Sam Cotten, Commissioner
P.O. Box 115526
Juneau, AK 99811-5526

Contact: Matt Miller, Management Coordinator
(907) 267-2415

2018 King Salmon Sport Fishing Restrictions for Little Susitna River

(Palmer) – In favor of protecting returning king salmon and increased fishing opportunities in the future, Alaska Department of Fish and Game (ADF&G) is implementing the following sport fishing regulation restrictions which will be effective 6:00 a.m. Tuesday, May 1, through Friday, July 13, 2018, for the Little Susitna River drainage. For a complete description of these waters, anglers should refer to the 2018 Southcentral Alaska Sport Fishing Regulations booklet.

Little Susitna drainage:

  • Only one unbaited, single-hook, artificial lure is allowed in the Little Susitna River drainage. Single-hook means a fish hook with only one point. Treble hooks and more than one single-hook are prohibited.
  • Fishing for king salmon is allowed; however, king salmon may only be retained on Friday, Saturday, Sunday, and Monday in the Little Susitna River drainage. King salmon may not be retained on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday and any king salmon caught on these days may not be removed from the water and must be released immediately.
  • The annual limit of two king salmon 20 inches or longer is areawide. The total annual limit of king salmon 20 inches or longer taken from fresh waters of Cook Inlet remains at five, which only two may be from the Little Susitna River drainage.
  • The Eklutna Tailrace in Knik Arm is excluded from all restrictions.
  • 2018 Deshka River king salmon outlook memo can be found at: http://www.adfg.alaska.gov/index.cfm?adfg=ByAreaSouthcentralNorthCookInlet.fishingInfo#outlook.

This management strategy is designed to provide sport fishing opportunities where possible and achieve the Little Susitna River king salmon escapement goal. In addition to these management actions to the sport fishery, the Northern District commercial king salmon fishery will also be closed. Anglers should also be aware of changes to the Susitna River drainages (Unit 1-6). ADF&G staff will monitor these fisheries closely as the season progresses. Data gathered from weirs, guide logbooks, fishwheels, boat surveys, and aerial surveys will be used to gauge run strength during the 2018 season.

"Since 2007, the king salmon returns to the Little Susitna River has been below average and the trend is expected to continue in 2018," stated Area Management Biologist Sam Ivey. "Restricting or closing specific areas to sport fisheries is never an easy decision. ADF&G understands the decisions made have tremendous impacts on local businesses, guides, and anglers; however, with king salmon populations continuing a downward trend of productivity, ADF&G has a duty to protect, maintain, and improve sport fisheries. These restrictions will hopefully ensure enough salmon will successfully spawn, so that their offspring will guarantee future runs. These fish and their offspring are the future of the king salmon fisheries and we need to sustain them for a healthy return."

For additional information, please contact Assistant Area Management Biologist Sam Oslund at
(907) 746-6300, or Regional Management Coordinator Matt Miller at (907) 267-2415.