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Alaska Department of Fish and Game


Area Sport Fishing Reports
Mat-Su

April 15, 2015

Northern Cook Inlet area


Week of April 15 to April 21
Issued April 15, 2015

Emergency Orders and regulation reminders

• Anglers are reminded that flowing waters in the Palmer-Wasilla Zone are CLOSED to all fishing through June 14.
• Many flowing waters along the Parks Highway are catch-and-release only for rainbow trout through June 14.
• Anglers are advised that, in an effort to meet king salmon escapement goals in the Susitna River and Little Susitna River drainages, the following sport fishing restrictions are in effect beginning Thursday, May 1, 2015 in the Susitna River drainage (Units 1-6) and Little Susitna River:
o Only one unbaited, single-hook, artificial lure is allowed. Deshka River included.
o An annual limit of 2 king salmon over 20 inches applies to Susitna and Little Susitna drainages combined. King salmon that are intended to be released may not be removed from the water and must be released immediately.
o King salmon harvest (of any size) is prohibited within Unit 1 (except on Deshka River), on the Parks Highway streams within Unit 2, the upper Susitna (Unit 3), Talachulitna River (Unit 4), Talkeetna River (Unit 5), and Chulitna River (Unit 6). Fishing, but not harvest of king salmon, will be allowed during days and times normally open to king salmon fishing within these management units.
o The Deshka River is open to king salmon harvest 7 days per week. King salmon harvest in the Yentna drainage (except Talachulitna River) is allowed 4 days per week (Fridays-Mondays); king salmon harvest (of any size) is prohibited Tuesdays-Thursdays; only catch-and-release fishing is allowed on these days. The Talachulitna River is restricted to catch-and-release 7 days per week.
o Harvest on the Little Susitna is allowed Saturdays-Mondays. King salmon harvest (of any size) is prohibited Tuesdays-Fridays; only catch-and-release fishing is allowed on these days.
o In the waters of Unit 2 open to catch-and-release fishing for king salmon, fishing for trout and other species will not be affected by these emergency regulations for king salmon and will continue as written in current regulation.
o The Eklutna Tailrace is excluded from all king salmon emergency order restrictions.

Fresh waters

Salmon

• It is too early during this week for king salmon as the Susitna and Little Susitna drainages continue to break up. However, it is a good time to prepare boats and gear as king salmon will begin to appear in a few northern Cook Inlet streams by mid to late May. The waters downstream of Burma Landing on the Little Susitna River and the mouth of the Deshka River are the first places anglers report catches.

Trout, Dolly Varden, Grayling

• Rainbows overwintering in the Susitna River will be starting to move around as the Susitna breaks up. It is still too early this week for fishing, however, keep in mind that mouth areas of Parks Highway streams including Willow Creek and streams to the north should provide some action for rainbow trout, Dolly Varden, and grayling as the ice goes out and while the Susitna remains clear.
• Reminder, Deception Creek is closed to all fishing through June 14.

Northern Pike

• Anglers may retain as many pike as they catch – there is no bag or possession limit. In the freshwaters of West Cook Inlet and Susitna River drainage, anglers are not allowed to release live pike back into the water.
• Pike will be already spawning as ice gives way to open water fishing. While spawning, pike may be found in shallow, grassy waters. Nancy Lake canoe system and Big Lake along the shore lines and near outlets may prove productive for spear fishing as the ice retreats.
• Pike can be a little sluggish while spawning, so try a variety of lures. Where bait is allowed, herring under a bobber can’t be beat. This is also a good time to try bow fishing for pike.

Lake Fishing

• We are experiencing an early breakup this year. Valley Lakes are opening and fishing has been productive. Try casting from shore out to the edge of the ice. Please remember to stay off the ice as it is unstable.
• Some lakes with open shoreline include: Kepler/Bradley, Echo, Loberg, Finger, and Wasilla Lakes.
• Remember that fishing in flowing waters within the Palmer/Wasilla Zone as defined on page 47 of the regulation summary booklet is now closed through June 14 to protect spawning rainbow trout. For example, anglers may not fish in the many segments of Cottonwood Creek that connect Cottonwood drainage lakes during this timeframe. Many anglers are warned or cited for fishing at the Seward Meridian crossing each year.

Personal Use

• Hooligan fishing is open and should start showing in the Susitna River around mid May.
• You must hold an Alaskan resident sport fishing license (or ADF&G senior license or ADF&G Disabled Veteran’s license) in order to use a dipnet to catch hooligan. You may take as many hooligan as you will use.
 

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